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Houston Texas Temple
The Houston Texas Temple is the 97th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 1997 the search began for a site on which to build a temple in the Houston area. Steve Cook, a member who had helped the Church in purchasing real estate in the past, was asked to help find a site for the temple. Several parcels of land were located with one in particular belonging to a developer by the name of Don Hand. Mr. Hand, however, reserved this land for a project of his own and had no desire to sell it, saying that no amount of money would entice him to sell. Back in the mid-1980s, when the economy of Houston had been struggling, Mr. Hand was hit quite hard financially and feared that he would have to file bankruptcy. He remembered praying to God and begging for His assistance and promising Him that if He would spare him financial ruin that he would one day pay the Lord back.
Mr. Hand had originally purchased 2,000 acres in the area which would become the temple site. This land had been on the market prior to Church President Gordon B. Hinckley's site-selection trip, but when he visited the city it was not available. Undeterred, President Hinckley visited the site anyway and informed Brother Cook that this was the site for the Houston Temple. Brother Cook worked hard to build a trusting relationship with Mr. Hand and continued to maintain an interest in the parcel of land. Although originally skeptical, Mr. Hand was impressed by Brother Cook and his heart softened as he remembered the promise he had made to the Lord years earlier. He sold the land for the building of the Houston Temple.
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Houston Texas Temple on 26 August 2000. The temple serves over forty-four thousand Church members in the southern half of Texas. The temple has a total of 33,970 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and three sealing rooms.
In late summer of 2017 the Houston area was struck by Hurricane Harvey. The storm dumped up to 52 inches of rain in some areas, and even locations that had never flooded before were under water. This included the Houston Temple. The floods breached the temple beginning 26 August and flooded the temple annex building, the temple basement and the main floor, with water rising to more than a foot. The second floor was not flooded or damaged. The temple closed and remained closed for repairs and renovations. In October 2017 the First Presidency issued a letter to local leaders saying the temple would continue to be repaired and would be scheduled to reopen sometime in the spring of 2018. At that time there would be a "simple rededication," which would entail a private dedication without any sort of cultural celebration or open house.
Date Set for Rededication of the Houston Texas Temple
"President M. Russell Ballard will preside over the single rededicatory session, which will be by invitation only," it says in the letter from the First Presidency announcing the temple rededication. "No open house or cultural celebration events will be held in conjunction with the rededication."
The rededication will not be broadcast to meetinghouses in the temple district and the three-hour block of meetings will continue as normal for all units on the day of the rededication.
The temple is scheduled to open for patrons on Tuesday, 24 April 2018.
The Houston Texas Temple is Rededicated
Reflecting on the flooding, President Ballard said, "What we saw when we came here (August 2017) was a tribute to the people of Houston, the Church and other churches who volunteered so much of their time to help clean up this mess."
Elder Larry Y. Wilson and Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Seventy and Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church assisted President Ballard in the sacred service.
Elder Nielsen, a 35-year resident of Houston, commented on the tremendous volunteers that played a major part in the recovery following Hurricane Harvey. Bishop Waddell commented on how quickly the repairs were made. He said that completing the renovation in seven months "is nothing short of a miracle." And Elder Wilson said the temple is just like new. Included in the temple is 54 new pieces of artwork.
Videos of the Houston Texas Temple
- "The Beginning of the Houston Temple: Site Selection History," by Steven Cook
Other Temples in Texas
- President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, offers prayer to rededicate the Houston Texas Temple
- Reopening a beloved temple: A key moment in Hurricane Harvey recovery
- Houston Texas Temple page
- Mormon Temple Ordinances - ReligionFacts
- Mormon Temples - Lightplanet
- Joseph Smith
- The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith
- Joseph Smith the Prophet