Kona Hawaii Temple
The Mormon Church became established in Hawaii in the 1850’s after Kamehameha III signed an edict allowing other faiths on the islands. Following the edict the first Mormon missionaries were quickly sent to the islands on December 12, 1850. In 1855, the missionary work in Hawaii was furthered by the publication of the Book of Mormon in Hawaiian. In 1857 missionaries were asked to come back to Utah because of problems with the U.S. government, but the Church continued to grow in Hawaii. Missionaries soon returned and by 1913, 22 percent of the Hawaiian population were members of the Mormon Church. Because of the large population of members, the Church built a temple in Laie, Hawaii in 1919. Today there are approximately 56,000 members of the Church living on the Hawaiian islands.
The announcement to build a Mormon temple in Kona, Hawaii was made on May 7, 1998. A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on March 13, 1999. The ceremony was presided over by John B. Dickson a member of the Seventy. The temple site is 7.02 acres, which includes a meetinghouse. The site is near the city of Kailua-Kona, overlooking the ocean and with a beautiful view of Mount Haulalai. The exterior of the temple is finished with white marble veneer and the grounds are beautifully landscaped.
The Kona Hawaii Temple was open for tours to the public January 12-15 2000. Those who toured the 10,700 square foot temple were able to see the two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms, baptistery, Celestial room, and other facilities used to carry out temple ordinances according to Mormon belief.
The Kona Hawaii Temple was dedicated on January 23-24 2000 by Gordon B. Hinckley and serves 11,000 members in the area.