Memphis Tennessee Temple
The Memphis Tennessee Temple is the 80th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"The presence of the temple in the community will spark the Spirit of Christ in hundreds of people," promised Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Memphis Tennessee Temple.
Travel time has been reduced from days to hours as Latter-day Saint temples have been built closer and closer. Today, some members will have less than an hour to drive. The Memphis Tennessee Temple serves more than 20,000 members in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri.
The prophet Joseph Smith sent the first missionary, Wilford Woodruff, to the Memphis area in 1835. Many people joined the Church but left the state as the Saints migrated west because of local persecution. The presence of the Church was small and in 1934 only about 130 members worshiped in Memphis. Since then the Church has grown significantly, warranting not only numerous meetinghouses but a temple as well.
Six Blessings Associated with Temples
Mormon temples are sacred to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the groundbreaking ceremony of the Memphis Tennessee Temple Elder Watts of the Seventy listed six blessings associated with temples.
- The temple stands as a "landmark of strength, hope, and holiness" to members.
- It enhances and promotes Christian ideas like "love, honor, respect, and the sanctity of marriage."
- The temple is "a reminder of the important work of salvation that will take place within its walls."
- Members are reminded, "that we must be constantly aware of our personal actions and thoughts."
- "The temple [stands] as a firm foundation that will encourage and entice the rising generation of young people to pattern their lives after that of the Savior."
- The "presence of the temple in the community [sparks] the Spirit of Christ in hundreds of people."
Dedication of the Memphis Tennessee Temple
On 23 April 2000, President James E. Faust, then second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, dedicated the Memphis Tennessee Temple. During the dedicatory prayer he echoed the prayers of many of the members in the area when he said, "Now Father, we thank Thee for this temple. It is an answer to our prayers. It will enrich the lives of countless thousands who will here seek blessings for themselves and stand as proxies on behalf of those who have passed beyond. May hearts leap with joy, and may smiles of satisfaction come to the faces of all who labor herein as they carry forward Thy work of salvation and exaltation."
The Memphis Tennessee Temple has a total of 10,700 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and two sealing rooms. About a month after the dedication of the temple in Memphis, another Latter-day Saint temple was dedicated in Nashville.
Temple News Updates
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the closure of the Memphis Tennessee Temple later this year for extensive renovations. The temple will close in October 2017. The renovations will help maintain functionality, efficiency, and beauty. The temple will receive mechanical upgrades along with updates in finishes and furnishings. The Renovations are expected to be completed in 2019. Once the renovations are complete, a public open house and rededication services will be announced. While the temple is closed, Latter-day Saints will be able to attend neighboring temples.
A Look Inside the Memphis Tennessee Temple
The following pictures were taken from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Newsroom. All pictures are ©2019 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
The Memphis Tennessee Temple Has Been Rededicated
The renovations for the Memphis Tennessee Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been completed and open house tours were conducted from Saturday, 13 April through Saturday, 20 April 2019, excluding Sunday, 14 April 2019.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles rededicated the Memphis Tennessee Temple on Sunday, 5 May 2019, in one session. Members of the Church gathered in the temple for the sacred service. A youth devotional was not scheduled, and the rededication service was not broadcast to local meetinghouses. so the two-hour block of Sunday meetings was held as planned.
The temple is located at 4199 Kirby-Whitten Parkway in Bartlett, Tennessee, a community just outside Memphis. It serves Latter-day Saints in Memphis; Greater Little Rock, Arkansas; Searcy, Arkansas; and Tupelo, Mississippi. The temple will resume operation on Tuesday, 14 May 2019, allowing devout members the opportunity to participate in sacred ordinances.
- News of the Church, Ensign, Apr. 1999, 74
- Church News, 23 January 1999.
- "Memphis dedicatory prayer: 'A sanctuary loved by the Saints,'" Church News, 29 Apr. 2000, 11
- Miracle in Memphis: The unbelievable story of what it took to complete the temple on time
- Memphis Tennessee Temple page
- Mormon Temples and Secrecy
- History of Mormon Temples - Lightplanet