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Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple
The Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple is the 95th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In March 1999, Church members in Oklahoma learned that a temple would be built in their area. Needless to say, the members were ecstatic that they would not have to travel the nearly 200 miles to the Dallas Texas Temple.
Years earlier, the Mormon Church had purchased land on which to build a meetinghouse. With the purchase of this land, the sellers donated an additional parcel of land. The meetinghouse was built and the members enjoyed using the additional land for social and sporting events. When asked in 1999 if they could give up their baseball field for a temple, the local members were both willing and eager.
Aftermath of Devastating Tornado and Groundbreaking Ceremony
The groundbreaking for the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple took place on 3 July 1999, in Yukon, Oklahoma. During the groundbreaking ceremony local Church leader David Lawton spoke of the tornado that just two months earlier had devastated the area, "I feel, in looking back, that there was a great purpose of the Lord in the tornado: 1) It strengthened us – helped us all remember how temporary the things of this world are. [They are] not to be relied on, and 2) It ... temper[ed] opposition to our Temple."
Before the tornado, there was a great deal of uncertainty and misunderstanding about the Mormons and their Church. But after the devastating tornado, there were over 100,000 Mormons from Oklahoma and neighboring states that gave help to those families, businesses, schools, and churches in need. Latter-day Saints that helped out the community also helped others view the Mormons in a different light.
Although it was devastating, many local members of the Mormon Church agreed that the tornado helped prepare the way for the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple to be built in that community. Church leaders were able to move forward with the building of the temple without any substantial difficulty or resistance.
Open House and Temple Dedication
The Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple open house began on 15 July 2000 with over 40,000 visitors touring the temple in the seven-day period. Organizers experimented with having half of the tours self-guided and the other half with a guide. They quickly discovered that the guided tours were far more successful and soon arranged for all tours to be assisted by a guide. In fact, the guided tours were so successful that they were used as a reference for future open houses in LDS temples. By the end of the week, fifteen hundred copies of the Book of Mormon were placed and thirty-eight missionary referrals were received.
President James E. Faust, First Counselor in the First Presidency dedicated the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple on 30 July 2000. In the dedicatory prayer, President Faust said, "We pray for Thy cause and kingdom, that it may grow stronger in this community. May all who have favored Thy cause be blessed for that which they have done. May many continue to seek for knowledge concerning Thy work until they have embraced Thy restored gospel…May none of evil intent enter the portals of Thy house. May the defiling hand of the vandal and the destroyed be kept from the exterior. May all who pass this way recognize Thy temple as a sacred and beautiful structure built unto Thy Holy Name."
- "The First 100 Temples", by Chad Hawkins, 2001, p. 253
- "A Sacred and Beautiful Structure", Dedicatory Prayer, Aug 2000, p. 7
Temple News Updates
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the closure of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma 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.
- Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple Dedicatory Prayer
- Official Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple page
- Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple page
- Mormon Temple Ordinances - ReligionFacts
- Mormon Temples - Lightplanet
- Mormon Temples and Secrecy
- Mormon Missionaries - BBC Religion & Ethics
- Prophet Joseph Smith - Lightplanet