St. Paul Minnesota Temple
The St. Paul Minnesota Temple is the 69th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is located in Oakdale, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. The new LDS temple surrounded by oak trees stands as a symbol of the faithfulness of the Minnesota Latter-day Saints both those first Saints who joined the Church and came to Minnesota in 1847 and all those who have come after. Before the completion of the temple, members had to drive up to fourteen hours to the Chicago Temple. But now the 25,000 members in the area are grateful to have a temple of their own.
The site of the St. Paul Minnesota Temple is also the site of a Stake Center, a larger meetinghouse for the members of the LDS Church. The temple is situated on a wooded 7.5-acre site. The building itself features a single spire and is covered with a light gray granite veneer.
The St. Paul Minnesota Temple was the first temple built in Minnesota. Plans to construct the temple were announced 29 July 1998, Church leaders broke ground 26 September 1998, and Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1995 to 2008, dedicated the St. Paul Minnesota Temple on 9 January 2000. The temple serves Latter-day Saints in nine stakes in Minnesota, parts of Wisconsin and Manitoba, Canada. The temple has a total of 10,700 square feet, Celestial room, baptistry, two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms.
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication
The groundbreaking and site dedication took place on 26 September 1998. Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy and President of the North America Central Area presided. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Elder Pinnock told officials, "We promise you a beautiful edifice will be raised on this site. You will be pleased with what you and others will see built in this community." Later in his remarks, he stated that the temple "will stand as a remarkable symbol of God's love of our ancestors. Let us pray that not only the building will be constructed well, but also our own lives will be constructed well. You have prayed for this day for so long." He further exhorted the members in attendance:
- Your temple recommend is the most valuable piece of paper you have; we can't help but be thankful for other blessings a temple brings; our children will grow in righteousness; we become a little more like the Father and His Son Jesus Christ because of the temple. Temples are great equalizers. We are [all] asked the same questions, as men and women we participate in the same ordinances, make the same covenants and we all dress in white in our beautiful temples. We will be together forever as families if we live as we should here on earth. I testify to you that we are led by a living Prophet of God. In his musings today, he is aware of this event and the Saints gathering here today. This very day has been scheduled because of your dedication.
Fire Damages St. Paul Minnesota Temple
The temple received minor damage on 10 September 2008, in an early morning fire that inspectors believed was arson.
Smoke and fire were reported in the front entry of the temple shortly before 3 a.m. Fire Chief, Jeff Anderson, said it was mostly out by the time firefighters arrived. The fire was mostly confined to the front doors but Anderson said some light smoke got into a front room. The damage was estimated at $25,000. Investigators found no signs of forced entry, and authorities did not consider the case to be a hate crime.
Scott Trotter, a spokesman for the Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, said the temple's normal schedule of operation was not interrupted.
The St. Paul Minnesota Temple is Dedicated
The St. Paul Minnesota Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley on 9 January 2000 in four dedicatory sessions. He offered the following dedicatory prayer:
- Holy Father, Thou great Elohim, the God of all generations of mankind, we bow reverently before Thee on this historic Sabbath when we dedicate Thy Holy House.
- Acting in the authority of Thy divine priesthood and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we consecrate and dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this the St. Paul Minnesota Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- It is our gift, dear Father, which we present with thanks for the opportunity of doing so and with hearts made glad by this sacred privilege.
- May the presence of Thy Holy Spirit be felt by all who enter here. May Thy glory rest down upon them, "and upon this Thy house,…that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that Thy holy presence may be continually in this house;
- "And that all people who should enter upon the threshold of the Lord's house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness" (D&C 109:12-13).
- We dedicate the grounds on which it stands, with the vegetation growing thereon which in the season of summer will add to the beauty of this Thy house. We dedicate the structure from the footings to the figure of Moroni. We dedicate the baptismal font wherein will be performed ordinances for the dead. We dedicate the facilities used for the initiatory ordinances, the endowment rooms, the beautiful celestial room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, and every other facility belonging to this temple of the Lord.
- May it stand securely against the storms of nature. May no unhallowed hand deface or desecrate it in any way. May all who serve herein do so with singleness of purpose, with love for Thee and for Thy Beloved Son, and for the accomplishment of the work of eternity for which it has been built.
- We pray for the temple presidency, for the matron and her assistants, for all associated with them in carrying forward the ordinances herein administered. We pray for all who shall come as patrons that they may ever look upon this service as a labor of love performed in the spirit of the Redeemer who gave His life for all mankind. May the wonder and the majesty of that great act of atonement enter the minds and hearts of all who serve here in behalf of those beyond the veil of death.
- Father, this sanctified structure has been made possible by the faithful tithe payers of the Church throughout the world. Wherever they may be, reward their faith with blessings abundantly showered upon them. May Thy watch care be over them and may Thy prospering hand direct them as they walk in faithfulness before Thee.
- Bless Thy cause and kingdom that it shall move forward across the earth in fulfillment of Thy word and promise. Bless the messengers of eternal truth who go out into the world from this sacred house that Thy endowment may be upon them, that their testimonies may be certain and unwavering, that they will be led to those who will accept the truths of the eternal gospel.
- We thank Thee for the nation in which this temple stands. We thank Thee for the privilege of worshiping Thee according to the dictates of conscience, and pray that we may forever enjoy the great blessings of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of worship. Let Thy blessings rest upon this nation, and upon this state that those in government may look with favor upon Thy people.
- With gratitude, with a spirit of prayer in our hearts, with shouts of hosanna unto Thee and Thy Son, we offer our thanks, and our petitions for Thy blessings and do it all as Thy faithful sons and daughters in the name of the Redeemer of the world, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
- Official LDS St. Paul Minnesota Temple page
- St. Paul Minnesota Temple page
- Unofficial LDS Temples Site
- Mormon Temple Worship - BBC Religion & Ethics
- Mormon Temple Ordinances - ReligionFacts
- Mormon Temples - Lightplanet
- Mormon Temples - Wikipedia
- Temples and Mormon Temples - Answers.com
- Resources about the History and Symbolism of Mormon Temples
- Mormon Temples and Secrecy
- History of Mormon Temples - Lightplanet
- Mormons Open Temple Doors to Share Beliefs - USAToday
- A video about the St. Paul Minnesota Temple