Anchorage Alaska Temple
The Anchorage Alaska Temple is the 54th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
To members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons, the temple is the "House of the Lord." It is a sacred building, and after its dedication only faithful members of the Church may enter. Mormon Temples are places of worship where the Lord may visit; a place of refuge, of peace and the opportunity to partake of the blessings that only the Temple can offer. The principle purpose of Mormon Temples is to provide ordinances necessary for exaltation into the celestial kingdom. For the most part, Temple work is concerned with the family. We are all members of God's eternal family and with each of us are members of an earthly family. The sanctity and eternal nature of the marriage covenant and family relationships are necessary requirements to the kingdom of God. The ordinances and ceremonies of the Temple are simple, beautiful and sacred. Preparation for the ordinances in the Mormon Temple includes: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, maturity and dignity of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord.1 The ordinances in the Mormon Temple are available to all, living and dead. There are uncounted millions who have walked the earth and who have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel. Through living proxies, the same ordinances are available to those who have passed from mortality. Those in the spirit world can accept or reject the earthly ordinances performed for them.2 All must have the opportunity! In 1997, President Gordon B. Hinckley, Mormon Prophet, announced the building of smaller Mormon Temples. There are many areas of the Mormon Church which are remote and where membership is small and not likely to grow in the future. So it was decided to begin building the smaller Temples, the first being in Monticello, Utah and the second was to be Anchorage Alaska. After the groundbreaking of the Anchorage Alaska Mormon Temple in 1998, the construction of this 6,800 square foot Temple took only nine months to build. Brother Green, the Temple architect faced the challenge of finding ways to make the Mormon Temple uniquely Alaskan. He prayed for inspiration, and on one of his trips to Salt Lake City he noticed something on the Salt Lake Temple that he hadn't seen before; the seven stars of the Big Dipper pointing to the North Star. That symbol is found on the Alaskan flag, and is now depicted on the west side of the Anchorage Alaska Temple. Along with that, the Temple walls are covered with gray and white quartz-flecked granite, and the Temple design incorporates Alaskan motifs, such as likenesses of fir trees on the doorway pilasters. The stained glass is reminiscent of water, and stylized evergreens with patterns resembling native designs are used to adorn interior furnishings.3 President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Mormon Temple on January 9, 1999, with more than six thousand members from as far away as the Yukon braving the freezing weather. "No matter how strong the cold winds of winter blast against our lives – surely the winds of adversity will come – we must keep the gospel flame in our hearts warm and bright. If we do that, then we will be as those whom the Savior spoke of as He concluded the Sermon on the Mount4: 'Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.'5
After remodeling that nearly doubled the size of the temple, President Hinckley rededicated the temple on February 8, 2004. The Anchorage Alaska Temple now has a total floor area of 11,937 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and one sealing room.
1 "The Holy Temple", by Boyd K. Packer 2 "Why These Temples", by Gordon B. Hinckley 3 "Gathering of Saints", by Jasper and Lommel, p 320 4 "LDS Church News", 'Work Goes On' 5 "Holy Bible", Matthew 7:24-25
- Official Anchorage Alaska Temple page
- Anchorage Alaska Temple page
- Anchorage Alaska Temple page
- Mormon Temple Ordinances - ReligionFacts
- Mormon Temples - Wikipedia
- Resources about the History and Symbolism of Mormon Temples
- Mormon Missionaries - BBC Religion & Ethics
- Prophet Joseph Smith - Lightplanet