After three years of reconstruction, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will open its temple in downtown Ogden for public tours starting Friday, August 1st.
More than 400-thousand people are already signed up to tour the temple before it’s rededicated in September. Most of those are members of the LDS church, but Elder Kent Richards with the church’s Temple Department says they’re making another 100-thousand reservations available on Tuesday, July 29th, through the website templeopenhouse.lds.org.
Richards tells KUER, “We want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity, especially those who wouldn’t normally come into the temple after it’s dedicated.”
After the re-dedication on September 21st, only members of the church in good standing will be allowed inside.
The Ogden temple is among the largest in the church, with more than two thousand volunteers expected to help conduct religious ceremonies and perform other duties inside. It could potentially accommodate as many as fifty wedding parties a day.
Former Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey says the temple reconstruction has helped to reverse a decline in the city’s downtown area.
“The church has been a major player in the renovation of downtown," Godfrey tells KUER. "They’ve been a great community player in terms of investing and trying to beautify and buy properties in areas that were clearly blighted and improve the area.”
The reconstruction included seismic safety upgrades and hundreds of new parking spaces. The design features a desert rose and prairie grass motif reflected in the pink marble used throughout the building. It was quarried in Egypt and fabricated in China. The neighboring Ogden Tabernacle, a large public meeting space, was also renovated
When it was first dedicated in 1972, the Ogden Temple was the 14th operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide. It will be rededicated in September as the 14th LDS temple in Utah and one of 143 around the world .