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Billings Montana Temple

Before the Billings Montana temple was built members of the Mormon Church had to drive six to eight hours depending on the weather to go to the temple. When the Billings Montana temple was announced Latter-day Saints in the area rejoiced. Sister Hawkins, age 88, served many years at the nearest Mormon temple in Idaho Falls, now she is grateful "they're bringing the temples to us. It's going to be good for my family that lives in Billings." 1

The Billings Montana Temple sits on the hillside in front of 300-foot high red Rimrock cliffs. The single spire rises from a tiered tower. Stained-glass windows dominate the west end. Inside a clear skylight allows patrons to glimpse the angel Moroni atop the spire. The exterior features Wyoming white dolomite with tan sandstone finish. The temple will service the 36,000 members in Montana and northern Wyoming.

About 4,800 people gathered during a spring snowstorm to witness the groundbreaking of the Billings, Montana temple. During the groundbreaking a choir of 700 youth sang. One of the choir members, 17-year-old Maggie Koernig said, “This has been one of the most beautiful days of my life. Just sitting here and feeling the energy of all of us being together and strong in the faith and knowing that it is true was really awesome. Even though it was really bad weather, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, being able to see the groundbreaking and know that some day I can go in that temple and be married." 2

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Elder Pinnock, of the Seventy asked members living in the temple district to do three things before the temple was dedicated: “Live the commandments"2 and be good neighbors, prepare names of your ancestors so that when the temple is completed you can "accomplish the vital ordinances and covenants for your relatives," 2 and teach the youth, like Maggie Koernig, so that will be worthy to do baptisms for the dead and be married in the temple.

Before the LDS (Mormon) temple was dedicated it was open to the public where visitors were encouraged to walk through, enjoy the pictures of Christ, and learn about what takes place in a temple, because contrary to what many believe Mormon temples are not secret, but sacred. After the dedication only worthy members with a temple recommend may enter the temple because "like the earliest Christians, Latter-day Saints have sacred, private ceremonies offering the most lofty and beautiful aspects of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," 3 and these take place within temples.

Eight dedicatory sessions were held to accommodate all of the members of the area on 20-21st of November 1999. President Hinckley said in his dedicatory prayer of the Billings Montana temple, “Bless those who have worked so long and diligently in the face of opposition to obtain the necessary permits and to erect this sacred temple. May a glad acceptance now prevail concerning it, even a sense of gratitude for its presence. We pray that this area, in fact this whole city, may feel the Spirit that emanates from this hallowed structure.”4

For more information about Mormon temples visit the sites below:

LDS (Mormon) Temple resources  

LDS Temples - Mormon Temples - Salt Lake Temple 

USATODAY.com - Mormons open temple doors to share beliefs

BBC - Religion & Ethics - Mormon Temples

Manhattan Mormon Temple New York City.com : Arts & Attractions ...

Mormon Temple: Information From Answers.com

History of Mormon Temples

Mormon Temple Ordinances - ReligionFacts.com  


(1) 27 November 1999, Church News.

(2) “News of the Church,” Ensign, May 1998, 119 
(3) Jeff Lindsay, Mormon Temples and "Secrecy", http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2005/01/mormon-temples-and-secrecy.html 

(4) News of the Church,” Ensign, Feb. 2000, 74

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