Bismarck North Dakota Temple
October usually means cold weather in North Dakota and the day
of the new temple groundbreaking October 17, 1998 was no exception.
Despite the overcast skies and chilly temperatures over 1,000 people
attended the ceremony. During the ceremony Bishop McMullin, second
counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the church urged members, “As
the walls of the temple go up, let your faithfulness go up."1
Members of the Mormon
Church were also encouraged to be prepared. Elder Holt, an Area Authority Seventy, suggested that while the acronym CTR
means, “Choose the Right” to Primary children, it could also mean
“Current Temple Recommend,” for adults. He counseled them to “Prepare
yourselves… Be ready. Be worthy to serve in the house of the Lord.” 2
Only members in good standing with the church, who are worthy and hold a current temple recommend, can enter Mormon temples after they are dedicated.
The Bismarck North Dakota temple district covers about 200,000
square miles and serves about 9,000 members. Although small in numbers
they faithfully drove great distances to reach a temple and recognizing
their need for one closer, the Lord directed President Hinckley to
build a small temple in North Dakota.
The new Mormon temple
sits on 1.6 acres. The exterior is finished with granite veneer from
Québec. A gold-plated statue of the angel Moroni, blowing his trumpet,
tops the single-spire.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, attended the dedication of the temple.
Prior to the dedication the prophet had never been to North Dakota, the
only state he had not visited. Members rejoiced to have the prophet in
During the dedicatory prayer President Hinckley prayed specifically
for the members in the area saying, “We thank Thee for the faith of Thy
sons and daughters in the vast area of this temple district, men and
women who love Thee and love their Redeemer and have stood steadfast as
Thy people. They have felt much alone. They are out on the frontier of
the Church. Their numbers are still not large. But they are entitled to
every blessing which the Church has to offer, including the ordinances
here administered.” 3
The ordinances done within the temple are essential to the eternal salvation of mankind. It is within the walls of LDS (Mormon) temples
that special covenants between man and God are made. In which men and
women promise to keep the commandments and serve God, and in turn God
promises them eternal life with Him.
Marriages are also performed in the temple. Using the sealing power
of the priesthood, which seals both on earth and in heaven, husbands
and wives are sealed together for not only time but for eternity. This
means that the family unit continues on after death. For this reason
Mormons place a great emphasis on family history work. They are
constantly searching out their ancestors so that their ancestors can be
sealed to them in temples creating an eternal family chain.
Since baptism is required to enter the gates of heaven each temple
contains a special baptismal font. Where members are baptized in proxy
for those who have died who did not have the chance to be baptized
while living on earth. Thus enabling them to enter the gates of heaven.
For more information about Mormon temples visit the sites below:
Teachings About Mormon Temples
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
Mormanity: Mormon Temples and "Secrecy"
History of Mormon Temples
Mormon Temple Ordinances - ReligionFacts.com
(1) News of the Church, Ensign, Jan. 1999, 77
(2) News of the Church, Ensign, Jan. 1999, 77
(3) News of the Church, Ensign, Nov. 1999, 109