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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 their midst.

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

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