Columbia South Carolina Temple
One hundred and sixty years ago Emmanuel Masters Murphy was the
only member in South Carolina, but through his efforts others were
converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He even
visited the Prophet Joseph Smith
in Carthage Jail. Where the prophet Joseph Smith prophesied about, "the
wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of
South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery
of many souls." 1 He told Murphy to warn the citizens of the coming war.2
Because of the Civil War, the migration of the Saints to Utah, and
persecution within the state itself, the Mormon Church in South
Carolina had little growth until 1917 when the first branch (small
congregation) was organized with 40 members. The next 80 years saw
enormous growth and in 1999 there were 26,000 members in South
Carolina. Gwen Slay Llewllyn remembers when the church was smaller
before permanent buildings were built. She said, “I was 13 when the
stake was organized. My relatives and I would have to clean tobacco out
of rented buildings before services could be held.” 3 Now the Mormon Church not only has over 45 meeting houses in South Carolina but a Mormon temple as well.
The new Mormon temple
is located in Columbia South Carolina, because it’s the capital and a
central location within the state. The building is about 11,700 square
feet set in a residential neighborhood and surrounded by native
loblolly pine and oak. The grounds are landscaped with the area's
natural flora including myrtle, holly, mums, and dogwood trees. The
exterior of the temple is gray granite and features art glass windows.
The temple has the traditional lone spire topped by a gold-plated angel
The angel Moroni tops most Mormon temples as a symbol of the
restoration of the gospel. It was the angel Moroni that appeared to a
young Joseph Smith and told him about the buried gold plates. The gold plates which Joseph Smith later translated into the Book of Mormon.
The Mormon Church uses the Book of Mormon in conjunction with the
Bible. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It
gives a record of the prophecies, wars, and Christ's visit to
inhabitants of the American continents.
At the groundbreaking of the Columbia South Carolina temple held on
December 5, 1998, Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy said, “As the
contractors and building people prepare and begin construction, let us
also begin a program of personal construction that we will be as
exemplary as this beautiful temple when it is completed. If changes are
required in your life to gain entrance into the temple, let us begin
After a temple is dedicated, only members of the Mormon Church who have temple recommends are allowed to enter LDS (Mormon) temples.
Because of the sacred nature of the building only those whose lives are
align with the teachings of the gospel and are worthy to enter are
allowed to participate in the ordinances inside. Before the South
Carolina temple was dedicated about 20,000 people walked through it
during an open house.
The Columbia, South Carolina temple was dedicated the 15-16 October
1999. President Hinckley presided and gave the dedicatory prayer.
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
Temple (Mormonism) - Wikipedia, the free
BBC - Religion & Ethics - Mormon Temples
Manhattan Mormon Temple New York City.com : Arts & Attractions ...
History of Mormon Temples
Mormon Temple Ordinances - ReligionFacts.com
(1) D&C 87:1
(2) Gerry Avant, ed. "Worldwide Church: United States of
America: South Carolina," 2004 Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah:
Deseret Morning News, 2004) 228–229.
(3) “News of the Church,” Ensign, Mar. 1999, 75
(4) “News of the Church,” Ensign, Mar. 1999, 75