Spokane Washington Temple
Missionary work in the Spokane area began in 1854 with four elders sharing the message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Almost 100 years later membership was only 5,000 statewide. At that
time members never imagined that one day the state wide membership
would total more 212,000 and that the Spokane area would be home to a
beautiful Mormon temple with gray granite walls with art glass windows and a lone spire topped by a golden angel Moroni blowing his horn.
At the groundbreaking ceremony in October of 1998, Elder F. Melvin
Hammond of the Seventy said, "Everyone in this city will be blessed by
the establishment of this glorious edifice, member and nonmember
Elder Hammond encouraged members to prepare spiritually for the
temple saying, "If thoughtful preparation is not started in your own
personal life, then I suggest to you that now is the time to begin such
Elder Hammond wanted each member worthy to enter the temple. Mormon temples
are special buildings used by members of the Mormon Church and a
recommend is required to enter the building after its dedication. In
order to qualify for a recommend members must attend their church
meetings, support church authorities, pay their tithing, be honest,
chaste, and worthy in every way.
During the open house of the Spokane Washington Temple 52,000 people
toured the beautiful building. President Hinckley commented that as
people toured, "They [were] most impressed with pictures of the Savior
they see in these holy houses. They must know that the central figure
in all of our worship is the Lord Jesus Christ. They will no longer
regard us as a non-Christian people." 2
As they toured the temple people also learned about the reasons Mormons build temples. Within Mormon temples special temple ordinances are performed both for the living and vicariously for the dead. These ordinances include:
Baptism for the dead – Baptism is an essential ordinance. In
order for those who have died to enter the gates of heaven they must
first be baptized. Many did not have the chance to receive the
baptismal ordinance while on this earth so the ordinance is performed
vicariously in the LDS temples.
Endowment – Every member who enters the Mormon temples for
the first time receives their own endowment and after stands as proxy
for a deceased person. The endowment is a series of covenants that the
person makes between God and themselves, with promises from God
attached if the covenants are kept.
Sealing – This ordinance is used to seal husbands and wives as well as their children together forever in eternal marriage.
On August 21, 1999, President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the
Spokane Washington Temple 16,000 members attended 11 sessions. During
the dedicatory prayer President Hinckley prayed, “Touch the hearts of
the people in this temple district that the spirit of Elijah may rest
upon them, that their hearts may turn to their fathers, and that they
may be motivated to search out their forebears and do a great vicarious
work on their behalf.” 3
The temple is located in the Spokane suburb of Opportunity and
serves about 32,000 members in eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and
For more information about Mormon temples visit the sites below:
Temple (Mormonism) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
LDS (Mormon) Temple resources
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
(1) “News of the Church,” Ensign, Jan. 1999, 74
(2) Gordon B. Hinckley, “Welcome to Conference,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 4
(3) “News of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 109