Closed for extensive renovation since 2018, the Oz-like edifice welcomed more than 100,000 visitors during a public open house.
President Russell M. Nelson and many other top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be on hand when the faith’s Washington D.C. Temple is rededicated on Aug. 14.
Nelson, who rose to church president in 2018, will dedicate this showcase temple, according to a Wednesday news release.
His two counselors in the governing First Presidency, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring, will also participate, along with fellow apostles Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson and Gerritt W. Gong; Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé, Paul V. Johnson of the Presidency of the Seventy; Amy A. Wright of the children’s Primary General Presidency; and general authority Seventies W. Mark Bassett, Kevin R. Duncan, Allen D. Haynie and Vai Sikahema.
The temple, which debuted in 1974, closed in 2018 to undergo extensive renovation. Originally scheduled to reopen in December 2020, that date was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rededication was pushed back once again because of continuing demand to visit the temple during the public open house — which drew more than 100,000 guests — delaying the date from June to August.
When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan toured the newly spruced-up temple in April, he called it an “iconic landmark” and a “beacon of hope.” He also praised the church for working with state officials to encourage community service.
The Oz-like temple — some say it resembles the Emerald City from “The Wizard of Oz” — is located in Kensington, Md. Its design is a modernization of the iconic Salt Lake Temple, which is undergoing a five-year overhaul and seismic retrofit. The D.C. edifice sports six spires, three at each end. The tallest soars 288 feet, topped by a golden Angel Moroni statue.
With 160,000 square feet of interior space, it is the church’s third-largest temple.
The rededicated temple will open for patrons Aug. 30. It will serve 123,000 church members in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.
Latter-day Saints view a temple as a House of the Lord, somewhere faithful members can take part in their religion’s highest rites, including eternal marriage.