Before the Mormon Church’s 153rd temple is dedicated on October 16th, the public is invited to view the inside, starting Friday, August 19th.  It’s very large and very sacred to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Here are some things to know before you take the tour.

Dave Jensen, TSM

I was invited to media day at the new Mormon Temple on August 16th, 2016.  I had been following the construction of the temple ever since the steeple caught my eye from over two miles away.  They broke ground on the temple just about three years ago-- August 24, 2013-- and are now ready for an estimated 100,000 people to tour the temple before its official dedication.

There are an estimated 15 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints across the world, 140 thousand in the state of Colorado, and about 45 thousand being our area’s district, which is Wyoming, Western Nebraska and the Front Range and the northern part of Colorado.  There is a temple located in Centennial, Colorado that was built in 1986. This new temple for Colorado has been in the works since 2011.  There are 123 more temples planned for the world.

This temple, as with any of the Mormon temples, is used only for special ‘rituals’ and ceremonies. Keep in mind- only church members in ‘good standing’ are allowed inside the church. Most of the day-to-day, week-to-week church activity will continue to take place at the chapel across the street from the temple. Local church officials expect 15,000 church members to visit the temple every year.

Structure facts: The Fort Collins temple sits on just over 12 acres at Trilby Road and Timberline. (Technically, the address is 2180 Majestic Drive.) The building is 42,205 square feet. It stands at 112 feet tall, including the gold-leafed statue of Moroni (a prophet of the church.) There are gardens on the east and west side of the ‘campus’, with a nice fountain within the east side garden. They have a very large parking area on the south side of the temple.  Inside the temple, are many religious and non-religious paintings to reflect the teachings of the church as well as the natural surroundings of the area that the temple is located. You’ll find a great Colorado mural in one of the ‘Instruction’ rooms, done by Keith Bond of Wellington! Interesting to note: The temple has 274 parking spaces, which is just ONE more than the chapel!

What do they do inside temples?  They, in the most basic of terms, do three things:

One: Marriages and sealings.  Men and women marry, and then family members seal with the couple for eternity. The Fort Collins temple has three ‘sealing’ rooms. One large, and two smaller ones. In the large one they have two mirrors placed across from each other- to give the effect of ‘forever’ – representing not only tomorrow, but yesterday as well: Forever behind you, forever into the future.  We were shown the Brides Room, but, like all Mormon temples, they do not have a Groom’s room.

Two: Baptisms for family members who are deceased.  To me, the Baptistry Room was the most fascinating. Not very large, but very deep. The Baptism Pond sits in the center, with two stairways down into the pond. The bowl of the pond itself, sits upon 12 oxen, which represent the 12 tribes of ancient Israel. It has a way of taking your breath away.

Three: They have, at the Fort Collins temple, two ‘Instruction’ rooms. It’s hard for me to explain, but from what I gather, those in good standing can get closer to God, by attending ceremonies and/or rituals, in these rooms.

We were also shown the ‘Celestial Room’ which is the most sacred part of the temple. They explained this is where members come to be ‘quiet’ and ‘one’ with God. We were asked not to speak in this room.

There are great chandeliers, great rugs, and beautiful details, all around the inside of the temple. Many, many man-hours went into the construction, by talented craftsmen and craftswomen, and it shows.  The outside, is just as beautiful, of course.

If you attend one of their Open House tours, going on from August 19th through September 10th, keep in mind that they’ll probably ask you to put on shoe covers to protect the flooring and carpets, and no photos will be allowed on the inside.

I highly recommend touring the temple- You’ll learn a lot, and see a lot; and when the temple is dedicated on October 16th, 2016, only a very few will be allowed to see what you have seen.

You can make a reservation for a tour (recommended) at their website, or call 1-855-537-2000.