CEDAR CITY, Utah, Oct. 23, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Public open houses begin this week for the Cedar City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Visitors will have several weeks to go inside the temple for a guided tour of the main rooms, including the baptistry, an instruction room, a sealing room, the celestial room and the bride’s room, the LDS Church said in a news release Monday.
“When they approach the temple, they’ll be able to find different elements within the architecture that they’ll find similar to some of the other historic buildings and temples that are in Southern Utah,” said Mark Berry, project manager of the temple. “We tried to make sure that we brought that pioneer feel.”
The 39,802-square-foot temple is visible from the north as it sits on a hill in the high desert of Southern Utah, the news release said. The structure, made of precast concrete panels with sections of gypsum fiber reinforced concrete, stands more than 260 feet high, including a 13-foot-tall angel Moroni statue atop a cupola spire.
“The spire is reminiscent of ones that you would find on a tabernacle. It’s more of a cupola type feel than the standard spires that we see on some of the other temples,” added Berry.
The color palette for the décor draws upon the rich colors and textures of Southern Utah, incorporating native flowers and juniper berries.
“We have a lot of art glass that you can see from the exterior windows,” said Berry. “And in some of the design of that art glass from the exterior is a flower design. It’s kind of a columbine flower that is found in the high mountain valley areas … in Southern Utah.”
Rich African mahogany and sapele woodwork, and stone and tile flooring from Israel, Turkey, Spain and Iran add to the look of the temple.
“There are elements into the stone that are red in nature, and they kind of depict the colors that we find in the natural stones and formations here in Southern Utah that help us pull together this pioneer feel in this area,” he said.
There are eight original pieces of art inside the temple depicting the local landscape or the ministry of Jesus Christ.
On display inside the temple are two of four historic windows that were recovered and donated to the Church from the Astoria Presbyterian Church in Queens, New York, when the building was razed in 2008.
There are 2.1 million members of LDS Church in Utah. This will be the Church’s 17th temple in the Beehive State and the 159th operating temple of the Church worldwide.
The Cedar City Utah Temple will serve approximately 45,000 Latter-day Saints in 17 stakes in Southern Utah and eastern Nevada.
The temple grounds will remain open for the public to visit once the temple is dedicated. The landscaping features native plants and traditional ornamentals suited for the mountain climate, including 225 trees, more than 2,200 shrubs and hundreds of perennials and annuals.
The temple is located at 280 South Cove Drive on more than eight acres of land in a residential area in Cedar City.
Free tours of the temple will be available beginning Friday. The open house continues through Nov. 18, except for the Sundays of Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 and 12. Reservations for the complimentary open house tickets are available online at www.templeopenhouse.lds.org.
About 4,500 local youth will participate in a cultural celebration on Dec. 9 at the Southern Utah University America First Event Center (previously known as the Centrum). The stories of past and present pioneers of the Cedar City area will be told through song and dance.
The temple will be dedicated the following day on Dec. 10 in sessions at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. The dedication will be broadcast to members of The Church at meetinghouses in the temple district. The three-hour schedule of meetings will be cancelled for that Sunday for those congregations to enable members of the Church to participate and focus on this sacred event.