SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 29, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released design renderings of its planned temple in Richmond, Va.
During an open house Wednesday evening in Richmond, Church representatives unveiled interior and exterior renderings showing how the new temple is expected to look.
Just prior to the open house, Church representatives held a briefing for local leaders to showcase plans for the temple and answer questions, an LDS Church statement says:
“Many hours of work and planning have gone into the design for this beautiful temple,” said Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department. “We are pleased to share these renderings with Church and community members so they can look forward to the completion of this sacred structure and anticipate the blessings it will bring to this area.”
The temple, which was announced in April 2018 by Church President Russell M. Nelson, will be the first in Virginia. The structure will be a two-story building of just over 36,000 square feet. An adjacent 16,000-square-foot meetinghouse will also be built.
“The design of the temple draws heavily from historical American traditions. Bill Williams, director of temple design, said elements found on buildings throughout Virginia — such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the University of Virginia — will be part of the temple’s overall look.
“Temple patrons and visitors will notice simple yet beautiful ornamentation, hearkening back to the humble beginnings of the United States,” said Williams. “Interlocking diamond chains and accents of the flowering dogwood — Virginia’s state tree and flower — will be found on the inside and outside of the temple. The landscaping design is inspired by historic Williamsburg and will help contribute to a reverent, peaceful atmosphere for all who come here.”
Once completed, the temple will serve Latter-day Saints in Virginia, eastern West Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, the statement says. A groundbreaking date will be announced later.
“This temple will greatly bless both our members and the communities in which we live,” said Mike Waters, the Church’s local director of public affairs in the Richmond area. “It’s also historically significant to have this temple located only a few miles from where the Virginia General Assembly in 1786 enacted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The freedom to worship as we see fit started here, and that freedom continues to manifest itself today through this inspiring edifice.”
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred places on earth. Unlike meetinghouses, where Sabbath worship and weekly activities take place, temples are open throughout the week and closed on Sundays.
“Each temple around the world plays a significant role in blessing and uplifting the communities in which they are built,” said Michael Suhaka, managing director of the Church’s Temple Department. “This beautiful house of worship in the Richmond, Virginia, area will be a blessing to all, not just members of our faith, and will help to strengthen commitment to be good citizens and follow the example of the Savior Jesus Christ in all things.”