The First Presidency has announced open house and dedication dates for the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The public is invited to visit the temple during an open house from Saturday, 29 March, through 19 April 2014, excluding Sundays. Free reservations for the open house can be made through the website in the coming weeks.

The temple will be formally dedicated on 4 May 2014 in three sessions. In conjunction with the dedication of the temple, there will also be a cultural event featuring music and dance on Saturday, 3 May 2014.

Plans to construct the Fort Lauderdale Temple were first announced by Church President Thomas S. Monson in October 2009. Ground was broken for the new temple on 18 June 2011. The temple will serve approximately 25,000 Church members from congregations in South Florida.

VSC Article_Header_Scot_0001_2013While the Church’s 18,000-plus meetinghouses are open to all people who wish to attend religious services, temples are open only to faithful Latter-day Saints after they are formally dedicated. Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man.

The Fort Lauderdale Temple will be the 143rd operating temple of the Church worldwide and the second in Florida. The Orlando Temple, dedicated in 1994, was the first Latter-day Saint temple built in the “sunshine state.”