The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
Walking the grounds of the renovated Washington D.C. Temple, President Russell M. Nelson looked to the iconic edifice and spoke of the “magnificence of the work done” to beautify and renew the sacred site.
“We are very grateful,” he said. “This temple will stand now for another generation or two.”
The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rededicated the temple today as a place where all who enter will “feel of Thy presence and to know of Thy love.”
He praised the “magnificent work” of the craftsmen, engineers and architects and — amid unseasonably mild temperatures — expressed gratitude for the beautiful day.
“Let it be known Who is in charge,” he said. Weather in Washington, D.C., “is not always like this.”
The temple — the first Latter-day Saint edifice built in the eastern United States — was closed in 2018 to renovate mechanical and electrical systems and refresh finishes and furnishings.
The nearly 160,000-square-foot temple sits on 52 acres and serves 123,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania; Virginia; West Virginia; and Maryland. It is located 10 miles north of the United States Capitol.
The iconic temple was announced in 1968 and was dedicated by President Spencer W. Kimball six years later.
At the invitation of President Kimball, then-Dr. Nelson attended the 1974 dedication. When one of the senior leaders got sick, President Nelson spent the morning with him, returning just in time to participate in a later session.
President Nelson said he will never forget the feeling in the temple.
“The temple is more beautiful now than it ever was before, and it was stunning before. … This temple has been renewed. There is more light.”
Silver lining of pandemic
The dedication marks President Nelson’s first travels outside of Utah since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is wonderful to be with the people again, he said with great emphasis, “but I’ve really never left them.”
The silver lining of the pandemic — which delayed the rededication of the temple by more than one year — was learning to engage with Latter-day Saints without getting on an airplane, he said.
While he loves being out among Latter-day Saints, President Nelson said he had to make a difficult choice. “We really wanted to protect the people,” he said. “And when the president of the Church goes anywhere, there are a lot of people who want to come hear what he has to say.”
Because of lingering COVID-19 variants, participants in the temple dedication wore masks inside the temple.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.