19 June 2015
Standing on the Canadian prairie of Alberta, the Calgary Alberta Temple is the 140th temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the eighth temple in Canada.
The Calgary Alberta Temple was dedicated in 2012, 89 years after the first Canadian temple was dedicated in Cardston, Alberta, in 1923. Canada is one of only a few countries to host more than one Mormon temple, and Alberta is home to three of the nation’s eight. Church membership in Alberta has always been greater than in other parts of Canada due in part to the Church’s long history there — Mormon settlers founded several settlements in southern Alberta in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Cardston, Magrath, Stirling and Raymond.
Situated approximately halfway between the Cardston Alberta Temple to the south and the Edmonton Alberta Temple to the north, the Calgary Alberta Temple serves Church members living in the Calgary area and surrounding communities, from Banff to Drumheller. Church members from these areas had long hoped for a temple, in part because the building permit for a meetinghouse built in Calgary allowed two structures on a 10-acre lot. Now, years after the meetinghouse was built, the Calgary Alberta Temple stands overlooking the city skyline as the second structure standing on this lot.
At the temple’s groundbreaking ceremony on May 15, 2010, a member of Parliament delivered a letter from Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, who lived within a few miles of the temple site. Prime Minister Harper praised the soon-to-be-constructed temple as “an inspiring landmark and a fitting tribute to the Mormon community’s long and proud history in the province and in Canada.”1
The completed temple, which was built in the contemporary style, stands at 33,000 square feet and includes instruction rooms, rooms where weddings take place, a room symbolic of God’s presence and a baptistry. Its exterior is covered in gray granite quarried in China. Stained glass windows designed with a wheat motif adorn the exterior. The immaculate grounds surrounding the temple include grand stairways, walkways, shrubs and trees. A three-meter-tall gold-leafed statue of angel Moroni, an ancient Book of Mormon prophet, tops the temple’s spire.
Spanish marble, Turkish travertine, Brazilian granite and oak and maple woodwork decorate the temple’s interior. The wheat motif seen in the stained glass also appears in carved doorknobs, furniture and railings as an acknowledgement of the importance of agriculture to Alberta’s prairie communities. Hand-painted murals pay tribute to the nearby rugged Canadian Rockies and other elements of Calgary’s beautiful natural landscape.
At the temple’s dedication, held in three sessions on October 28, 2012, President Thomas S. Monson referred to his experiences serving two missions in Canada years before becoming President of the Church. He said, “Canada is like a second home. Whether east or west, north or south, I love Canada and all our members here. I have a special place in my heart for this land and its people.”2
During his dedicatory prayer, President Monson said, “May this House provide a spirit of peace to all who observe its majesty, and especially to those who enter for their own sacred ordinances and to perform the work for those beyond the veil. Let them feel of Thy divine love and mercy. As we dedicate this sacred edifice, we rededicate our very lives to Thee and to Thy work.”3
Those who see the Calgary Alberta Temple, with its radiant stained glass windows shining out on Canada’s dark winter nights, sense the majesty and peace that President Monson spoke of.
1 Ian Miller, “Temple in Calgary Now Under Way,” Church News, May 22, 2010; http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/59360/Temple-in-Calgary-now-under-way.html.
2 Gerry Avant, “Calgary Alberta Temple: Dedication Day,” Church News, Nov. 3, 2012; http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/62928/Calgary-Alberta-Temple-Dedication-day.html.
3 “Calgary Alberta Temple: ‘A Spirit of Peace,’” Church News, Nov. 3, 2012; http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/62923/Calgary-Alberta-Temple-A-spirit-of-peace.html.