13 January 2015
Located in Davie, Florida, the Fort Lauderdale Temple bears the name of the city of Fort Lauderdale, which is 12 miles away. This temple — the 143rd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — serves Church members in southern Florida.
Aquamarine tones in the art-glass windows stand out against cream precast concrete panels. Decorative motifs incorporating long grasses and other foliage embellish the ceilings, glasswork and light fixtures. One breathtaking example can be seen in the design of the Swarovski celestial room chandelier. Long stems of golden leaves meet at the base of the thousands of crystals, forming a floral pattern when viewed from below. In the sealing room, where marriages are performed for time and eternity, another gorgeous Swarovski crystal chandelier hangs.
Earth tones, greens and blues throughout the interior reflect the color palette of the local Florida landscape. Brad Aldridge designed and painted the murals that adorn the walls of the instruction rooms. Ecuadoran red grandis wood beautifies various rooms, while the interior stonework is made from marble, limestone and onyx.
The temple contains a baptistry; instruction rooms, where Church members learn about the purpose of life; and a celestial room, which represents eternal life with God. Temple worship is an important part of members’ religious life, and attending the temple frequently allows members to make important religious commitments and offer meaningful service. In temples, marriages are performed for time and all eternity, and families are linked together across generations.
The Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple was announced in a session of the Church’s semiannual general conference on October 3, 2009. On June 18, 2011, Church leaders and members participated in the groundbreaking ceremonies. This temple is the second built in Florida, the first being the Orlando Florida Temple, which was dedicated in 1994. Having a temple in southern Florida eases the difficulty for members who previously had to travel to Orlando to attend the temple.
Members of the media and VIPs attended a special segment of the temple open house held from March 26 to 28, 2014. An open house for members of the public lasted for three weeks, from March 29 through April 19, 2014. Members of the Church in southern Florida volunteered their time to make the open house a success. Local media were supportive of the event, with one station devoting an entire day of live coverage to the open house and with all the major news outlets covering the early days.
The temple was dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Church members who could not attend dedication services in the temple participated via satellite transmissions that were broadcast to Mormon meetinghouses throughout Florida. The evening before the temple’s dedication, Church members gathered to participate in a cultural celebration, which was held at the Don Taft University Center of Nova Southeastern University. The theme of the celebration was “United by Our Faith,” and more than 1,000 youth aged 12 to 18 told the history of Florida through song. For the finale, a mosaic of Jesus Christ was showcased — created from temple photos submitted by local Church members.
Youth in and around Fort Lauderdale, Florida, participated in a cultural celebration highlighting the completion of the Fort Lauderdale Temple. Singing and dancing focused on strengthening their faith in Jesus Christ.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Church’s First Presidency offered the dedicatory prayer. The prayer reflected the sanctity of the structure that, once dedicated, is a house of God:
“Wilt Thou accept this Thy holy house as the gift of our hearts and hands. Wilt Thou honor it with Thy presence. May Thy Holy Spirit dwell here at all times and be felt by all who come within its portals. May a mantle of holiness come upon this sacred edifice. May it stand as a beacon of everlasting truth and light and as an invitation to come unto Thee.”1
In August 2014, the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple was named the best construction project in the cultural/worship category by a group of contractors who recognized the superior design and construction of several dozen projects in nearly 20 categories in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina.
1 Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple dedicatory prayer, in Church News, May 12, 2014, https://www.lds.org/church/news/dedicatory-prayer-for-fort-lauderdale-florida-temple-?lang=eng.