The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormon Temples

Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple

The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple stands in the heart of Philadelphia, adjacent to Logan Square and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway museums district, joining some of the city’s great landmarks. The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple is the first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pennsylvania. One of approximately 170 temples currently operating or under construction, the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple will serve approximately 45,000 church members from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Latter-day Saints or Mormons), the temple is the most sacred place of worship on earth—it is the house of the Lord. Temples differ from meetinghouses where members meet for Sunday worship services. The temple is a place set apart from the world where members active in the faith seek to draw closer to God. Those attending the temple learn more about the purpose of life and make promises to serve God and their fellow man.

The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple stands four stories high, with its parapet at the same height as the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Free Library, and the former family courthouse building. Adding to the beauty of the local area, the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple is designed in a neoclassical style. Deer Isle Granite quarried from Stonington, Maine forms the veneer for the exterior of the temple. The more than 53,000-square-foot interior continues the early American colonial feel through decorations and furnishings designed similar to those of the late-1700s.The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple has two spires, a western and an eastern spire. The eastern spire is topped with an eleven-foot, gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni. Moroni is a prophet from the Book of Mormon, which Latter-day Saints consider scripture and a companion to the Bible for study and teaching about Jesus Christ. The statue of Moroni is not a figure of worship, but rather a symbol of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no formal ceremony attached to the statue’s placement and not every temple has such a figure.

Latter-day Saints believe that the Americas are a “promised land,” a land prophesied in ancient scripture to be a place of liberty and religious freedom. William Penn, a Quaker, established Pennsylvania as a place of liberty and religious freedom. His establishment of a city of brotherly love (Philadelphia) made it possible for the later founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Latter-day Saint history in this area begins in 1825 with the earliest visits of 19-year-old Joseph Smith to Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. There he hired out as a day-laborer and met his wife, Emma Hale. In Susquehanna County, Joseph, Emma, and other early associates translated most of the Book of Mormon, received numerous angelic messengers, and performed the first baptisms in the Susquehanna River. Today the site of these events has been transformed into a historical center that welcomes thousands of visitors each month.

From these early Pennsylvania beginnings, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built a beautiful stone meetinghouse at 316 South 46th Street in West Philadelphia. The first stake, a group of congregations similar to a diocese, was established in Philadelphia in 1960 with 1,100 members. Since that time, membership in the area has grown to more than 50,000 people today.

As the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple continues toward completion, we look forward to joining the many other faiths represented in Philadelphia and dedicating ourselves and our lives to the Lord.

We welcome those in the community who would like to tour the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple during the Open House dates of Wednesday, August 10 every day, except Sundays, through Friday, September 9th. 

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