The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormon Temples

Temples and the Community

When the announcement is made that a temple will be built in a community, members of the community are often curious about how the temple will affect their neighborhood. They wonder about the temple’s effect on the environment and on parking and traffic. They have concerns about the construction process, their property values and the possibility of distracting lighting. The following brief explanations provide information that will be helpful to community members.

Community Benefit: Temples beautify the communities in which they are built and often serve as landmarks — buildings that represent the best of what a community has to offer. Each temple features architectural elements that make it unique, including elements that match design styles used in the area so that the temple fits into the community. Community members often feel a sense of pride about the temple in their neighborhood.

In addition to beautifying communities, temples also add cultural value. In the temple, Church members commit to living ethical lives and serving others. Because of these commitments, Latter-day Saints often contribute to their communities through serving others and through creating connections with their neighbors.

Construction Process: The process of constructing a temple typically lasts from two to four years. Church leaders first ensure that there is adequate funding for the project, and then they select a site. Temples go through the same local regulation and approval processes for zoning and construction as any other house of worship. They are also designed to fit into the local landscape and to be energy efficient.

As with all construction projects, some disruption is inevitable. However, Church leaders work closely with city officials and community members to minimize any inconvenience. Once temple construction is complete and before the building opens for regular operation, members of the community are invited to attend an open house to see the temple interior.

Environmental Impact: Church leaders work diligently with building contractors to meet all local environmental regulations and to maintain the character of the community. Buildings and landscaping are meticulously maintained. Temple grounds often feature green spaces, which are open to the public.

Lighting: Temples are gently lit at night. Temple lighting complies with all local legal requirements and restrictions, and Church leaders are willing to work with community members to minimize the effect of the lighting. People who live near existing temples report that they enjoy the beautiful effect of the temple lighting on their neighborhood.

Parking and Traffic: Temples accommodate small groups throughout the day, rather than one large congregation at a time. The temple grounds have enough parking to ensure that neighborhoods are not clogged with cars. Traffic flow is typically low. Traffic impact studies are conducted before temple construction begins to ensure that temple traffic has minimal effect on the community.

Open House and Other One-Time Events: One-time events with larger attendance occasionally take place at the temple. These include the groundbreaking ceremony, the public open house and the temple dedication, which all happen before the temple opens for regular use. During these events, Church leaders work closely with community members to minimize the effect of traffic and parking and ensure that they have continued access to their homes and businesses. Attendance at these one-time services (except for the public open house) is by invitation only. A traffic management plan will be in place along with off-site parking to minimize the effect of traffic during these one-time activities.

Before a temple is dedicated, members of the community are invited to tour the building during a public open house that lasts for several weeks. Visitors can appreciate the fine workmanship of the interior and gain a greater understanding of why Latter-day Saints find temples so important.

Noise: Mormon temples do not have chimes or bells. Temple grounds are quiet, peaceful places that are open to the public.

Neighborhood Property Values: Temples are an excellent addition to communities. These sacred buildings are meant to last a long time. Several Mormon temples have been in operation for more than a century. Experience with temples worldwide demonstrates that they positively affect property values in their neighborhoods. Studies repeatedly show that temples help neighborhoods increase or hold on to their value, even in a bad economy.

Cost of Temples: Temples are the most important places of worship for Latter-day Saints, and Church leaders ensure that they are constructed with high-quality materials. The entire cost of building a temple is paid for by donations from Church members. The Church pays for the land and building materials outright and does not purchase mortgages to fund temples. Temples are built with quality materials from around the world, and they are often constructed above industry standards.

Temple Grounds: Temples are surrounded by pathways, fountains, flower gardens, flowering trees, open green areas and benches. Plants and landscaping are chosen to fit into the local environment. Temple grounds are open to the public and invite visitors to enjoy moments of peaceful contemplation.

Proselytizing: Temples are used only for performing sacred ceremonies and not as centers for the meetings of local congregations or proselytizing.

Hours of Operation: The temple is closed on Sundays. Temples are open at various times throughout the week, depending on the availability of volunteer staff. A schedule of operating hours for each temple can be found on this website. Temple patrons consist of small groups who attend worship sessions staggered throughout the day.

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