The governor of Missouri and the governor of Kansas released proclamations Friday acknowledging the contributions of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in their respective states.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback presented the official proclamations to Church leader Elder William R. Walker following a tour on 5 April of the newly completed Kansas City Missouri Temple located at 7001 N. Searcy Creek Parkway in Kansas City.
Governor Nixon extended congratulations and a heartfelt welcome to the Church and its members, saying, “On behalf of the six million people of the state of Missouri, I’d like to express our appreciation at your church’s commitment to building a place of such physical and inspirational significance. We are pleased and honored that you have done so. It’s a truly historic moment.”
Elder Walker, remarking on the governor’s message to the Church, expressed reciprocal sentiments of gratitude. “We are deeply grateful that the governor of Missouri came to visit our beautiful new temple. Governor Nixon was very warm and gracious, and his expressions of good will and commendation were certainly appreciated. In this place where there is so much history for Latter-day Saints, it was a truly historic occasion — for the governor of Missouri to come visit our temple and extend the hand of fellowship was very meaningful to us.”
Governor Brownback stated in a proclamation: “I … warmly commend the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the construction of this magnificent temple, for their dedication to religious liberty, for their deep spiritual conviction, all of which provide a valuable contribution to the people and families of the great state of Kansas.”
Elder Walker will present the two proclamations to President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, upon his return to Salt Lake City.
Beginning with the arrival of six missionaries in 1830, Church members began gathering in Independence and Jackson County, eventually establishing communities in nearby Caldwell and Daviess Counties.
The majority of members left the area during the year 1838, crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois. The Church did not officially establish a presence in Kansas and Missouri again until the turn of the century. Today approximately 25,000 members live on both sides of the state line in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.
Public tours of the temple began Saturday, 7 April, and extend through Saturday, 28 April. Requests for tickets can be made online at kansascitymormontemple.org or by calling 1-866-537-8457.
A formal dedication of the temple is scheduled for Sunday, 6 May 2012, by President Monson. Three dedicatory sessions will be held, and the services will also be broadcast to Latter-day Saint chapels in the surrounding area to accommodate Church members unable to attend in the temple. The dedication will be preceded by a cultural celebration featuring music and dance by 3,000 youth of the Church, to be held in the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City on the evening of 5 May.