The public is invited to tour the newly completed Vancouver British Columbia Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church’s 131st temple.
The First Presidency of the Church has announced a public open house beginning Friday, 9 April 2010, and continuing through Saturday, 24 April 2010, excluding Sundays. Public tours are available on Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (see invitation).
The temple is located in Langley on 82nd Avenue a little over a one half mile east of 200th Street. Tours include a 12-minute video presentation and a 25-minute walking tour and begin at the meetinghouse adjacent to the temple. Free parking is available at the temple site.
Following the public open house, the temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, 2 May 2010. Three dedicatory sessions will be held to accommodate Church members in the area who will be served by the new temple.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man.
The First Presidency of the Church announced plans to construct the Vancouver British Columbia Temple on 25 May 2006. Construction began on 4 August 2007. The temple’s exterior is covered with Branco Siena granite from Brazil. The spire rises 140 feet and is crowned with a gilded statue of the angel Moroni, who is significant to members of the Church for his role in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The interior features beautifully grained hardwood from the west coast of Africa. British Columbia’s provincial flower, the Pacific dogwood, is used as a motif in the decorative painting and intricate carpet sculpting. Artwork depicting the native beauty of British Columbia graces the walls of the temple.
The Vancouver British Columbia Temple is the 131st temple of the Church worldwide and the seventh temple in Canada. Other Canadian temples include Cardston Alberta (dedicated 1923), Toronto Ontario (1990), Halifax Nova Scotia (1999), Regina Saskatchewan (1999), Edmonton Alberta (1999) and Montréal Québec (2000). An eighth Canadian temple to be built in Calgary, Alberta, was announced in October 2008.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first arrived in British Columbia in 1875. Church growth was slow at first but has steadily increased. Now some 22,000 Church members from 91 congregations located in British Columbia and northern Washington state will be served by the Vancouver British Columbia Temple. A total of nearly 180,000 Latter-day Saints live in Canada.