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Hamilton New Zealand Temple

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The Hamilton New Zealand Temple is the 11th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The building of a Mormon temple in New Zealand was announced by David O. McKay, the ninth president of the Mormon Church, on February 17, 1955. With its completion in 1958, it was the first temple built by the Mormon Church in the Southern Hemisphere.

Mormon history in New Zealand goes back to the 1850s when the first Mormon missionaries arrived in the area. Missionaries found many who were ready to hear the gospel, but the first stake, in Auckland, was not organized until one hundred years after the arrival of the missionaries. Most of the first converts in New Zealand were of Maori or Polynesian descent. Since then, however, the Mormon Church in New Zealand has become culturally mixed with members in the area of Australian, British, European, Asian, and North American descent. The needs of all the members in New Zealand are met by having special branches in other languages as needed.

A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on December 21, 1955. Ariel S. Ballif, the New Zealand Mission President at the time, broke the ground. The site of the temple is on 86 acres, which includes a Mormon owned college. This school is for students ages twelve to eighteen. Ninety-two percent of the students are Mormon and the school strives to teach secular as well as religious subjects. The temple is 44,212 square feet, has one ordinance room, three sealing rooms, a Celestial room, baptistery, and 75 other rooms needed to carry out temple ordinances and temple work according to Mormon belief. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple was built entirely by Church labor missionaries who volunteered all of their time. Local members supported these workers with money, food, and water.

Hugh B. Brown, an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, placed the cornerstone in the Mormon temple at a special ceremony held on December 22, 1956. Less than a year and a half later, the temple was open for public tours for 23 days prior to the dedication. During this time about 112,500 people toured the temple. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple was dedicated by David O. McKay on April 20-22, 1958. The Hamilton Temple serves members in New Zealand and nearby South Pacific islands.


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