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Las Vegas Nevada Temple

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The Las Vegas Nevada Temple is the 43rd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The building of a temple in the Las Vegas area was announced on April 7, 1984. The Las Vegas Temple is the first of two temples in Nevada, a second having been built in Reno.

The Mormon Church history is a vital part of the Las Vegas area. In 1855, thirty Mormon missionaries from Salt Lake City were sent to Las Vegas to protect the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City mail route and set up a settlement. They built a 150 square foot fort made of sun-dried bricks. The settlers planted fruit trees and began some agriculture but the settlement was mostly abandoned by 1858 because of Indian raids. In 1865 settlers once again came to Las Vegas and the settlement flourished until it grew to the Las Vegas of today. Part of this original fort still stands and is preserved as a historic site at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard North and Washington Avenue. In 2000 the site was rebuilt and made into a historic park. Visitors can visit recreations of the pioneer gardens, and corrals used by the original inhabitants of the fort. The Mormon Church still has a strong presence in Las Vegas making up about 15 percent of the population.

A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication for the temple were held on November 30, 1985. President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor in the First Presidency, presided and gave the dedication prayer. Construction began soon after the ceremony. Mormon members who would be attending the temple as a part of their temple district donated most of the 18 million dollars needed to build the Las Vegas Temple.

The Mormon temple was open to the public for tours November 16-December 9, 1989. Almost 300,000 toured the temple and its grounds during these three weeks. The temple site is 10.3 acres on the eastern edge of the Las Vegas Valley at the foot of "Frenchman" also known as "Sunrise Mountain." The temple has six spires, the highest of which is 119 feet. At the top of this tower stands a ten-foot statue of the angel Moroni. The exterior is a white finish of pre-cast stone walls with a copper roof. The temple is 80,350 square feet and has 192 rooms, which includes four ordinance rooms, a Celestial room, six sealing rooms, a baptismal font, and other facilities to meet the needs of the purposes of the temple.

Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Las Vegas Nevada Temple December 16-18, 1989. Eleven sessions were held and more than 30,000 Mormon members attended the dedicatory services.

The Las Vegas Temple is also considered to be a local landmark and the Stratosphere Hotel has placed a sign directing people where to look for it in the enclosed part of the viewing area at the top of the Stratosphere Tower. It is best viewed from there using binoculars, although it can be seen without the use of those.

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