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Memphis Tennessee Temple

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File:Memphis tennessee temple.jpg

The Memphis Tennessee Temple is the 80th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The presence of the temple in the community will spark the Spirit of Christ in hundreds of people,” [1] promised Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Memphis Tennessee Temple.

Travel time has been reduced from days to hours as Mormon temples have been built closer and closer. Today, some members will have less than an hour to drive. The Memphis Tennessee Temple serves more than 20,000 members in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri.

The prophet Joseph Smith sent the first missionary, Wilford Woodruff, to the Memphis area in 1835. Many people joined the Church, but left the state as the Saints migrated west because of local persecution. Presence of the church was small and in 1934 only about 130 members worshipped in Memphis. Since then the Church as grown significantly, warranting not only numerous meeting houses but a temple as well.

Mormon temples are sacred to the members of the Mormon Church. At the groundbreaking ceremony of the Memphis Tennessee Temple Elder Watts of the Seventy listed six blessings associated with temples.

  • The temple stands as a "landmark of strength, hope and holiness" to members.
  • It enhances and promotes Christian ideals like "love, honor, respect, and the sanctity of marriage."
  • The temple is "a reminder of the important work of salvation that will take place within its walls."
  • Members are reminded, "that we must be constantly aware of our personal actions and thoughts."
  • "The temple [stands] as a firm foundation that will encourage and entice the rising generation of young people to pattern their lives after that of the Savior."
  • The "presence of the temple in the community [sparks] the Spirit of Christ in hundreds of people." [2]

On April 23, 2000, President James E. Faust dedicated the Memphis Tennessee Temple. During the dedicatory prayer he echoed the prayers of many of the members in the area when he said, "Now Father, we thank Thee for this temple. It is an answer to our prayers. It will enrich the lives of countless thousands who will here seek blessings for themselves and stand as proxies in behalf of those who have passed beyond. May hearts leap with joy, and may smiles of satisfaction come to the faces of all who labor herein as they carry forward Thy work of salvation and exaltation." [3]

The Memphis Tennessee Temple has a total of 10,700 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and two sealing rooms. About a month after the dedication of the temple in Memphis, another Mormon temple was dedicated in Nashville.

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Notes

  1. News of the Church, Ensign, Apr. 1999, 74
  2. Church News, 23 January 1999.
  3. "Memphis dedicatory prayer: 'A sanctuary loved by the Saints,'" Church News, 29 Apr. 2000, 11

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