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The Orlando Florida Temple is the 46th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Mormon Church had a rough start in Florida. As early as the 1850's Mormon missionaries began arriving in the area, but it was not until 1895 that the Church became established in the state. Many of the early members of the Mormon Church in Florida experienced persecution so intense that some were beaten to death by mobs. Missionary work was slow and in 1947 the first stake in the entire South was established in Jacksonville, Florida. Today the Church has blossomed in Florida with more than 110,000 members in the state.
On April 6, 1991, it was announced by the First Presidency of the Mormon Church that a temple would be built in Orlando, Florida. A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on June 20, 1992, and presided over by James E. Faust. The site of the temple is 13 acres in an area where the 165-foot spire topped with an angel Moroni statue can be easily seen.
The temple was open for tours September 10-30, 1994. Those who toured the 70,000 square foot temple were able to see the four ordinance rooms, five sealing rooms, Celestial room, and baptistery, as well as learn more about Mormon beliefs associated with the temple. Before the open house for the general public, two days of "VIP" events were held. Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles personally gave tours of the temple to media representatives, local government, business and education leaders, clergy leaders, and residents within a two-mile radius of the temple. On the first day of public tours more than 10,000 people visited the temple. By the end of the twenty-day open house over 90,000 people had toured the temple.
The Orlando Florida Temple was dedicated in eleven sessions held during the 9-11 of October 1994. The temple was dedicated by President of the Mormon Church at the time, Howard W. Hunter. The dedication was a huge event with more than 4,000 volunteers needed to direct traffic and guide members to their seats. More than 20,000 people attended the dedication ceremonies. The Orlando Temple serves 95,000 members in 22 stakes in Florida and one stake in southern Georgia. The temple serves a culturally diverse area and offers ordinance work in forty different languages.