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The Sydney Australia Temple is the 28th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Plans to build a Mormon temple in Sydney, Australia were announced on April 2, 1980. Before the building of the Sydney Temple members of the Mormon Church in Australia had to travel to New Zealand to attend a temple.
For a long time it was believed that the first official Mormon missionaries arrived in Australia in 1851, but as early as 1840 missionaries were sent to Australia. William Barrat was one of them. He was called as a missionary in England and sent to Australia. He baptized Robert Beauchamp in Adelaide; Beuachamp was one of the first members of the Church in the area and later became a mission president. Barrat was still in Australia when news of the murders of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum reached Australia in 1845. Newspapers announced that Mormonism would die out, but Barrat remained and continued teaching the gospel. William Barrat eventually married and lived out the remainder of his life in Australia.
In 1841, another member of the Mormon Church arrived in Australia; Andrew Anderson. He came from Scotland where he and his wife and three children had joined the Church. Before he left for Australia he had been ordained to preach. Anderson's family farmed just northwest of Sydney and worked hard to preach the gospel. By 1844 he organized the first branch in Australia in Monteflores. When Mormon missionaries arrived in Australia from the U.S. Andrew Anderson heard of their arrival and traveled to Sydney. The few people that these first Mormon missionaries baptized in Australia did not seem significant at the time, but over the years the Church grew because of those who had been converted. Robert Beauchamp alone baptized 150 people when he was called on a mission in Australia. Today there are more than 100,000 Mormon members in Australia.
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held for the Sydney Australia Temple on August 13, 1982. The ceremony and dedication were presided over by Elder Bruce R. McConkie. The temple site is 3 acres located just north of Sydney in a suburb called Carlingford. The exterior design of the temple is elegant; the exterior finish is made of white quartz and the roof of the temple is decorated with 25,000 azure blue roof tiles.
The temple was open to the public for tours September 6-18 1984. Those who toured the 30,677 square foot temple were able to see the two ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms, Celestial room, and baptistery, as well as learn more about Mormon beliefs associated with the temple.
Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Sydney Australia Temple in multiple sessions held during September 20-23 1984. During the dedication, Gordon B. Hinckley prophesied that there would be other temples in the country. Since then, four more temples have been built in Australia. Because of a law passed by the local government the Sydney Temple was dedicated without an angel Moroni statue. Mormon members in the area fasted and prayed and a year later the law was removed. On September 3, 1985 the statue was placed on the spire of the temple.
Other Temples in Australia
- Adelaide Australia Temple
- Brisbane Australia Temple
- Melbourne Australia Temple
- Perth Australia Temple