President Nelson to rededicate Washington D.C. Temple
President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will travel to Washington, D.C., on Aug. 14 to rededicate the Washington D.C. Temple.
The temple was closed in 2018 to renovate mechanical and electrical systems and refresh finishes and furnishing, according to church information.
Dan Holt, project manager for the Washington D.C. Temple renovation project, said the intent was to “bring the building back to its original glory” as a midcentury modern structure. A gothic arch motif that directs eyes heavenward is prevalent throughout — in altars, carpeting, gold leafing and the reframed stained glass windows, now backlit with LED lights for more prominence, on the east and west of the temple. The windows’ colors become lighter as they near the spire.
This design, Holt said, signifies the “brighter light we have and the knowledge we receive from the gospel as we learn and grow and ascend to be more like our Heavenly Father.”
Members of the church anticipated a rededication date in December of 2020 but that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January, the First Presidency of the church including Nelson and his counselors Presidents Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring announced newly extended dates of the open house and rescheduled the rededication date from June to August, due to demand to participate in the open house.
According to church numbers, more than 340,000 attended the open house, including many congressional leaders, church leaders of other faiths and foreign dignitaries.
The original public open house of the Washington D.C. Temple was attended by 758,328 guests, including Betty Ford, wife of then-President Gerald Ford. These tours resulted in over 75,000 missionary referrals.
Joining Nelson are other church leaders who will also participate in the dedication: Oaks and Eyring of the First Presidency; Elders Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson and Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé; Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Presidency of the Seventy; Sister Amy A. Wright of the Primary General Presidency; and Elders W. Mark Bassett, Kevin R. Duncan, Allen D. Haynie and Vai Sikahema of the Seventy.
The temple, the Church’s 16th in operation, was announced in 1968 and was dedicated six years later by President Spencer W. Kimball.
The 160,000-square-foot temple sits on 52 acres and serves 123,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. It is located in Kensington, Maryland, 10 miles north of the U.S. Capitol.