|This month members of The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints are celebrating the 20th
anniversary of the dedication of the Atlanta Georgia
Temple. The building located in Sandy Springs, was
dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley, the current leader
of the Church of Jesus Christ, on June 1 – 4 in
1983. Temples are considered sacred edifices and,
once dedicated, are off-limits to all but the most
faithful members of the Mormon faith.
In the three weeks preceding the dedication in
1983, more than 60,000 visitors toured the building.
For many visitors it was once in a lifetime event to
peer inside a Mormon temple.
In the dedicatory prayer offered twenty years
ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley, pleaded,
"May [those who come to the temple] come with
clean hands and pure hearts and in a spirit of love
and dedication. May their minds be lifted above the
mundane affairs of the world to a higher and more
heavenly plane. May any spirit of selfishness or
unkindness, or evil, whose influence may affect them
in the world, leave them when they enter the doors
of this Sacred and Holy Sanctuary."
Clifford Carroll, the current Atlanta Georgia
Temple president, reflected on this important
milestone for members of the Church in Atlanta,
"For 20 years, we have had in our midst a place
where worthy members of the church may come to lay
aside the cares of the world and focus on eternal
verities and the everlasting significance of the
family. Each month, thousands come to make or renew
sacred covenants with God which require the highest
degree of integrity to uphold. These people go forth
in the community as good citizens committed to the
values which are the foundation of the stability and
well-being of our society."
To celebrate the anniversary, members are being
encouraged to visit the temple frequently during the
month of June.
Many members of the Church, never thought the day
would come when a temple would be erected in
Georgia. The first mission in Georgia was
established in 1879 in Rome. Missionaries were
initially treated well, but in July 1879, a
missionary was murdered by a mob near Varnell’s
Station in northwestern Georgia. A monument to that
missionary, Joseph Standing, still marks the spot of
his death. Missionary work in Georgia ceased for a
decade following that event. A U.S. Census report
from 1890 listed only 175 Mormons in all of Georgia.
Today the Mormon faith flourishes primarily in
the western United States, but increasingly in the
South and throughout the globe as well. In Georgia,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has
over 60,000 members and over 120 congregations.
Roughly 300,000 individuals globally join the faith