|NAUVOO The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
will open the doors of its rebuilt Nauvoo Illinois Temple to
an expected one-third million visitors beginning 6 May 2002
an event that promises to be one of the most
extraordinary and historic organized by the Church in its
Although all 112 operating temples of the Church have the
same function, the Nauvoo Illinois Temple the Church's
113th has special significance to many of the 11 million
Latter-day Saints worldwide.
Thousands of Church members have ancestors who lived in
Nauvoo, and millions more even recent converts have
closely studied the history of the city established by
Church founder Joseph Smith. The original temple was
destroyed after some 12,000 early Latter-day Saints were
driven from Nauvoo in 1846.
"There is a great interest in Nauvoo ... on the part
of our people," says Church President Gordon B.
Hinckley. "The thousands who lived in Nauvoo have
become tens of thousands in their descendants. They look
back on their people with affection and remembrance and with
a great desire to honor them and respect them."
This temple is unlike any other the Church has
constructed in recent years. It is built on the same site
and to virtually the same specifications and design as the
original Nauvoo Temple the last landmark seen by fleeing
Church members a century and a half ago.
Mormon pioneers wrote in their journals that the promises
they made to God in the Nauvoo Temple gave them strength to
endure the historic, 1,300-mile trek across Iowa and
America's vast central wilderness to the Rocky Mountains.
On 4 April 1999, approximately 14 years after the Church
dedicated a temple in Chicago, President Hinckley announced
plans to rebuild the Nauvoo Temple. He told Latter-day
Saints that the temple would be "a memorial to those
who built the first such structure there on the banks of the
Architectural drawings of the original temple that
surfaced in 1948 provided much information on the exterior
of the temple, with some interior details. Combining these
renderings with an early daguerreotype of the temple and
other meticulous research, a team of restoration architects
and a research committee of historians and Nauvoo experts
pieced together a reconstruction plan with remarkable
attention to historic detail.
The open house will begin with a media and VIP preview,
followed by public tours beginning Monday, 6 May 2002, and
continuing through Saturday, 22 June 2002. No tours will be
offered on Sundays. Public tours are from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00
p.m. daily, except on Mondays, when tours are offered from
7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Open house tickets are required and can be obtained by
Following the public tours, the temple will be formally
dedicated Thursday through Sunday, 27-30 June 2002. Thirteen
separate dedicatory sessions are scheduled to accommodate
the Latter-day Saints in the area who will be served by the
temple, as well as members of the Church from other areas.
Because of the historic significance of this event, the
dedication will be broadcast via satellite to Latter-day
The Nauvoo Illinois Temple will be the primary temple
used by more than 13,000 Latter-day Saints in western
Illinois and eastern Iowa in stakes (similar to dioceses) in
Nauvoo, Peoria, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Iowa City.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the hundreds of
meetinghouses or churches where members typically meet for
Sunday worship services and midweek social activities.
Temples are considered "houses of the Lord" where
Christs teachings are reaffirmed through marriage,
baptism and other sacred ordinances that unite families for