Mormon Temples seem to always be shrouded in mystery. However, the church is opening one temple to the public for viewing. They announced they are opening it for a short time before completing their renovations.
The project has currently been a work-in-progress as crews worked to renovate the space. For the past 14-months the temple has been closed. Starting June 1 it will only be open to devout Mormons.
"We wanted to share it, and have the public understand that this is just a place to come and worship," said Elder Jay Pimentel, a church leader in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area. "We don't baptize dead bodies inside, we don't have secret rites. We want to demystify some of the fanciful rumors that get circulated."
The temple is a massive structure. It's 90,000 square feet and has giant spires extending 170-feet into the air. It has been nicknamed the "beacon on the hill" for that exact reason. Those in the area are excited to take a peek inside.
"We've lived in the area ever since it opened in 1964," said Helen Rosenberg, who along with her husband Larry had just finished the free, hour-long tour. "We always wanted to see the inside, and it's magnificent."
The grounds around the temple are always open to the public. However, this is a rare chance for non-mormons to actually see inside the building. The inside of the temple is said to have numerous rooms that all serve a specific purpose within the mormon religion.
"Ceremonies, including for weddings, have their own rooms. Visitors learn that only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in good standing, who have a signed authorization card from their local church leader, may enter, and they must wear white clothing, which symbolize purity and equality before God. The Temple is mainly used during the week, and is staffed by volunteer members," wrote Fox.
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