In the center of the City of Brotherly Love sits the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple, a revered building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Over 40,000 Church members in various sections of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland are served by this temple, which is the only one of its sort in Pennsylvania and the fourth in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US.
History and Design
During the 178th Semiannual General Conference of the LDS Church, on October 4, 2008, Thomas S. Monson, the church president, made the announcement about the temple. The location of the temple, which was made public on November 19, 2009, is across from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Logan Square’s northeast corner. On September 17, 2011, the church’s First Presidency’s Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor, spearheaded the groundbreaking ceremony. In three sessions on September 18, 2016, Eyring dedicated the temple.
The outside of the temple has granite walls, a copper-clad dome, and two attached end spires with an angel Moroni statue, all reminiscent of early American republican neoclassical architecture. The American flag, the Liberty Bell, and the Declaration of Independence are all featured in the interior design, which pays homage to Philadelphia’s colonial and federal architectural traditions. The temple has two instruction rooms, four sealing rooms, one baptistry, and a celestial room spread across 61,466 square feet of floor space.
Significance and Purpose
The temple represents the LDS Church’s expansion and presence in Pennsylvania, the state that saw key developments in Church history, such as the restoration of priesthood authority and the translation of the Book of Mormon. It also demonstrates how the LDS Church values the diversity and religious history of Philadelphia, a city where the founding fathers created the ideals of religious tolerance and freedom.
The temple serves as a house of worship and service where members of the LDS Church can carry out holy ordinances and establish spiritual covenants with God. It offers a joyful and peaceful sanctuary where followers can experience God and Jesus Christ’s love and presence. The public has the chance to learn more about the LDS Church and its principles through periodic open houses. A public plaza featuring lovely landscaping and a reflecting pool has been designed around the shrine.
A unique and beautiful building, the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple enriches Pennsylvania’s and America’s spiritual and cultural landscapes. It serves as a ray of hope and light for the neighborhood, inspiring and uplifting members of the LDS Church. It serves as both the people’s temple and the temple of God.