Final day for the DC Latter Day Saints Temple open house
June 11, 2022, 11:21 AM
Over the past six weeks the public has been able to take a tour of the large marble temple — but Saturday was the last day to check out the inside of D.C.’s Church of Latter Day Saints Temple.
“It’s been a great opportunity for us to let people come and see and feel the spirit of the temple and we’ve had a great response,” said Kent Colton who is a co-chair of the Open House Committee for the D.C. Temple.
The open house has brought a steady stream of visitors.
“Well over 300,000 visitors,” Colton estimated.
For 48 years, only members of the church were allowed in. But over the last few weeks the public was allowed to take a short self-guided tour through the baptismal font, the Celestial Room and various Sealing Rooms meant for weddings.
The renovation project for the temple started years ago and actually concluded in July 2020. But church leaders waited through the pandemic to reopen it for use.
The renovations are pretty nuanced and were intended to restore the building to its original design.
Colton told WTOP that visitors were not just local — many have traveled from far and wide to see the new temple
“I can tell you, we’ve had over 50 ambassadors from all over the world, and we’ve had 100 embassies that have been represented,” said Colton.
“So literally, you’re talking about the complete geography of the globe has been here and I think that’s a reflection of the fact, number one that we’re a global religion, but number two, that people really are interested in this as a landmark building and have loved coming and seeing it,” he continued
Tours conclude on Saturday at 9 p.m., but if you can’t make it, Colton said there are other options to experience the temple.
Two church leaders have recorded a tour that shows off the many rooms in the temple complete with audio that explains the use for each room.
“There’s also a 360 (degree) tour of the temple, where people can actually go on and interact and sort of look at each of the rooms and look at it,” Colton said. “So it will still be accessible for people to know what’s going on and what the purpose of the temple is afterward.”
As for a timetable of when public tours will be offered again at the D.C. Temple? It has been 48 years since the last one.
“48 years, that’s probably a good timetable,” said Colton.