DC Mormon Temple to Open to Public After Nearly 50 Years

One of the most recognizable buildings in the metro D.C. area will soon open its doors to the public for the first time in nearly 50 years

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The Kensington, Maryland, temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the most recognizable buildings in the D.C. area and, for nearly 50 years, the most secret, as it's been closed to the public since its construction in 1974.

The temple has just undergone a massive, four-year renovation and will open its doors to non-church members for six weeks starting April 28. Anne Golightly of the church said she looks forward to questions.

"People wonder constantly or I'm asked, 'Why is it so secret? What's the deal? Why can't we go inside?' We want to share it. We don't want to keep it secret," she said.

Tours of the temple are free and will last about an hour. While advance tickets are not necessary, parking will need to be reserved. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan toured the building Monday and said he felt a sense of peace the moment he walked in.

"You get a sense of calm from the crazy world we're in today," the governor said. "You walk inside there and it's really a special place."

The temple is only used for special occasions, including baptisms and weddings, and each room serves a different purpose. Church leaders such as Elder David Bednar say that the most important part of the temple is the people inside.

"It's about the transformation that takes place in our individual hearts as we learn about God and His plan for us as his children," he said.


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