Boston Massachusetts Mormon Temple
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated the 100th operating temple in Boston Massachusetts on 1 October 2000. President Hinckley had announced the building of small temples at the April 1998 general conference and then stated the goal to have 100 Mormon temples built by the end of the year 2000. The Boston Massachusetts temple marked the completion of that goal. The temple is large at about 69,00 square feet ,with four endowment rooms and four sealing rooms. The exterior is finished with Olympia white granite.
New England is where the roots of the Church are found. Joseph Smith was born in Vermont and once visited the city of Boston. The Church was first organized in the New England area. Mormon missionaries were sent and congregations established. Many prominent leaders of the church came from the New England area.
The first missionaries were sent to Boston in 1832. At the time of Joseph Smith’s assassination, there were over a dozen congregations in the area. But most members moved west with the rest of the Saints. It was almost fifty years before members of the Mormon Church were found in Massachusetts again. Since that time there has been a steady increase in the number of members. Now there are over 16,000 members in Massachusetts.
At the groundbreaking Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the reason The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds temples.
“While we have over 10,000 meetinghouses in the world, temples are unique sanctuaries for sacred ordinances. They witness to the immortality of the soul. We believe that because of ordinances that can be performed in this sacred house, a man and a woman can be united for eternity and sealed to their children, who live worthily, forever. That ending of a religious [marriage] ceremony that is so common in the world today: ‘until death do you part,’ need not be the final outcome of marriage.” 1
The open house of the 100th Mormon temple captured media and public attention. About 82,600 visitors toured the temple prior to its dedication. A local radio station and newspaper working together produced the first on-line tours of a temple. It included narration accompanied by photographs of the temple’s interior.
Because of a lawsuit from local residents, the temple was dedicated without the planned steeple. President Hinckley was optimistic about the issue saying,
” We wish the steeple were on it. I regret that it isn’t. But we can get along without it while awaiting the outcome of the legal action. In the meantime, we’ll go forward performing the ordinance work of this sacred house.” 2
His optimism was rewarded, when in May the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of the Church. Previously, Judge Elizabeth Fahey had ruled that the building’s steeple was not a “necessary element of the Mormon religion.” Therefore under the law, the building height limit could be enforced. But the Supreme Court overruled her ruling saying, “A rose window at Notre Dame Cathedral, a balcony at St. Peter’s Basilica, are judges to decide whether these architectural elements are ‘necessary’ to the faith served by those buildings?” The judges concluded that, “It is not for judges to determine whether the inclusion of a particular architectural feature is ‘necessary’ for a particular religion.”3 And on September 21, 2001, the steeple with the famous angel Moroni was set in place, completing the Boston temple.
86 Frontage Road
Belmont, Massachusetts 02478-2135
For more information about Mormon temples visit the sites below:
(1) Church News, 21 June 1997.
(2) “News of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 108
(3) Larsen, Kent. Boston Temple Steeple Oked. News about Mormons, Mormonism, and the LDS Church. 16 May 01.