Chicago Illinois Mormon Temple
In 1985, when the Chicago Illinois Mormon Temple was dedicated, it was the first Temple to be built in Midwestern United States in nearly 140 years; the first being the Nauvoo Temple in 1846 which was begun during the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
It was not easy getting approval for a Mormon Temple in Illinois. There was considerable opposition from ‘groups concerned over the visual effect the Temple would have on the area.’1 It took nearly two years of searching for the appropriate site and another two years to seek government approval. When the ground was finally broken in 1983, President Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Mormon Church, promised the community that, “…what we do here will be beautiful and will enhance rather than diminish the charm of this lovely area.”2
Known for its beautiful landscape of wildflowers, birds and grasslands, the Mormon Church went to great lengths to preserve the area known as The Grove. Along with preserving the natural landscape and then ‘allocating a one hundred foot buffer zone along the southern border of the Temple site, the southern side of the Temple remains unlighted at all times as not to disturb the bird migration flyways.’3
The Chicago Temple serves a wide area of Church members, from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds such as: Spanish, Polish, Korean, and Asian cultures, as well as deaf members.
Opportunities arose for members to contribute their means, talents, and time to the building of the Temple. Children donated pennies, young women made dolls for the temple nursery; women crocheted and tatted altar cloths and many donated hours in helping with the open house.
The Temple open house allowed the community and its members to tour the sacred edifice before the dedication. Over one hundred thousand people walked the halls of the Chicago Temple learning of the Mormon temple’s purpose and marveling at the beauty of this majestic building. Many of those who attended felt of the spirit that can only be found in the Mormon Temple. Comments were made by attendees: “An obvious place of devotion,” “I felt the hand of God.” These are feelings of reverence and respect, as one should feel when entering the Temple.4
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Chicago Illinois Mormon Temple in 1985, which stands as a symbol of peace and reverence to those who enter and those that gaze at from afar.
4151 West Lake Avenue
Glenview, Illinois 60025-1240
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2 “Rites Begin Construction of New Temple Near Chicago”; Winfield; Aug 1983; p3