Albuquerque New Mexico Mormon Temple
Prayers were answered as ground for the Albuquerque New Mexico temple was broken in a special ceremony on 20 June 1998. About 6,500 members attended the event. During the ceremony, a 600-voice youth choir provided the music.
Elder Mickelsen, who presided over the groundbreaking ceremony, said, “It is during these special moments that we can feel and see the hand of the Lord moving in the work. You might not remember everything that was said this warm and glorious morning, but you will remember the feeling. What you feel today will help you in your search for happiness throughout your lives.”1
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that it is only within the walls of the temple and through the ordinances received therein that true happiness can be attained, not only in this life but in the next as well. Within Mormon temples ordinances are performed for both the living and those who are deceased that tie families together forever and enable them to walk through the gates of heaven to eternal life with God.
During the ceremony Elder Christofferson said, “The temple is a place where people can step outside the worldliness and refresh, regroup, and reorient themselves as to what really matters. It is a place to gain strength and gain fresh perspectives. The temple is the house of God. It is a house of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, and order.” 2
Eileen Lewis, a member of the Church living in Albuquerque, echoes Elder Christofferson’s sentiments saying, ” One of the biggest blessings is being able to go [to the temple] and reevaluate your life and your priorities. The temple offers the opportunity to ponder without being influenced by the pressures of the world.” 3
During the 10-day open house about 70,000 people toured the temple. Visitors were able to see the different rooms and learn about the purpose of temples. They also enjoyed the beautiful artwork featuring Jesus Christ. Because of the sacred nature of temples, after the dedication only worthy members of the church are allowed to enter.
The new Mormon temple serves about 55,000 members in New Mexico and bordering parts of Arizona and Colorado. It sits on 8.5 acres northeast of Albuquerque. The exterior is finished with desert rose pre-cast concrete and trimmed with Texas pearl granite. The temple is 34,245 square feet and has two ordinance rooms and three sealing rooms. A gold statue of the angel Moroni tops the single spire.
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the temple on 5 March 2000. During the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley talked about the return of the prophet Elijah to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple, and his return of the sealing keys to earth saying, “May there be recognized in this Thy house, as there was in Kirtland, “a great and glorious vision…” of “Elijah the prophet” who said,
“Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-15).
May Thy people with greater diligence search for their kindred dead. May the hearts of the children turn to their fathers, and when they have identified them may they perform a great and wondrous vicarious service in their behalf in this Thy sacred house.” 4
One of the major purposes of Mormon temples is to provide ordinance work for the deceased and give them the blessings that members enjoy today.
10301 San Francisco Drive NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122-3437
(1) “News of the Church,” Ensign, Sept. 1998, 78
(2) “News of the Church,” Ensign, Sept. 1998, 78
(3) “News of the Church,” Ensign, May 2000, 107
(4) “Dedicatory prayer: ‘Open the hands of Thy bounty,’” Church News 11 Mar. 2000, 25 Jun. 2005