Portland Oregon Mormon Temple
Mormon temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are special buildings dedicated to the Lord. Worthy Church members may go there to receive sacred ordinances and make covenants with God. Like baptism, these ordinances and covenants are necessary for the salvation of man. They must be performed in the temples of the Lord.
Only in the Mormon temple can a family be sealed together forever. Marriage in the temple joins a man and woman as husband and wife eternally if they honor their covenants. When a man and woman are married in the temple, their children also become part of their eternal family.1
There are millions who have walked the earth and have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel. Through living proxies, the same ordinances are available to those who have passed from mortality. In the spirit world these individuals are free to accept or reject the earthly ordinances that have been performed for them, including baptism, marriage, and the sealing of family relationships. Everyone must have the opportunity!
At this writing there are 146 temples across the world that are either operating, have been announced, or are under construction.
The Portland Oregon Mormon Temple sits on 7 acres of lush green land in Lake Oswego, Oregon. It is indeed a spectacular sight with its six white spires reaching toward the sky. The white marble exterior is accented with green marble trim and topped with a green slate roof. This is one of the larger temples with 65,000 square feet. Each Mormon temple that is built portrays features both inside and out which are symbolic of the true meaning that temples hold. The three east spires on the temple represent the Melchezidek Priesthood and the three west spires represent the Aaronic Priesthood; the sun, moon and earth represent the varying degrees of glory.2
The land for the Portland Mormon Temple was purchased in the 1960’s with the purpose of building a Junior College. However, when it came time to build a temple in Oregon, the Temple Committee knew that that piece of land was to be the place for the Mormon temple. This is not to say that there was no opposition in building it. The process of getting property approved for the temple included at least twenty-seven public hearings, eight lawsuits, and four petition drives which were intended to stop the development. Elder Bean, who was the Temple Committee Chairman, said, “The Saints are tested; it is almost as though the Lord wants the members to know how much they want a temple.”3
When the Temple was completed, there seemed to be a change of attitude in the community. Hearts were softened as almost three hundred thousand people attended the open house.
On August 19, 1989, the Portland Oregon Mormon Temple was dedicated by then prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson. He pronounced that the Temple is, “a place of peace and holiness, a refuge from [the] storms of life…the Temple is going to have a great mission, and some day you will find it.”4
On February 25, 2012, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened a new visitors’ center adjacent to the Portland Oregon Temple. The visitors’ center is the new version of a building near the Portland Oregon Temple formerly used as a Church Distribution Center. The key messages of the new visitors’ center pertain to Jesus Christ, blessings of the restored gospel and temples and eternal families.
The new visitors’ center contains copy of Danish sculptor Bertil Thorvaldsen’s “Christus” statue, copies of which are in the Temple Square North Visitors’ Center and other Church visitors’ centers. There is also a mural of a sunrise over the local landscape, an exhibit explaining the history of the Portland Oregon Temple, an exhibit explaining temples and how they bless families, and an exhibit featuring real Mormons bearing witness of Christ.
A new interactive exhibit introduces visitors to the Book of Mormon and its teachings. There is also an exhibit on Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. It features a Biblical setting where visitors can learn about who Jesus is, where He walked and what He taught. Another exhibit includes the testimonies of the First Presidency and members of the Quorum of the Twelve. Also included are teachings from recent general conference addresses. There is also a theater that offers a new presentation titled “God’s Plan and His Family” along with other favorite films shown at other Church visitors’ centers.
13600 SW Kruse Oaks Boulevard
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035-8602