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Columbia River Washington Temple


Columbia River Washington Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Columbia River Washington Temple


Columbia River Washington Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Click here for Columbia River Washington Temple information including temple schedule and directions from

Announced: April 2, 2000.

Location: 969 Gage Blvd., Richland, WA 99352; phone: (509) 628-0990; no clothing rental.

Site: 2.88 acres.

Exterior finish: Bethel white granite from Vermont and Italy.

Temple design: Traditional.

Architect: Architectural & Engineering Services/Temple Construction Dept.

Project manager: Bill Naylor.

Contractor: Vitus Construction, Medford, Ore.

Rooms: Celestial room, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms, baptistry and eating area.

Total floor area: 16,880 square feet.

Dimensions: 196 feet by 106 feet.

District: 12 stakes in southeast Washington and one stake in Oregon.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Oct. 28, 2000, by Elder Stephen A. West of the Seventy and second counselor in the North America Northwest Area Presidency.

Dedication: Nov. 18, 2001, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

O God our Eternal Father, Thou great Elohim, Thou who art Governor of the universe and Judge of the nations, we come unto Thee in solemn and sacred prayer. We are met to dedicate another House of the Lord, a temple built to the Most High where Thy divine ordinances may be performed in behalf of the living and the dead.

On this day of dedication we are profoundly grateful unto Thee for Thy revealed plan of salvation and exaltation. We honor Thee and love Thee. We honor and love Thine Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer of the world whose great atoning sacrifice makes available to all of us the blessings of immortality and eternal life.

We thank Thee for the Prophet Joseph Smith to whom Thou didst reveal Thyself with Thy Son to part the curtains and let the light of the true gospel again shine upon the earth. We thank Thee for the coming forth of the great testament of the New World, the Book of Mormon, which is a witness of the divinity of Thy Son. We are so deeply grateful for the restoration of the holy priesthood, "that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world" (D&C 1:20). We thank Thee for the restoration of other keys, powers, and authority in this the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Now, we as Thy grateful people have erected this house. It has been visited by many thousands. They have come out of curiosity and have left with appreciation. May their hearts be inclined to Thy work and may there grow within them a desire to learn of Thy revealed truth.

And now, acting in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested and in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Master, we dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this the Columbia River Washington Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wilt Thou accept of it as the offering of our hearts and our hands. Wilt Thou let Thy blessings rest down upon it that it may truly be the House of the Lord with holiness unto Thee. Wilt Thou cause that Thy Spirit may dwell here at all times and that its presence may be felt by those who serve here, be they workers or patrons. We would be pleased, dear Father, if Thou wouldst visit this Thy house and leave Thy voice of approval upon it.

Watch over it. Protect it from the storms of nature and the evil hand of vandalism. Preserve it for the purposes for which it has been erected. Touch the hearts of Thy Saints that they may wish to come here and enjoy the blessings of peace to be found within these hallowed walls.

We pray that Thou wilt accept this edifice as we consecrate it unto Thee. We dedicate the building from the footings to the crowning figure of Moroni. We dedicate all of its rooms and facilities, including the Baptistry, the endowment rooms, the celestial room, and the sealing rooms with their sacred altars. We dedicate the grounds on which it stands with the surrounding shrubbery and trees, grass and flowers. May it be beautiful to Thy people and to all who shall look upon it. May all recognize that this is a consecrated and holy structure, Thy sacred house.

"And do Thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house may…receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws" (D&C 109:14-15).

May there come into their minds and hearts an indelible witness of the reality of Thy plan of salvation, under which the immortality of the human soul is assured and the blessings of eternal life are promised to all who walk in faithfulness to Thee and to Thy divine will. May those who come here to be married and who kneel at the sacred altars of this temple, have implanted within them an assurance of the eternal perpetuity of their union if they will honor and respect the covenants which they make before Thee. May all who gather here be instructed in Thy ways and after Thy pattern, and take upon themselves promises eternal and binding in their nature. May a great work in behalf of the dead be carried forward in this Thy house, that there may be rejoicing on the other side of the veil.

We invoke Thy blessings upon those who will serve here, the presidency, the matron and her assistants, and all who labor in carrying forward the ordinances of the temple. We pray for all who direct Thy work throughout the earth that they may be inspired and blessed of Thee, that they may bear testimony of Thee and Thy Son, that they may be endowed with strength and energy to move Thy work forward. Let Thy Spirit rest upon Thy people wherever they may be. Cause the strong to continue in faithfulness and the weak to gain in strength. Bless Thy cause and kingdom in all the earth that it may shine forth "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (D&C 109:73).

We pray that Thou wilt smile upon Thy people and their families. Open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon the faithful who contribute of their time and resources according to Thy will and law. May the whole earth become as Zion as Thy work spreads among the nations.

Bless our own land in these perilous times. Bless those who serve as trustees of this government formed under an inspired Constitution, the principles of which have come from Thee. May peace replace conflict, we implore Thee.

Now, dear Father, on this day of thanksgiving and consecration we look to Thee in faith. Please watch over us. Forgive our imperfections. Preserve us from the machinations of the adversary. May we walk with faith before Thee. May we earn through our actions Thy love and blessing.

We ask it all in the name of Him who is our great Redeemer, even the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Peace, beauty find home in new temple

Church dedicates 107th temple

By Jason Swensen

RICHLAND, Wash. — Nostalgia often accompanies Larry Houck on his visits to the newly-dedicated Columbia River Washington Temple.

Brother Houck knew this area of Richland decades ago when the land now supporting the temple was thick with jack rabbits and blanketed with soil so limy it would run "just like water."

But time has transformed Richland and the other communities that neighbor the Columbia River in southeast Washington. Irrigation has allowed farming to blossom into an economic staple. And local nuclear energy projects have drawn some of the nation's brightest in the years following World War II. (It's been said Richland has more Ph.Ds per capita than any U.S. city.)

Faith, for many, has kept pace with industry.

The spiritual blessings gleaned from the dramatic growth of the Church in this region in the past half-century culminated with the Nov. 18 dedication of the Columbia River Washington Temple. The new edifice is the Church's 107th temple in operation and the third in Washington.

Thousands of Washington and Oregon Church members filed into the temple or area meetinghouses to listen to the dedicatory prayer offered by President Gordon B. Hinckley. He and other Church leaders — including Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Seventy — praised many within the new temple district for their devotion to temple work, then challenged all to use the new temple to its full capacity.

"This is a process that continues to grow," said Brother Houck, a high priests group leader in the Crestview Ward of the Richland Washington Stake.

The Columbia River Washington Temple now serves more than 34,000 members living in Washington stakes in Richland, Moses Lake, Yakima, Pasco, Kennewick, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, Selah, Othello and Ephrata, along with a stake in Hermiston, Ore.

It's a place where beauty and peace co-exist. The unique structure is rich with craftsmanship — including art-glass windows from Germany, a stone entry way, cherry woodwork and an exterior fountain that seems to signal the happy work happening inside.


Columbia River Washington Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Calling the new temple a blessing may be an understatement, say many. Members in the area have proven to be a temple-going people. But even the most devout Tri-City members may not have imagined a temple in their community when the Church was so small here just over a half-century ago.

"The Church started out here with about the same number you can count on both hands," said Bud Clement, who moved to Washington from Utah in 1946. By 1950, the area's first stake was organized in Richland. The growth continued. Wards became stakes and many from those swelling units became faithful temple-goers — regularly attending the temples in Seattle and, more recently, Spokane.

Last year's announcement that a temple would be built in southeast Washington was a joyous surprise for many.

"When [President Hinckley] announced the Church was building a temple in the Tri-Cities area we just about fell off our seats," said Brother Clement's wife, Joy.

Now the temple has been dedicated and is operating. The work, say local members, is just beginning.

"The temple is a great thing — we've got a lot to do," said Jim Sloan of nearby Pendleton, Ore. "We know that the temple is here and we're going to have to take care of it."

The Columbia River Washington Temple is emblematic of the area's devoted past — and an instrument being used to spread the gospel's good news. Matt Roberts, a 17-year-old priest in the Ridgeview Ward of the Kennewick stake, said he and his fellow young people have been given the challenge to provide much of the work demanded from the new edifice.

"It's been a great experience to be able to talk to my friends about the temple," Matt said. "I'm going to be giving the missionaries some referrals for many of my friends. I brought them to the temple open house, so they've been asking a lot of questions about the temple."

Indeed, the temple has already proven to be the Tri-Cities most savvy missionary. Tens of thousands of area residents attended in the recent open house. Many have asked to learn more about the Church and its temples. Several have been baptized. They were touched by what they saw and felt during their tour inside the white granite building.

Elder Todd Lyman, a full-time missionary in the Washington Spokane Mission, said he and other missionaries are enlisting the combined power of the temple and the testimonies of the area members to bring people to Christ. Many members brought their friends to the temple and could play pivotal roles in teaching them the gospel.

"We feel the real harvest is about to begin," said Elder Lyman, adding the mission has prepared a special temple discussion to teach investigators.

Elder Lyman's companion, Elder Josh Johnson, said missionaries will be using the temple as a third "companion" in the teaching efforts.

Rich Cahoon helped with security during the Nov. 18 dedicatory sessions. His was a serious task, yet Brother Cahoon could not help but smile. The dedication of the Columbia River Washington Temple meant a temple was now just a 25-minute drive from his Hermiston home — significantly less than the road trip to his former "home" temple in Portland. He plans on using his new-found time wisely.

"We're going to just double our time in the temple," Brother Cahoon said.

Temple inspires public

By Harriet Sutherland

Church News contributor

RICHLAND, WASH. — Disbelief and outbursts of joy filled stake centers throughout the Columbia Basin in Washington when President Gordon B. Hinckley announced on April 2, 2000, that the third temple in the state would be built "somewhere in the Tri-Cities."

Now, just 18 months later, the doors of the Columbia River Washington Temple here, the 107th temple, are open for public tours from Saturday, Oct. 27, through Saturday, Nov. 10. No tours will be offered Sunday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 4.

On the first day of the open house, a gentle rain fell in the late afternoon and evening, serving as a reminder of God's blessings to a drought-affected area which will now have a temple.


Columbia River Washington Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

During the temple construction, thousands of people came to the temple site from all areas of the more than 34,000-Church-member temple district including Wenatchee, Selah, Ephrata, Walla Walla, Yakima, Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, Moses Lake and Othello, Wash., and a stake in Hermiston, Ore.

One construction worker on the temple said, "I've worked in this profession for many years, but I have never worked on a site where so many people come and take pictures of a building before it's completed."

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Seventy and president of the North America Northwest Area and Elder Lowell Barber, an Area Authority Seventy, led hundreds of temple contractors, construction workers and their families, nearby neighbors, members of clergy and education, civic and government leaders, media representatives, and family history enthusiasts on special tours before the public open house began.

More than 300 construction workers received a personal copy of the Book of Mormon, signed by the temple's general contractor, and the project manager.

In leading one of the two media tours, Elder Cook paused an extra long time in the celestial room, feeling that there were those in that group who "wanted to linger longer and experience the feeling of peace that was there."

Elder Barber said about his tours that "those who have visited here have felt great peace, which they have been able to identify as being centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not one person left the temple with a negative impression."

A highlight of the media executives tour occurred when Kennewick Washington Stake President David Stapleton, coordinator for the open house and dedication, presented the publisher of the local newspaper, Cheryl Dell, with pedigree charts of 14 generations of her ancestors. She promised that she would show this record to other family members who were very interested in family history.

Comments from the community have been extremely favorable. One visitor to the temple said, "We received an invitation to come to the temple, which was amazing, because we wanted to come here anyway. When the car pulled up in our driveway, we weren't expecting anyone, and no one knew we wanted to have a tour. It felt like someone had shown a light at our house to lead the way."

A woman from the state legislature said, "I'm going back to Olympia and tell those that I work with, and everyone in my church congregation that they must come and see this temple for themselves. It is stunning."

Another visitor said, "We enjoyed the tour and the hospitality. It was breathtaking to see the architecture and landscaping. It is enjoyable to experience the spiritual culture that binds the congregation and family together."

An administrative assistant at one of the local high schools received two dozen personal invitations from Church members to attend the open house. Even though he had been invited to a special temple tour for educators, he chose to go to the open house at a later time "to be with his Latter-day Saint friends."

With the assistance of a Church member knowledgeable about the publishing business, a 16-page color glossy newspaper insert was developed to help announce the open house. Copies were distributed through six newspapers in eastern Washington and northeast Oregon to approximately 50,000 homes and businesses throughout the temple district. The insert explained many of the teachings of the Church and its historical development in Washington State. One of the full-time missionaries attending the open house said that the insert "will serve as a significant missionary tool for years to come."

The perfected building construction, shimmering granite exterior and fountain, and the unique temple interior with its abundance of cherry wood, soaring art-glass windows from Germany, hand-painted murals, crystals for the chandeliers from Czechoslovakia, and hand-tufted rug from Thailand, are all appropriate reminders that this is the House of the Lord.

The new temple president, Allan D. Alder, summarized the feelings of so many members when he said, "I still can't believe we have a temple here. I always knew it would happen, but I never expected to see it occur in my lifetime."

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