LDS temple in Gilbert to open for public viewing - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

LDS temple in Gilbert to open for public viewing

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GILBERT, Ariz. -

It's a towering structure just off the Loop 202 in Gilbert. If you've driven in the area recently, you can't miss it. It's the newest Mormon temple being constructed here in the valley.

There are currently 3 Mormon temples in the state of Arizona.

There's the temple in Mesa -- it's the oldest temple in the state first dedicated in 1927.

That was the only temple in Arizona for 75 years until another one was built in the town of Snowflake in northeastern Arizona. It was dedicated in 2002. And then another one in 2010 in Safford.

Now we are just months away from the newest temple opening up in the east valley.

Temples are usually closed to the public. It's a sacred place and only Mormons are allowed inside, but for the first two weeks before the temple is dedicated, the public is allowed inside.

It's massive – 86,000 square feet. Its spire is 15-stories tall.

They broke ground three years ago and now it's hard to miss -- an almost finished LDS temple off Loop 202 near Pecos Road. And for almost a month it'll be open to everyone.

"Come and see, ask questions they'd like to ask and see the temple," says David E. Lesueur, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"It's a landmark in the community, I think its exceptional, there's a lot of people that are curious about it," says Jennifer Hughes.

Jennifer Hughes lives right next to the temple practically in its shadow. She is also Mormon and says the new temple will change her life.

"I have a little kindergartner and I won't have to find any daycare because I'll be able to walk across the street and just have it right there so it's awesome."

Jennifer and her family have watched the temple being built for the last three years.

"There's a lot of new families moving in there's a lot of empty nesters downsizing, all to live closer to the temple."

Those who aren't LDS and are curious to see the inside of a temple will find art-glass windows, crown molding, and giant columns. The public open house will run from January 18th to February 15th.

We'll be seeing more temples open up across the valley. There's one being built in north Phoenix.

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