First Pictures Inside the New Richmond Temple & Open House Begins
After three years of construction, the time has finally come to reveal to the public the interior of the new Richmond Virginia Temple, the first temple in the state. Latter-day Saints in the state are also welcoming visitors to the temple, which has been built in the suburbs of the capital city of Richmond, starting this coming weekend. Specially-invited guests are beginning their tours of the new temple today. Prior to the open house on Saturday, the Church has released a number of beautiful photos of the finished interior of the beautiful temple.
Ashlee Stettler, a local member in the area, said Virginians should know that this new temple is theirs too: “The temple isn’t just the Church of Jesus Christ’s temple,” she said. “It’s Virginia’s temple. You’ll recognize the architecture. It really captures that history of Virginia in its architecture. So, you’ll feel a sense of connection to it. You’ll feel a sense of Virginia and a sense of community. You’ll feel like it’s yours.”
We love the design, and feel like it’s reminiscent of the Hartford Temple. If you look closely, you’ll see a number of similar aspects. The design reflects the local historical vernacular, a blend of Georgian, Federal and Jeffersonian architecture, adapted from European styles. And the temple grounds themselves are set with a backdrop of dense wooded growth. The paths, lighting and landscaping are inspired by the gardens and grounds of historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Trees, hedges and flowers are local varieties, such as the dogwood, magnolia, white oak, boxwood and Virginia bluebells. Many of these flora and fauna, especially the dogwood (Virginia’s state tree and flower) are featured throughout the temple’s interior and exterior.
“One of the key elements of [any] temple and temple design is to make sure that it belongs to the people of that area,” added Richmond Temple Project Manager Dan Holt. “One of the best ways we can do that is to really tie ourselves into the history and tradition of the location where we are.”
One unique thing about this temple is that some of the building’s art (stained) glass comes from an old Protestant church on the East Coast of the United States. The piece depicts Jesus Christ as “The Good Shepherd” welcoming people to the temple. We love how this aspect of the temple continues to incorporate the history, art, and even other religions of the area into the temple. And overall, the temple art glass’s blue, gold and red colors pull from an early-American color palette.
Holt also added that the temple’s artwork reveals the importance of three fundamental things: “One is the family unit, one is our relationship with our Savior—specifically depictions of the Savior. And the other is the natural beauty and creations of our Heavenly Father,” Holt said. As always, the artwork in any temple is beautiful and inspiring, so pay special attention to it if you’re able to visit the temple during the open house.
Once the Richmond Temple is completed, it will serve more than 44,000 members of the Church in Virginia and West Virginia. There are currently nine stakes in the greater Richmond area alone, and about 34,000 members of the Church. So this new temple will be a wonderful blessing to many, many Latter-day Saints in the area!
The open house for the Richmond Temple will run from Saturday, March 25, through Saturday, April 15, 2023, except for Sundays. Free reservations for tours can be made at www.churchofjesuschrist.org/temples/open-houses.
The temple will then be dedicated on Sunday, May 7, 2023, by President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency. The three dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to all congregations in the Richmond Virginia Temple district.
Unfortunately we don’t have any Richmond Temple pictures for sale yet, but we hope to visit it soon!
Below photos courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Celestial Room in the Richmond Temple
An ordinance room in the Richmond Temple
The baptismal font in the Richmond Temple
A sealing room in the Richmond Temple
Inside the entry of the Richmond Temple
The exterior entrance of the Richmond Temple