Richmond Temple Is Dedicated
After more than five years since it was announced in April 2018, and following just over three years of construction, the Richmond Virginia Temple was dedicated today, May 7, 2023. The dedication was performed on a lovely Sunday morning by President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the first temple built in Virginia and the 177th temple in the world.
“The work of the temples is centered in Jesus Christ. All that is learned and done here relates to Him,” President Oaks said. “Temples are essential to our Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. In these Houses of the Lord, we are taught the most important things we can learn in mortality, the knowledge of eternity.”
Located in Virginia’s capital city, the Richmond Temple’s blue, gold and red color palette compliments a blend of Federal and Jeffersonian architecture, and is accented by symbols of Virginia’s state tree and flower — the dogwood.
President Oaks said the the growth of the restored Church in Virginia “has been very gradual but is currently very impressive.”
In 1919, the first branch was created in Richmond. It had less than 100 members. It took 27 years for the branch to grow enough to be made into a ward and transferred to the Washington Stake in 1946. Eventually, in 1957, that ward became part of the new Virginia Stake. It was only the sixth stake on the Atlantic coast. But at that time, the numbers were still quite large – the Richmond Ward contained 700 members!
Much has changed since that time – hence the need for a beautiful temple in the area. Now more than 34,000 Latter-day Saints live in and around Richmond, and there are more than 96,000 in the entire state, where there are now 22 stakes!
During the three weeks of the public open house, more than 46,000 people of many faiths visited and toured the temple, including clergy, community leaders and residents living near the temple, and of course members of the Church. As impressive as the number of visitors is, high numbers were not the goal. The goal was to create an environment for workers, leaders and visitors to “feel a place of peace” and recognize the temple as a sacred space for Latter-day Saints. They also wanted to address any misunderstandings or lack of understanding by those outside the faith. And by opening the temple’s doors to the general public, that mission was accomplished in a wonderful way.
We hope to have pictures of the Richmond Temple available for purchase in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you didn’t have a chance to attend the public open house to see inside the temple, be sure to take a look at the pictures of the beautiful interior!