News Story

Winnipeg Mormons Host Community Open House for Proposed Temple

Elected officials, multi-faith leaders, neighbourhood group leaders, community residents and local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered at the Winnipeg Manitoba Stake Centre on August 25 to receive information about the proposed Winnipeg Manitoba Temple. Attendees were able to view architectural drawings, including site plans, elevations and a coloured rendering of the proposed temple.

Michael Thomson, a representative from the Church’s Special Projects Department, presented information on the history of the Church in Manitoba and current Church statistics in Manitoba and Canada, as well as the purpose and significance of temples to Mormons. Temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord,” where the teachings of Jesus Christ are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ceremonies that unite families for eternity.

“As I think of temples,” said Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church, “my thoughts turn to the many blessings we receive therein. As we enter through the doors of the temple, we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world. Inside this sacred sanctuary, we find beauty and order. There is rest for our souls and a respite from the cares of our lives” (“Blessings of the Temple,” April 2015 general conference).

Architect for the proposed Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, Jeremy Woolf, shared specific information regarding the building and plans for construction in the community of Bridgwater Forest in south Winnipeg. Presentations were followed by a question-and-answer period and light refreshments. Great interest, enthusiasm and anticipation were evident as attendees took the opportunity to speak with architects and members of the Church, asking questions and seeking clarification.

Members of the community also appeared to welcome the temple, particularly the park-like setting that could be enjoyed and appreciated by all area residents. Of particular interest to Jean Paterson, president of the Lee Boulevard Community Association, were the high standards maintained of not only the temple buildings but also the grounds. “I’m feeling positive,” Paterson said, “and I am extremely impressed with the landscaping plans.”

Lee Fehler, assistant to Terry Duguid, MP Winnipeg South, also commented on the temple design and landscaping. “It looks beautiful. I think it will be exciting, especially in the new community of Bridgwater, with the lakes and the forests. I think the fact that [the temple] is designed in a park-like setting is very interesting as well.”

Commenting on the structure of the proposed Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, Sarah Guillemard, member of the legislative assembly of Manitoba, Fort Richmond riding, stated, “It’s a very well thought-out design. I think it absolutely keeps in line with the historic buildings that we do have in Winnipeg.”

City councillor Janice Lukes has attended a number of Church-sponsored events in the past and was particularly excited about the proposed arrival of the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple. “I’m ecstatic to see the design, the landscaping, the craftsmanship and the beauty of it,” she said. “It is going to be a jewel in the crown of that community. It’s going to be a place in Winnipeg that members [of the Church] can go to here, and they are not going to have to drive so far.” The nearest temple for Winnipeg Mormons is in Regina, Saskatchewan (573 km). Lukes continued, “To have this [temple] in Winnipeg, people will come to it from other places and they will spend time in Winnipeg. I am ecstatic because it is in my ward!”

Lukes ended her remarks by posing the question, “When is the last time you’ve seen this level of craftsmanship go into anything?” Mormon temples are known throughout the world for their beauty in design and setting.

The Winnipeg Manitoba Temple was announced by Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church, at a Church general conference in April 2011. There are currently 151 temples throughout the world, with 28 more announced or under construction.

The Church anticipates applying for building permits with the City of Winnipeg this fall, with subsequent groundbreaking to occur after approvals have been secured. Construction of the temple is expected to take approximately 20 months. When the temple is finished, the public will be invited to an open house before the building is formally dedicated.

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