News Release

The Newest House of the Lord in Washington State Is Opening Its Doors to the Public

Public welcome to tour the temple August 4–19

In rural central Washington, an area rich in agriculture and industry, the fourth house of the Lord in the state is opening for free public tours this week. Invited guests will tour the Moses Lake Washington Temple from Tuesday, August 1, through Thursday, August 3, followed by public tours beginning Friday, August 4, through Saturday, August 19, except for Sundays.

Downloadable Media Kit PDF

Media Day

A media day for journalists and other guests was held today. At the event, presided over by Elder Gary B. Sabin, General Authority Seventy and member of the North America West Area Presidency, guests learned more about the purpose of the temple and its central role in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Speakers included Elder Shayne M. Bowen, the Assistant Executive Director of the Temple Department, Monsignor Robert Siler from the Diocese of Yakima, a good friend of the Church and partner in many humanitarian efforts, and Judy Miller, whose family is descended from long-time members of the Church in the Moses Lake area.

"When I was a young man, there were eight temples in the entire world. Now those that are under construction, those that have been announced, and those that are operating are 315 worldwide, and that number will continue to grow," said Elder Bowen. "The reason the temple is so important is that that is where we are able to make a covenant with our Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ."

"It's an inspiration to be able to work side by side with brothers and sisters in this church," said Monsignor Siler. "My hope is that this collaboration will only continue to grow, and that it can inspire more faith traditions, and community members, to put aside differences and show God's love to the world through freely given acts of service."

"When asked what the temple means to me, and why I want to attend, the first word that comes to my mind is peace," Judy Miller shared. "The temple is a place of peace, quiet; it's reverent, it invites reflection."

Local History, Temple History

Moses Lake was named in honor of Quetalican, or Chief Moses, a peace-loving man who led the Native American Sinkiuse-Columbia people in the early 19th century. The first Latter-day Saints in the Moses Lake area moved there in the early 1900s to buy land. Word spread to other Latter-day Saints about the rich farmland, which could now be irrigated due to the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, and soon many others moved to the area. After meeting in a local Presbyterian church and then a local air base for many years, Church members were able to complete their own meetinghouse in 1951.

The interior design of the temple draws on regional crops, such as potato and alfalfa blossoms. The art glass in both the interior and exterior uses an apple blossom motif. The border pattern is a prairie-style design that reflects the Native Americans who inhabited the Moses Lake area long before the first farm was settled.

In demonstrating gratitude and reverence to God, only the finest materials are used to construct a house of the Lord. The exterior façade is made of granite quarried in Portugal. The flooring throughout the temple is marble, carpet, and porcelain tile. Doors are stained in a cherry finish and painted maple. The bride’s room light fixtures were manufactured with blown glass from Italy.

Flowers on the grounds of the Moses Lake Washington Temple on July 31, 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Landscaping is designed to provide shade, lushness and beauty throughout the year. Berms on the outer edges of the property were planted with materials indicative of mountain environments common to western Washington.

The Moses Lake Washington Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first announced by Church President Russell M. Nelson at the April 2019 general conference.

“God’s objective should be our objective,” President Nelson said before making the announcement. “He wants His children to choose to return to Him, prepared, qualified, endowed, sealed, and faithful to covenants made in holy temples.”

Ground was broken for the Moses Lake Washington Temple in October 2020. This temple will be the fourth in operation in Washington state, joining those in Richland, Seattle and Spokane. The Tacoma Washington Temple was announced in October 2022.

The temple will serve Latter-day Saints who currently travel to the nearby cities of Spokane and Richland to worship in the house of the Lord. Prior to the dedication of those two temples in 1999 and 2001, respectively, Latter-day Saints living in Washington State attended the Seattle Washington Temple, which has been in use since 1980. The Moses Lake Washington Temple will serve Church members in Grant County and surrounding areas.

There are more than 280,000 Latter-day Saints in Washington across 489 congregations.

Temple Dedication

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the temple on Sunday, September 17, in two sessions, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Pacific daylight time. The sessions will be broadcast to congregations in the Moses Lake Washington Temple district.

Faithful Latter-day Saints enter the temple after its dedication, so members are eager to invite their friends and neighbors to attend the open house.

Temples serve a different purpose than Latter-day Saint meetinghouses. All are welcome to attend weekly Sunday worship services and other activities at meetinghouses. In temples, Church members take part in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages that unite families forever and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who never had the chance to be baptized while living. Temples are where Latter-day Saints make promises with God and learn of their divine origin and eternal potential made possible through Jesus Christ.

See this document for more details about the temple.

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