News Release

The Beauty of the Washington D.C. Temple ‘Lies in What You Cannot See’

Journalists begin touring the Washington D.C. Temple

As some 150 journalists began touring the renovated Washington D.C. Temple on Monday, a theme emerged in comments on the temple’s importance.

As majestic as this — or any — house of the Lord Jesus Christ may be, far more central is its symbolism of Christ-rooted rebirth and change in human hearts.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who enjoyed the calm and quiet inside the temple, said the structure reflects the “wonderful work that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does in the community. We’ve been working together with [the Church] on so many great project projects in the community — volunteering and food banks and getting people involved in supporting others.” (Two senior Church leaders met with him in 2019.)

Downloadable B-roll SOTs

The Rev. Amos C. Brown, a renowned civil rights leader in San Francisco and a friend of Church Prophet and President Russell M. Nelson, praised God for the temple and the opportunity to tour it.

Rev. Brown said the true beauty of the house of the Lord “lies in what you cannot see in the hearts of those who will worship here and receive blessings, in the change that has happened in those hearts since this temple was built. … Let us thank God for the people who have in their hearts the love of Jesus, justice on their mind and help to all humankind.”

Governor Hogan and Rev. Brown were only a few of many guests on Monday who toured the house of the Lord in Washington, D.C. Private tours will continue through April 27. Three separate news conferences were held to accommodate journalists who came to cover the reopening of this significant religious landmark in the nation’s capital.

A record 4,300 invited special guests are expected to walk through the temple before the public open house starts on April 28. The open house will extend until June 11 (excluding Sundays). The temple will be rededicated on August 14. (Learn more about the Washington D.C. Temple.)

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ who were present on Monday also spoke of the temple as a symbol of change.

“Typically,” Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told assembled media, “God works from the inside out. Many times in the world, we work from the outside in. As we make commitments, sacred covenants, our hearts are changed, and people then change their circumstances. So, we hope that what you learn today is not just about this building, how it was constructed and how it was renovated. But for us, what is most important is how our hearts are changed as we learn about God, love God and serve our brothers and sisters. We welcome you and are delighted that you’re here today.”

LES_6447.JPGDownload Photo

Elder Bednar said he and his wife, Susan, find joy in helping people recognize that everything about these temples points to Jesus Christ.

“When we speak [about temples], we should focus first on the Savior and then the temple — not the temple and sometimes refer to the Savior,” the Apostle said. “[We love helping people] recognize that connection between the resurrected and living Jesus Christ and His house, rather than just talking about the house.”

Sister Sharon Eubank of the Relief Society General Presidency said, “The temple is about the work of people who love God and want to publish peace.”

Sister Eubank, who is also president of Latter-day Saint Charities (the Church’s humanitarian arm), said she has seen firsthand much of the world that is in turmoil. These areas, she said, have great needs, some of which can be met by monetary donations.

But, she added, more problems are solved by a change of heart.

“It’s the hearts of people who change that make the difference,” she said. “[We must] feel like we are truly brothers and sisters under the fathership of God, and that we can treat each other in different ways — even if we disagree about many things. We can still have that eternal dignity that we are literally brothers and sisters. And the temple is the monument to that.”

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, who serves with Sister Eubank in the Relief Society General Presidency, found symbolism in the temple’s four-year renovation.

“We believe that people can be renovated, that we can change, that our hearts can change as we dedicate our life to love and serve others,” Sister Aburto said. “So, we want to share this journey with you today so you can see what happens inside our temples.”

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged those living in the area to ask the people they know what this Washington D.C. Temple means to them.

“Listen,” Elder Gong said, “as they tell you about connection, community, communion, compassion, covenant and Jesus Christ. Today’s world, as we know, is busy, noisy, too often polarized. Yet God offers each of us a sacred place of peace and healing and purpose where we can connect with heaven, where we can connect with each other. And we can connect with our truest, noblest self. Come and see.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.