An addition that scarcely changed the outward appearance of the Chicago Illinois Temple but nearly doubled its size was dedicated Oct. 8 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
About 600 people, including some 40 presidents of the stakes within the temple district, mission presidents and regional representatives attended the Sunday services. The temple resumed operation Oct. 10, after being closed since Sept. 3, 1988.A fifth ordinance room, a significantly larger sealing room, increased office space and laundry facilities, a cafeteria and maintenance facility were added. The new construction added some 17,000 square feet to the temple, making a total of some 34,000 square feet.
By enclosing the original breezeways between the annex and temple entrance, and by placing much of the additional space underground, the appearance of the temple has retained its original look.
The central tower that once stood outdoors at the rear of the temple has been enclosed in a foyer near the new chapel. A glass-paneled ceiling, ornamental marble, and seats around the base have been added to make it a fitting part of a temple interior.
The main part of the temple was untouched by construction work and was not rededicated.
In addition to President Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, other speakers at the dedication were Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Council of the Twelve and Elder Loren C. Dunn of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
President Hinckley's wife, Marjorie, also gave brief remarks, as did Temple Pres. Edwin B. Jones and his wife, Mildred, temple matron. Elder Dunn was accompanied by his wife, Sharon.
In his remarks, President Hinckley praised the steadfastness and faith of temple-going members. Evidence of this is the faith of the members in the temple district whose activity required enlarging of a temple less than four years old.
Because of this solid, unwavering faith, the Church will move forward to its great decreed destiny, he told the members.
"What a marvelous thing a temple recommend is - a holder is certified as one who knows the Lord and seeks to do His will," said President Hinckley.
"Thank you for generously giving time and talents," he continued. "Thank you for your prayers, for your love and goodness - you are the glue that holds the Church together."
Sister Hinckley, called upon to share her testimony, referred to U.S. President Bush's goal of "a kinder, gentler America," and observed, "If we were all the kind of people that we are in the temple, this would be a kinder, gentler world."
In his remarks, Elder Wirthlin challenged members to continue to build their lives and enlarge their capacities, centering on Christ and His teachings.
"If we build our lives on the Savior, we are promised the help of the Master Builder," he said. "As we build our own lives, let us build with the best materials. Frequent attendance at the temple will help in building exemplary and noble lives. "I testify that this temple work is essential in building character, in teaching our children and in patterning our lives after our ancestors."
Elder Dunn reminded members to focus on the mission of the Church. He challenged wards to continue to reach out to non-members and less-active members.
"We want to thank you for the great work you have done regarding the mission of the Church," he said. "More people are now attending Church than at any time previous."
He encouraged members to take full advantage of the enlarged temple and the spiritual blessings available in it. He noted that "the distance between this world and the next world narrows in the temple."
Temple work, he continued, keeps life in perspective and it "can do things for us personally that cannot be done in another way."
Pres. Jones commented that because of the urgency and vital nature of the work being done, it was sad to see the temple close, even temporarily. "If a temple has to close, then the best reason for its closing is when it has to be made larger to accommodate all the people who wish to do temple work."
Sister Jones paid tribute to the temple patrons, and to the construction workers, saying that the beauty of the temple and the beauty of the people "were inspiring to me every day."