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BOUNTIFUL BRACES FOR MASSES COMING TO TOUR LDS TEMPLE

SHARE BOUNTIFUL BRACES FOR MASSES COMING TO TOUR LDS TEMPLE

City officials are preparing for a crush of visitors that will smash any tourism record ever achieved or conceived in this suburban hamlet.

Beginning Nov. 5, as many as 31,000 people will meander along the city's east bench every day for 36 days - seeking a one-hour tour through the LDS Church's new temple.They'll come in cars, vans and trucks with tickets in hand, needing not just a parking space but directions to it. Some undoubtedly will require minor medical attention or just a visit to a bathroom.

The logistics of funneling an estimated 1.1 million people - more than half the state's population - through one building situated on a mountainside in the throes of winter seems amazing.

But city leaders are calm. "We're just hoping for good weather," says Mayor John Cushing.

Any worry is buffered by a massive volunteer effort now under way among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Some 35,000 members will sort and distribute tickets, help direct traffic, host visitors, staff telephones and provide security for the temple's open house.

Already, about 300 volunteers are preparing tickets and answering telephone inquiries. They use a computer program to track who gets tickets for what day and time. Transportation and parking instructions are printed on the backs.

"It's a very detailed system, and if people follow the directions, it should go smoothly," Cushing said.

Police Chief Larry Higgins plans to use more officers to control traffic during the open-house dates. And street crews will place two permanent signs on 500 South directing traffic to the edifice. A dozen other portable signs will help flow at several locations on the east bench.

Church members of the 275 stakes in the Utah North Area can get tickets from local leaders. Anyone else can gain free admission by calling the Bountiful Temple information center, (801) 299-4222.

The tour will start at a pavilion on the temple grounds, where a Christus statue and placard explain the purpose of temples. Visitors will then proceed into the temple for a silent tour of its major rooms.