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The newest Latter-day Saint temple features the latest development in temple design.
The Yigo Guam Temple, dedicated on Sunday by Elder David A. Bednar, is the second-smallest temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 6,861 square feet. That’s no limitation.
It is the first temple with rooms that can be converted to either become sealing rooms or instruction rooms, depending on the needs of the church members visiting on a specific day.
The Guam temple has two such rooms. One is designed as a sealing room, but can be converted into an instruction room. The other is an instruction room that can be converted into a sealing room, when necessary.
Sealing rooms are where ordinances that seal or bind families together, like marriages, are performed.
Instruction or endowment rooms are where the endowment ordinance takes place. During an endowment, a group of church members are reminded that life is part of an eternal journey. They also make sacred promises, or covenants, with the Lord.
This new flexibility in temple design is newsworthy because convertible rooms make it easier for the church to build more, smaller temples in remote areas like Guam or in places where the church has a concentration of church members far from another temple.
The Guam temple is 61 feet larger than the smallest, the Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple. But it still offers all the ordinances, covenants and blessings of other temples.
“We do not have small temples,” Elder Bednar said. “A temple is a temple. The covenants and ordinances are exactly the same in every temple, regardless of size.”
“The size and architecture of the temple are interesting, but the building is not the focus,” he added. “What occurs inside the temple, as we worthily receive covenants and ordinances, is what the temple is about.”
The Yigo Guam Temple will serve 9,600 Latter-day Saints in Guam and the islands of Micronesia.
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About the church
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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Sister Patricia Holland were interviewed by Sheri Dew for the latest Church News podcast.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband visited southern Africa and met with Mozambique’s president.
Here’s a great headline: “Kirby Heyborne swinging a flaming microwave? This new church video is unexpectedly hilarious.” (Good job, LDS Living.) Find the story and video here.
What is the origin story of funeral potatoes? Our writer searches for the truth.
What I’m reading
I am a writer in no small part because I read Roger Angell as a boy. He died on Friday, and it strikes me now that I wish I had said that day, “There goes the greatest baseball writer who ever lived.” He was much more than that, too — a legend at the New Yorker, as were his mother and stepfather, E.B. White. The magazine rolled out no less a light than David Remnick to write a tribute to him upon his death.
Angell loved baseball. Loved. “He was a Mets fan, a Yankees fan, and a Red Sox fan. In anyone else, this would have been unforgivable,” Remnick wrote. I particularly loved “Agincourt and After,” Angell’s feature on the 1975 World Series, a seminal moment in my life. But since we’re not all baseball fans here, let me make the one quote I share from Angell’s writing his one about love:
“Getting old is the second-biggest surprise of my life, but the first, by a mile, is our unceasing need for deep attachment and intimate love. I believe that everyone in the world wants to be with someone else tonight, together in the dark, with the sweet warmth of a hip or a foot or a bare expanse of shoulder within reach.” (From “This Old Man: All in Pieces.”)
I highly recommend Angell’s baseball books, which are collections of his astounding magazine pieces.
I also highly recommend this fascinating read about Pulitzer Prize-winning Latter-day Saint journalist Jack Anderson. I loved all the detail.