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For week ended February 20, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mormon Temple Debuts
Albuquerque NM Journal 16Feb00 D1
By Paul Logan: Journal Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- The open house for the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple starts tomorrow, giving nonmembers the chance to see the Temple before it opens. Following a tour for the media given by Elder Rex Pinegar, President of the LDS Church's Southwest U.S. Area, Albuquerque Journal writer Paul Logan wrote his reaction to the building, calling it one of Albuquerque's most elaborate houses of worship.

The $14 million temple includes Austrian crystal chandeliers, hand-painted gold-leaf ceiling designs and deep pile rugs with hand-cut sculpted designs. Rooms in the 33,000 square foot building include cherry wood trim, crystal light fixtures and original paintings. Particularly noteworthy is a 9-foot-tall, 1,750-pound chandelier hung in the center of the Celestial Room as well as the room's hand-painted ceiling that took four days to complete.

The temple will serve a district including 51,000 members in New Mexico and an additional 10,000 people from eastern Arizona and southern Colorado. Members had been traveling to Mesa, Arizona and Denver, Colorado. It is located on a 10-acre site in the Northeast Heights of Albuquerque.

The temple will employ 12 full-time employees, including supervisors for the cafeteria and laundry. In addition, the Church expects about 600 members to volunteer in the temple each week. The temple's dedication is scheduled for March 5th.

The Church expects large crowds to visit during the open house and can accommodate hundreds of visitors an hour. Logan also gives background about the Church and about the increase in temples in recent years.


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