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For week ended February 27, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Thousands Take Temple Tour
Albuquerque NM Journal 25Feb00 D1
By Louis Taylor: Journal Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- Attendance at the Albuquerque Temple Open House passed 47,000 people by Friday, in the week since the open house started in February 17th. The crowds were generally thrilled to see the building, which is scheduled to be dedicated March 5th. The Open House ended Saturday.

Many LDS Church members brought friends and acquaintances to see the new building, Non-Mormon George Koinis said he came because "I know this is a significant event for the church." LDS Church member Lauren Hatch, from Las Cruces New Mexico, brought her Albuquerque cousin, Brittani Dion, to see it. "It feels very special to have this temple here. Before, we had to travel to the temple in Mesa, Arizona, to do the Lord's work," she said.

Some non-Mormons came to the open house simply out of curiosity, as a way to get a 'cross-religious experience.' Guy Hobbs and his wife Nina had seen LDS Temples from the outside before, but never seen the inside, "We came to see what other religions have," said Hobbs. "We're originally from Washington, D.C., where they have a beautiful temple. We wanted to see the inside of this temple." His wife, Nina agreed, "I have many Mormon students; they encouraged me to come."

And Ramona Hinshaw of Albuquerque told the Journal that "visiting the temple gives you an understanding of the Mormon Church." She said she even skipped her TV shows to come, "I even missed my novellas."

As the LDS Church always requires, visitors cover their shoes with booties so that the carpets won't be soiled. The $14 million building will be the 73rd LDS Temple in operation, and will serve 51,000 members in New Mexico and 10,000 in eastern Arizona and southern Colorado.


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