Summarized by Kent Larsen
About 40,000 people tour new $5 million Mormon temple in Reno
Las Vegas NV Sun (AP) 16Apr00 D1
By Martin Griffith: Associated Press
RENO, NEVADA -- The LDS Church's new Reno Nevada Temple completed its
weeklong open house on Saturday, attracting about 40,000 people to
see the building before its dedication, according to local church
officials. The temple's completion came after Church officials
resolved some opposition from neighbors who felt that the building's
outside lighting was excessive.
The 10,700 square-foot building is sheathed in granite quarried from
Sharon, Vermont, birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. It drew
people from a wide area including parts of California, Nevada and
Utah. Local LDS Church officials say that about half those that
visited the building were not church members, "I think people viewed
it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a temple," said church
spokesman Wayne Abbott. "We wanted the public to see that it's a
sacred place, not a secretive place."
But not everyone in the community was happy with the open house. One
man passed out anti-Mormon brochures from a group called the Freedom
in Truth Outreach. Abbott says the anti-Mormon literature wasn't
surprising, "I guess we have experienced that kind of thing all
along," he said. "We find out most of the time that these brochures
are printed with only partial truths or untruths. Other than this,
the public response to the temple was very, very positive."
The building will mean local members won't have to drive 200 miles to
Oakland, California to attend the Temple. The Temple district
includes 26,500 members in eight stakes stretching from Winnemucca to
Lake Taho and from Hawthorne to Susanville, California.