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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 23, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 22Mar01

By Mark Wright

Kirtland Temple Open House Seeks to Acquaint Neighbors to Building

KIRTLAND, OHIO -- The historic Kirtland Temple, located in Kirtland, Ohio, is listed on the Registry of National Historic Landmarks and draws tens of thousands of visitors every year. Many of these out-of-state visitors are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who want to examine the historical roots of their religion. Even though the temple is currently owned by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (soon to be renamed the "Community of Christ"), there is a strong draw for faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ since the temple is one of the most important sites in early Church history.

While an increasing number of out-of-town visitors flock to the visit the historic Temple site every year, local interest has traditionally been somewhat limited. Although the Temple is located in very close proximity to downtown Kirtland and is easily accessible from the freeway, many area residents have never been inside the National Historic Site.

The Lake County Historical Society, in conjunction with the Kirtland Temple Historic Center, hope that they have started to change all that. The two groups teamed up to sponsor a free open house and tour of the temple last week, geared especially for the local population. Part of the program included a hymn sung from an 1835 hymnal by a choir dressed in costumes from the 1830's. In addition, several experts on the construction of the Temple discussed the Church's tradition in Kirtland and the challenges faced by the Temple's pioneer builders.

The organizers of the program hoped to generate some interest about an important local historical site for the residents of the surrounding community. The program was specifically "designed to introduce ... the temple to the folks who have driven by every day for 30 years but never stopped," said Lachlan Mackay, site coordinator for the Kirtland Temple Historic Center.

The historic significance of the building is well-known, but many actual details about the use of the building by the early members of the Church are less well-known. For example, at the time the Temple was constructed, between 1833 and 1836, it was one of the largest buildings in northern Ohio and could accommodate more than 1,000 people. The Temple served as a place of worship but also did double duty as a grammar school and a place of general religious instruction.


Groups try to localize a piece of history
Cleveland OH Plain Dealer 17Mar01 D1
By Lila J. Mills: Plain Dealer Reporter
Commuters invited to Kirtland Temple


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