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Take a look inside as the doors open to the Richmond Virginia Temple, Virginia’s first

Tours begin with March 20 media day, as Church and project leaders talk about the temple’s design and purpose

O Templo de Richmond Virgínia, revestido com pedra de calcário Moleanos e articulada com uma versão jeffersoniana de uma ordem dórica, encontrada na arquitetura grega e romana, está localizado perto de uma área arborizada da comunidade de Glen Allen, nos arredores de Richmond.

The Richmond Virginia Temple, clad with Moleanos stone articulated with a Jeffersonian version of a Doric order, found in Greek and Roman architecture, is located near a wooded area of the Glen Allen community just outside of Richmond.

A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias


Take a look inside as the doors open to the Richmond Virginia Temple, Virginia’s first

Tours begin with March 20 media day, as Church and project leaders talk about the temple’s design and purpose

O Templo de Richmond Virgínia, revestido com pedra de calcário Moleanos e articulada com uma versão jeffersoniana de uma ordem dórica, encontrada na arquitetura grega e romana, está localizado perto de uma área arborizada da comunidade de Glen Allen, nos arredores de Richmond.

The Richmond Virginia Temple, clad with Moleanos stone articulated with a Jeffersonian version of a Doric order, found in Greek and Roman architecture, is located near a wooded area of the Glen Allen community just outside of Richmond.

A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has opened the doors to its new Richmond Virginia Temple, allowing media, community members and the general public a rare look inside the first house of the Lord in the state of Virginia.

In conjunction with the Monday, March 20, media day conducted at the temple, the Church released interior and exterior images of the temple and video speaking about the temple, its design and — most importantly — its purpose and meaning to Latter-day Saints who enter to be instructed and to participate in sacred ordinances in making covenants with God.

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The celestial room of the Richmond Virginia Temple is designed to be a tranquil respite that represents the progression toward Heavenly Father’s presence. The influence of Jeffersonian architecture, popular throughout Virginia, can be found in the décor and design cues of the temple as evidenced in the celestial room.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“A temple is a symbol,” said Elder Kevin R. Duncan, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department. “Wherever one is, it’s a symbol that Jesus Christ is there. Inside, we learn about who we are and our eternal potential. We learn about what Heavenly Father really has in store for us if we follow Jesus Christ — and that only in and through Jesus Christ can we return to our Heavenly Father.”

Everything built into the temple has one purpose, added Richmond temple project manager Dan Holt: “To bring us closer to our Savior, to help remind us of our relationship with Him and the importance of coming to the temple to improve, to progress and grow closer to our Savior and our Heavenly Father.”

The photos and video were published Monday, March 20, on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Open house and dedication

Following Monday’s media day, invited guests will tour the temple Tuesday through Friday, March 21-24. The public open house runs from Saturday, March 25 through Saturday, April 15, excluding Sundays and the April 1-2 weekend for April 2023 general conference. The First Presidency announced the temple’s dedication and open house dates in November 2022.

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The colonial design accentuates the foyer of the Richmond Virginia Temple. A nod to Jeffersonian motifs is found in the richly colored area rug that displays a period-correct octagon pattern incorporated with the dogwood blossom, the Virginia state flower. A 100-year-old repurposed art glass piece from a Protestant church — depicting Jesus with His sheep — greets visitors upon entering.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, will dedicate the Richmond temple on Sunday, May 7, in two sessions, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. local time. All units in the temple district — including Virginia, eastern West Virginia and northeastern North Carolina — will receive broadcasts of the dedicatory sessions.

The temple will be the Church’s 177th dedicated worldwide, with 300 temples total in various stages — dedicated and operating, under renovation, under construction, or announced and in planning and design.

Located at 10915 Staples Mill Road in Glen Allen, Virginia, the temple is a two-story building of a little more than 36,000 square feet. A 16,000-square-foot meetinghouse also was built on the property adjacent to the temple.

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The baptistry in the Richmond Virginia Temple. Jesus commanded that all must be baptized to return to the presence of God. Devout Latter-day Saints can make offerings of proxy baptism for their ancestors that did not have that opportunity while living.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Richmond, Virginia, in April 2018 general conference, with ground broken two years later in April 2020. Virginia is home to more than 96,000 Latter-day Saints in over 215 congregations.

Design and architecture

Design plans and renderings drawing heavily from historical American traditions were released for Richmond’s house of the Lord in August 2019. The design reflects a blend of local and historical Georgian, Federal and Jeffersonian architecture.

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The exterior of the Richmond Virginia Temple is clad with Moleanos stone articulated with a Jeffersonian version of a Doric order, found in Greek and Roman architecture. Added to this are interlocking diamond circles and the dogwood blossom, the Virginia state flower. These elements are found on buildings throughout the Richmond, Virginia, area.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the University of Virginia, Williamsburg and other sites throughout the state have influenced the design of the temple and its grounds. Accents of Virginia’s state tree and flower — the dogwood — are part of that ornamentation.

Holt underscored how the temple and its design create a feeling of belonging to the people of the area. “One of the best ways we can do that,” he said, “is to really tie ourselves into the history and tradition of the location where we are.”

Outside, the temple site features a backdrop of dense wooded growth, with the paths, lighting and landscaping inspired by the gardens and grounds of historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Trees, hedges and flowers are local varieties, including not only the dogwood but magnolia, white oak, boxwood and Virginia bluebells.

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The sealing room in the Richmond Virginia Temple is where families are united for eternity through marriage. The room features an altar in the middle with a crystalline chandelier above it. The mirrors, positioned across from each other, reflect endless images to represent eternity.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Overall, the temple’s art glass colors — blue, gold and red — hearken to an early American color palette. One featured piece inside, which comes from an old Protestant church on the United States’ East Coast, depicts Jesus Christ as “the Good Shepherd,” welcoming people to the temple.

As part of the interior artwork displayed throughout, the Richmond Virginia Temple also houses four original pieces of art: “Shenandoah River,” by Brad Aldridge; “The Waters of Autumn,” by Adair Payne; “Tidewater Spring,” by Adair Payne; and “We Do Not Doubt Our Mothers Knew It,” by Dan Wilson.

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Instruction rooms of the Richmond Virginia Temple are where Latter-day Saints make promises to God and receive a deeper understanding of Jesus and his teachings in an effort to become better disciples.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Said Elder Duncan: “The art tries to elevate our vision and help us look heavenward. You’ll either see depictions of Jesus Christ Himself or scriptural narratives regarding Jesus Christ and His teachings.”

The building artwork reveals the importance of three fundamental elements, Holt said. “One is the family unit, one is our relationship with our Savior — specifically depictions of the Savior. And the other is the natural beauty and creations of our Heavenly Father.”

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The grand staircase in the Richmond Virginia Temple is reflective of colonial design and constructed of Peruvian walnut with vibrant colors of the era incorporated in the stair’s carpet runner.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Duncan said the temple’s beauty and high standard of construction reflect God’s generosity and the need to give Him the very best.

“This is the house of the Lord,” he said. “He has spared no expense in giving us the most beautiful earth that we have to live on. And because we’re building His house, we strive to give our very best — our very best craftsmanship, the very best materials that we can.

“But it’s not ostentatious,” he added. “It is simplistic beauty that elevates one’s vision toward Christ.”

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The exterior of the Richmond Virginia Temple is clad with Moleanos stone articulated with a Jeffersonian version of a Doric order, found in Greek and Roman architecture. Added to this are interlocking diamond circles and the dogwood blossom, the Virginia state flower. These elements are found on buildings throughout the Richmond, Virginia, area.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

What local Latter-day Saints are saying

Bishop Seth M. Roberts of the Bon Air Ward, Richmond Virginia Midlothian Stake, said friends have asked him about the temple. “‘What is that building that’s going up in Glen Allen,’” Bishop Roberts said. “And it was a great opportunity to explain to them what a temple is and then to invite them to come.”

Mamie Kelley said visitors to the temple will feel the Holy Spirit. “And even though they may not recognize it as the Holy Spirit, they will feel something different, something tranquil and something that makes them feel good,” she said. “And I think they will take that away and say to themselves: ‘Hmm. What was that? I really felt something.’”

Ashlee Stettler said Virginians should feel a connection to this house of the Lord through its design. “You’ll recognize the architecture. It really captures that history of Virginia in its architecture,” she said. “So, you’ll feel a sense of connection to it. You’ll feel a sense of Virginia and a sense of community. You’ll feel like it’s yours.”

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