This post is about my D.C. Temple Tour
Hey friends, I visited the D.C temple this past Monday, June 6th!!! This is because the LDS Temple has an open house from April 28th through June 11th!
I’m so excited to share about my visit. I have always been intrigued by architecture and learning about history. So, visiting the D.C. temple was a must! It checked all the boxes, and thus, I marked it on my calendar.
My excitement reached a climax when my neighbor visited the Temple really early on, and she couldn’t stop talking about it. She invited my husband and I over for tea as she showed us the lovely pictures of the grounds. So, I was really ecstatic about it all.
My focus on this post is primarily on the architecture and my lovely visit.❤️
Ready, let’s go…
My first glimpse of the D.C. Temple…
I remember the first time I drove to D.C. in 2007, it was at night, and then I saw a beautiful white building that captured my attention. The sheer magnificence was captivating!
If you are in the D.C. area, you have probably seen this Temple along the Capital Beltway. It’s such a signature landmark building in this area.
From the first time I laid my eyes on it, I just hoped and wished I would visit the church one day. I always wondered if the inside looked at beautiful as the exterior.
When we arrived at the parking lot, we were ushered in by two young men assisting guests. Warm, friendly smiles greeted us. One of the young men expressed his gratitude for us coming by. I thought, “I should be thanking you for opening your doors to us!” ✨You could tell from the get-go how genuinely happy and proud they were to be serving the church.
After parking, I noticed the sheer number of people from all over the U.S. I saw New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Oregon license plates. I felt fortunate to live in the area, because our drive was pretty short!
Once we arrived at the temple gates, we met other church workers who directed us to the big white welcome tent. Everything went smoothly! You could tell that they spent so much time with planning for this open house.
At the tent, we met more people from every creed, faith, and nationality eager to enter the Temple. The Temple staff continued to make us feel welcome with a signature warm smile, and all reiterated how happy they were to host us.
The exterior of the D.C. Temple
The Washington D.C Temple, formally dedicated in 1974, is one of the busiest temples operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Can you tell I did lots of reading for this post?)
The first thing we noticed when looking at the Temple is its six spires. The three on the east represent the Melchizedek Priesthood. In contrast, the three spires on the west (slightly lower) represent the Aaronic Priesthood. We were informed that these priesthoods play an essential role in the LDS Church and its teachings.
We also noticed an angel statue with a trumpet.
Another thing we (more like “I” because my husband isn’t particular with detail) noticed is that there are no windows on the building. The only window you will find in the Temple is in the very center of the building, which symbolizes the light of Jesus Christ. This is because temples are considered sacred places where members can commune with God away from the world’s distractions.
The temple grounds are beautiful, with well-manicured gardens with the most beautiful flowers and trees. It also has a reflecting pool as well as a fountain.
Our first stop on the tour was the baptistry room. I have to be honest; I got emotional and teary-eyed when I saw it. It was beautiful! It reminded me of being baptized at age 11 in Nairobi Pentecostal Church! The baptistry room in my childhood church was very similar to the one in the LDS church. The only difference is that the LDS pool has 12 oxen at the bottom, signifying the 12 tribes of Israel. You can read more about why 12 oxen are used in their design by clicking here.
So from the get-go, you could tell that everything had meaning and significance.
The paintings…. where do I begin? Every painting that we saw was breathtaking. One of my favorites was one of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and another of Jesus with two children. I honestly can’t do any more justice explaining the paintings. So, I’ll stop here. Just know they were breathtaking!
The celestial room is meant to represent the peace and beauty of heaven, and it is where people go to reflect on their lives and make covenants with God. Some signs requested us to be quiet as we entered it.
I was wowed at how serene the place was. Multiple visitors opted to sit down and enjoy the peace and tranquility. I noticed beautiful chandeliers, and I counted them…12 (I know I’m a bit excessive with the counting). The chandeliers had a focal point of a larger chandelier in the middle of the room. Again, I think it all ties to the 12 tribes of Israel.
Brides dressing room
The dressing room for the bride was so beautiful. You can tell that they made it extra special for the bride to feel beautiful on her wedding day. I noticed a beautiful cherry blossom carpet. There were large mirrors too. Absolutely stunning!
The sealing rooms are where marriages and families are sealed together. There are two mirrors at both ends of the room. The mirrors face each other, so it shows an infinite reflection when you look at each of them.
Stained glass windows
The stained-glass windows were also one of my personal favorites. This is because, first, the sheer beauty but also because it symbolizes the ascension of light and how man is yearning to grow closer to communion with God.
The LDS meeting house in Nairobi…
I was born and raised in Kenya, and our family home in Nairobi is located in Mountain View Estate. And coincidentally, there is an LDS meeting house there. It’s the first church you will see when you arrive in our community.
Beside the LDS church is another faith that runs a mission called “Ananda Marga.” I believe they have Hindu roots since we have a large Kenyan-Hindu community in Kenya.
What I noticed about both is the fact that they served the community. Ananda Marga, in particular, provides weekly welfare and humanitarian assistance to the underprivileged communities in the area. And I remember every Saturday I would see families lining up; then they would leave with bags of corn meal, cooking oil, and other necessities. The LDS meeting house also provides various community activities; their presence in the community was and still is being felt.
I researched more and found that the LDS church is building a temple in Kenya. Completion is set for mid-2024. You can read more about this here.
And that’s it, folks, my Washington D.C. LDS Temple visit
My visit to the D.C temple and exposure to other faiths when I was in Nairobi showed me the importance of being kind, the impact of community outreach, charity, and serving the community! It has challenged me to serve in the church.
Currently, I serve as an intercessor in a private Pentecostal prayer meeting group where we intercede for various things. Still, I think I overlooked the power of outreach and being in the community. Outreach is a great way to be a witness for your faith!
Alas…things for me to ponder. 😊
All in all, I’m so thankful for the warm reception of the Washington D.C. temple.
Here is a video overview of the Temple: