SOUTH JORDAN, Utah - Doors opened today for the newly renovated Jordan River Temple—one of the busiest temples in the world. The interior is completely new, but that’s not what makes this temple unique; it’s who paid for it.
In the 1970’s, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint announced they would not be using the church’s tithing funds specifically for the Jordan River Temple.
“That was the first time that had ever been done,” Temple Re-dedication Committee Chair Craig Burton said. “So they invited members from 122 stakes, to contribute money to the temple.”
Burton was one of those members asked to contribute. He said his family made financial adjustments in order to donate, but that it was well worth the effort. “When you’re asked to make a sacrifice, it’s not a sacrifice,” Burton said.
One year after the announcement was made, Burton said church members exceeded their goal of raising twelve million dollars by raising over fourteen million.
The money not only helped build the temple but gave the church resources to keep it operating.
Unique in funding, the Jordan River Temple groundbreaking was also a historic event. Then President of the Church, Spencer W. Kimball, used a bulldozer instead of a shovel for the groundbreaking ceremony—another detail that makes this temple so special to Latter-day Saints.
Burton said over 450,000 people attended the temple’s open house, which ended with the temple’s dedication this past Sunday. Only during the open house are people who are not of the LDS faith allowed to go in the temple, and Burton said he always gets asked why the so much money is spent on temples.
“It’s the house of the Lord and if it’s being given to Him and dedicated for Him, wouldn’t you want it to be the very best?” Burton replied.