SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a public open house prior to the dedication of the nearly completed Helsinki Finland Temple.

Following media and VIP tours, the public will be invited to visit the temple beginning on Saturday, 23 September 2006, and continuing through Saturday, 7 October 2006, excluding Sundays.

After the open house, the temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, 22 October 2006. Four dedicatory sessions will be held to accommodate Latter-day Saints in the area served by the temple. This includes approximately 26,000 members living in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia.

In conjunction with the temple dedication, there will also be a religious meeting and a cultural celebration of music and dance for Church members throughout the region. These events are scheduled for Saturday, 21 October 2006, in Helsinki.

Latter-day Saint temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity.

In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and strengthen their commitment to serve Jesus Christ and their fellowman.

The Helsinki Finland Temple was first announced on 2 April 2000, during the 170th Annual General Conference of the Church. It will be the 123rd operating temple in the world, the third in the Nordic countries. Temples in Stockholm and Copenhagen were completed in 1985 and 2004, respectively.