President Gordon B. Hinckley, world leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will dedicate the Lubbock Texas Temple on Sunday, 21 April 2002, making it the 109th operating temple worldwide.
Four separate dedicatory sessions will be held to accommodate as many Latter-day Saints as possible. At 9 a.m., before the first session, a traditional cornerstone ceremony will take place outside the temple.
An estimated 21,000 people visited the temple during the week-long open house conducted last month. Attending the open house were prominent business and government leaders as well as representatives of other religious faiths.
The Lubbock Texas Temple is the third temple in the state, joining temples dedicated in Dallas (1984) and in Houston (2000). Church leaders have announced plans for a fourth temple to be built in San Antonio.
Latter-day Saint missionaries first preached in Texas in 1843. Some 276 members in Texas were listed on Church records after the Civil War ended. The first stake (a group of congregations similar to a diocese) was created in El Paso in 1952. The next year, stakes were established in Houston and Dallas. Today, nearly 220,000 Latter-day Saints worship in 447 congregations throughout the state.
Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” by the 11.4 million members of the worldwide Church. Inside temples, faithful members perform sacred ordinances both for themselves and on behalf of deceased ancestors that unite families for eternity.
The Church has 16 more temples announced or under construction.