SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Reporters in south central Texas got an early look yesterday at the newly completed San Antonio Texas Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department, hosted journalists for a preview tour of the temple.

San Antonio Temple

The public is welcome to visit the new temple during an open house that begins on Saturday, 16 April 2005, and continues through Saturday, 7 May 2005, excluding Sundays. Tours are available on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., on Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Free tickets for the open house are available online at www.lds.org/reservations, or by phone at 800-537-6181 (8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday MST). Tickets are strongly recommended.

Baptistry

Parking for the open house will be at the Church meetinghouse located at 645 Knights Cross Drive. Free bus transportation to and from the temple will be provided. Children are welcome.

Celestial Room

Following the public open house, the temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, 22 May 2005. Four separate dedicatory sessions will be held to accommodate Latter-day Saints in the area who will be served by the new temple.

Latter-day Saint temples differ from the 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.

Sealing Room

The San Antonio Texas Temple is the fourth operating temple of the Church in Texas and the 120th worldwide. The new temple will serve nearly 50,000 Latter-day Saints living in the area stretching from Brownsville in the south to a point just below Fort Worth in the north. Currently 245,000 Latter-day Saints reside in Texas.