The Mesa Arizona Temple

As a town chiefly founded by Mormons, it comes as no surprise that there is a LDS temple located in the center of the city of Mesa. Open for nearly ninety years, this holy building has hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors and members of the church alike. Known worldwide for it’s spectacular Christmas light show, the Mesa Arizona Temple is considered a popular tourist landmark as well as a place of worship for over 400,000 Mormons in the state alone. 

Announced in October of 1919 and dedicated in October of 1927, the Mesa Temple, formerly known as the Arizona Temple, was the first temple to be constructed in Arizona. It was a cause for celebration for Saints spread across the western United States, saving them from a rather long and challenging trip to the Saint George Utah Temple. For many years, this temple was also known as the ‘Lamanite Temple’, as it was a saving grace to the Mexican and Native American members of the church as well. The temple was opened for the last two years of its construction for the curious public of Arizona, breaking the norm of a formal open house once the temple was dedicated. Given the immense public interest in the structure, local newspapers reported that at least 200,000 people would tour the temple before it opened. With a staggering number of over 7,000 visitors per day, it looked as though they would be proven correct. Once it had officially been dedicated, the Mesa Temple would remain in the limelight for years to come as leaders of the church decided to host a grand celebration of Christmas in the form of hundreds of thousands of lights. 

For over thirty years, a stunning display of lights spread elegantly across the temple grounds have drawn millions of people, locals and tourists alike, to Mesa, Arizona. Most of the year, the temple is a quiet, peaceful building that is always being put to use by the many Mormons that live in the surrounding area. At Christmas time, however, the temple grounds suddenly come alive. Musical acts are hired and free concerts are thrown every night to accompany one of the biggest light shows in the country. The lights serve as a celebration of Christmas and the birth of Christ, the very center of the LDS religion. The church broadcasts a welcome environment for all who attend the light show, from the free admission to the open visitors center waiting to teach guests about the significance of each display. 

The Mesa Arizona temple served as a beacon of hope to Latter-Day Saints spread across the western United States and beyond. Almost as old as the state itself, it has been serving faithful members of the church for an innumerable amount of years. Guests from across the world travel to Mesa to visit the holy building, wishing to participate in the Christmas lights or simply sit on the grounds and think. Whether one is a member or not, the temple will always be a pleasant experience for all who wish to visit.

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