Building of the Washington D.C. Temple was announced on December 7, 1968 followed by a groundbreaking ceremony on the same day. A very large plot of land on a wooded hill was bought in 1962 and only eleven acres were cleared for the temple. The rest of the land was left untouched to give the temple a remote feeling.
The temple was designed to be similar in style and form to the Salt Lake Temple so that it would be easily recognized as a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was estimated that it would cost fifteen million dollars to build the Washington D.C. Temple and members of the Church that would be attending the temple were asked to help in providing at least four and a half million dollars. Local members eventually raised six million dollars.
The Washington D.C. Temple's angel Moroni statue, which sits atop the tallest tower, is eighteen feet tall and weighs two tons. Another interesting feature is that the temple appears to not have any windows. From the inside, however, the thinly cut marble appears translucent. At a completion ceremony the First Presidency buried a metal box with historical items near a corner of the temple. During the first week of the temple open house government officials and diplomats from around the world were taken on special tours through the temple.
The open house continued for seven weeks and over 750,000 people went through the Washington D.C. Temple. The high number of people that attended the open house was due mostly to the large amount of coverage that the temple and Church received as the temple neared completion. Articles were printed in Time, Newsweek, and World Report. There was also a large press conference held that introduced the temple and Spencer W. Kimball, the Prophet and President of the Church at the time. Demand for tickets to the open house was high and the tickets were gone before the first day of tours and times were extended to accommodate more people.
Ten dedicatory sessions were held for the Washington D.C. Temple between November 19 and November 22, 1974. Over 40,000 members were able to attend the dedicatory services. The Washington D.C. temple has a total floor area of 160,000 square feet, making it the third largest LDS temple. It holds six ordinance rooms and fourteen sealing rooms.
The rail line which contains the bridge is the old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Metropolitan Branch, now owned by CSX Transportation, which operates the MARC Brunswick Line and various freight trains on that branch. The phrase is visible from the eastern side of the bridge, and is the second of three bridges over the Beltway approaching from the east, with Seminary Road before it, and Linden Lane after it.
Mormon newsletters have cited the graffiti as an example of the misunderstanding of their religion.
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