Independence Temple Missouri, USA

Independence Temple Missouri, USA

The Temple in Independence, Missouri: A Beacon of Peace and Spirituality

Located against the skyline of Independence, Missouri, the Temple stands as more than just a house of worship; it is a evidence to the pursuit of peace. Dominating the landscape, it serves as the focal point of the headquarters of the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Built in response to a revelation presented at the 1984 World Conference by church prophet-president Wallace B. Smith, the temple symbolizes the culmination of instructions shared over 150 years by prior prophet-presidents within the Community of Christ.

Architectural Splendor

Designed by the renowned architect Gyo Obata, the temple is a marvel that evokes the spiral shell of the nautilus. A stainless steel spire, rising 300 feet into the sky, captures the attention of all who gaze upon it. The facility is not merely a structure; it is a canvas displaying a collection of modern and traditional religious art from around the world. The entrance to the sanctuary, marked by an etched glass archway depicting the Sacred Grove where Joseph Smith had his initial revelatory experience, invites worshippers into a transformative space.

Independence Temple Missouri, USA

The worshipper’s path, crafted from textured stone, gently ascends and spirals around the temple’s periphery, adorned with artworks and a fountain symbolizing the “living water” of John 4:10, fostering a meditative focus. The main sanctuary, with seating for approximately 1,600, boasts a Casavant pipe organ with 60 stops, 102 ranks, and 5685 pipes. The exit foyer, located at the mouth of the spiral, features a large stained glass wall titled “The Field is White, Already to Harvest” (see John: 4:35), depicting rice and wheat. This masterpiece earned the temple an American Institute of Architects award for religious art. Massive bronze exit doors carry the church seal portraying the peaceful lion, lamb, and child from Isaiah 11:6, along with the word “PEACE.” Wide steps lead to a world plaza adorned with a global map of inlaid brick.

Welcoming the Public

More than a place of worship, the temple extends a warm welcome to the public. Each day at 1:00 p.m. Central Time, a Daily Prayer for Peace is held on behalf of a selected nation. Visitors are encouraged to explore a meditation chapel, featuring paintings by Jack Garnier depicting Sacraments being performed around the world. This tranquil space opens onto a Japanese-style meditation garden, catering to the needs of individuals or small groups of visitors. Beyond its spiritual offerings, the temple houses the church archives, the Temple School, administrative offices of church headquarters, theaters for visitors, meetings, presentations, and classes, along with a museum and gift shop. The building has evolved into a popular attraction, with guided tours available, attracting approximately 60,000 people each year.

Building Independence Temple Missouri, USA

Temple Ministries and Symbolism

The temple stands as a powerful symbol of the church’s mission, closely intertwined with the denomination’s evolving theology of Zion or the peaceable Kingdom of God. It transcends private ceremonies, remaining open to everyone. Sacraments performed within its walls include communion, administration to the sick through the laying on of hands, and priesthood ordination. In response to the temple’s construction, six temple ministries centers were established, embodying the church’s commitment to Jesus Christ.

According to Ken Robinson, a former member of the First Presidency, the temple “gives form to our commitment to Jesus Christ” and is “at the center of meaning and identity for members of the Community of Christ.”

Temple Lot and Legacy

The temple’s historical roots delve into the prophecy of Joseph Smith, the great-grandfather of Wallace B. Smith and founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. In 1831, Joseph Smith prophesied that a temple to the Lord would be built in Jackson County. The early Latter Day Saints purchased a 73-acre parcel known as the “greater temple lot,” with a portion dedicated as the site for a temple. Unfortunately, church members were driven from the county before construction began, and the original temple site is now owned by the Church of Christ (Temple Lot).

The Community of Christ’s temple stands on the greater temple lot, alongside the Auditorium, the headquarters chapel of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot), and a visitor center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Community of Christ also maintains the temple in Kirtland, Ohio, the first temple built by Latter Day Saints. This site, open as a National Historic Landmark, continues to serve as a place of worship and education.

The Independence Temple in Missouri stands not only as a physical structure but as a beacon of peace, spirituality, and community. With its rich history, architectural grandeur, and commitment to inclusivity, it has become a symbol of the church’s mission and identity. As it opens its doors to the world, the temple invites all to experience the profound pursuit of peace and spiritual enlightenment within its sacred walls.

Further Information On Independence Temple Missouri, USA

Date Construction Started: April 6, 1990

Date Opened: April 17, 1994

Cost Of Building: $58 million

Architect: Gyo Obata     

Architectural Style: Deconstructivism

Size Or Floor Area: N/A

Height: 91 meters

Function Or Purpose: Church

Address: 1001 W Walnut St, Independence, MO 64050, USA

Phone Number: +1 816-833-1000


Opening Hours: Tue-Wed: 09:00-16:00

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