Nearly five years after breaking ground at 1739 Vine Street, the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mormon holy place is all set to open up its grandiose doors to good-standing church members, coming to be the very first temple of the Church of Jesus Christ the Latter-day Saints in Pennsylvania.

On Monday morning, members that the media toured the temple and a obtained a class in the teachings that the LDS church. Church elder Larry Wilson take it the team on a two-hour-long tourism of the 61,466-square-foot temple, which stands in stark comparison to the simple meeting house across the street that is open to the public.

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"The Meeting home is fairly plain compared to the temple," Wilson said. "We look for to construct our temples from the best materials. They"re developed to was standing forever."

The an initial thing one may notice as quickly as the doors close up door behind them is just how eerily quiet the space is, regardless of being right alongside the Vine Street Expressway. That"s due to the fact that the temple, i m sorry is just open come church members in an excellent standing, is design to be a "haven for people to leave behind the world, gain their bearings, and also draw closer to God," describes Wilson.


The Foyer

From a large courtyard, members the the church can walk through the former doors of the temple and also enter the main foyer. From this suggest forward, just church members in great standing have the right to proceed right into the temple by presenting your member map to the prior desk. Guests of the members deserve to stay in the waiting rooms top top both sides of the desk.


It"s in this room where the ode come Philadelphia"s background begins, note Wilson. There are multiple motifs to the city uncovered throughout the temple. Come the ideal of the desk, for example, is a tiny seating area with a painting of the establishing fathers signing the U.S. Structure in independence Hall in 1783. Like all of the artwork in the temple, this paint was commissioned by an LDS artist.

"It"s one unusual painting for an LDS temple," claims Wilson, "But we think it"s a exorbitant fitting for a temple in Philadelphia."


Baptismal Font

The room where baptisms take place is located down a corridor to the left the the foyer. Here, church members can be i was baptized in the heated pool as representatives for their deceased ancestors. Baptisms for living church members take location in the meeting house throughout the street.

Again, the Philadelphia motifs continue. The wood-top railing surrounding the baptismal font was affected by the stairs railing in the Franklin Institute. It also features a motif the the hill laurel blossom, Pennsylvania"s state flower.

The baptismal font is organized up through 12 oxen, which represent the dozen animals that hosted up the Molten Sea, a large baptismal container built by Solomon in Jerusalem.

The mural in the background is just one of the only depictions that the church"s founder Joseph smith in any kind of LDS temple, states Wilson. The item of art mirrors Smith being baptized in the Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania.


Celestial Room

Each increasing level of the temple functions elevated finishes and also architectural detailing, which reflects the church"s belief that members continually become "closer come God." The Celestial Room on the third level is taken into consideration one of the most stunning and sacred spaces the the temple and reflects the readjust in finishes.

A church member visiting from Connecticut wiped tears away as Wilson defined the room"s definition while standing under the massive, Swarovski decision chandelier designed by Schonbek of brand-new York City.

"The Celestial room is the maximum atmosphere for contemplation and also prayer," he explains.

Church members can pertained to this extravagant and also extremely quiet room because that minutes come hours, states Wilson. In fact, all members generally speak in whispers when in the Temple.

The room is flanked through Corinthian columns—Doric and Ionic architectural layouts are also found throughout the temple. The millwork to be designed through Fetzer Millwork agency of Salt Lake City, Utah and also is minimal and also inspired by Philadelphia architecture sources, including Independence Hall and also Christ Church.

Says Wilson, "As beautiful together it is now, you must see at night."


Sealing Room

The final and also fourth floor that the temple attributes four sealing rooms, where marital relationship ceremonies and also "sealing ceremonies" take it place. The Mormon church considers sealing the "culminating ordinance," in i m sorry couples and also families kneel in the center of the room v their hands on optimal of every other and also are so-called sealed together.

All that the exterior art glass, consisting of that found in this sealing room, was designed through Perkins + Will functions white panels with beige and also blue accents. The home windows in the sealing room and the celestial room both encompass a radiating arch through scallops and roundels bordering a sunburst.

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The temple begins tours for the public on respectable 10 through September 9 except on Sundays, once the temple is closed.