More Than 100,000 Guests Tour New Fort Collins Colorado Temple

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 12 October 2016

Russell McClure conducts a tour through the Fort Collins Colorado Temple on August 17.  Photo by John Clarke.

Article Highlights

  • Government, business, academic, religious, and judicial leaders visited the temple.
  • The temple dedication will be October 16 in three sessions.

“The English language does not adequately describe what it feels like to have a temple here.” —George F. Rhodes, chairman of the local coordinating committee

More than 105,000 guests toured the new Fort Collins Colorado Temple during a three-week public open house held from August 19 through September 10. Many local government, business, academic, religious, and judicial leaders from Colorado and Wyoming visited the Church’s 153rd temple during the open house.

“We had a variety of state and local officials, as well as a number of leaders of other churches in the area who visited the temple,” said George F. Rhodes, chairman of the local coordinating committee for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple.

The temple, announced by President Thomas S. Monson on April 2, 2011, is the second temple for the state of Colorado and will serve the approximately 44,000 Church members from 13 stakes living in the temple district, which includes northern Colorado, southern Wyoming, and a small portion of Nebraska.

“The English language does not adequately describe what it feels like to have a temple here,” said Brother Rhodes.

The temple is 57 miles north of Denver and sits on the southeast corner of the intersection of Trilby Road and Timberline Road in Fort Collins. A local meetinghouse sits across the street from the 15-acre temple site.

The 44,000-square-foot temple stands 112 feet tall and features art glass with a mountain flora motif representing the Rocky Mountain vegetation that surrounds the sacred building. The interior features stone from Iran and Turkey and houses an original oil-painting wall mural depicting local landscapes.

“People reported that they enjoyed peaceful feelings as they visited the temple,” said Brother Rhodes. “Day after day people felt peaceful, they felt calm, they noted all of the art that depicts the life and ministry of Christ.”

Fiona Han, Mary Han, and Leo Han exit the temple after they toured the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Photo by John Clarke.

Wayne Boss, Alex McNeil, Erin C McNeil, Corbin McNeil, Ryan McNeil, Taylor McNeil, Leslee Boss, and David S Boss enjoy the Fort Collins Colorado Temple open house. Photo by John Clarke.

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray and his wife, Karen, stand outside the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Photo by John Clarke.

In addition to many prominent government and faith leaders, community members enjoyed touring the building. Brother Rhodes said people of other Christian denominations noticed the painting of Esther in the brides' room of the temple, and many other guests asked about the oxen in the baptismal font.

“A wonderful minister and his wife had a variety of questions while they were going through the baptistry,” said Brother Rhodes. “I think they were at least mildly surprised … as they heard there were similarities in what we do.”

Many of the guests were surprised to find smaller rooms, rather than one large assembly room.

“People came expecting this big cavernous room,” Brother Rhodes said. “And then there is an opportunity to talk about things that we share. People are almost always touched by the concept of eternal marriage.”

Just as important as the visitors to the temple were the hundreds of volunteers who gave their time to be a part of the open house.

“It was a wonderful experience [for visitors], but to me, as remarkable as the guests were, it was amazing [to see] volunteers that came to supervise parking, to usher, to make sure the physical facilities were clean, to host, or play music, … all the way from Wyoming to Nebraska,” he said. “What I saw was members enjoying working side-by-side. People are so thrilled to have a temple here—everybody wanted to be involved.”

It didn’t matter if it was cleaning the temple after hours at night or playing music in the information tent for guests to enjoy, Church members were eager to participate and enjoyed being a part of the temple events.

“They showed up early in the morning and stayed until late at night,” Brother Rhodes said.

Church leaders will dedicate the temple on October 16 in three dedicatory sessions. A cultural celebration for the youth is scheduled for the evening of October 15. Elder Ronald A. Rasband presided over the groundbreaking ceremony on August 24, 2013.

The Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Photo by John Clarke.

Hundreds of Church members served as volunteers during the three-week temple open house prior to the dedication of the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. A reception tent outside the temple allowed visitors to learn more about temples and the doctrines of the gospel. Photo by John Clarke.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams; Senator Cory Gardner; Senator Michael Bennet; Elder Thomas T. Priday, Area Seventy; and Brother George F. Rhodes talk outside the Fort Collins Colorado Temple during the open house. Photo by John Clarke.

Elder Wilford W. Andersen speaks with Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. Photo by John Clarke.

Young women and young men volunteer during the Fort Collins Colorado Temple open house. Photo by John Clarke.

A volunteer helps Fort Collins City Councilmember Gerry Horak put on shoe protectors prior to his tour through the temple. Photo by John Clarke.

Sister missionaries greet Nicholas Morse, state Senator Laura Woods, former Congressman Bob Schaffer, Maureen Schaffer, Ruth Ann Everett, and Randy Everett. Seated on the back row is Elder Wilford W. Andersen and Bob Morain of the Fort Collins Stake public affairs committee. Photo by John Clarke.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and his wife, Carol, arrive for their temple tour. Photo by John Clarke.

Hundreds of Church members served as volunteers during the three-week temple open house prior to the dedication of the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. A reception tent outside the temple allowed visitors to learn more about temples and the doctrines of the gospel. Photo by John Clarke.

A children's choir from the Westminster Colorado Stake stands outside the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Photo by John Clarke.

Elder Thomas T. Priday, Area Seventy, and his wife pose outside the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Photo by John Clarke.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman enjoy the pre-tour presentation before entering the Fort Collins Colorado Temple during the open house. Photo by John Clarke.

Jasmine Jacobs performs for visitors in the information tent outside the Fort Collins Colorado Temple during the open house. Photo by John Clarke.

State Representative Perry Buck and U.S. Congressman Ken Buck stand outside the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Photo by John Clarke.

Carolyn Conover, a visitor from Hawaii, stands with her son and daughter during the open house of the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Photo by John Clarke.

Lolly Clarke, one of the last of the 105,000 visitors to the Fort Collins Colorado Temple, exits the temple. Photo by John Clarke.

A volunteer helps the Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, Archbishop of Denver, prepare to enter the recently completed Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Many civic and faith leaders visited the temple during the three-week open house. Photo by John Clarke.

More than 105,000 visitors toured the Fort Collins Colorado Temple during the three-week open house. Photo by John Clarke.