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The Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are wonderful places. Living in DC, when people find out I’m Mormon, typically one of the first questions I field is something along the lines of, “So do you go to church at that big building off the Beltway?” What a great and easy opportunity to explain a bit more about my faith. The Washington DC Temple is as much a part of the social fabric of the area as the Lincoln Memorial. Oh yes. Exact same level.

In case you’ve missed it, the Provo City Center Temple is up for dedication on March 20 of this year, making it the 150th LDS temple in current operation. (If you ask me, they’ve deliberately stretched out the construction timeline so those monsters in Tijuana didn’t take the sesquicentenarian crown.) What a crazy milestone. I remember in 1999 when President Hinckley challenged the Church to get up to 100 temples by the end of 2000, ushering in an era of so-called “mini” temples.

While it’s taken sixteen years to bump up the next 50, we’ve also returned to a more deliberate pace of temple construction, even if many of the buildings follow a general template.

To help celebrate the Church’s 150th temple and the 180th anniversary of the dedication of the first temple of this dispensation, LDS.org has a great article about the history, meaning, and purpose of temples. Give it a read. Ponder what it says. See if it’s worth sharing. Personally, I feel that one of our best avenues for missionary work is simple public relations, doing our best to do away with misconceptions and educate the public on Mormonism. And if someone wants to know more in a truth-seeking context, awesome. Make it rain.

If you click the image above, you’ll see a nice, high-res image of all temples in the Church – dedicated, announced, under construction, etc.