A Temple in Gilbert
On 26 April 2008, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans to build a new temple in Gilbert, Arizona. This will be the fourth temple in Arizona and the third temple in the Phoenix metro area.
The Gilbert Temple will have a total of three stories and a footprint of 26,000 square feet, with a spire 195 feet in total height.
The temple will be built on 15 acres at the southeast corner of Greenfield Road and Pecos Road. The site will also accommodate a future Church meetinghouse and a small ancillary building.
Latter-day Saint temples are aesthetically beautiful buildings with meticulous landscaping. Everything about the architecture is designed to honor God and complement the local community.
Temples differ from the tens of thousands of local meetinghouses throughout the world where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities — and where visitors are always welcome. Temples are used solely for the performance of sacred ordinances and religious instruction aimed at strengthening members’ relationships with God, their family and others around them.
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are houses of the Lord, the most sacred places on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God’s plan of salvation. Temple attendance strengthens Latter-day Saints’ commitment to living Christian principles, emphasizes personal spiritual growth and increases devotion to family.
On Wednesday, 5 August 2009, preliminary plans for the Gilbert Arizona Temple were presented to the town of Gilbert Planning Commission. This temple is going to be a very unique temple. It won't follow the typical pattern and paragon that has been used in many of the other temples.
The proposed site modifications — many of which stemmed from burial of unsightly utility lines — also included modifications intended to beautify the temple site, including parking lot shielding berms, a 6 to 8-foot perimeter view fence, meandering pedestrian sidewalks and a collector street center median. The Church offered to shoulder the entire expense of the costly utility line project, an act which was heartily commended by planning commissioner Chad Fuller.
On Wednesday, 2 September 2009, concept drawings presented to the public showed a temple with a single central spire rising 195 feet, with beautiful circular gardens flanking the north and south sides. The proposed height of the building and spire is consistent with nearby facilities — most notably the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center — and with other Latter-day Saint temples, which include spires as an important expression of religious devotion — a symbol of reaching to heaven.
The highly detailed exterior will feature high quality pre-cast concrete and stone accentuated with fine rustications and beautifully crafted art glass windows. The floor plan includes a sub-basement for mechanical equipment; a basement for the baptistry; a first floor for the entry, dressing rooms and administrative offices; a second floor for the chapel and instruction rooms; and a third floor for marriage rooms and waiting rooms. The wrought-iron fenced grounds will include fountains, shaded plazas and lush landscaping featuring 10 kinds of trees, 5 palm varieties and 24 species of shrubs, groundcovers and vines with trellises, arbors and pergolas placed throughout the site. A meetinghouse was also approved for the site, which will likely be built within two to four years. The two structures will share a 654-car parking lot.
Temples are not constructed with large meeting rooms like a cathedral and are not designed to hold large numbers of people at one time. Rather, they are constructed for smaller groups — of up to 100 people at a time — that attend the temple throughout the day. Sometimes several groups may overlap one another at the temple (which is closed on Sundays and Mondays).
In keeping with our standards of temple building, the materials and workmanship will be of the highest quality, and the grounds will be created and maintained to bring a sense of peace and tranquility to those who enjoy the grounds and the surrounding community.