The newly-built Urdaneta Philippines Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now ready for its momentous dedication on the 28th of April. This new house of worship is the third Latter-day Saint temple in the country and the first in Northern Luzon.

The Urdaneta Philippines Temple is also the 190th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ. Located in the southern part of Urdaneta along MacArthur Highway, this new place of worship artfully combines Asian influences with a modern interpretation of local Spanish colonial elements.

DESIGN

The motifs used throughout the temple evoke the mango and the sampaguita flower (Jasminum sambac), the national flower of the Philippines. This lovely white jasmine species is native to Southeast Asia. It is culturally and symbolically significant to the Filipino people, representing purity. simplicity, humility and strength. The windows showcase art glass in shades of gold, pink, purple and green. The art glass design features a bouquet of sampaguita flowers supported by three vertical bands.

There are four original paintings in the temple: “Continually Flowing” by Jason Rich, “Triumphal Entry” by Albin Veselka, “Llocos Fields” by Kimbal Warren and “Wings of Morning” by Elspeth Young.

BUILDING

The temple is adorned with “golden sand” granite sourced from China, a stunning golden, off-white stone that contrasts with the lush greenery of the
surrounding landscape. Inspired by Spanish colonial buildings in the Philippines, rounded corners embellish the exterior, culminating in upturned edges adorned with sampaguita flower motifs, paying homage to the Asian influence. Carved stone headers on the windows draw inspiration from decorative ventilation grills found on traditional buildings, while uniquely Asian mango pendants grace the corners.

Urdaneta

Adjacent to the temple is a 2,099 square meter (22,593 square foot) ancillary building to provide services to temple patrons. This includes an arrival center and housing for Latter-day Saints who must travel long distances to worship at the temple. The auxiliary building contains apartments for the volunteer temple presidency, who manages the temple’s day-to-day operations. There is also a distribution center where Church members can purchase ceremonial clothing, scriptures and gospel study materials.
Also on the site is a 317 square meter (3,412 square foot) utility building in the rear corner of the property. ensuring the smooth operation of the facilities.

LATTER-DAY SAINT TEMPLES

Latter-day Saint temples are considered houses of God, places of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. They provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God. They are also the place where the highest sacraments of the faith occur-the marriage of couples and the “sealing” of families for eternity.
Temples serve as the only place where ceremonies such as baptism and eternal marriage can be performed in behalf of those who have died, a practice that Latter-day Saints believe was followed in New Testament times but that later was lost. Temples point Latter-day Saints to Jesus Christ and their eventual life with Him, their Heavenly Father and their family members on the condition of faithfulness to Christ’s teachings.

Urdaneta

The interior of Latter-day Saint temples does not resemble a great hall or cathedral. Temples consist of a number of rooms designed to accommodate certain functions such as marriages, baptisms and religious instructional sessions. Inside temples, Church members change into simple, modest, white clothing before taking part in temple ceremonies. The white clothing symbolizes purity and equality before God.

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from meeting houses or chapels, where members meet for Sunday worship services. Each temple is considered a “house of the Lord,” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve others.

As of today, there are only three fully-built Latter-Day Saint temples in the Philippines. The first one is located at White Plains, Quezon City, the other is in Cebu and now at Urdaneta. Nine more local temples were announced in the following locations:

  • Alabang
  • Cagayan De Oro
  • Davao
  • IloIlo
  • Laoag
  • Naga
  • Santiago
  • Tacloban
  • Tuguegarao

OPEN HOUSE

The First Presidency of the Church has announced that an open house will be held from Monday, March 18, 2024, to Saturday, March 30, 2024 except Sunday, March 24. The open house gives people of all faiths the opportunity to tour the temple’s beautiful interior and grounds and learn about the purpose of these sacred structures. Tours are free, and no reservations are needed.

Urdaneta

More information is available at UrdanetaTemple.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Present during the media event were Elder Kevin R. Duncan (Temple Department Exec Council), Elder Steven Bangerter (General Authority Seventy), Elder Yoon Hwan Choi (General Authority Seventy), and Elder Carlos Revillo (General Authority Seventy).

Following the public open house, the temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, April 28. President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, the Church’s highest governing body, will preside at the dedication.

Two sessions will be held on April 28 at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (Philippines Time). Additional details, including local broadcast information regarding the temple dedication will be announced at a later date. 

The temple is located at MacArthur Highway, Brgy. Nancayasan, Urdaneta City. It is 3,029 square meters and 41.6 meters high. The temple reflects both the Spanish and Asian influences on the Philippines and contains design references to the mango and the sampaguita flower.

There are more than 850,000 Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. Currently, Church members in Northern Luzon must travel to either Manila or Cebu to worship in a temple. The Philippines has the fourth-largest population of Latter-day Saints of any country in the world, and members worship in more than 1,200 congregations.

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