Freiberg Germany Temple

The East German government approved the building of the temple on practical grounds, because of the many Latter-day Saints requesting visas to travel to Switzerland, the location of the nearest temple. The government wished to minimize citizens' travel outside the G.D.R., so they invited the Church to build a new temple inside the country. Latter-day Saints popularly attribute a hastened fall of the communist regime to the temple's presence and influence on the country. A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held for the Freiberg Temple on April 23, 1983. Thomas S. Monson presided at the ceremony. The site of the temple is 1-acre (4,000 m 2). The temple was open to the public for tours June 3-15, 1985. Those who attended the tours of the 7,840-square-foot (728 m 2) temple were able to see the exterior and its German-influenced design with gothic style arches, as well as the interior with its one ordinance room and two sealing rooms. More than 90,000 people visited the temple during the open house. The temple was dedicated on June 29-30, 1985 by Gordon B. Hinckley. After the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, Germany became the second country outside of the United States to have more than one temple, this and the Frankfurt Germany Temple. The first foreign country with more than one temple had been Canada where less than six weeks earlier on August 25, 1990, the dedication of the Toronto Ontario Temple had taken place, becoming Canada's second temple, joining the Cardston Alberta Temple which first had been dedicated in August 1923. Canada now has six temples in operation, with the Vancouver British Columbia Temple now under construction, for a total of seven Canadian temples. England would become the third country outside the United States to have a second temple when the Preston England Temple was dedicated in June 1998. Other countries with more than one temple in use are Australia with five temples open, Brazil with four in operation and two more under construction (for a total of six), Japan with two temples, one in Tokyo and one in Fukuoka, and Mexico, which has 12 temples currently in operation throughout the country. When the temple was originally built some of the best materials were not available, and the Church was not allowed to put a statue of the angel Moroni on its spire. Accordingly, renovations were conducted in 2002 which nearly doubled the square footage to 14,125 square feet (1,312.3 m 2) and added twelve oxen to support the baptismal font, a waiting room for those not able to enter the temple, a matron and brides room, as well as an office for the temple president. On December 20, 2001 an angel Moroni statue was placed on top of the temple. A second open house was held August 17-31, 2002. After renovations, Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the temple on September 7, 2002. Aside from Church members in eastern Germany, the temple serves those in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Belarus and Ukraine.

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