The Chicago Illinois Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is located in Glenview, a suburb located about twenty miles north of the actual city of Chicago, and sits on 13 acres of land, known as "The Grove." This area is famous for its wildflowers, birds, and grasslands. It took the Mormon Church over two years to search for the land and ultimately gain the approval of all the governmental agencies and regulations surrounding the constructing of the actual building. They faced much opposition from groups concerned with the appearance the building would have, and visual effect it would have on the area.
The Chicago Illinois Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
At the groundbreaking ceremony, President Gordon B. Hinckley prophet of the church tried to allay the fears of the local residents as he promised, "We promise that what we will do here will be beautiful and will enhance rather than diminish the charm of this lovely area." The church has made good on this promise as they have taken great measures to preserve the native landscape on the temple grounds themselves. There are large trees and beautiful lawns with surround the building which creates a perfect peaceful setting for a house of the Lord.
Because of the contributions of the faithful members in the area, the landscaping was funded in part with "temple pennies" donated by children who lived in this temple district. Other saints offered their talents and time to provide for the beautiful furnishings inside of the temple itself. They felt gratitude to be able to offer help in any way they could to further the construction of this beautiful structure.
Splendor at Night
When the temple construction was complete, there was an "Open House" in which the general public was invited to tour the building before it was formally dedicated as a Temple to the Lord. More than one hundred thousand people walked through the halls of this building, in awe of its beauty and learning of its purpose. Some visitors even made comments like, "an obvious place of devotion," "everyone should feel closer to God in this special place," and "I felt the hand of God."
Temples Each temple is dedicated as a house of the Lord Jesus Christ, a place of holiness and peace, set apart from the world.
Mormon Temples Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" (Doctrine & Covenants 109:8)
The Chicago Temple was dedicated in August 1985 by President Gordon B. Hinckley, two years to the date of the actual ground breaking ceremony which was in August 1983. There were twenty-four thousand church members in attendance over a series of nineteen dedicatory ceremonies. In the prayer itself President Hinckley pleaded with the Lord, "Bless the officers of this state and nation that they shall stand firmly for those principles of freedom and equity which were written into the Constitution of the United States under thine inspiration. May this holy house, built in peace and dedicated in faith, stand as a testimony that the oppression of the past has faded." This was a prayer of healing offered by a servant of God. This particular temple was the first to be built in the Midwestern United States since the building of the Nauvoo Temple, which was begun during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, and was destroyed by mobs.