Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Multitudes throng Preston Temple

Published: Saturday, May 30, 1998

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Multitudes have continued to throng the new Preston England Temple during the second week of a two-week public open house prior to its dedication June 7-10.

As of Tuesday, May 26, an estimated 70,000 people had viewed the inside of the temple, with its four ordinance rooms and four sealing rooms, said Bryan J. Grant, director of public affairs in the Church's Europe North Area."In fact, on Saturday, May 23, we made a presentation to the 50,000th person to go through," Brother Grant said.

Actually, gifts were given to a Chorley couple and the members of their three-generation family who came to tour the temple: Andrew and Carole Dewhurst, accompanied by their son Edward and by Carole's father, Jim Sumner. Not members of the Church, they each received a small copy of the Church's triple combination, a lace handkerchief embroidered with a representation of the Preston Temple, a Tabernacle Choir compact disc and a voucher for a meal for two at a nearby restaurant.

The presentations were made by Elder John Maxwell, an Area Authority Seventy.

"What has been absolutely remarkable," Brother Grant said, "is the reaction of the people coming out.

"One lady said that over the week she had been troubled by recurring dreams of walking through a large building with corridors. She came to the temple and recognized it as being like the building in her dream. She is now being taught by the missionaries."

An elderly lady who looked a bit lost was approached by one of the ushers, Brother Grant recounted. The usher asked if he could help her. She responded with a question: "Where does one go to be baptized?"

"Needless to say, we were able to help her," Brother Grant said.

Another temple visitor drove up on a motorcyle. A member of a local chapter of a well-known motorcycle club, he had come, he said, to look over the temple on behalf of the chapter. After the tour, he approached a security guard and said, "I wish my life had the peace and tranquility you have in the temple," Brother Grant recounted.

John Phillipson, a Church member who visited the temple, said an elderly man whose house overlooks the sacred structure had been opposed to the temple from the start. After touring it, he sought out Elder Cecil O. Samuelson of the Seventy and Europe North Area president, and told him now that he had been inside, he understood more and was no longer opposed to it. He asked if it would be permissable for him to stroll around the grounds occasionally in the evening. Elder Samuelson told him that would be fine.

"Quite a few people have mentioned the same thing: that even though they could not go in the temple, they were glad to be allowed to visit the grounds," Brother Phillipson said.