A new Mormon temple, the only one in Pennsylvania, will be opening soon in Philadelphia and the public will be allowed to tour it before it is formally dedicated.
The new building, on the 1700 block of Vine Street, will only allow faithful Mormons inside once it is dedicated, but from Aug. 10 to Sept. 9, members of the public will have a chance to view the inside, CBS3 has reported.
“They will go [through] with a tour guide into many of the rooms and get a feel for the entire building,” spokeswoman Flora McConkie was quoted by CBS3. “[They’ll] see the beautiful craftsmanship and the workmanship of the temple itself and see the lovely murals.”
The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple, the structure’s official name, will serve around 45,000 church members after it is formally dedicated on Sept. 18 , Philly.com reported, also stating that the closest Mormon temples are currently in New York and Washington.
“Our temples are considered houses of the Lord, where the most sacred ordinances of our faith take place, for instance marriage, and our meeting houses are where we gather every Sunday for worship services,” McConkie was quoted by CBS3, which added that the tours for the public will not be offered on Sunday.
According to Mormon.org, only baptized members who are qualified and prepared are allowed to enter a temple after it is dedicated, though visitors may visit temple grounds and attend open houses prior to dedication.
The Mormon church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has more than 100 operating temples around the world.