Canada's eighth temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officially open its doors this fall when the Calgary Alberta Temple is dedicated.
According to an announcement issued by the church's First Presidency Wednesday morning, the new temple will be dedicated during three dedicatory sessions on Sunday, Oct. 28. On the previous evening, the temple's dedication will be celebrated in music and dance by local church members and visiting dignitaries during a special cultural commemoration.
As is customary with the opening of new LDS temples, the public will be invited to tour the recently completed building during an open house conducted Sept. 29 through Oct. 20. Free reservations for the open house can be made online through www.calgarymormontemple.org (the website's reservations function is not currently working, but officials indicate it will be operational "in the coming weeks").
The Calgary Alberta Temple is the third LDS temple in the province of Alberta, joining similar structures in Cardston and Edmonton in serving the needs of more than 77,000 Latter-day Saints who live in the province.
The LDS Church has been firmly entrenched in southern Alberta since the 1880s, when Mormons settled there while working on the Canadian Pacific Railroad between Medicine Hat and Calgary. There were also significant efforts made by the church to establish LDS colonies in the area. In 1895 the Alberta Stake (an organizational unit much like a Catholic diocese, consisting of a number of local congregations) was organized, the first LDS stake outside the United States.
The new temple was announced by LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson in October 2008. It has been built in northwest Calgary on a "beautiful site with a panoramic view of the city," according to Elder Richard K. Melchin, an LDS church leader based in the Calgary area. Access to the temple will be enhanced by new light rail and beltway projects that have been recently completed.
Once the temple is dedicated it will be open only to active Latter-day Saints who have been recommended by their respective ecclesiastical leaders to participate in religious sacraments — including proxy baptism for the dead and marriages "for time and all eternity" — that Mormons consider to be sacred. Regular weekly LDS worship services are held in neighborhood meetinghouses and are open to anyone who wishes to attend, regardless of religious affiliation.