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New features at Ogden Temple reception tent aim to answer questions, explain LDS faith

Published: Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

Shanna Francis takes photos of paintings in the reception tent during the Ogden Utah Temple open house news media tour in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Shanna Francis takes photos of paintings in the reception tent during the Ogden Utah Temple open house news media tour in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

OGDEN, Utah—The open house for the newly remodeled Ogden Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is offering visitors something new in its reception tent at the end of the tour.

Rather than give people a brochure, refreshments and pictures of Jesus Christ, visitors will be able to end their tour by walking through a display designed to answer questions and provide further information about the temple and its role in the gospel plan, said Elder Kent F. Richards, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

"The whole concept of the reception tent is different in this temple than we've had previously. Because the open house is a walking tour only, people don't get to hear any explanations. They get to see a preview temple video before they come in, but then they don't have any opportunities to ask questions until they come to the tent," Elder Richards said Tuesday after guiding members of the media on a tour. "What we've tried to do is create a message here for people to understand how it all fits with our religious beliefs."

A statue of Christ is shown in the reception tent outside the Ogden Utah Temple in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) A statue of Christ is shown in the reception tent outside the Ogden Utah Temple in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

The display includes a smaller version of the Christus statue and art depicting Jesus Christ.

One display shows photos of ordinance rooms in the Ogden temple, accompanied by a brief explanation of each one. Next to it are biblical depictions of the Savior at the temple.

"We talk about how those ordinances and temples connected with the Savior," Elder Richards said.

The last piece is designed to show how families tie into both temples and ordinances, Elder Richards said. There is a display with a projector that will introduce visitors to FamilySearch.org, the church's family history website.

Doug Gardner, left, Jaren Campbell and Spencer Powelson look at a presentation on family history in the reception tent outside the Ogden Utah Temple in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Doug Gardner, left, Jaren Campbell and Spencer Powelson look at a presentation on family history in the reception tent outside the Ogden Utah Temple in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

"The whole purpose of temples is both ordinances for the living, but ordinances specifically for our deceased ancestors. That's why we do family history," Elder Richards said. "People will be able to take a pamphlet with them to get started with their family history."

As they leave the reception tent, visitors can step into a photo booth and get a picture in front of the Ogden Temple that will be emailed to them.

They can also pick up a small card directing them to Ogden Temple information online at mormontemples.org/ogden.

The church hopes this reception tent plan will help visitors of all faiths to better understand why temples are significant, Elder Richards said.

Volunteers look at paintings in the reception tent during the Ogden Utah Temple open house news media tour in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Volunteers look at paintings in the reception tent during the Ogden Utah Temple open house news media tour in Ogden, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

"We want it to all come together here," he said. "Previously it was just a nice message of the Savior and his life, but we want them to connect that to temples and families and see how it all plays out in our religious beliefs."

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