Courtesy LDS Church
Groundbreaking services for the Hartford Connecticut Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 11 a.m.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Construction work will begin on Connecticut's first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints following groundbreaking ceremonies for the Hartford Connecticut Temple on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 11 a.m. local time.

The new temple is actually located in Farmington, a suburb just west of Hartford, on the corner of Farmington Avenue and Melrose Drive. Because parking is limited on the temple site, attendance at the groundbreaking is by invitation only. However, church officials say the proceedings will be broadcast via satellite to LDS meetinghouses in the area for those who are interested.

Plans to build a temple in the Hartford area were originally announced by LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1992. When a suitable location for the temple could not be acquired, the Connecticut plans were scrapped in favor of new temples in Boston and White Plains, N.Y.

The Boston Massachusetts Temple, the church's 100th operating temple, was completed in 2000. The temple planned for White Plains became the Harrison New York Temple, plans for which were eventually set aside following the completion of the Manhattan New York Temple.

In 2010, President Thomas S. Monson announced that the church was once again planning to build a temple in the Hartford area, much to the delight of Connecticut's 15,000-plus Latter-day Saints. The Hartford Temple will be the second of its kind in New England, and one of 171 LDS temples in use, under construction or in the planning stages around the world.

According to an LDS Church press release, "temples differ from the church's chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services."

"Temples are considered 'houses of the Lord,' and are used by faithful members of the church for marriages, baptisms and ordinances intended to provide eternal family relationships," the press release continued.

When the temple is completed and prior to its formal dedication, members of the community will be invited to tour the new temple during a special open house period. Following its dedication, the temple will only be open to church members who are approved by local ecclesiastical leaders.

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