Mormon Temple Oklahoma City Oklahoma
Image by More Good Foundation
The groundbreaking for the Oklahoma Mormon Temple took place on July 3, 1999, in Yukon, Oklahoma. During the groundbreaking ceremony local Church leader David Lawton spoke of the tornado that had devastated the area just two months earlier: “I feel, in looking back, that there was a great purpose of the Lord in the tornado: (1) It strengthened us – helped us all remember how temporary the things of this world are. [They are] not to be relied on, and (2) It… temper[ed] opposition to our Temple.”
Before the tornado there was a great deal of uncertainty and misunderstanding about the Mormons and their Church. But, after the devastating tornado, there were over 100,000 Mormons from Oklahoma and neighboring states who gave aid to those families, businesses, schools and churches in need. Those in the Mormon Church who gave help in the community caused others to view the Mormons in a different light.
Although it was devastating, many local members of the Mormon Church agreed that the tornado helped prepare the way for the Oklahoma Temple to be built in that community. Church leaders were able to move forward with the building of the Temple without any substantial difficulty or resistance.
The Oklahoma Temple open house began on July 15, 2000, with over forty thousand visitors touring the Temple in the seven-day period.