The LDS Church’s 137th temple was dedicated on Sunday, May 6, as President Thomas S. Monson added the final mortar to the cornerstone of the Kansas City Temple.
Alex Baugh, Professor in the Church History Department at BYU, said the temple is situated in a place rich in Mormon history.
“It is in a region, Clay County, which was not only inhabited by the Saints, but a place where they were in fact welcomed following their expulsion from Jackson County,” Baugh said.
Jackson County, about 15 miles from the Kansas City Temple site, was much less tolerant to the early Mormon presence. Mormons were driven out of Jackson County in 1833.
Baugh said even though Mormons have had a rough past in Missouri, things have changed.
“Every temple has its architectural theme or motif,” Baugh said. “The motif for the Kansas City Temple is the olive leaf, which represents peace and reconciliation.”