Elder Kent F. Richards, executive director of the temple department for the LDS Church, conducted a tour of the Provo City Center Temple with local and national media and remarked on his experience live via an interview on Periscope afterward.
“This is a very favorable media market because many people know about the church and its purposes and temples,” Elder Richards said.
He said the media was respectful and asked “wonderful” questions. On the tour, he said he explained the place that ordinances performed in the temples hold in Mormon theology to reporters.
The Provo City Center temple is the 150th temple built by the Church and more temples will be built to serve growing populations of church membership around the world, Elder Richards said. The most recent temples announced will be built in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Port-Au-Prince, Haiti; and Bangkok, Thailand.
Elder Richards said that the majority of church membership is now outside of the United States and that temples will be built regardless of remote locations to serve members where they live.
“The open house is where we allow anyone and everyone to see the rooms, the artwork, the beauty, the structure itself,” Richards said.
Reservations initially were available online Jan. 4th. The initial block tour reservations were filled within hours of their release, causing the website to crash. Additional reservations will be available Jan. 11 at 6:00 p.m. on templeopenhouse.lds.org. Elder Richards said that 500,000 will be released over the next six weeks. Tours begin Jan. 15 and end March 5.