Joseph Smith in December 1832 to build a temple in Kirtland, Ohio. The
Prophet and several others saw the Kirtland Temple in a
vision, which provided its design. Construction began
in June 1833, at a time of great poverty in the
Church. Work slowed in 1834 because many brethren were
absent with Zion's Camp. When they returned, Joseph Smith
labored with others in the sandstone quarry, and
vigorous efforts to build the temple resumed. Church
members made enormous sacrifices to complete this
"House of the Lord."
Joseph dedicated the Kirtland Temple on March 27, 1836,
repeating the ceremony several days later. Beginning in
January and continuing past the dedication, many
Church members witnessed heavenly manifestations
during this glorious season, culminating in Jesus Christ's
appearance to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to accept the
Moses, Elias, and Elijah also appeared to Joseph and Oliver
to restore priesthood
keys for the salvation of all mankind.
Most of the
Saints moved away from Kirtland in 1838. The temple fell
into disrepair, and its ownership was challenged. The
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints, now known as the Community of Christ, gained
title to the building in 1880. They restored and beautified
this sacred place and maintain it today as a historic
site with guided tours.
1. See D&C 110:7.
Literally the house of the Lord. The Lord has always commanded his people to build temples, holy buildings in which worthy Saints perform sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel for themselves and for the dead. The Lord visits his temples, and they are the most holy of all places of worship. Building and using a temple properly are signs of the true Church in any dispensation, including the restored Church in our day. The Kirtland Temple was the first temple built and dedicated to the Lord in this dispensation. Since that time temples have been dedicated in many lands across the earth (Guide to the Scriptures, Temple/House of the Lord).
Keys are the rights of presidency, or the power given to man by God to direct, control, and govern God's priesthood on earth. Priesthood holders called to positions of presidency receive keys from those in authority over them. Priesthood holders use the priesthood only within the limits outlined by those who hold the keys. The President of the Church holds all priesthood keys (see D&C 107:65–67, 91–92; 132:7; The Guide to the Scriptures, "Keys of the Priesthood," 141).
Learn more about the temple in Kirtland, Ohio.
Learn more about Joseph Smith's desire to build temples.
Click here to visit mormon.org and learn more about temples.
Learn about additional church history sites in Ohio.