The Atlanta Mormon Temple will open to the public starting April 9 for a rare glimpse inside the holy building.
The temple, located on Barfield Road in Sandy Springs, has been closed since July 2009 for renovations.
Dena Brett, director of public affairs, said the temple has been updated inside and out.
“The temple underwent a complete renovation. All code updates which may have occurred in the last 28 years were done,” Brett wrote in an e-mail. “Everything about the architecture is designed to honor God and complement the local community.”
The temple’s iconic statue of the angel Moroni blowing a trumpet, which sits atop the spire, was re-leafed in gold, Brett said.
Large windows were added to the celestial room to bring in more natural light and stained glass windows were added in other parts of the temple. One of the front entrances was torn down and reworked into a natural landscape.
Atlanta media outlets toured the temple April 7. The multi-million dollar restoration included decorative details such Swarovski crystal chandeliers, wood work and sculpted carpets.
“The temple was beautiful to begin with but after 28 years things get dated,” said Elder William Walker, executive director of the temple department for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. “We try to put in the finest materials and finest workmanship as it was in the Old Testament.”
The renovated temple will be open for public viewing through April 23.
“Tours of the temple are free and open to everyone, however, reservations are required,” Brett said in an e-mail. “Over 61,000 visitors came through at its first public opening 30 years ago.”
To reserve a tour, go to www.lds.org/reservations or call 1-866-537-8457.
Originally dedicated in 1983, the Atlanta Temple is the only Mormon Temple in the state of Georgia and was the first temple in the Southeast. There are about 150 temples worldwide.
The temple is considered to be a sacred building that is used only for special religious ceremonies such as baptisms and marriages.
Mormons hold Sunday services in church meetinghouses or chapels, which are open to visitors.
The temple will be rededicated May 1.
After the church is dedicated with a special prayer, only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will be allowed to enter the temple.
“Before the temple is dedicated it is a beautiful edifice in the world that all desiring guests may enter. Once it is dedicated, in essence given back to the Lord, it is considered holy ground and no worldliness should enter. Worthy LDS members attend who have decided to take upon themselves greater covenants with the Lord than those practiced in their everyday lives and on the Sabbath,” Brett wrote in an e-mail.