Connecticut Mormon Temple Approved
The official plan to build the first Mormon temple in Connecticut for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was approved Tuesday, June 19, 2012, by the town’s Plan and Zoning Commission. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often misnamed the “Mormon Church”) believes that a Mormon temple is, quite literally, a House of God. Mormon temples are the most sacred places on earth to faithful Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”).
In a House of God, faithful Latter-day Saints make covenants with God to live a higher law and to more strictly adhere to His commandments. The blessings which God promises in Mormon temples to those who remain faithful to their covenants are wonderful and eternal. However, because the consequences for breaking these covenants are also eternal, entrance is restricted to those who are already proving themselves to be living a higher law. Standards for entering Mormon temples (or Houses of God) are very high.
Though several residents objected to the construction of the temple on the basis that the location of the new building would add to the already heavy traffic congestion on Route 4, the plan was unanimously approved by the commission. The plan calls for a 35,000-square-foot building made of white granite and topped by a tall steeple with a statue of the angel Moroni.
Despite objections by some, other citizens are enthusiastic about the project. Jean Gorcyzka said, “I am not a Mormon but I am so enthusiastic about these people coming to town. I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful project.” It seems most concerns are based on the traffic considerations as well as the loss of taxable land, since religious organizations are exempt from land tax. However, Commission Chairman Phil Dunn pointed out to those concerned that the previous year the commission had approved the location for a school to be built, along with two more office buildings, which would have drastically increased the traffic. “So what we’re really doing,” Dunn said, “Is taking 11 acres of potential office buildings and schools and substituting it with literally what’s already there. In the morning it will lighten the load. From a traffic perspective, it’s beneficial.”
Kerry Nielsen, project manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stated that construction on the Connecticut Mormon Temple is scheduled to begin in September 2012 and is estimated to last two years. Once the Mormon temple is completed, it will be open to the public during an open house. During this time, citizens can take a free tour of the building and learn more about what goes on in the House of God.
The Connecticut Mormon Temple will be built on 11 acres between Melrose Drive and Bridgewater Road. As with most Mormon temples, it will have beautifully landscaped formal gardens, which will be open to the public. The property will hold two other buildings: a 2,094-square-foot house for a caretaker couple and a 753-square-foot utility building. The planned buildings and parking lot will cover just more than 36 percent of the 11-acres.