The Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple
is the 104th operating temple
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
. It is located in Florence
, now a neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska
and formerly an independent city.
is considered hallowed ground for the members of the LDS Church. It was the site where early members of the LDS Church settled after they were driven out of Nauvoo, Illinois
. It was also where many Mormons, including many who came from Europe, encamped before crossing the plains to the Salt Lake Valley
. The area is home to many graves of the Mormon pioneers
who died on their journey. More than 2,000 members of the Church died at Winter Quarters due to heavy storms, scurvy
, and inadequate food and shelter.
The new temple was built next to the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery
and visitors' center. During the groundbreaking ceremony conducted by Elder Truman F. Clawson on 28 November 1999, he said, "Now today on this end of the hill, we will take shovels in our hands to dig not a grave but the foundation of a special building, a temple."
In preparation for the open house, members of the Church and the community of Florence, Nebraska
worked together creating handcrafted flowers for storefronts and decorating historic sites and markers with balloons. Over 61,000 visitors toured the Winter Quarters temple during its open house.
Members all over the United States
watched via satellite broadcast as Church President Gordon B.......