The first Mormon temple in Connecticut opens to the public this week and will soon host services for thousands of the faithful from a four-state area.
The new temple on Route 4 in Farmington reflects growing membership for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the East Coast. Another recently constructed temple opened in Philadelphia on Aug. 10.
An estimated 27,000 congregants from Connecticut, Rhode Island, western Massachusetts, and eastern New York are to be served by the temple in Farmington, which was also the birthplace of the church's fourth president, Wilford Woodruff.
This is the first time worshippers have had the opportunity to attend services at a temple in Connecticut.
"Now they have a temple right here in their own backyard so it's a great day and it's a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement among the members of our church for what we will have available to us shortly," said Larry Wilson, the executive director of the Church's temple department.
The 32,000-square-foot structure will be the 155th temple of the LDS church, but only the second in New England. Outside, the steeple and spire are topped by the Angel Maroni, a central figure in the Book of Mormon. The temple's interior features roughly 30 rooms, eight of wish are for worship. It features wall murals, hand tufted carpets and stone from Italy and Pakistan, as well as granite quarried in China.