“Columbia River Washington Temple Dedicated,” Ensign, Feb. 2002, 74
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Columbia River Washington Temple, located in Richland, Washington, in four dedicatory sessions on 18 November 2001.
“Thy grateful people have erected this house. It has been visited by many thousands. They have come out of curiosity and have left with appreciation. May their hearts be inclined to Thy work and may there grow within them a desire to learn of Thy revealed truth,” President Hinckley said in the dedicatory prayer.
“… We pray that Thou wilt smile upon Thy people and their families. Open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon the faithful who contribute of their time and resources according to Thy will and law. May the whole earth become as Zion as Thy work spreads among the nations.
“Bless our own land in these perilous times. Bless those who serve as trustees of this government formed under an inspired Constitution, the principles of which have come from Thee. May peace replace conflict, we implore Thee.”
Accompanying President Hinckley were Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Seventy, President of the North America Northwest Area.
The Columbia River Washington Temple serves more than 34,000 Latter-day Saints in southeast Washington and northeast Oregon, nearly 15,000 of whom attended the dedication. Before the Columbia River temple was dedicated, these members had to travel to temples in Seattle, Washington; Spokane, Washington; or Portland, Oregon.
Nearly 65,000 people came to the temple’s open house, which began on 27 October and continued through 10 November, except Sundays. As President Hinckley petitioned in his dedicatory prayer, many of these visitors asked to learn more about the gospel; within a few weeks of the open house, the Washington Spokane Mission reported that more than 20 open house visitors had joined the Church and many more were investigating.
“The temple has been accepted very well in the community,” said Allan D. Alder, temple president. “And the Church members are so thankful. The tears just run because they’re so appreciative to have a temple this close to them.”