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Hong Kong Temple visited by 13,000 during open house

More than 13,000 people toured the newly completed Hong Kong Temple during its open house May 7-21.

The temple, on Cornwall Street in Kowloon Tong on the Kowloon Peninsula, will be dedicated May 26-27 in seven separate services.Sister Donnetta Wheat, public affairs missionary in Hong Kong, said 5,600 Church members are expected to attend the dedicatory services. She also said Church members are looking forward to seeing President Gordon B. Hinckley, who is scheduled to dedicate the temple.

"They are so excited to be in the same building as the prophet," Sister Wheat explained.

During the open house, more than 500 VIP guests and 25 ministers of other faiths visited the temple.

Church members in Hong Kong look at the temple as a symbol of hope, Sister Wheat explained, adding that they showed great reverence and respect for the temple. She remembered two girls, about 4- and 5-years old, who wore white satin dresses and put flowers in their hair for the temple open house. You knew from their appearance, she said, that it was a special day for those girls.

The girls noticed that the temple is quiet, Sister Wheat said. "The traffic in Hong Kong is unreal and the temple is located on a very busy street," she explained. "But once you enter the temple the noise is gone.

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GuestsT mentioned a special feeling they had in the celestial room," she added. "There were tears in some people's eyes as they contemplated the celestial room."

Many Church members in Hong Kong invited friends, teachers and associates to the open house. Sister Wheat said some of their guests returned to the temple with their families, so they could also see the edifice.

Sister Wheat said she was happy with the number of people who attended the open house - which was held during unseasonably nice weather during a time of year that is typically rainy.

Many visitors said the temple was like nothing else in Hong Kong, Sister Wheat noted. "There usually isn't that much beauty and detail in buildings. They noticed that even the grain on the marble all goes the same way."

Sister Wheat said four murals, an eight-foot crystal chandelier, windows made of three-pane glass and crystal, and Chinese paintings, antiques and furniture are some of the details in the new edifice.

The temple occupies the top three floors of the building and the baptismal font is in the basement. A meetinghouse, mission office, apartments for the temple president and the mission president and a small outlet of Beehive Clothing will be located on other floors.

The temple will serve 21,000 members in Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore.