Ft. Lauderdale Florida Temple
That a new temple would be built in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was announced by Mormon Prophet Thomas S. Monson during the semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October, 2009. The temple site is located on the northeast corner of Interstate 75 and Griffin Road on SW 154th Avenue in Davie, Florida.
The temple will be the second in Florida — the first was the Orlando Florida Temple, dedicated in 1994. The temple will serve approximately 25,000 Church members from congregations in Stuart to the Florida Keys as well as members living in Ft. Myers, Naples and in the Bahamas. The gorgeous 28,000-square-foot building was described in permit application materials as “an interpretation of Neoclassicism with arches, columns and a steeple.”
The groundbreaking ceremony to initiate construction was announced for Saturday, June 18, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. Due to parking constraints, attendance at the groundbreaking was by invitation only. However, the groundbreaking was scheduled to be aired on closed-circuit television at Mormon meetinghouses in Florida.
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced open house and dedication dates for the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple. The public is invited to visit the temple during an open house from Saturday, 29 March, through 19 April 2014, excluding Sundays. Free reservations for the open house can be made through the fortlauderdalemormontemple.org website. Prior to the dedication of the temple, there will be a cultural celebration featuring music and dance held on Saturday, 3 May 2014.
After dedication as a holy house, only worthy members of the Mormon Church who hold temple recommends may enter. Mormons worship on Sundays in chapels, also called “meetinghouses.” Temples are open most hours of the day, five days a week, and those wishing to attend may do so during those hours. The temple is a place of meditation and prayer, where higher covenants are made between the Lord and His children. Temples are also places of education, wherein one may learn the purpose of life. Work in holy temples is for the living and the dead.
Miracles Experienced at Open House
During the open house of the Fort Lauderdale Temple held March 29 – April 19, tens of thousands of people visited partially out of curiosity as to what will soon happen inside the new edifice, while there were a sizable number of guests who “walked away from the temple with a great change in their heart.”  Some of the guests only wanted to tour the ordinance rooms and halls and enjoy the surrounding gardens, however, there were others who asked if they could become members, and still others stated that they wanted to be married inside the temple, according to Miami Lakes Florida Stake President James Robinson who, along with members from five other stakes forming the new Fort Lauderdale temple district, participated in the open house.
In a matter of a few weeks, the Ft. Lauderdale temple has become a visible and vibrant part of South Florida. President Robinson stated that the open house was a tremendous success in every way with each day being a day of miracles. Local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are pleased with the interest and the respect that the media has shown towards the Church and the new temple. “Every major news agency covered the first days of the open house. One television station dedicated a full day of live reports from the temple grounds, interviewing several local members and visitors and broadcasting lengthy stories on the purpose of the temple.”  The volunteerism combined with the selfless efforts of members from South Florida helped to ensure a successful open house. Some of the members served daily during the open house, while others served whenever they could. And some members who do not own vehicles, walked to the Temple each day to volunteer.
As the open house drew to a close, Latter-day Saints began shifting their attention towards the dedication of the temple which will take place on 4 May. On the night prior to the dedication, there will be a youth cultural event. “Our youth are as excited as I’ve ever seen them,” President Robinson said. “They want to share the history of the Church in south Florida.”  The temple will be dedicated in three sessions, with each session being broadcast to all stakes and districts across Florida. On Tuesday, 6 May 2014, the temple will be open to faithful members who have temple recommends to perform ordinance work.
Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple Dedication
The Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple, the 143rd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was dedicated by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, on Sunday, 4 May 2014. As the temple has now been dedicated, only faithful Latter-day Saints who hold a valid temple recommend may enter the House of the Lord to perform sacred ordinances.
President Uchtdorf also presided over and spoke at the youth cultural program on 3 May 2014. In the course of his comments, he spoke about how temple ordinances and temple covenants brought great strength and blessings to the early Mormon pioneers when they had to leave Nauvoo on their exodus to the West. He further commented,
Temple blessings where almost out of reach for the early Saints in Florida,” he said. “They were pioneers in their own way. They had to travel thousands of miles to receive their endowments. Those early Florida Saints journeyed to the temples in Salt Lake City and Mesa, Arizona. Later the Saints in Florida helped build temples in Washington DC, in Atlanta, and finally in Orlando. Today, the long-awaited hour has come when a temple is dedicated in Fort Lauderdale.
No one can read the stories of the early Church members here in Florida without having a feeling of gratitude and love for these early Saints. Tears come to my eyes when I think of the many sacrifices made and the devoted service given by these early members in Florida. It was not easy and often dangerous for these Saints, whose history was mostly written long after the handcarts arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
The lives of these Florida pioneers are testimonies of the power, truth, and goodness of the gospel message,” President Uchtdorf said. “As we dedicate the Fort Lauderdale Temple and honor the Lord, we also remember and honor these faithful members who prepared the way.
President Uchtdorf offered the dedicatory prayer in the first and third sessions held to dedicate the temple, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered the prayer during the second session.