What is a temple open house?
Mormon temples (temples belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) are sacred places of worship. Once a Mormon temple has been dedicated (set apart for the practicing of ordinances), only worthy Latter-day Saints (members of the Mormon Church) are permitted to enter. However, before a temple is dedicated, a period of a few weeks is generally set aside for members of the community to walk through the temple on short tours.
Open house tours require reservations and free tickets, simply to manage the number of people going through at any given time. Even though temples are not yet dedicated at the time people are going through, they are still special buildings which command respect and reverence. Those going through should be nicely dressed. The Mormon standard of “Sunday dress” is generally understood to mean white shirt, tie, and slacks for men and modest dresses or skirts and blouses for women. If an individual does not have this clothing available, he or she should still be nicely groomed and wearing the best that he or she has available. They should treat the building and others with respect while going through and should speak in quiet, respectful voices.
During an open house tour, guests are able to see all major rooms where Mormon ordinances are performed. These include the baptistry, the sealing room(s), the endowment room(s), etc. This allows members of the public to see that there are no suspicious, cultish rites performed. They can see that the rooms are beautiful and are made of fine materials, because temples are houses of the Lord, and He deserves the best.
The Boston Temple open house was held from August 29–September 23, 2000. It was dedicated on October 1, 2000, by then-Mormon prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley. The only time an already dedicated temple would have a second open house is if it went under major renovations. Then it would have a second open house, prior to its re-dedication.
For up-to-date LDS News regarding Mormon temple construction, open houses, and groundbreakings visit the newsroom.