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Spruced-up Ogden ready to greet Mormon temple visitors

First Published      Last Updated Aug 07 2014 02:58 pm

Ogden's Mormon temple got a makeover — and so did the city itself.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will begin seeing all the upgrades for themselves Friday, when the LDS Church opens its remodeled temple to the public.

Besides the church's highly visible project downtown — turning a 1970s Space Age edifice into a more traditional-looking temple — Ogden has been busy gussying up its private and public places.

Volunteers, business leaders and civic activists have been painting homes, sprucing up yards, weeding gardens and tidying up trails. City crews have cleaned and repaired parks and pavilions while working with neighboring municipalities to beautify Ogden's gateways.

"The community has rallied together for this major reinvestment in Ogden," Mayor Mike Caldwell said in a news release. "Projects, such as the Grant Promenade, to better accommodate pedestrians and cyclists will yield long-term benefits to our community."

More than 7,300 volunteers have logged more than 48,000 hours, the release noted, to finish 430 projects in preparation for the onslaught of visitors.

As for the main attraction, the temple open house will run through Sept. 6 (except Sundays). Free tickets can be reserved online at templeopenhouse.lds.org.

After the open house, LDS leaders will dedicate the temple Sept. 21. Three dedicatory sessions will be broadcast that Sunday — at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. — to Mormon meetinghouses throughout Utah and parts of Wyoming and Idaho, according to a news release on the faith's website.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints see temples as houses of God, where they take part in their religion's highest sacraments, including eternal marriage.

But Ogden's time in the spotlight extends beyond the temple. In coming weeks, the city also will welcome

the fourth stage of the Tour of Utah bicycle race and the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships, said Sara Toliver, president and CEO of Visit Ogden.