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Mormons to reopen flood-damaged Houston Temple in wake of Hurricane Harvey

(Rachel Molenda | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Houston Texas Temple of the LDS Temple in Spring, Texas. Sept. 03, 2017.

LDS Church leaders will reopen the faith’s Houston Temple in late April about seven months after the structure was heavily damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey.

In a letter dated Wednesday, the church’s governing First Presidency announced a rededication service set for Sunday, April 22.

M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will preside.

The proceedings will be kept simple, not including the usual open houses or cultural celebration events associated with temple dedications, church leaders stated.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closed the temple after torrential rains breached the edifice Aug. 26. Water up to a foot deep poured into the temple basement, main floor and the adjacent annex building.

Located in the northwest Houston suburb of Klein, the temple originally was dedicated in August 2000 by then-church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Mormon temples, unlike the Utah-based faith’s meetinghouses, are open only to members in good standing. Within those walls, sacred ceremonies such as eternal marriages are performed.

Hurricane Harvey left tens of thousands of Texans homeless and caused billions in damage to homes and businesses.

LDS relief workers, including missionaries, worked alongside volunteers from other religious and civic organizations to bring supplies and help with cleanup after the storm.

(Rachel Molenda | The Salt Lake Tribune) President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, center, visits the Houston Temple on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, along with Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé, left, and Houston Temple President Marshall Hayes, right.

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