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What's the Difference Between a Mormon Temple and Chapel?

As many as 700 people from different states are expected at the groundbreaking ceremony for Connecticut's first Mormon Temple on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 in Farmington.

What's the Difference Between a Mormon Temple and Chapel?
There are only 141 Mormon temples worldwide and Farmington will soon be the home of another.

Groundbreaking for the first and only Mormon temple in Connecticut begins Saturday, Aug. 17 at 11 a.m.  The Farmington temple will be one of 27 "announced or under construction," according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

About 600 to 700 people from five different states are expected to attend the ceremony, which includes a religious service, according to a press release. Elder William R. Walker, worldwide executive director of the Church’s Temple Department, will lead the service, according to a press release. Senior church leaders and "regional and state leaders" will also be in attendance, the release states.

Up to 70 congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will watch the ceremony at their region meetinghouses on a live video feed. 

There are only 68 Mormon temples in the United States and 73 in other countries, according to materials provided by the Church, and 83 percent of "members live within 200 miles of a temple." By comparison, there are 28,000 congregations that worship their religion in Mormon temples across the globe. 

So, what's the distinction between a Mormon temple and chapel?

While chapels offer weekly public worship services "where all are welcome," admittance to the temple is reserved for "members living the highest standards of the Church" and are "not used for Sunday worship," according to materials provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormons go to chapels, or meetinghouses, more regularly, whether for Sunday or Sabbath worship or for youth groups and "other activities during the week," according to the Church. Temples are where followers of the religion go for the "highest and most sacred ordinances such as marriage," "to feel close to God and learn of His plan," "individual worship, meditation and devotion and to make promises to God, according to information provided by the Church. They can "attend as often as they wish," the Church states. 

For more information, you can visit  mormonnewsroom.org

You can also read Patch's previous coverage of the new Mormon temple by clicking on the links below:
Farmington Mormons, what will having a temple right in town mean to you? What's the significance for you personally and what will you gain by having a temple so close to home in addition to the chapel you attend? How often have you been to a temple and how far did you have to travel? In your experience, why have you gone to a temple versus a chapel? What worship rituals are there in a temple and how do they vary from chapel rituals? What's one thing you'd like the public to know about The Church of Latter-day Saints and the importance of a temple? Tell us in the comments! 

We'd also like to hear from local religious leaders and area residents outside the religion about your reactions to the construction of a Mormon temple in Farmington. You can also email your reactions to Jessie.Sawyer@patch.com.

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