Monday, August 28, 2017

Houston Texas Temple Flooded

The Houston LDS Temple Facebook page is reporting that flood waters in Houston have entered the Houston Texas Temple and damaged the interior. Although I do not usually report about news stories regarding operating temples or natural disasters, I decided to make a post about this incident because I believe it is the first time that an operating temple has ever been significantly damaged by a natural disaster. Please comment if you have information about any other instances when the Church has ever had an operating temple damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.

28 comments:

James said...

Thanks for that report, Matt! Thanks for posting again today. I have missed hearing updates on Church growth for the last couple of weeks

For any who may be interested, I post the link from the Mormon Newsroom with the latest on the flood damage and which itself has links to how members can get involved in the relief efforts that the Church has undertaken and will continue to work on.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/latter-day-saints-prepare-hurricane-harvey

As a former Welfare Services Missionary working with the humanitarian program of the Church, I would plead with all of us to pray for those affected by this disaster, in addition to getting involved in the ongoing efforts the Church has to prepare for and deal with such disasters. I know that during the two years I served, our Humanitarian Service Room put out several of the standard kits the Church sends to areas stricken by such disasters. Some of those kits were sent to such areas right away, while any that were not immediately needed were held in reserve for when they would be. It was not at all uncommon for us to put out in the three days a week the center was open anywhere from 15-20 pallets of kits (with each pallet holding somewhere between 100 and 150 or so kits. The need is great, so get involved if you can.

Additionally, for any of you who rely on my comments here to inform you of updates to my own blog, though Church news has slowed in the last week or so, I have still been posting regularly. If any of you would be able and willing to do so, I would appreciate you reviewing any posts that interest you and giving me your feedback on them through the comments. You can find my blog at the link below:

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

Thanks again to you all for wading through my frequent comments, and thanks again to you, Matt, for this great report. May the Lord bless everyone in Texas in the aftermath of this disaster.

James said...

Follow up to that comment: Matt, I am glad to see that you have listed the stakes created yesterday on your sidebar. I look forward to your report on those new stakes. Thanks again to you all.

L. Chris Jones said...

Earlier they reported at the missionaries were safe and the temple was safe did something change?

Matt said...

Official announcement of damage to the Houston Texas Temple: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/latter-day-saints-prepare-hurricane-harvey

Larry said...

Yes. The creek kept rising up to the front door of the temple. The missionaries are okay though, because they can move out of the way. Rivers are not expected to crest in Houston for two more days, so the water will get higher still.

Larry said...

The night before the London Temple was dedicated, then Elder Gordon B. Hinckley was helping pump water out of the basement because of the rains. His biography, Go Forth with Faith, by Sheri Dew, tells the story.

Larry said...

The night before the London Temple was dedicated, then Elder Gordon B. Hinckley was helping pump water out of the basement because of the rains. His biography, Go Forth with Faith, by Sheri Dew, tells the story.

James said...

Thank you, Larry, for reminding us all of the flooding just prior to the London England Temple dedication. I read President Gordon B. Hinckley's biography for the first time and made it a focus of a project I did for my 7th Grade English project. I had forgotten about the London flooding incident, though.

Chris, regarding your question about when things changed in terms of the damage done to the Houston Texas Temple, that information was updated on Mormon Newsroom's main website shortly after I first posted about the Houston flooding on my blog. You can find ongoing updates about this issue on the website below. Additional information will be added in the days ahead on that article. And, speaking personally, you can count on my report of those updates as I hear of them on my own blog. I will do my best to post here every time I make such an update. For any who would like to bookmark my blog and keep an eye out for that information as I add it, I include that link as well. Thanks.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/latter-day-saints-prepare-hurricane-harvey
http://stokessoundsoff,blogspot.com

James said...

For what it's worth, I also know that since this flood has affected the Houston Temple, updates on how Harvey is affecting that temple will also be provided on the news page of the LDS Church Temples website. So you can keep up to date on the latest news in that regard as well.

BYULAW said...

From what I hear, there should be a couple of stake creations in the South Jordan, Utah area in September. Supposedly 3 stakes are turning into 5.

L. Chris Jones said...

I understand now that the initial report from the hurricane reported the temple undamaged. But the area continued to rain and flood.

The Invisible Latter-day Saint said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MainTour said...

Isn't there the story about the St George Temple angel getting hit by lightning and Brigham Young decided it looked better afterwards.

I heard of another operating temple that the angel was damaged or fell down from an earthquake.

While getting my own endownments in the LA Temple many years ago, there was a significant earthquake. The temple president paused his presentation and then told us that the Temple is one of the most seismically sound buildings in all of California.

L. Chris Jones said...

The Angels get hit by lightning often. Most don't get too damaged. St. George does not have an angel. But its steeple was struck early on and was rebuilt taller.

L. Chris Jones said...

After an earthquake the trumpet from one angel was shook loose.

James said...

Regarding temples destroyed or damaged by natural disasters, I have found the article below to be a great description of that type of thing. Hope it helps any of you who are curious on this issue. It was certainly interesting to me. Enjoy!

http://www.ldsliving.com/Miraculous-Stories-of-Temples-Surviving-Natural-Disasters/s/81658

James said...

Additionally, I know that the original Apia Samoa and Nauvoo Illinois Temples were affected by natural or man-made disasters. FWIW, just wanted to share that as well.

Charles Willnauer said...

Although not natural cause, the Samoa temple in 2003 was destroyed by fire and had to be completely rebuilt.

Eduardo Clinch said...

The DC temple went through a quake back in... 2011 or so. I think that the Angel Moroni was damaged. I felt the shake in Northern Virginia and it was sizable. Although the seismic readings were not as big as many on the West Coast, the earth tectonics of the east are more prone to damage with smaller shocks based on the physics of the rock formations. The National Cathedral sustained significant damage, as well as the epicenter suffering a few hundred thousand or so of damage.
Overall, it seems the temples survive catastrophes pretty well.
I wonder if that former VA/DC quake is part of the re-vamping of the '74 structure for two years starting next March (2018).

L. Chris Jones said...

I don't know if the Apia Samoa Temple counted as an operating temple when it burned. I understand the fire actually happened during a renovation period.

james anderson said...

Not a natural event but a serious mechanical failure involving the HVAC system at the Mesa Temple forced them to shut down operations in the summer for a couple of weeks in the early 80s. They did try to operate it, but were only able to use the #4 endowment room on the main floor, rooms are at various levels there.

As far as rewoeks go, this same incident may have prompted the 1991 six-month closure of the same temple, some members had to get their endowments months before they put in their mission papers even given at the time there were no temples closer than Las Vegas then

James said...

Chris, according to every source I can find, temples closed for renovation, extensive or otherwise, are considered by the Church to be operating temples. That is why the number of operating temples never changes while any renovations take place. As for the Apia Samoa Temple, since it was undergoing renovation when the fire started, all that happened was that the renovation process was replaced by an announcement from President Hinckley that the temple would be rebuilt. The temple was approaching its 20-year anniversary when it burned down. The announcement to rebuild it came one week later. And it took half a year less to rebuild it than it took to build it. Hope that information helps.

Mike Johnson said...

Eduardo, I remember that quake in northern Virginia a few years ago. And it did cause structural damage in the Washington DC temple.

phxmars said...

The Manila temple lobby was used by rebels during a conflict in the Philippines. The temple staff convinced them to use the patron housing bldg (or some other auxiliary bldg)instead which was badly damaged in fighting.

L. Chris Jones said...

They great thing about the fire, (if I can call it great) is that it happened during a renovation, so records, record keeping, equipment, and sacred objects such as the veil were probably not destroyed because they would have been removed before the renovation.

Kevin Wanderlan said...

The Brazil Porto Alegre Partenon Stake is going to split this Sunday, forming the new Viamao Stake.

I think that's the first split in Porto Alegre in about two decades.

John Pack Lambert said...

I seem to recall there was some sort of flood damage to the Anchorage Alaska Temple at one point. I dont remember the details.

The Church just formed a new branch in a city in Cross River State in Nigeria with over 250,000 people. The Wikipedia article on the place is much shorter than most articles on places in the US with a tenth the population. Wikipedia is very lacking in its coverage of sub-saharan Africa.

John Pack Lambert said...

The city I mentioned above is Akpabuyo.