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EMILY - Why are Mormon Temples rededicated after renovation? Isn't the first dedicatory prayer good enough to cover whatever happens to it?
JOEL - According to the Church, explaining the process for the Salt Lake Temple renovation:
"Each time we renovate a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decommissioning occurs to remove sacred items and turn the building into a construction site. During the decommissioning, the Church's Temple Department works to remove sacred items from the building, including temple clothing, temple records and other items used in the completion of temple ordinances. As soon as this is completed, the temple is no longer considered a dedicated building, and a recommend is not needed for renovation crews to enter. Simultaneously, workers clean out the temple laundry, offices and custodial closets." (Church news release).
Some might thinks that it is rededicated because non-temple reccommed holders have gone into it, compromising the sacred nature of the temple, but that is not true because of the decomisioning process that happens before they go in.
Usually the renovation is so extensive that a lot of the materials which were used to build it were not there for the first dedication. When a temple is dedicated the rededicatory prayer often references the new materials used to construct the building. This makes sense that brand new materials that were not there for the first dedication need to be dedicated also.
For simple upgrades or minor repairs or even if an intruder should enter the temple, there is no reason to rededicate it. The original dedication covers those things.
The rededication also give the the Church the chance to hold an open house so that the general public can go in and see for themselves what is inside the temple.
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