The Kirtland Temple is a historical site located in Kirtland, Ohio. Tours are given at the temple for $10 per person (2022 price), and visitors are only allowed to enter the temple with a tour guide. The money collected for tours is used to preserve the temple, which, until recently, had fallen into disrepair. This temple is beautiful inside and out, and is fun to visit if you are in the Cleveland area.
You can take pictures outside of the Kirtland temple for free. The first thing that you’ll notice is the sheer size of the building. It is massive, towering over the surrounding area. It’s amazing how tall and open this building is, with its huge clocktower cupola. It is mind-boggling to think how this building was built nearly 200 years ago.
Start your tour at the small Visitor Center next to the temple. You’ll pay the fee inside, and you can then walk through a small museum curated by the Community of Christ. No pictures are allowed inside the museum or the temple, so we will not be able to show you what they look like. You’ll need to go visit in order to see!
Before entering the temple, you’ll watch a short movie about the building. We learned some surprising facts. The walls are made out of rubble rock and mortar. Then, the walls were covered by adobe with glass and other shiny objects to help the temple shine. Early accounts say the Kirtland temple reflected a blue-gray color when it was first opened, and the roof was covered in bright red tiles. Add the heavy dark green door, and the temple must have appeared quite a bit differently than it looks in pictures.
The tour starts in the front foyer of the temple. The staircases and some windows are original, and you can see the blue tinted glass that glazier Brigham Young created for the Kirtland temple. After traveling up the ancient stairs, you’ll enter the second floor. This is one very large room with pews and podiums at either end. This level is called the “school of learning.”
The first floor is very similar. In fact, if you put me in either one, I couldn’t really tell the difference. Still, this is a significant place for members of Restoration Churches, because it is the spot where the keys of the kingdom were returned to earth. Our tour guide told the story of the building of the temple, as well as the dedication of the temple by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While sitting in the pews, we sang a hymn called “The Spirit of God” as a group, which was a pretty special experience.
We really liked our experience at the Kirtland Temple. For current information on hours and tours, visit the Kirtland Temple website. Just down the road, you can visit the Historic Kirtland site where many of the pioneers lived that built the temple. You can visit both of these spots in about half a day. To read about other Church History sites we visited, click here.