The last time the general public was allowed inside was after its dedication in 1974.

The Mormon temple in Kensington will be offering the public a rare opportunity to look inside this fall. Temples owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are typically only open to members of the faith. The only time non-members can get a look is before new temples are dedicated. The 45-year-old Kensington Temple has just undergone a two-year renovation and will be re-dedicated in December. The temple will be open to the public for several weeks in September and October.

The church made an announcement about the public tours on February 27 in Washington, D.C. Church leaders want to extend this opportunity to the D.C. area residents who drive by the majestic white temple and wonder what it’s like inside.

“The Washington D.C. Temple open house is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come and see for yourself what takes place inside these sacred spaces,” said Anne Golightly, local public affairs director for the Church. “We want everyone to feel welcome. All are invited to feel the peace of this place, to feel the presence of God and to learn more about why and how we as a community seek to follow Jesus Christ.”

DC Temple Sealing Room where marriages are performed.

DC Temple Sealing Room where marriages are performed, courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Kensington Temple is located near Bethesda and is a visual part of your daily commute if you travel on the Beltway. The 160,000-square-foot building has been under construction since March of 2018. Contractors replaced mechanical, electrical, plumbing and lighting structures and will finish out the project with artwork and furniture.

The Kensington Temple also holds a holiday event during the Christmas season that is also open to the public. Details about the public open house tours will be available on the church website this summer.