Laie Hawaii LDS Temple, Oahu, Hawaii (7)
Image by Ken Lund
Laie Hawaii Temple is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) located on the northeast shore of the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. The temple sits on a small hill, a half-mile from the Pacific Ocean, in the town of Lāʻie, 35 miles (56 km) from Honolulu. Along with Brigham Young University–Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Laie Hawaii Temple plays an important role in the town of Lā’ie, with the Visitors’ Center attracting more than 100,000 people annually.
The Laie Hawaii Temple was the first temple built by the LDS Church outside of the continental United States. The temple is also the oldest to operate outside of Utah, and the fifth-oldest LDS temple still in operation. In addition to initial building and construction, the temple has been dedicated for use by several presidents of the LDS Church. This includes the site of the temple being dedicated by Joseph F. Smith on June 1, 1915, the completed structure being dedicated by Heber J. Grant on November 27, 1919, being rededicated after significant expansion on June 13, 1978 by Spencer W. Kimball and then rededicated on November 21, 2010 by Thomas S. Monson following seismic upgrades and remodeling. The Laie Hawaii Temple was formerly known as the Hawaiian Temple or the Hawaii Temple until a standard naming convention for LDS temples was announced in 1999.
The exterior of the temple exhibits four large friezes planned by American sculptor J. Leo Fairbanks and built with the help of his brother Avard Fairbanks. Modeled four-fifths lifesize and cast in concrete, the bas-relief friezes depict God’s dealings with Man. The north frieze depicts the story of the Book of Mormon. The west frieze shows the people of the Old Testament. The New Testament and the Apostasy are depicted on the southern frieze of the temple, and the restoration of the Church through Joseph Smith is shown on the east frieze. On the grounds of the temple are statues also designed by the Fairbanks brothers, including Joseph being blessed by his father and one of the Prophet Lehi in a scene from the Second Book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon.
As visitors approach the temple and pass a number of reflecting pools, a maternity fountain sits in front of the uppermost pool. Designed by the Fairbanks brothers, this bold relief honors Hawaiian Motherhood and depicts a Hawaiian mother holding a giant clam shell while pouring water over her children. The act is supposed to symbolize mothers pouring their love, hope and care onto their children.