Mormon church president calls new New York temple 'Zion in Babylon'

Posted: Friday, June 18, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated a new Mormon temple in New York, calling its construction a ''miracle.''

''As I walked through this magnificent building created within an old building, I said to myself, 'This is Zion in Babylon,''' Hinckley, 94, said at the ceremony Sunday. ''This is such a place of beauty. A miracle, I think, has occurred here.''

The temple is for sacred rituals including marriages and baptisms and is the 119th Mormon temple worldwide. It is the only Mormon temple in the greater New York area and will serve more than 42,000 members.

It is only the second Mormon temple, after Hong Kong, to be built on the upper floors of an existing structure, in a building the church already owned on Columbus Avenue on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

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