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

Associated Press/June 14, 2004

Salt Lake City -- Mormon church President Gordon B. Hinckley scooped up some mortar and slathered it on an inside cornerstone as the church's New York City Temple was dedicated.

"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 dedication Sunday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"This is such a place of beauty. A miracle, I think, has occurred here," he said.

The temple, dedicated Sunday, is the 119th built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for sacred rituals, including marriages and baptisms.

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

That posed some problems for the cornerstone ceremony. This one was on the wall between the temple's entrance and the elevator to the chapel on the third floor.

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