The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the reopening of its newly renovated Washington, D.C. Temple.
A two-month public open house will begin in 2022 on April 28 and go through June 4. This is part of a larger and concerted effort of the religious organization to become more inclusive and more welcoming to those who may wish to come and learn more about the faith.
The church has also partnered with the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund to establish a $1 million scholarship donation per year for three years for young Black students in the United States.
The church will provide an additional $250,000 for an Amos C. Brown Student Fellowship to Ghana in hopes the experience "will allow selected students from the USA an opportunity to learn more about their heritage."
In a separate program to address disparities in income and opportunity, the church will work with NAACP leaders around the country. It will give $6 million over three years to help Black Americans living in impoverished communities.
Neither program requires church membership of the participants. And the scholarship funding can be applied to any college or university the student wishes.
This new partnership was cemented during the pandemic and after a year of racial conflict and cultural upheaval.
Church President, Russell Nelson, said the collaboration brings him hope. "These efforts represent an ongoing desire of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach and live the two great commandments — to love God and neighbor."