Description: The design of the Washington D.C. Temple was patterned after the Salt Lake Temple, with six spires adjoining the building at either end, the tallest of which rises 288 feet over the Washington beltway. It is located on a wooded hill overlooking Rock Creek Park. The Washington D.C. Temple was the first since the Los Angeles Temple to include an assembly hall. More than 750,000 visitors viewed the completed temple during a public open house prior to its dedication. While watching Betty Ford, the First Lady of the United States, have her photograph taken with President Spencer W. Kimball during the temple open house, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that he couldnĺt help but recall how the Prophet Joseph traveled to the U.S. capitol and was unsuccessful in petitioning the government to compensate the early members of the Church for their sufferings in Missouri. Elder Hinckley said it made him realize how far the Church had come in the respect and confidence of public officials. Each Christmas season, a ceremony is held to switch on the lights on the grounds surrounding the temple. In the past, ambassadors or diplomats from many countries have attended the ceremony.