SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — The Temple Cornerstone Ceremony, which have been celebrated for more than 180 years, is being discontinued.

The Temple Cornerstone Ceremony has been celebrated since as early as 1831 when the first Latter-Day Saint temple in Independence, Missouri was dedicated. It has been celebrated more than 170 times since then.

According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, temples are used to perform sacred ordinances such as marriage. After a temple is constructed, it is dedicated and consecrated by church officials.

As part of the dedication ceremony, the placement of the cornerstone of the temple may be celebrated with a ceremony. However, according to a press release, these Temple Cornerstone Ceremonies will be discontinued, effective immediately.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints issued the following statement regarding the discontinuation:

Construction techniques have advanced to the point that cornerstones are no longer included in large buildings. Therefore, temple cornerstone ceremonies will no longer be part of temple dedications.

Press release June 17, 2023 from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Other noteworthy Temple Cornerstone Ceremonies include Kirtland, Ohio, in 1833; Far West, Missouri, in 1838; Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1841; and Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1853. The ceremonies featured singing, sermons, processions, and prayers.

According to the church, several temple cornerstones have been hollowed out to include artifacts and documents relating to the temple. It is unclear whether this tradition will continue.

For more information on Temple dedications in the church, visit their website.