The above building is the headquarters for the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) group. They own approximately 2 1/2 acres of land which includes the spot where the Prophet Joseph Smith stood to dedicate the property for the building of the temple in the New Jerusalem.
A brief history of the site is as follows:
A. Anciently the Garden of Eden was in this location.
B. July, 1831, the Lord reveals the location for the New Jerusalem and its temple (D&C 57). Sixty three acres were purchased for the beginning of the city and the temple complex.
C. June, and August, the Prophet sent two different plans to Bishop Edward Partridge for the city and it 24 complex temple.
D. November, 1833 the saints were driven from Jackson County.
E. 1867, Grandville Hedrick purchased the 2 1/2 acre site for the headquarters of his church - Church of Christ (temple lot) group.
F. In the 1860' - 1870's, the Reorganized LDS Church (now Community of Christ) returned to this area and set up their headquarters.
G. In the 1890's, the RLDS church sued the Temple Lot Group to get their 2 1/2 acres but lost the suit.
H. 1904, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased 20 acres adjacent to the properties owned by the other two organizations.
I. 1907, the LDS Church built a building for the headquarters of the Central States Mission on their 20 acre plot.
J. The Temple Lot Group tried to build a temple and to have it completed before 1932 but failed because of lack of funds.
K. 1971, LDS Church built a visitors' center on their property which stands there today.
L. April, 1994, the RLDS Church dedicated their temple which now stands on their property.
Below is a model of the site, the city and temple complex - June plan. (click to enlarge)
Below is a picture of the location of the temple site so that you can see in perspective the different building in the area, (click to enlarge)
Below is a picture of the temple built by the Community of Christ,
Below is a description of the temple complex given by Elder Orson Pratt. It is not known how or from where he received this description:
There, however, we expect to build a temple different from all other temples in some respects. It will be built much larger, cover a larger area of ground, far larger than this Tabernacle covers, and this Tabernacle will accommodate from 12,000 to 15,000 people. We expect to build a temple much larger, very much larger, according to the revelation God gave to us forty years ago in regard to that temple. But you may ask in what form will it be built? Will it be built in one large room, like this Tabernacle? No; there will be 24 different compartments in the Temple that will be built in Jackson County. The names of these compartments were given to us some 45 or 46 years ago; the names we still have, and when we build these 24 rooms, in a circular form and arched over the centre, we shall give the names to all these different compartments just as the Lord specified through Joseph Smith. Now, our enemies do not believe one word of this. They think we are enthusiastic, they think that this is all nonsense, and I do not know but there may be some of the Latter-day Saints that begin to partake of the same spirit, owing to their assimilating themselves so much to the fashion of the world, that they have lost their strong and powerful faith in that which God has predicted by the mouth of his servants. Perhaps you may ask for what purpose these 24 compartments are to be built. I answer not to assemble the outside world in, nor to assemble the Saints all in one place, but these buildings will be built with a special view to the different orders, or in other words the different quorums or councils of the two Priesthoods that God has ordained on the earth. That is the object of having 24 rooms so that each of these different quorums, whether they be High Priests or Seventies, or Elders, or Bishops, or lesser Priesthood, or Teachers, or Deacons, or Patriarchs, or Apostles, or High Councils, or whatever may be the duties that are assigned to them, they will have rooms in the Temple of the Most High God, adapted, set apart, constructed, and dedicated for this special purpose. Now, I have not only told you that we shall have these rooms, but I have told you the object of these rooms in short, not in full. But will there be any other buildings excepting those 24 rooms that are all joined together in a circular form and arched over the center-are there any other rooms that will be built-detached from the Temple? Yes. There will be tabernacles, there will be meeting houses for the assembling of the people on the Sabbath day. There will be various places of meeting so that the people may gather together; but the Temple will be dedicated to the Priesthood of the Most High God, and for most sacred and holy purposes. (Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 24, pp. 24-25).