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Provo Temple may — again — reflect sister temple in Ogden after renovations

By Genelle Pugmire - | Oct 6, 2021
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The Provo Temple photographed on Friday, August 29, 2014. (Grant Hindsley, Daily Herald file photo)
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The Ogden temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is shown on June 18, 2020. (Ben Dorger, Special to the Daily Herald)

It was no surprise to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that President Russell M. Nelson announced on Sunday that several new temples would be built.

What was a surprise was the announcement of the reconstruction of the Provo Utah Temple, which will begin when the Orem Utah Temple is completed.

The Orem Utah Temple is expected to be finished in the fall of 2023.

“We recognize the interest this generates for people and communities in locations that will receive such a temple. At this point, limited information is available beyond the intent to build a temple in the announced area. More information will be offered as the Church moves forward,” said Doug Andersen, church spokesman.

“At the appropriate time, the Church will convey pertinent information such as specific site locations, groundbreaking dates and construction details for each of these newly announced temples or temple renovations. In addition, public open houses are standard practice to allow the community to tour the temple prior to its dedication and use by Church members,” Andersen added.

The Provo Utah Temple was originally announced on Aug. 14, 1967. Ground was broken Sept. 16, 1969 and the temple was dedicated Feb. 9, 1972 by then-president of the church Joseph Fielding Smith.

The Ogden Temple was the 14th operating temple of the church, the Provo Temple was the 15th.

According to church information, the design of the temple was inspired by an Old Testament scripture in Exodus 13:21 that says the Lord went before the children of Israel as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

The Provo Utah Temple has gone through some interior renovations over the years, including taking out escalators and replacing them with stairs. In 2003, the Angel Moroni was added to the spire of the temple and the spire was changed from gold to white.

The Provo Temple currently serves members of the church in Provo and Orem as well as Brigham Young University and the Provo Missionary Training Center just across the street.

The Ogden Utah Temple was dedicated a month prior, on Jan. 18-20, 1972, and had the same architectural design.

The two temples differed greatly from temples already built, with a more modern, contemporary design motif.

While considered the House of the Lord by members of the church, some have referred to the styles of the Provo and Ogden temples as something akin to wedding cakes or cupcakes, among others.

Now, curious members of the church want to know if the Provo Utah Temple will again look like the Ogden Temple.

The Ogden Temple went through extensive renovation both inside and outside in 2014, with the exterior being completely changed.

The new design of the Ogden Temple is not remotely similar to the original. The temple’s main entrance was moved from the west side to the east side, where it faces Washington Boulevard, one of Ogden’s main streets.

The renovation of the temple also includes reconfigured rooms and new energy-saving electrical, heating and plumbing systems. Other notable improvements include adding underground parking, new landscaping of the temple block and the addition of a major water feature, according to the church.

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