Not surprisingly, Utah boasts more LDS temples than any other area in the world. For many years it just was the Salt Lake Temple, Logan Temple, Manti Temple and St. George Temple.
They were joined by the Provo and Ogden Temples in 1972, then others in the next three decades, with the count standing at 17. Additional temples in Saratoga Springs, Layton and Washington County have been announced. Each has its own characteristics and stories to proclaim.
Logan Utah Temple
The Logan Utah Temple was announced Oct. 6, 1876. Ground was broken May 18 the following year. President John Taylor dedicated it May 17, 1884. It was the only temple Taylor dedicated. It was built entirely by volunteer labor, taking seven years in the process. On Dec. 4, 1917, fire broke out in the temple and caused extensive smoke and water damage. Its origin was in electrical wiring. Later, it was gutted and rebuilt inside and rededicated in 1979 by President Spencer W. Kimball.
Brigham City Utah Temple
President Boyd K. Packer visited his childhood home in Brigham City for the groundbreaking of the Brigham City Temple July 31, 2010. He had attended elementary school 80 years prior on the site of the temple. He dedicated the temple Sept. 23, 2012. It was the 14th temple built in Utah.
“I am home,” Packer said at the groundbreaking.
When the statue of Angel Moroni was planned to be placed on the temple, weather delayed the action.
Ogden Utah Temple
The Ogden Utah Temple and Provo Utah Temple were announced within days of each other in 1967 and were built with the same design. Renovations have been done to the Ogden Utah Temple, including reshaping the exterior with new stone and art glass. The main entrance was moved to the east side. Rooms have been reconfigured and new energy-saving electrical, heating and plumbing systems were installed.
The Ogden Utah Temple was the first temple dedicated after Utah became a state; the four previous temple dedications were when Utah was a territory. It was the first built with six ordinance rooms. The three others with six are Provo, Jordan River and Washington, D. C.
At the dedication, President Harold B. Lee finished the dedicatory prayer when President Joseph Fielding Smith was unable to continue as he was too weak to stand.
Bountiful Utah Temple
The Bountiful Utah Temple is one of only two dedicated by President Howard W. Hunter; Bountiful was in 1995. Its exterior is Bethel White granite. Its floor plan was adapted and used for the Mount Timpanogos Temple.
There were 28 dedicatory sessions and 201,655 members were in attendance. At the time it was the largest number to attend a temple dedication in the history of the Church.
Salt Lake Utah Temple
President Brigham Young announced the intention to build the temple within four days of entering the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Construction started in 1853 and was completed 40 years later. It remains the largest temple with a 382,207 square foot exterior. A cutaway model of the temple is displayed in the south visitor’s center on Temple Square.
The exterior is granite from Little Cottonwood Canyon. It is the only temple dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff.
Only the Salt Lake and Manti Temples still use live acting for the presentation of the endowment ceremony. The Salt Lake Utah Temple was the first to feature a standing Angel Moroni statue. It is 14 feet tall and has a counterbalance of two tons to keep it immovable. Cyrus E. Dallin created the statue and it was built in Salem, Ohio.
Jordan River Utah Temple
It has the highest capacity of any temple in the Church with six ordinance rooms, each with the capability to seat 125. The Jordan River Utah Temple is one of five temples featuring a statue of Angel Moroni holding the gold plates.
Shortly before the Nov. 16, 1981 dedication, there were announcements that President Spencer W. Kimball would probably be unable to attend as he was recovering from surgery. Just before the dedication began, however, he was welcomed in the Celestial Room. President Marion G. Romney dedicated the temple.
Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple
The Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple was originally planned to be named the South Jordan Utah Temple, but the official name was chosen as Oquirrh Mountain so as to avoid confusion with the Jordan River Utah Temple.
During the time of the public open house, lightning struck the Angel Moroni statue on June 13, 2009. It blackened the angel’s trumpet, face and arm. A replacement was installed in August, just 10 days before the dedication began.
For the dedicatory services, church was cancelled statewide to allow members to attend the dedication without conflict. It was the first time in the state’s history that happened.
Draper Utah Temple
The Draper Utah Temple has the largest sealing room in Utah, with space for 80 guests. Ordinance rooms have hand-painted mountain scenes, a depiction of Draper’s Corner Canyon, and its view of the Salt Lake Valley. Natural light can pass into the baptistry as the temple is located on a downhill side of the building and there are floor-to-ceiling windows.
Materials for the construction include limestone from France, wood from Africa and granite from China.
Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
The second temple in Utah County, the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple was announced Oct. 3, 1992. It was the ninth temple built in Utah.
Another temple for Utah County had been announced, but no location was originally identified. Six months later the American Fork location was announced, on the site of a former church welfare farm.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said the temple would relieve the pressure on the Provo Utah Temple which was “operating beyond its designed capacity.”
When the statue of Angel Moroni was placed, many of the approximately 20,000 watching applauded, then began to spontaneously sing “The Spirit of God.”
Provo Utah Temple
The first temple in Utah County, the Provo Utah Temple is the third largest in the state at 130,825 square feet. Its exterior is white cast stone with gold anodized aluminum grills and bronze glass panels.
President Joseph Fielding Smith presided at the dedication, but he asked President Harold B. Lee to offer the prayer that Smith had written.
In 2003 an Angel Moroni statue was added and the spire was painted white.
Provo City Center Temple
When the Provo Tabernacle was lost to fire in December 2010, church leaders decided to reconstruct the building as a temple. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve presided over the 2012 groundbreaking and said, “It is inspired to build a temple out of the ashes of the tabernacle.”
Some wood moldings, newel posts and balustrades survived the fire and have been used to design other elements. There are four levels, two above ground and two below.
During the excavation work, a historic baptistry was discovered on the site. It was built around 1875 and is the earliest known baptistry of the Church in Utah County.
It was dedicated on March 20, 2016 after a three-month open house.
Payson Utah Temple
Plans to construct a temple in Payson were announced in Jan. 2010 and ground was broken Oct. 8, 2011. There will be a cultural celebration, “Fill the World with Love” at 7 p.m. June 6, at LaVell Edwards Stadium on the campus of Brigham Young University.
An official history of the Payson Utah Temple is being written by Janene Baadsgaard. Those with personal experiences about the temple may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The book will include information about the settlement of Payson, the selection of the temple site, its announcement, groundbreaking, construction, cultural celebration and dedication.
Vernal Utah Temple
The Vernal Utah Temple was constructed from the historic Uintah Stake Tabernacle. It was the first temple built from an existing building and the 10th temple built in Utah. The temple is labeled 1907 and 1997, indicating the two times the building was dedicated, first as a tabernacle, then as a temple.
The last stake conference was held in the tabernacle in 1983. The building had even been for sale for a time since then.
Because of the narrowness of the building, a two-stage endowment room was used — a model which has been used numerous times since.
Manti Utah Temple
The third operating temple, the Manti Utah Temple was originally dedicated in 1888, with a private dedication by President Wilford Woodruff and regular dedication by President Lorenzo Snow. It was rededicated in 1985 by President Gordon B. Hinckley, following a four-year renovation project, which added three sealing rooms and other facilities. Some pioneer craftsmanship was restored including two spiral staircases, five stories high, on the towers on the temple’s west side. They are considered an engineering marvel of the early pioneers.
In 1928 lightning struck the temple’s east tower. The resulting fire was extinguished after three hours.
Monticello Utah Temple
One of the Church’s smallest temples, it was originally 7,000 square feet. Four years after it was dedicated, it was rededicated after an expansion project. It added a second sealing room and ordinance room and other facilities. President Gordon B. Hinckley did both the original dedication and rededication.
It originally had a white Angel Moroni statue on the spire. However, on a cloudy day, the statue was difficult to see. It was replaced by a taller, gold-leafed Moroni about a year after the dedication. The white statue was sent to the Columbus Ohio Temple after it was gold leafed.
St. George Utah Temple
Church leaders announced plans to construct the temple on Nov. 9, 1871 and they broke ground the same day. Almost 100 years after its initial dedication, President Spencer W. Kimball rededicated the temple after it was remodeled.
The temple was privately dedicated Jan. 1, 1877, with three dedicatory prayers. President Wilford Woodruff dedicated the baptistry; Erastus Snow did the main floor and Brigham Young, Jr. dedicated the sealing room.
It is the oldest operating temple of the church and the first built in Utah. It is the only temple completed during the 30 years Brigham Young was president of the church. Its original tower was damaged by a lightning storm shortly after it was dedicated. A new tower was added several years later.
The St. George Utah Temple was nearly doubled in size and rededicated in 1975.
Cedar City Utah Temple
Plans were announced in April 2013 to construct a temple in Cedar City.
The temple will be dedicated on Sunday, December 10.
Saratoga Springs Utah Temple
The Saratoga Springs Utah Temple was announced Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Sunday morning session of the LDS General Conference.
Layton Utah Temple
The Layton Utah Temple was announced Sunday, April 1, 2018 at the Sunday afternoon session of the LDS General Conference.
Washington County Utah
A new temple in Washington County, Utah was announced Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 at the Sunday afternoon session of the LDS General Conference.
Tooele Valley Utah Temple
A temple to be constructed in Tooele Valley was announced Sunday, April 7, 2019, during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference.