Gilbert Arizona

Gilbert Arizona Temple

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The Gilbert Arizona Temple model was a lot like Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple in that somebody leaked the exterior elevations online. Not the interior floorplan though. There are a few things I missed. There are, for example, huge window wells that allow the stained glass on a couple sides of the temple to carry down underground. That is one of the things I will be adding when I eventually redo this one.

This is one of a few models not done in the Cycles render engine, so I will be changing that too.




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Gilbert Arizona Temple Wiki


The Gilbert Arizona Temple is a temple located in the town of Gilbert, Arizona. The Temple is located about 13 miles from the Mesa Arizona Temple, but with the large population of Latter-day Saints in the area, and the large number of patrons using the Mesa Arizona Temple, another temple was needed nearby. There are approximately 380,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ residing in Arizona. The Gilbert Temple is situated on a 15-acre site in Phoenix’s East Valley. It serves Latter-day Saints in Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Florence, Globe and Maricopa, Arizona.



The Gilbert Arizona Temple was announced on 26 April 2008 by President Thomas S. Monson. It is one of the first two temples announced by President Monson since he was ordained President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008.[1][2][3]


President Monson commented, “It is my personal priority to make sure members of the Church have access to the blessings of the temple. It is here where members learn of their divine origin and destiny; where they are strengthened spiritually as individuals and as families. Temples are sanctuaries from the storms of life.”

Planning and approval


On Monday, September 22, 2008, just under 5 months from the time the Gilbert Arizona Temple was announced, Church representatives met with Town staff in a pre-application meeting to discuss the approval process for construction of the temple and a future meetinghouse.


On Wednesday, August 5, 2009, legal representative for the Church, Paul Gilbert, presented preliminary plans for the Gilbert Arizona Temple to the Town of Gilbert Planning Commission. He apologized that a final design review package had not yet been submitted and explained: “This temple is going to be a very unique temple. It won’t follow the typical pattern and paragon that has been used in many of the other temples. It’s designed to be a very special temple and, therefore, it is taking longer to do the details on coming forth with the building and what it will look like.” He reassured the Commission, however, that the final design would be submitted “very shortly.” For illustrative purposes, the Draper Utah Temple was used on the preliminary site plans.[4] Overseeing the design is Gregory B. Lambright of Architekton—an architectural firm located in Tempe.[5][6]

The Planning Commission (watch video) discussed three requests put forth for a 21-acre parcel on the southeast corner of Greenfield and Pecos Roads that would permit construction of the 180-foot Gilbert Arizona Temple and a future adjoining meetinghouse. The requests included (1) a Minor General Plan Amendment to change the land use classification from Residential to General Commercial, (2) an ordinance to change the zoning from Single Family to General Commercial with a Planned Area Development Overlay, and (3) a use permit to allow a Large-Scale Religious facility within a General Commercial zoning district. No formal action was taken by the Commission at this study session.[7]

The proposed PAD modifications—many of which stemmed from burial of unsightly utility lines—also included modifications intended to beautify the temple site including parking-lot-shielding berms, a 6-to-8-foot perimeter view fence, meandering pedestrian sidewalks, a collector street center median, and possible roundabout. The Church offered to shoulder the entire expense of the costly utility line project, an act which was heartily commended by Commissioner Chad Fuller.

On Wednesday, September 2, 2009, the Planning Commission (watch video) held a hearing on the Gilbert Arizona Temple project. Public comment was made by just one citizen, who spoke in favor of the project. Following the hearing, the Commission carried motions recommending to the Town Council approval of the requested Minor General Plan Amendment, zoning classification change, and Conditional Use Permit (view staff report). Concept drawings presented to the public showed a temple with a single central spire rising 180 feet high with beautiful circular gardens flanking the north and south sides. A circular feature was also shown on the east side (or front side) of the temple, which terminated a strip of landscaping that stretched the length of the parking lot.[8][9]

On Tuesday, September 29, 2009, the Gilbert Town Council (watch video) unanimously passed the Minor General Plan Amendment, zoning classification change, and Conditional Use Permit necessary to permit construction of the temple. Nearly 70 citizens filed to speak in favor of the project, and no one filed to speak in opposition to the project. Although the design of the temple had not yet been finalized, concept drawings presented at the hearing helped to illustrate the height of the building, which was the main focus of the presentation by Paul Gilbert, legal representative for the Church. He defended the proposed height of the building and spire as consistent with nearby facilities—most notably the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center—and with other Latter-day Saint temples, noting that it is an important expression of religious devotion—a symbol of reaching to heaven.[10]

The Gilbert town council gave unanimous approval to requested zoning changes. Key among the requests was an allowance to build to a height of 85 feet, higher than the existing restriction at 45 feet. The temple’s planned 180-foot-tall (55 m) steeple did not require an exemption, as the town does not restrict the height of steeples. While not providing a specific timeframe for construction, an anticipated completion within three years was repeated at the meeting.[11]

On December 28, 2009, the deed transferring ownership of the temple site to the Church was recorded in the Maricopa County records.


On June 10, 2010, final plans went before the Town of Gilbert Design Review Board for preliminary evaluation of the development of a temple, accessory structure, and future meetinghouse. The five-level temple is described as 82½ feet tall with a spire reaching 195 feet, capped with a golden angel Moroni. The highly detailed ivory exterior will feature high-quality pre-cast concrete and stone accentuated with fine rustications and beautifully crafted art glass windows. The floor plan includes a sub-basement for mechanical equipment; a basement for the baptistry; a first floor for the entry, dressing rooms, and administrative offices; a second floor for the chapel and endowment rooms; and a third floor for sealing rooms, waiting rooms, and a child care center. The wrought-iron fenced grounds will include fountains, shaded plazas, and lush landscaping featuring 10 kinds of trees, 5 palm varieties, and 24 species of shrubs, groundcovers, and vines with trellises, arbors and pergolas placed throughout the site.[12]

On July 15, 2010, the Town of Gilbert Design Review Board voted to approve plans for the Gilbert Arizona Temple. Approval was made subject to some minor changes that do not affect the overall design. Construction of a meetinghouse was also approved, which would likely be built within two to four years. The two structures will share a 658-car parking lot.[13]


Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, a member of the Church’s Quorum of the Seventy, conducted the groundbreaking and site dedication on November 13, 2010, signifying the official start of construction. Thousands were in attendance on site to witness the first ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt. [14][15] Completion of the temple expected to take approximately two years.


During construction a trailer at the site served as a visitors’ center, greeting guests and answering questions.[16]

In mid-February 2012 the construction of the Gilbert Arizona Temple reached an exciting milestone with the installation of the spire framework, taking the temple to its full height minus the height of the angel Moroni statue, which will cap the spire.

On 15 May 2012, hundreds of spectators gathered at the Gilbert Arizona Temple site to witness the raising of the gold-leafed angel Moroni statue atop the single central spire. Numerous students, who attend a grade school across the street from the temple, gathered in the school parking lot that day with their families. As Moroni began his flight, a large group of middle school students created a spiritually poignant moment as they broke into song, singing the Primary favorite “I Love to See the Temple”.[17]

Open House

The public was invited to visit the temple during an open house from Saturday, 18 January 2014, through Saturday, 15 February 2014, excluding Sundays. During the month-long public open house, 407,020 guests including local dignitaries and other faith leaders toured the temple. Local media covered the event to include a 30-minute prime-time special produced by one news station. [18]

Cultural Celebration

On Saturday, 1 March 2014 a cultural celebration was held at a nearby park, where 12,000 young people gave a performance based on the theme “True to the Faith” honoring faithful heroes both ancient and modern on a field 300 yards long. Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attended with Henry B. Eyring and other General Authorities and their wives.


The next day, on Sunday, March 2, the temple was dedicated. Church President Thomas S. Monson presided at the three dedicatory sessions but at his request, the prayer in the first dedicatory session was offered by President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency. In the prayer, it was requested that the temple would be “a sanctuary of serenity, a refuge from the storms of life and the noise of the world” and “a house of quiet contemplation concerning the eternal nature of life.”[19][20]

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedication Order

The Gilbert Arizona Temple is the 142nd temple of the Church, the fourth temple built in Arizona, (following the Mesa Arizona Temple (1927), the Snowflake Arizona Temple (2002), and The Gila Valley Arizona Temple (2010),) and the 69th built in the United States.

At the time of the Gilbert Arizona Temple dedication tehre were 15 under construction and an additional 10 temples awaiting groundgbreaking. 2 Temples were undergoing renovation at that time

Under Construction   Awaiting Groundbreaking Undergoing Renovation
Phoenix Arizona Concepcion Chile Ogden Utah
Cordoba Argentina Urdaneta Philippines Mexico City Mexico
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Barranquilla Columbia
Rome Italy Durban South Africa
Trujillo Peru Kinshasa D.R.C.
Fortaleza Brazil Star Valley Wyoming
Fort Lauderdale Tucson Arizona
Sapporo Japan Arequipa Peru
Payson Utah Cedar City Utah
Indianapolis Indiana Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Hartford Conneticut
Tijuana Mexico
Fort Collins Colorado
Paris France
Provo City Center


Temple President Years Served
President Alyn M. McClure 2016–
President David E. LeSueur 2014–2016

The temple is near the intersection of Pecos and Greenfield roads in a rapidly growing part of the southeast Phoenix metropolitan area. The temple was built in response to the high concentration of church members in the area and was built to ease the load on the nearby Mesa Arizona Temple.[21] It is the largest temple built by The Church of Jesus Christ in 17.


The site for the Gilbert Arizona Temple is on 15.38 acres at the southeast corner of Greenfield and Pecos Roads. (map). An LDS meetinghouse is located on the property near the temple. The temple and the meeting house share a 658-car parking lot and a facilities/maintenance building.


The desert agave plant, native to Arizona, inspired the exterior and interior design. Gregory B. Lambright, the primary architect on the project, explained this design decision:

“We looked at a number of items that would represent the Southwest here in the desert. … We wanted something to represent the living waters of Christ, and for the temple to be an oasis in the desert. And being a native here, I’ve always loved the agave plant and what it does.”[22]

The grounds are surrounded by a wrought-iron fence and include fountains, shaded plazas, arbors and trellises that provide numerous areas for contemplation, meditation, photos, and rest. Lush landscaping, designed to create a feeling of tranquility for temple visitors, features hundreds of palm, olive and pistachio trees, along with thousands of plants and shrubs, especially the agave. The Temple finished floor elevation is approximately 4’ above the gardens and 5’ above the entry circle.


The 85,326-square-foot temple exterior features ivory-colored precast concrete and white quartz.


The art-glass windows of the temple were designed and constructed by Holdman Studios, a glass-art studio based in Lehi, Utah. The leaded-glass was hand-painted, soldered together and then transported from Utah to Arizona in 10-by-3-foot sections.



There is one inscription on the Gilbert Arizona Temple. It is on the East side of the temple above the entryway The letters are raised patinad brass metal .



The cornerston of theGilbert Temple is on the south east corner, facing eas.


Spires and Moroni


A 195-foot spire rises from the center of the roof and is capped with a 400-pound gold-leafed fiberglass statue of the angel Moroni, a prophet from the Book of Mormon.


The Angel Moroni Statue was placed on the Gilbert Arizona Temple 15 May 2012. The statue faces east and was carved in 1985 by Karl Quilter.


The temple was designed by the Tempe, Arizona, architectural firm Architekton, with architect Gregory B. Lambright overseeing the project. The temple includes a baptistry, dressing rooms, administrative offices, a chapel, instruction rooms, sealing rooms (used for marriages) and waiting rooms.

Stylized versions of the agave plant can be found carved into the stonework inside and out sculpted into the carpet, etched into the woodwork and displayed on the light fixtures, door hardware and elsewhere. The colors of the agave plant’s leaves and flowers influenced the interior, which has a color scheme of soft blues, greens, golds, and creams.

Fine artist Howard Lyon, a resident of Gilbert, painted two 4-by-15-foot murals depicting scenes from Christ’s life that hang in the baptistry.

Individuals and Contractors

Architect Architekton
Project Manager
Bret Woods
Contractor Okland Construction
Art Glass Holdman Studios
Murals Howard Lyon
Precast Concrete
IMS Masonry
Landscape Concrete L.R. Cowan
Structural Concrete Suntec Concrete
Interior Finish work Houghton Plaster
Acoustical Consultant Spectrum Engineers
Insulation Arizona Foam and Spray
Mechanical and Plumbing VBFA

Sources and Links

External links

Additional Articles

Gilbert LDS Temple (Construction Blog)


  1. [1]Branom, Mike (April 27, 2008). “New Mormon temple slated for Gilbert”. East Valley Tribune. Archived from the original on April 29, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
  2. [2]“President Monson Announces Two New Temples in Arizona,” Mormon Newsroom, 28 APRIL 2008
  3. [3]“Two new temples: Gilbert, Gila Valley,” Church News, 26 April 2008
  4. [4]Paul Gilbert, Presentation to the Town of Gilbert Planning Commission, 5 Aug. 2009, 8 Aug. 2009 .
  5. [5] “People,” Architekton, 31 Jul. 2009 .
  6. [6]Green, Katherine (August 6, 2009). “Gilbert begins process for approving new LDS temple”. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
  7. [7]“Planning Commission Meeting Agenda” Gilbert, Arizona 5 Aug. 2008, 3 Aug. 2008.
  8. [8] Proceedings of Planning Commission Public Hearing, 2 Sept. 2009, 3 Sept. 2009.
  9. [9]Green, Katherine (September 3, 2009). “Panel paves way for new Mormon temple in Gilbert”. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  10. [10]Proceedings of Town Council Public Hearing, 29 Sept. 2009, 29 Sept. 2009
  11. [11]Beard Rau, Alia (September 30, 2009). “Gilbert Council OKs Mormon temple zoning changes”. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  12. [12]“Design Review Board Staff Report,” Gilbert, Arizona 10 Jun. 2010, 7 Jun. 2010.
  13. [13]Parker Leavitt, “Gilbert LDS temple clears last hurdle with panel’s approval,” The Arizona Republic 16 Jun. 2010, 16 Jun. 2010
  14. [14]Leavitt, Parker (November 2, 2010). “Gilbert Days Parade, LDS temple groundbreaking land on same day”. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  15. [15]“Gilbert Arizona Temple Groundbreaking”. Church News and Events. LDS Church. November 13, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  16. [16]Ruelas, Richard (October 12, 2012), “Side by side: Mormonism in Arizona”, Arizona Republic
  17. [17]Karl Weber, “Temple Website,” Email to Rick Satterfield, 21 June 2012.
  18. [18]“Public Invited to Tour Gilbert Arizona Temple”, Newsroom, LDS Church, October 21, 2013
  19. [19]“Gilbert Arizona Temple dedicatory prayer”, Church News, Mar. 8, 2014
  20. [20]Avant, Gerry. “Gilbert Arizona Temple Dedicated as a “Sanctuary of Serenity.”” 2 March 2014. Last accessed 17 April 2016.
  21. [21]“LDS Church announces two new temples in Arizona.”, The Salt Lake Tribune, April 27, 2008, retrieved November 2, 2012
  22. [22]Srianthi Perera, “Desert Agave Inspires Gilbert LDS Temple Design,” The Republic, Sept. 6, 2013


This post currently has 5 responses

  • Please include in the description of the cultural celebration, that there had been a drought that winter, and then on the night of the outdoor celebration, it poured!
    Elder Eyring got up laughing and said something like, “In many years you will come here with your grandchildren and say “This is where I danced for the prophet in the rain!'”

  • Hi Brian – I would like to make some 3d CNC cutouts of the Gilbert Temple. Would it be possible to get a copy of your model? It would make for a great start!

    • There is a plan to redo this temple with more detail. When I originally made this model, the temple footing was barely in place. I had no idea what plants they were going to use, I only had an indication as to where the plants would be.

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