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Logan Utah Temple

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easter morning birdsong – jim frank



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Logan Utah Temple Wiki


The Logan Utah Temple is the fourth constructed and the second of the still-operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Located in the city of Logan, Utah, it was the second LDS temple built in the Rocky Mountains, the St. George Temple.



On 22 August 1863, during a meeting between local leaders, members, and the General authorities in a large bowry constructed in Logan, Wilford W. Woodruf, then an apostle, stood and to the congregation prophesied the coming of a temple to Logan:

Yea, the day will come after your fathers and the prophets and apostles are dead and passed away into the spirit world, when you will have the privilege of going into the towers of a glorious temple, which will be built unto the name of the Most High east of us upon the Logan bench; and you will stand in the towers of that temple and your eyes survey this glorious Valley, filled with cities and villages, occupied with tens of thousands of Latter-Day Saints.[1]

President Brigham Young then stood and affirmed that “All that Brother Woodruff has said is revelation and will be fulfilled.”[1]

Site Selection

Brigham Young and several other leaders arrived in Cache valley on 16 May 1877 to select a site. Truman O. Angell made a tentative site selection. Later that morning they were joined by the rest of the party. Brigham young walked the silhouette of the proposed temple, digging in his heal at each corner. He then asked six bretheren to dig holes at each corner so that he could better see the layout. The digging was difficult, and after eight feet of gravel, President Young instructed them to stop, proclaiming that they would find it to be gravel all the way down. A later survey would show that hill to be gravel 1000 feet down.[2]

Having decided that the site was right for a temple, President Young instructed that a foundation be dug, seven feet wide, but only two feet deep.[2]


The LDS temple in Logan was announced on May 18, 1877,[3] just after the dedication of the St. George Temple in April 1877. The site of the Logan Utah Temple had been held in reserve for many years. It was used as a park and public grounds before being dedicated as the site for the temple. The Salt Lake Temple had been announced in 1847 but construction was still underway and would not be completed until 1893, so the Logan Utah Temple was built along with the St. George Utah Temple to satisfy the church’s immediate need for temples.


Ground was broken at noon on 18 May 1877 by John W. Young starting at the south east corner. Site Dedication was performed the same day by Elder Orson Pratt, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.

Corner Stones laid and Dedicated

On Monday the 19th of September 1877 people gathered from all around the valley, and at noon John Taylor conducted the ceremony. Master mason John Parry proceeded to lay the first corner stone, assisted by the Apostles and Patriarchs and Truman O. Angell. The remaining cornerstones were then laid, the South west by the Presiding Bishopric and local bishops.  Then the Northwest corner, which was laid by the Presidency of the Cache Valley Stake. Lastly the North East cornerstone was laid by the Presidency of the Seventy assisted by local Elder’s Quorum presidents. Each cornerstone is 4 1/2 feet wide by 4 1/2 feet tall, and 6 feet long running east to west.[2]

Time Capsule Corner Stone

John Taylor and 8 of the Apostles gathered together on 3 August of 1878 , A stone box was placed in the Southeast corner, and while a small group of individuals watched on, various objects such as scriptures in English and Danish, copies of local and state newspapers, and a collection of coins. These objects were collected during the Golden Jubilee in 1934, and were moved to a metal box, along with additions, to be reviewed again later.[2]



In November 1978 the walls of the temple reached 23 feet in height.[2]


The Double string Sandstone Courses between the first and Second story windows was completed by 18 August 1879.[2]

By November 21, as the mason work season closed for the winter, the south and east walls were 60 feet high, and the north and west walls had reached 50.[2]


By the end of July the roof was completed.[2]


The Logan Leader from 14 April featured an article stating that plumbers were on-site to do the steam heating work on the temple.[2]

Utah Journal from 4 August mentions that only the east turret was needing finishing stone work. Pointing work on the exterior stone was, working from the top down. It also mentioned that the walls were being painted in a “white color having a pink tint,” the west end having been finished already. Inside , the article stated that “The plasterers were crowding the carpenters” but that the work of finishing the inside was progressing rapidly.[2]

Like the other temples of the early Church, the Temple was member constructed. Roughly 25,000 people worked on the Logan Utah Temple. Rocks and timber used for the temple were hauled from the Temple Fork area of Logan Canyon. As completion of the temple neared, women in the area were asked to make carpets for the temple, since commercially made carpet could not be bought in Utah at that time. The women spent two months working to hand make two thousand square yards of carpet.



The temple was dedicated on 17-19 May 1884 by John Taylor, then President of the Church, in 3 sessions. [1] This is the only Temple dedicated by President Taylor.

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicatory Count

There was one other temple (St. George Utah Temple) in use when the Logan Utah Temple was dedicated. Logan brought the total temple count to 2. Additionally there were 2 other temples under construction, Manti Utah and Salt Lake.


Logan Temple, 1884
The temple about the time of the dedication, with the original annex and the bright colored exterior.


The Temple annex was expanded starting in August to add a dining room, a bedrooms for the cooks, and a coal storage room. The expansion was completed by Christmas.


Logan Temple, 1886
A Small addition to the annex, including an expanded entryway on the east side. Some of the early photos that remain of the original Logan Utah Temple suggest the string courses (The bands of carved stone that run around the temple, currently a yellow sandstone color) may have been darker than the rest of the temple walls, even when painted.


The exterior of the temple was painted again, as the exterior had been weathering.


In September, the painted exterior had weathered again. Comments that the exterior had acquired a “moldy” look prompted the decision to not paint, and let the stone regain it’s natural color.

1917 – Fire and Repair

A renovation of the temple had just finished in 4 September 1917. On 4 December of the same year a fire started in an electrical cabinet under the main stairway. The fire spread up the stairway to the upper floor. The walls, ceilings, carpets, decorations, all furnishings, art windows, paintings,doors and casings were ruined or badly damaged. Forty thousand dollars was spent to repair it within three months.


Repair work from the fire was completed and the temple reopened for business 1 March. Total cost of repairs, which had been estimated at $100,000, was only $40,000. New offices were added to the annex at that time, and a cut through was made in the west wall of the annex to access them.


Logan Temple, 1920Expansions to the original annex. White washing still apparently visible on the bottom course of the temple in some photos. Original chimney replaced with a taller chimney in an effort to solve issues with soot buildup on the temple proper. (Work possibly done in conjunction with 1917 fire, but known photos dated 1920.)


Logan Temple, 1930
Additional expansion to the original annex. New entryway off the east end expanded, old entryway on west side remodeled and expanded. New south west annex addition tied annex directly into the first floor of the temple, instead of through underground tunnel. Additional expansion on the annex north end.


Recorders office is expanded, new rooms were built for the assistant recorder and office staff.

1934- Golden Jubilee

The temple was temporarily lit with the help of the city for the month of May in 1934 as part of the 50 temple dedication celebration.


Steel beams were installed on parts of the inside of the temple to fix problems with dry rot. The problems came about as a result of excess water from the 1917 fire.


The temple was permanently lit on 17 May 1947. 9,000 people attended a special dedicatory program.

1949 – Modernization

In 1949, the temple was remodeled and received updated lighting, heating, air conditioning, elevators, and other modern conveniences. The annex was expanded again, to the North and west. Crenelations on the annex walls were removed. A new taller chimney was placed farther from the temple, again to address issues with soot fouling the exterior of the temple proper.


on 7 February 1967 a set of elevator controls jammed and started another fire. It required attendance from the Fire Department, but the blaze was put out without any significant damage.

Historical Registration

The Logan Utah Temple was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1975.[4]

Closure and Remodel

In 1977, more remodeling was undertaken and the interior was completely gutted and redone.


The Ogden Temple was dedicated in 1972 and it was expected that it would take some of the load from Logan and Salt Lake Temples. Prior to the Ogden Temple being built, it was not unheard of for people to have to wait as long as 3 hours to get into one of the other two temples.  Even at the time of the time of building of the Ogden temple, there had been talk of converting the Logan Utah Temple to the video system of presentation in order to increase efficiency.[5] Despite the Ogden temple being efficient enough to perform more work in a single month than Logan, Salt Lake, Manti and St George combined,[6] the wait time at Logan still remained.

The Proposal

In 1974 Emil B. Fetzer was asked by the First Presidency to propose plans to convert the Logan Utah Temple so that film could be used for part of the endowment ceremony. After about a year of working on the problem, he presented what he felt was the only viable option: remove all inner walls and partitions, and start with a completely new layout to the interior. Besides effectively gutting all but the assembly hall on the top most level, the plan also included retrenchment of the footings, removing the existing temple annex on the North Side and building a larger annex in its place, and fixing structural issues with the original temple shell. Approval was given in August 1975[7]


Upon commencement of the work in November of 1976, it became apparent that even the Assembly hall had structural issues, so it was removed with the intention of rebuilding it in its original state. Then the roof as well was found to have structural issues, so it to was stripped down to the trusses to be replaced as well. The drastic state this left the temple in is described by a Quote from the working draft of the book Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball:

As Fetzer…stood in the dirt of the basement level and looked up to see open sky through the skeleton roof trusses, he says, “I was horribly shocked,…shaken at the boldness and the audacity that I had in proposing such an extreme and drastic manner for changing a temple…yet, I knew that it was right.”[7]

The remodel finished in 1979, and increased the temples capacity by 75% compared to the original layout.[8]

Open House

An open house for the newly remodeled temple was held February 6-March 3 of 1979, a total of 24 days.


The temple was rededicated 13–15 March 1979 by Spencer W. Kimball in 9 sessions.[9]

Rededicatory Prayer

Dedicatory Count

There were 17 temples in operation worldwide at the time (including Logan.) Additionally, there were 2 temples under construction at this time, the Seattle Washington Temple, and the Tokyo Japan Temple. 3 Temples had been announced and were awaiting construction: Mexico City, Jordan River, and American Samoa (American Samoa would later be canceled and replaced with Sydney, Papeete, Nuku’alofa, and Apia Temples.)


Reception of the remodel of the temple was mixed. 30 years later it is still common to see complaints and laments over the loss of the historical pioneer aspects of the temple[10][11]

One very poignant sentiment was recounted by musician and cache valley historian Michael Ballam. In an interview with his grandfather, who had been a witness to the changes made during the remodel. He asked him what he had felt watching all the “beautiful things” being removed from the temple:

“It was hard, but we needed to learn a Lesson… some of us were confused that the temple was about velvet, and about marble, and about beautiful paintings, and it’s not. It’s about Holy Ordinances. And those ordinances could be performed in a tent in the wilderness as they were with Moses, Or in a home that was worthy of those ordinances, and I think some of us needed to learn that lesson. I was one of them.”[12]

The Temple had been registered a historical place in November of 1975, the remodel and modernization brought complaints from the National Register of Historic Places. To those complaints a regional representative of the Church responded, “Personally, I don’t see any difference on way or another. The temple serves a religious purpose whether it’s an historical site or not.” [13]


Glen O. Jenson[14] 2014-Current
G. Ward Taylor[15] 2011-2014
W. Rolfe Kerr 2008-2011
Dennes E. Simmons 2005-2008
Max W. Craner 1999-2002
G. Jackson Kidd 1996-1999
Oral Lamb Ballam 1993-1996
Ivan V. Miller 1990-1993
George C. Ficklin 1987-1990
Ralph M. Jonson 1984-1987
Reed Bullen 1978-1984
Lloyd R. Hunsaker 1973–1978
A. George Raymond 1952–1968
Elvie W. Heaton 1968–1973
ElRay L. Christiansen 1943–1952
Joseph Quinney Jr. 1936–1943
William A. Noble 1935-1936
Joseph R. Shepherd 1918-1935
William Budge 1906–1918
Marriner W. Merrill 1884-1906


Measurement Value
Height (West Tower) 165′
Height (East Tower) 170′
Height (Shoulder)
Length 168′
Width 224′
Square Feet 115,507 (Orig. 59130)
Floors  5
Endowment Rooms  4
Sealing Rooms  11



Dark-colored, siliceous limestone—an extremely hard stone and compact in texture.

Buff-colored sandstone was used wherever detailed shaping was necessary.

Initially, the whole temple was whitewashed or painted to give it a light color in appearance. As the white weathered away, the decision was made to allow it to do so. For a time, only the lowest level of the temple retained the light color, until that too was allowed to weather away


Large arched multi pane clear glass windows

Original Interior

Prior to the overhaul and remodel in the 1970’s, the Logan temple had ornate and decorated progressive endowment rooms.


The oxen in the baptistry were carved by Scottish immigrant Alexander McQueen. The font was cast in 6 pieces of iron. The Font and oxen together weigh about 9 tons.

Creation Room

The creation room had full floor to ceiling wrap around murals. The murals were painted by William Armitage.

Garden Room

The Garden room had full floor to ceiling wrap around murals. The murals were painted by Danquart “Dan” Anthon Weggeland.

World Room

The World room had full floor to ceiling wrap around murals. The murals were painted by Danquart “Dan” Anthon Weggeland.

Terrestrial Room

The Terrestrial room has ornately decorated with molding.

Celestial Room

The Celestial room has ornately decorated with molding, as well as large 20×30 foot pictures by William Armitage, and later large paintings by J. Leo Fairbanks.





Spires and Moroni



None – Dual weather vanes only.

Personel and Companies

Architect Truman O. Angell
Superintendent of Construction Charles O. Card
Master Mason John Parry
Plastering Foreman William Davis
Master Mechanic James Quayle
Chief Clerk James A. Leishman
Chief Quarryman Ralph P. Smith
White Rock Quarry Super Alexander Isatt
Saw Mill Superintendant David Lamoreaux

Sources and Links for the Logan Utah Temple

External links

Additional Articles


  1. [1]M. R. Hovey “Construction of the Temple,” Logan Journal, 4 August 1923, via accessed 7 May 2017.
  2. [2]Nolan P. Olson, “Logan Temple, The First 100 Years,”
  3. [3] Roberts, Allen D.,  “National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form: Logan Temple” (PDF). National Park Service, June 2, 1975. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  4. [4]National Park Service“National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 9 July 2010.
  5. [5]Prince and Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, University of Utah Press, p 268, 2005.
  6. [6]Arave, Lynn, Why were the first Ogden/Provo LDS temples designed the way they were?, Nigh Unto Kolob, 8 February 2016. accessed 2 October 2016.
  7. [7]Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, working draft, Ch. 35 p. 22
  8. [8]Lynne Hollstein, “Tours begin in Logan Temple,” Deseret News, Feb 10, 1979
  9. [9]“Logan Temple Rededicated” Ensign, May 1979. Accessed 7 May 2017
  10. [10]BT,”Logan Temple: Interior, Renovation, and Restoration,” Historic LDS Architecture, 30 July 2015.
  11. [11]Commment Section”The Logan Temple – Then and Now,” The Trumpet Stone, 16 January 2011. accessed 25 April 2017.
  12. [12]Logan Temple Part 6,” YouTube, accessed 25 October 2016.
  13. [13]“Historical register status or not, Logan Temple will serve function,” Deseret News, May 7 1979
  14. [14]Six New Temple Presidents Called,”, 27 May 2014, accessed 25 April 2017.
  15. [15]New Temple Presidents” Church News, 21 May 2011. accessed 25 April 2017.

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