Provo Utah Temple


[arve url=”” /]

Video and Model Details


This was one of the first models I made, right after Salt Lake and Mount Timpanogos. It has be revised many times, with this version having just been completed this year, 2012.


WoodThrushDuskMay2012 – kvgarlic
many_fountains – Pooleside


Modeled: 2.x
Render: Cycles

Whole Scene

File Size:

Temple Only

File Size:

Early Video

[arve url=”” /]

Video and Model Details


Provo Utah Temple Model 2006




Modeled: Blender 2.x
Render: Cycles

Whole Scene

Faces: 0
Objects: 0
File Size:

Temple Only

Vertices: 0
Faces: 0
Objects: 0
File Size: 0


Provo Utah Temple Wiki


The Provo Utah Temple (formerly the Provo Temple) is the 17th constructed and 15th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Located in the city of Provo, Utah, it was built with a modern single-spire design, similar to the original design of the Ogden Utah Temple.

Since Provo’s early years, a hill just northeast of downtown Provo was known as “Temple Hill.” Instead of a temple, however, the Maeser Building was built on the hill in 1911 as a part of the Brigham Young University (BYU) campus. A 17-acre (69,000 m2) block of property at the base of Rock Canyon was chosen as the site for the Provo Temple.


Hopes for a temple for Provo go back to the city’s early years. Early on a hill outside of the edge of town came to be known as “Temple Hill, a name that stuck until the campus for the then new BYU built the Maeser building on the hill in 1911.


A 1966 study found that 52 percent of temple work was being done in either the Salt Lake, Logan, or Manti temples, even though there were 13 operating temples throughout the world.[1]


In the 1967 the recently formed Church Building Committee was asked to take a look into the overcrowding issues at Manti and Logan and see what could be done to expand the two temples there. They found that, since the temples had been constructed before building codes were put into place, that there was not much that could be done without building codes requiring large portions of the original temple be brought up to code as well. Their suggestion, was that rather than try to make either temple larger, which would include the cost of essentially renovating much of either existing temple, two new temples could be built for less cost. One temple was proposed in Ogden on the tabernacle block, which the Church already owned. The second location the committee proposed was in Provo on a seventeen acre block of property at the base of Rock Canyon being offered to the Church  in Provo.[2]


The intention to construct a temple in Provo was announced by the LDS Church on August 14, 1967, to help ease the overcrowding of the Salt Lake, Manti and Logan temples already in the area. Concurrent meetings were held with 28 stake presidents in Ogden and 25 Stake presidents in Provo to propose the idea of building the new temples. It was explained in both meetings that, while other areas of the Church were also in need of temples, it was felt these two new temples would serve the largest number of people. This was at a time when the local stakes were asked to raise a portion of the funds for the new temples and Churches, and needed to agree with the plan. The vote at both meetings was unanimous in the affirmative.[1]


The project was then turned over to church Architect Emil B. Fetzer and his staff. President McKay was concerned that the church as a whole would think him a spendthrift for approving not one, but two new temples. The Church had just gone through a major change in emphasis in regards to budgets, and he had already overseen construction of the Los Angeles, Bern, Hamilton, London and Oakland Temples (to that date, no other prophet had overseen more than 4.) He gave the architects very specific orders for austerity and economy in these two new temples.[2] The design guidelines included:

  • Reasonable cost[1]
  • Full size Temples (Not smaller like the recent international temples)[1]
  • More compact and efficient, not large like the recent Los Angeles California and Oakland California Temples.
  • No Assembly Room[2]
  • No Multiple spires, one only[2]
  • No Excess square footage[2]
  • No excess cubage (Vaulted or raised ceilings)[2]
  • One Architectural plan for both temples (absolutely no paying for two plans, though minor changes could be made to the exterior for different looks)[2]
  • No Angel Moroni (though the planning committee purportedly decided to strengthen the spires to hold the weight of a statue, just in case one could be added later.)[2] And indeed, the artists render actually included a Moroni Statue on the spire.

President McKay said, “I would like these two Temples to be functional and economical with temple quality. In the coming years, many Temples will be built. Of necessity, these Temples must be functional in design and cost so that they may accomplish their sacred purposes.”[3]

Brother Fetzer would remark that “I think this [Ogden/Provo] is the only building that I have designed in words before I started to put marks on paper.”[1] The desing was wholly from the inside out, with the interior layout and efficiency being the paramount concern, knowing the exterior would come later.[1]

After a few months of work and preliminary design, Brother Fetzer and his team were informed that film had been approved for wider domestic use to present the endowment, and that management of the sessions and tracking of ordinances would be turned completely over to the Church’s new computer systems. This meant the number of people needed to run a session and a temple as a whole was reduced significantly. This also meant drastic changes could be made in the design and layout. Three Months of work was thrown completely out and on a late flight from New York to England Brother Fetzer and Brother Fred Baker of the Building Committee discussed the changes, and ways to layout the design of the temple without the restrictions that had just been removed. By the time they landed in England, the had a preliminary design that featured 6 endowment rooms arrayed around a central celestial room, and estimates that this new design could perform more endowment sessions than any other temple in the Church.[2]


A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 15, 1969 with President Hugh B. Brown, a member of the First Presidency, dedicating the temple site and performing the groundbreaking ceremony.

Cornerstone Ceremony

A cornerstone ceremony was held for the Provo City Center Temple on 21 May 1971. For many of the temples built through the first decades after World War II, it was common for a cornerstone ceremony to be held after the shell of the building was roughly in place, rather than just prior to the dedication, as with modern temples, or just after groundbreaking, as with the early temples.

Open House

An open house was held for the Provo Utah Temple from 10 – 29 January 1972.


The temple was dedicated on February 9, 1972. The dedicatory prayer was written by LDS Church president Joseph Fielding Smith and read by President Harold B. Lee. In the dedicatory prayer Church President Joseph Fielding Smith connected the quest for academic knowledge with the learning that takes place through temple worship: “May those who teach and study in all academic fields have their souls enlightened with spiritual knowledge so they will turn to thy house for blessings and knowledge and learning that surpass all that may be found elsewhere.”[4]

The two dedicatory services were broadcast to several large auditoriums on the BYU campus, in the Marriott Center, George Albert Smith Fieldhouse, Joseph Smith Building, Harris Fine Arts Center, and Knight-Mangum Hall (Language Training Mission) on the BYU campus. Over 70,000 attended in what was the largest temple dedication in history.

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedication Order

The Provo Utah Temple was the sixth temple built in Utah and the first built in Utah County.

Myths and Stories

There has been a tradition that Emil Fetzer intended the Temple to represent a pillar of fire by night (in the gold spire) and the pillar of cloud by day (The  third story above the windows,) as told in Exodus. 13:21, which states” “The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way and in a pillar of light by night …” Thus, the white facade of the Temples was the white cloud and the golden spire was lighted at night to represent a pillar of fire.

One source goes so far as to state that he was told this by Kieth Wilcox (Architect of the Washington D.C. Temple) who was told in turn by Emil Fetzer.

Another individual, (This page, 13th comment) however, who says she interviewed Emil Fetzer for a paper on Architecture Symbolism for a class at BYU says that “there was no intended symbolism; in fact, he sounded surprised that “everyone knows”… He may have had a vision, but he wouldn’t admit it to me;… had little patience for all the symbolism…”

The story is very familiar, and spread far and wide. It may be true, or it may just be a very obvious comparison. (I myself made the same connection in the design as a young man without any input from anyone else.) It may be that there is no definitive answer to whether or not this story is true, but it should be noted that none of the other temples designed by Emil B. Fetzer have any claimed overt spiritual symbolism to their design. If he did intend the symbolism, it would have been quite a break from his usual style.


Temple President Years Served
President Donald H. Livingstone 2016–
President Alan C. Ashton 2013–2016
President Robert H. Daines 2010–2013
President Merrill J. Bateman 2007–2010
President Carl W. Bacon 2004–2007
President Jay M. Smith Jr. 2001–2004
President Dean L. Larsen 1998–2001
President Robert J. Smith 1995–1998
President Arthur S. Anderson 1992–1995
President J. Elliot Cameron 1989–1992
President Arthur J. Sperry Jr. 1986–1989
President Leland F. Priday 1982–1986
President A. Theodore Tuttle 1980–1982
President Orville C. Gunther 1976–1980
President Harold G. Clark 1972–1976

The temple is half a mile northeast of Brigham Young University, the Church Educational System’s main campus. Also near the temple is the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC), an instructional campus for men and women who are preparing to serve Mormon missions throughout the world. The facilities can accommodate 4,000 mission trainees, and instructors teach approximately 50 different languages. Not even factoring in attendance by patrons from the university and the MTC, the Provo Utah Temple stays quite busy.


Representative of the architectural style known as New Formalism, the Provo Utah Temple exterior displays symmetry, delicate arched carvings and use of high quality materials and modern design elements. The Provo and Ogden Temples were almost identical, except for a few exterior design variations. A 2014 redesign of the Ogden Utah Temple completely changed its exterior appearance, but the original architecture of the Provo Utah Temple still remains.

The cast stone panels on the upper story of the Provo Temple has a bas relief floral design comprised of sharp Gothic arches of increasing length and a gently outward sloping top on the upper edge of the panel. All this serves to direct they eye heavenward.


The exterior of the Provo Utah Temple is precast concrete.


The windows at the Provo Utah Temple are a unique mirrored Bronze glass that reflects the mountains the lake, depending on where you stand.



There are two inscriptions on the Provo Utah Temple. The first inscription is on the east (back) side of the temple and was added as part of the construction. The letters are engraved into the precast concrete and gilded. The inscription also features the name of the Church and the name of the Temple.


The second inscription on the Provo City Center Temple is a newer addition. It was added around the time the grounds were re-landscaped 2005-2006. It is on the East Side side of the temple to the right (south) of the front doors. The letters are raised brass.




The cornerstone for the Provo Utah Temple is on Northern most corner, facing east. (This is a departure from most temples, where the cornerstone is on the south east most corner.) The text is inscribed in a concrete panel of a different color and consistency from the rest of the temple, and are gilded.

A.D. 1969-71
A.D. 1972

Spires and Moroni


A single spire rises from the center of the Provo Utah Temple. The spire is tiered, and the top of each tier folds out, like flower petals or like a fountain spray spreading out. When the temple was originally built, the top two smallest sections of the spire were gilded, rather than gold colored fiberglass like the remainder of the tiers. The spire topped out at 180 feet.

Thirty-one years after the temple’s completion, the upper two gilded tiers were removed and a statue of the Angel Moroni was added to the spire, which itself was changed from gold to white.


During a minor refurbishment in 2003, the top two segments of the the spire were removed and on 12 May an Angel Moroni Statue was placed at the top of the Spire. The statue was sculpted in 1985 by Karl Quilter and faces east on the spire.


The Provo Utah Temple  has a total floor area of 128,325 square feet (11,921.8 m2) and four floors, one below ground and three above.

On the below-ground floor are the baptismal font, mechanical equipment, boiler room, laundry, kitchen, dining area, lockers for workers, and storage space.

The main floor, which is 200 feet by 184 feet in size, contains the foyer and lobby, administrative and clerical offices, men’s locker rooms, women’s locker rooms, brides’ rooms, grooms’ instruction rooms, and waiting rooms.

On the second floor are a chapel and 12 sealing rooms.

The top floor accommodates 6 ordinance rooms and the Celestial Room. Only three other temples have six ordinance rooms: the Ogden Utah , Jordan River Utah , and Washington D.C. Temples.

The design for the two upper floors is unique. Brother Fetzer said that the plan for these floors came from the idea of what he calls a Danish ellipse. During his travels he read about a new park being designed in Copenhagen that was completely surrounded by a roadway. It was not a circle, but an elongated ellipse. A modification of this idea turned out to be exactly what he needed to accommodate the rooms and corridors for these floors. The corridor runs completely around the outside wall. Entrances to the ordinance rooms are from the corridor.This unique design, never before used in the Church, allowed sessions to start every 20 minutes.[1]

Individuals and Contractors

Architect Emil B. Fetzer
Contractor  Hogan and Tingey

Sources and Links

External links

Additional Articles


  1. [1]Green, Doyle L., “Two Temples to Be Dedicated”, Ensign, January 1972
  2. [2]“The Detailed Story of the Old and New Ogden Temples,”, 17 December 2015. Accessed 2 October 2016.
  3. [3]David O. McKay, quoted in Emil Baer Fetzer, Completed Writings of Emil Baer Fetzer, 2003, 3, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
  4. [4]Provo Utah Temple dedicatory prayer, in Church News, Feb. 9, 1972,

Social and Sharing


Have a story about this Temple to share? Leave it here!
(Please note, I do not sell or give out my model files.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.