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Salt Lake Temple

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Salt Lake Temple Wiki

Contents

Description

The Salt Lake Temple is a temple located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. At 253,015 square feet (23,505.9 m2), it is the largest LDS temple by floor area. Dedicated in 1893, it is the sixth temple completed by the church, requiring 40 years to complete, and the fourth temple built since the exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846.[1]

History*

Announcement

 

Jesse Carter Little kept a diary of the Journey the pioneers made across the plains. Using a sextant and a compass he cataloged latitude and longitude, place names and miles for the entire trek westward. On the Day the pioneers entered the valley, 24 July 1847, his diary contains one entry. It reads, in part:

“….Northern boundary of the Temple Square 40 Degrees latitude and 11 degrees longitude.[2]

Tradition holds that 4 days after the arrival, 28 July 1847, Brigham Young walked to a section of land located between two creeks in the heart of the valley while in the company of Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, and many others.  Brigham placed his cane into the ground,[3] then, waving his hand around him said

“Here is the forty acres for the temple. The city can be laid out perfectly square north and south east and west.”

The motion was then made and carried to set aside 40 acres for the building of the temple, and the motion accepted[4] Wilford Woodruff drove a wooden stake into the hole left by Brigham Young’s cane to mark the location of the temple. [4] Days later, as the city was being planned, and after much discussion, the decision was made to reduce the number of acres to 10, as it was felt 40 was unnecessary.[5]

On 23 December of 1847, the Church circulated a letter calling for contributions of precious metals and other materials in preparation for building the temple.[6]

1850

Truman O. Angell Sr. was named as architect of the Church’s public works department (and consequently became temple architect as well) on 26 May 1850.[7][8][9]

1851

On 22 February the Red Butte Railroad Company was formed. The purpose of this railroad was to build a track to the red butte quarry. Carts would be towed up this track by ox teams, then the loaded carts would be coasted back down the track with a brakeman on board to slow the cart when it reached temple square.[10]

At the April conference in 1851, a motion was made to build the temple, and was carried with acclamation. Daniel H Wells was then appointed to be construction supervisor.[4][11] Additionally the announcement was made about the coming Red Butte Railroad, and plans to have it assist in the construction of the temple:

“A railroad has been chartered to extend from the Temple Block in this city to the stone quarry and mountain on the east, for the conveyance of building materials; the construction to commence immediately.” [12]

By the last day of April, construction had begun on the Red Butte Rail line.[13]

1852

Shortly after the start of 1852, the decision was made to make the Red Butte Rail line a graded road and use broad tire wagons to hall the lumber and stone instead.

In the April Conference Truman O. Angell, already the architect of the Church’s public works department, was sustained as the official architect of the Church.[14]

On 3 August 1852 men were put to work building the 14 foot sandstone walls that surround temple square. [15][16]

At the October General Conference, The a vote was put forward as to the material the temple should be constructed from, sandstone, adobe, or the best local stone. The vote was for the best local stone and the Presidency was charged with determining where the stone other materials should be obtained from.[17]

Groundbreaking

Construction officially began on 14 February 1853. Jesse W. Fox surveyed the site, and then Brigham Young spoke, talking about the need for temples, and how it was not needed that every portion of a temple be dictated by revelation. He put forth that as we know what needs to go into a house of dwelling, so those who had received the ordinances in the previous temple knew what needed to go into this one. He then proposed that:

“In a few days I shall be able to give a plan on paper and, then if heaven or any good man on earth, will suggest any improvements, we will receive them and adopt them.[18]

Music and a Song were then performed, after which Heber C. Kimball offered a dedicatory prayer on the grounds. Then, preceding to the South East Corner of the site, one square foot of Eart was loosened, and Brigham Young cast aside the first shovel of dirt.[18]

According to the account in the Deseret News Weekly, after the loosening of the dirt, and prior to the first shovelful being moved a silver dollar fell onto the loosened soil, and no one new where it came from. President Kimball prophesied that it was a sign that means to build the temple would not be wanted.[18]

Though some of the crowd returned to their homes shortly after the groundbreaking, many people stayed and commenced the work of preparing to lay the foundation.

Wilford Woodruff was appointed Superintendent of the foundation digging on 21 February.[19]

Cornerstone Ceremony

On 6 April of 1853, in conjunction with General Conference and the 23rd anniversary of the Church, the cornerstone ceremony was held for the Salt Lake Temple. Firestone sandstone quarried from Red Butte Canyon had been brought to the site for use as the Cornerstones and foundation of the new temple.[8] After convening General conference in the first tabernacle built on Temple Square a procession of bands and the First Presidency conducted the crowd tot he South East Corner, where the First Presidency and Church Patriarch laid the first cornerstone. The Presiding Bishopric representing the lesser priesthood than laid the South west corner, followed by the Presidency of the High priests, the High Council and the Stake Presidency laying the North west corner, and the Twelve apostles with representatives of the seventies and elders laying the North West Corner in the pattern taught by Joseph Smith on the other temples. [8]

When conference reconvened,  Brigham Young taught the following:

“I scarcely ever say much about revelations, or visions, but suffice it to say, five years ago last July [1847] I was here, and saw in the Spirit the Temple not ten feet from where we have laid the Chief Corner Stone. I have not inquired what kind of a Temple we should build. Why? Because it was represented before me. I have never looked upon that ground, but the vision of it was there. I see it as plainly as if it was in reality before me. Wait until it is done. I will say, however, that it will have six towers, to begin with, instead of one. Now do not any of you apostatize because it will have six towers, and Joseph only built one. It is easier for us to build sixteen, than it was for him to build one. The time will come when there will be one in the centre of Temples we shall build, and on the top, groves and fish ponds. But we shall not see them here, at present.”[20]

Construction

By 17 June 1853 the Red Butte road was completed and the work of hauling rock and lumber for the temple was begun.[21]

1855

On 1 February the Legislative assembly granted rights to Brigham Young, Isaac Chase, and Feramorz Little to build a canal from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Salt Lake City. The purpose of this proposed canal would have been to float granite from the area of the canyons closer to Salt Lake, with any Surplus used for irrigation. and the hope was the Canal would be ready by summer of 1856.[22]

William Ward, a stone-cutter who had some architectural training was asked to be Truman O’ Angel’s assistant on 9 March.[23] William Ward would later relate the following:

“Brigham Young drew upon a slate in the architect’s office a sketch, and said to Truman O. Angell: ‘There will be three towers on the east, representing the President and his two counselors; also three similar towers on the west representing the Presiding Bishop and his two counselors; the towers on the east the Melchisedek priesthood, those on the west the Aaronic preisthood. The center towers will be higher than those on the sides, and the west towers a little lower than those on the east end. The body of the building will be between these.’”[24]

Truman Angel, having been a skilled Carpenter who had worked as a wood Joiner on both the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples took up the task of developing the general design of parts of the temple, and Ward, having been trained in architecture in England and was skilled in Stone construction, took Angell’s designs and drew detailed plans for each course of stone. By 28 April of the same year they had completed plans for the foundation and portions of the temple basement, and Brigham Young had approved those plans.[8]

Not long after completion of these initial plans Brigham Young Called Truman Angell to a mission to study architecture in Europe, setting him apart as a missionary prior to his departure:

“You shall have power and means to go from place to place, from country to country, and view the various specimens of architecture that you may desire to see, and you will wonder at the works of the Ancients and marvel to see what they have done: and you will be quick to comprehend the architectural designs of men in various ages, and you will rejoice all the time, and take drafts of valuable works of architecture, and be better qualified to continue your work and you will increase in knowledge upon the Temple and other buildings and many will wonder at the knowledge you possess.”[25]

The foundation of Sandstone was completed to a height of 8 feet by the end of June, and work commenced on the inverted arches that would hold and redistribute the immense weight of the granite walls above them. The firestone sandstone foundation was 16 feet wide at the base, and tapered in 3 feet on each side, inside and out, till the walls reached a height of 7.5 feet. The stone was rough, fitted stones in a lime based mortar. It is estimated that the footer up to the eight foot mark where the basement commenced was 101,056 cubic feet, weighing about 14,956,288 lbs (7,478 tons.) This is estimated to be 33% more stone than was used to build the entire Nauvoo Temple.

A drought throughout the summer had caused men to be pulled from other projects, including the quarry, to work on the Cottonwood to Salt Lake Canal, and by August of 1855 larg sections had already been completed.

Work on the temple virtually ceased in the fall of 1856 due to a poor harvest and lack of supplies to support workers. Physical work on the temple would not commence to any large scale again until spring of 1857.

1856

On 13 June water was turned into the first section of the Cottonwood to Salt Lake Canal for irrigation purposes.

Truman Angel arrived in England on 13 July 1856, where he spent several months before moving to France. He visited many historical and architecturally significant structures.

1857

Truman received a letter from Brigham Young on 27 January 1857 asking him to return home, as his help was need for the temple. Upon his return he found that his assistant William Ward had quit his position and moved to St. Louis, leaving the work needing to be done to pile up on Truman Angell’s desk.[4]

The Wall around the Temple square, a low priority to this point, was completed on 23 May. The finished wall comprised 3 feet of red sandstone, followed by 10 feet of adobe bricks, with a sandstone coping one feet in height. The wall was hen dressed in cement, and completely enclosed the block except for central openings on each side.[4]

On 18 June Edward Parry laid the first stone of the basement story in the Northwest corner of the temple. It was reported:

“All along the foundation walls huge stones, averaging about two tons in weight, were strewn in readiness for being placed in their positions, while numerous stonecutters were busily occupied in shaping the rude blocks from the quarry.”[26]

On 24 July word was received that almost 1/6 of the United States regular Army was enroute to Utah, and plans were made to defend the territory. Many projects were abandoned at this time, including temple construction and work on the Cottonwood to Salt Lake Canal as preparations were made against the coming of the army.

1858

Brigham Young issued instructions to hide the temple and the work related.  To this point, 6 temples had been planned. Adam-Ondi-Ahman and Independence were never begun, Far West only proceeded as far as the cornerstones. Kirtland And Nauvoo were completed, but Kirtland had been abandoned and desecrated, while Nauvoo had been abandoned and finally destroyed completely just 2 years earlier. Now the Salt Lake Temple, as far as the foundation, was apparently threatened.

But in April there was still a feeling of hope:

“The President remarked to Brother Smith, ‘I do not feel the least gloom over the city, nor have not felt but what we shall remain here and finish the temple.’ “[27]

By 6 May the entirety of the temple construction, including tools and plans had been cached in the footings trenches, covered with dirt, and plowed over. When the army passed through the center of the city on 26 June they found the city empty, and a walled off plowed field in the city center.

On 30 June, Brigham Young declared his satisfaction with the Army’s conduct and declared from his temporary headquarters in Provo Utah that all who wished to retern were now at liberty to do so.

Ironically, though the coming of the army, while halting construction of the temple, made temple construction financially easier for a time. William Clayton wrote to George Q. Cannon in England the following:

The Great Buchanan Expedition, cost the Government millions, and accomplished nothing, except making many of the saints comparatively rich, and improving the circumstances of most of the people of Utah.”[28]

1860

In Late spring of 1860 work commenced on a public road to run from Salt Lake City to Little Cottonwood canyon in preparation for moving Granite to the temple site.[29] First contract to haul stone from Little Cottonwood is given to John Sharp that spring as well.[30] Multiple teams were used, keeping about a 1 mile distance between traveling teams while two smaller units would travel the road keeping it in repair and repairing equipment.[10] In addition to this contract set of teams wards were appealed to to hall loads as well. Quotas were determined based upon ward size and distance from Salt Lake.[31]

By the summer of 1860 work had cautiously commenced on exhuming the foundations of the temple. As the excavation progressed cracks were discovered in the Firestone foundation. Concerned that such a foundation could not support the weight of the temple, Brigham dismissed the workers for and resolved not to be removed from the site until he knew what was to be done. In a discussion with Bishop Archibald Gardner, the decision was made to start over, using less mortar to prevent cracking and spreading.[32] It would later be determined that the firestone sandstone, which was used in many buildings around Salt Lake and not just the temple footings, was very pourus, allowing water to seep into the stone and then freeze. This would in turn cause cracking and fracturing.[]

1861

On 12-13 April The Civil War starts with the attack on Fort Sumter.

1862

An announcement was made by Brigham Young on 2 March of 1862 that the Cottonwood Canal Project was canceled:

“We have learned some things in relation to the nature of the soil in which the bed of the canal is made that we did not know before. We pretty much completed that canal, or, in other words, we hewed out that cistern, but, behold, it would not hold water.”[33]

One of the individuals who worked on the canal, W. C. A. Smoot would later give the following explanation about the failure of the canal:

“When the water… reached the point on the side of the mountain round which it passed Parley’s Canyon, the soil was of such a nature that the fluid sank nearly as rapidly as it entered… and the water seeping down as it did in quantity from the hillside, threatened with destruction the newly established woolen mill a short distance below…”[34]

In the summer of 1862 work finished up on replacing the broken portions of the foundation, and the process of placing carefully cut and numbered block for the walls of the temple then began.[35]

On 8 July 1862 brought the Morrill Anti-Bigamy act, passed by the senate and signed into law by Abraham Lincoln, which directly targeted the Church’s practice of polygamy and the Church’s influence in Utah Politics. The act had no funding behind it, and Lincoln made no effort to uphold it. Lincoln later made comments that made it clear he had every intention of leaving the church alone so far as they made no effort to get involved in the Civil War.[36]

1864

On 21 August a meeting was held to propose another canal for transporting block. This one would go from the Jordan River near the point of the mountain and would intersect the original canal.[37]

31 August  Bishop John Sharp was instructed by Brigham Young to start laying the walls of the temple by contract.[38]  Prior to this, temple work had been done by tithes of time by wards and individual members. The contract to lay the stones for the basement was 20 cents per foot. At this point, 50 to 80 stonecutters were squaring and shaping stone directly on the temple grounds for the walls, and a much smaller crew of masons could easily keep up with placing the cut block on the walls. Work proceeded as fast as stone could be brought to the temple block.[39]

On 2 November a survey for the new Jordan River canal was completed and plans were made to start the new canal with the express purpose of moving stone for the temple. (It does not appear this canal was actually begun, however.)[40] 24 days later another public meeting was held by a private company, this time proposing 3 separate canals.[41]

1865

By January of 1865 it was apparent that residents were against new canal plans, wanting to neither share the water nor a portion of the expenses through taxes. The state governor, Charles Durkee, sharing many concerns of the residents in addition to being concerned about monopolies and mis-management, vetoed the bill that would have allowed for the canal.[42]

On February 4 a new plan was put forward for a single canal 32.25 miles in length, the first 12 mile portion running from Little Cottonwood to Salt Lake City and built by the newly formed Deseret Irrigation and Navigation Canal Company. Most of the new canal would be funded by land sales, and taxes on benefited properties, rather than taxes on large sections of the county as a whole. The Canal was begun shortly afterward, with the hope that 4,000 tons of stone would be transported tot he temple along this canal annually.[43][44][45]

1866

By May 27 the west end of the temple was nearing ground level, making the height of the walls down to the bottom of the foundation about 16 feet. [46]

Later in 1866 A finished road was pushed through from Little cottonwood canyon to Salt Lake by the New York and Utah Prospecting Company.[47]

1867

Fourteen years after the groundbreaking the walls of the temple finally rise above ground level.

1868

Heber C. Kimball prophesies before his death on 22 June that

“when the walls reached the square, the powers of evil would rage and the Saints would suffer persecution.” [48]

Note: to reach the square in this instance refers to reaching the highest point of the non-tower portion of the temple.

1869

The transcontinental railroad is completed on the 10 of May with the driving of the gold spike at Promontory summit Utah, 32 miles west-northwest of Brigham City. One week after the completion of the railroad thoughts turned to completing a line down the Wasatch front into Utah Valley. A rail line was begun on 17 May heading south from Ogden towards Salt Lake.[49]

1870

By January 5 the Deseret Canal was nearing completion and there was hope that it would be open by the following spring.[50] However, the rail was also pushing its way through to Salt Lake and the line from Ogden to Salt Lake was completed just days later on10 January.[49] Also at This time mines in the Alt area above the Little Cottonwood granite quarry were begining to pay off and the Mining companies began raising money for a good double track rail from the the mouth of Canyon to the Alta Mine area.[51]

On February 15 the Utah Southern Railroad was incorporated[49] and within a year granted right of way to construct a line through to Payson Utah, with a branch line to the mouths of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.[52] This announcement effectively ended any plans for a Canal to ferry stone for the temple, or any plans to use canals for any purpose other than irrigation within Utah.

Ground was broken for the first Utah Southern Rail extension on 1 May. By August the first 20 miles were graded.[53] The track was laid and completed as far south as Sandy Utah 23 September 1871.[54] Stone was carried by oxcart to the Sandy Station at this point, and then carried by rail to downtown, where it would then be oxcarted up to the temple block half a mile away.

1871

31 January Brigham Young announces the St. George Temple. Ground is Broken for the St. George Temple on 9 November 1871 by George Albert Smith.

1872

Brigham Young and others organized the Salt Lake City Railroad Company on 19 January. The purpose of this company was to construct and manage rail lines from the Utah Central depot in Salt Lake to the temple block, a distance of one half a mile. The first section of track was completed and tested by coasting a single car down South Temple street in June of the same year.[55]

July 9 marked the start of a spur from South Temple into the Temple block enclosure so that stone could be delivered directly to the masons.[56]

The first stone delivered via the rail arrived in the temple enclosure on 31 July, pulled on rail cart by 2 oxen.[57]

Permision was granted for a heavier rail line to be buil along the round on 13 August.[58] The new line had thicker rails, and when completed on 21 August it allowed the stone to be moved by locomotive rather than oxcart.[59] This rail spur would be used to haul all the remaining Granite to Temple square till the completion of the temple.

As the Utah Southern Railroad was focusing primarily on the push to Payson, a new corporation, the Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad was incorporated on 14 October. The largest portion of stock in this company was held by the Cottonwood Mining Companies, a result of the previous years fund raising efforts.[60] This corporation was able to break ground n 4 November for a new line of narrower gauge track from the Sandy Station.[61]

1873

The first temple stone road the completed rail line on 4 April 1873. Brigham Young traveled to the quarry by train on a flat car up to the Cottonwood Quarry and accompanied the stone back to celebrate the event. The train left the quarry at 4PM, switched trains at the Sandy Station and arrived in Salt Lake at 5:15, just one hour and fifteen minutes later, compared to the 4 days that the ox carts had been taking to complete the trip.[62] In the first year of operation, the train would ship 8,706,000 pounds of stone from the quarry to Salt Lake.[63]

13 September marked the completion of 4 large derricks (Platforms with attached cranes) Initially placed outside of the temple, these cranes would be used to lift stones up onto the rising walls, each derrick covering 1/4th of the whole temple.[64]

1875

The Manti Temple is announced 25 June by Brigham Young.

The walls of the Salt Lake Temple reach nearly 18 feet in height.

1876

During 1876 five large sheds were built between the south wall of Temple Square and the railroad spur on the block. These open wall sheds protected the stone-cutters from inclement weather.finished stones were stacked according to placement on the temple, while the granite chips were raked up and utilized for projects like paving the city streets.[4]

By September of 1876 the four construction derricks had been moved inside the walls of the temple near the corner towers, allowing it to better reach the areas it was responsible for. Additionally an 8 horsepower steam engine had replaced the hand cranking mechanism that turned the spools on the cranes, and lifting of the blocks proceeded at 3 times the original speed.[65] There was at this time only one steam engine hoisting apparatus, and it would be attached to one of the four derricks at a time while that derricks cranes laid 5 courses (rows) of stone, each just under 14 inches in height, on the temple section it covered. It would then be removed and attached to one of the other four derricks,[66] as in the following example:

  • 13 July, engine moved from northeast corner to northwest corner.[67]
  • 17 August, 5 courses completed at northwest corner, engine moved from northwest corner to southeast corner, to lay 5 courses on southeast corner.[68]
  • 27 September, 5 courses completed at southeast corner, engine moved from southeast corner to southwest corner.[69]

In this manner, 5 courses could be completed around the whole temple about once every 4 months barring any other issues blocking construction.

On 30 September The walls reached nearly 24 feet in height.[70]

1877

Ground is broken for the Manti Temple 25 April by Brigham Young.

On 17 May The Logan Temple is announced by Brigham Young and ground is broken the same day by John W. Young. The Site was then dedicated by Daniel H. Wells.

The St. George Temple is dedicated 4 June – 4 August by Daniel H. Wells.

Brigham Young dies on 29 August 1877.

1879

Walls of the temple are now 45 feet in height.

1880

On 10 October 10 John Taylor was sustained as the third president of the Church

1883

Walls of the temple reach 85 feet.

1884

The Logan Temple is dedicated 17-19 May by John Taylor.

1885

Around October the lifting engine from the recently completed Logan Temple is brought in. Rather than sharing one engine amongst all 4 derricks, one engine is shared by the east pair and one engine is shared by the west pair. [71]

1886

The Battlements are placed on the temple, and the buttresses are topped out.

Truman Angel dies from dropsy on 16 October.

1887

The Edmunds-Tucker act amended the Morrill law of 1862 on 19 February. This act dissolved the corporate charter of the LDS Church, re-affirmed abolishment of polygamy, confiscated all LDS Church property over $50,000 and turned it over to the Secretary of the Interior. In anticipation of the passage of this act, the Church had moved much of it’s property into privately held trusts and associations.[4]

On 7 February Frank H. Dyer, US Marchall for Utah, was appointed receiver of Church Properties.[72]

1889

Willford Woodruf was sustained as the fourth President of the Church on 7 April 1889.

On 2 November Deseret News Reports a new crane system for hauling stones into place. In the new system a track made of a pair of I-beams allows 2 cranes capable of holding 2 tons each to move back and forth along the east /west length of the temple, placing block anywhere along its length.[74]

At the end of the annual construction season, 2 November of 1889, the walls reached 160 ft above ground.

1890

In May the US Supreme court upheld the 1888 decision of the Utah Supreme court.[4]

25 September 1890 Brought the official declaration ending polygamy. It would be another 5 years before all properties were returned back to the Church.[75]

1891

In the October Conference of 1891 a resolution was passed that the temple be completed and dedicated by the April Conference of 1893.[76]

1892

The capstone—the granite sphere that holds the statue of the Angel Moroni—was laid on 6 April 1892.[77]  60,000 people assembled around the temple, Instructions were given to the assembled and at 11:30 the Priesthood marched to a platform erected at the Southwest corner. A Band played a sont titled the “Capstone March,” followed by the “Temple Antehm by the Tabernacle Choir. President Joseph F. Smith offered a dedicatory prayer, and the choir sang “Grant Us Peace.” As noon arrived, President Wilford stepped to the platform and proclaimed:

“Attention all ye house of Isreal, and all ye nations of the Earth! We will now lay the top stone to the Temple of our God, the foundation of which was laid by the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Brigham Young.[78]

Then with the press of a button, an electric motor lowered the capstone into place. 60,000 people then participated in the Hosanna shout, and the congregation sang “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning.” The Union Glee Club then sang “The Temple Ode.”

Francis M. Lyman of the twelve Apostles then proposed that, believeing the President’s council to be the word of the lord, the assembladge pledge themselves individually and collectively to finish the interior of the building within one year, thus allowing the temple to be dedicated forty years to the day of its commencement. The Tabernacle Choir then sang “Song of the REdeemed.” and George Q. Cannon gave the Benediction.

The angel Moroni Statue was placed on the top of the capstone after the ceremonies, and was unveiled at 3:10 PM.[78]

On 1 May work commenced on the Temple annex, 100 feet north of the temple. The annex was finnished in oolite limestone like the Manti Temple and was designed by Don Carlos Young.[79][81][82]

Dedicatory Count

There were 3 other temples in use when the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated.

1962 temple bombing

On November 14, 1962, at about 1:30 AM, the southeast door of the Salt Lake Temple was bombed.[83] FBI agents state that the explosive had been wrapped around the door handles on the southeast entrance of the temple.[83] The large wooden entrance doors were damaged by flying fragments of metal and glass. Damage to interior walls occurred 25 feet inside the temple, but damage to the interior was minor.[83] Eleven exterior windows were shattered.[83] Some members of the LDS Church believed the incident was related to violence surrounding the Civil Rights Movement, the nation’s racial strife,[84] and the church’s priesthood restriction, based on race, in effect at the time.

2002

Entryway on the annex is expanded and remodeled. The project was designed by FFKR Architects and Planners II.[85]

Presidents

TEMPLE PRESIDENT YEARS SERVED
President Blaine J. Wixom Jr. 2017–
President Cecil O. Samuelson 2014–2017
President O. Claron Alldredge Jr. 2011–2014
President Sheldon F. Child 2008–2011
President M. Richard Walker 2005–2008
President L. Aldin Porter 2002–2005
President Derrill H. Richards 1999–1999
President W. Eugene Hansen 1999–2002
President Carlos E. Asay 1996–1999
President George I. Cannon 1993–1996
President Spencer H. Osborn 1990–1993
President Edgar M. Denny 1987–1990
President Victor L. Brown 1985–1987
President Marion D. Hanks 1982–1985
President A. Ray Curtis 1977–1982
President John K. Edmunds 1972–1977
President O. Leslie Stone 1968–1972
President Howard S. McDonald 1964–1968
President Willard E. Smith 1961–1964
President ElRay L. Christiansen 1953–1961
President Robert D. Young 1949–1953
President Joseph Fielding Smith 1945–1949
President Stephen L. Chipman 1938–1945
President George F. Richards 1921–1938
President Anthon H. Lund 1911–1921
President Joseph F. Smith 1898–1911
President Lorenzo Snow 1893–1898

Details

The Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece of the 10-acre (4.0 ha) Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Like other LDS temples, it is considered sacred by the church and its members and a temple recommend is required to enter, so there are no public tours inside the temple as there are for other adjacent buildings on Temple Square. In 1912, the first public photographs of the interior were published in the book The House of the Lord, by James E. Talmage.[86] Since then, various photographs have been published, including by Life magazine in 1938.[87] The temple grounds are open to the public and are a popular tourist attraction.[88] Due to its location at LDS Church headquarters and its historical significance, the Temple is patronized by Latter-day Saints from many parts of the world. The Salt Lake Temple is also the location of the weekly meetings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.[89][87] As such, there are special meeting rooms in the building for these purposes, including the Holy of Holies, which are not present in other temples.

The official name of the Salt Lake Temple is also unique. In 1999, as the building of LDS temples accelerated, the church announced a formal naming convention for all existing and future temples. For temples located in the United States and Canada, the name of the temple is generally the city or town in which the temple is located, followed by the name of the applicable state or province (with no comma). For temples outside of the U.S. and Canada, the name of the temple is generally the city name (as above) followed by the name of the country. However, for reasons on which the church did not elaborate, the Salt Lake Temple was made an exception to the new guidelines and was not renamed the “Salt Lake City Utah Temple”.[90] (The Provo City Center Temple is the only other temple that does not include a state, province, or country in the temple’s name.)[91]

The temple also includes some elements thought to evoke Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem. It is oriented eastward and the large basin used as a baptismal font is mounted on the backs of twelve oxen, as was the Molten Sea in Solomon’s Temple (see Chronicles 4:2–4). (However, the literal interpretation of the Biblical verses has been disputed.)[92]

The temple is located in downtown Salt Lake City, with several mountain peaks close by. Nearby, a shallow stream, City Creek, splits and flows both to the west and to the south, flowing into the Jordan River. There is a wall around the 10-acre (4.0 ha) temple site. The surrounding wall became the first permanent structure on what has become known as Temple Square. The wall is a uniform 15 feet high but varies in appearance because of the southwest slope of the site.[93]

Physical Address

50 W. North Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150

Exterior

Cladding

Windows

Symbolism

The Salt Lake Temple incorporates many symbolic adornments, similar to other temples around the world. Symbolism is an important subject in the LDS faith.[94]

The golden Angel Moroni placed on the capstone of the temple symbolizes the angel mentioned in Revelation 14:6 that will come to welcome in the Second Coming of Christ. The six spires of the temple represent the power of the priesthood. The three spires on the east side are a little higher than those on the west: they represent the Melchizedek, or “higher priesthood”, and the Aaronic, or “preparatory priesthood” respectively. The three spires on the east side represent the church’s First Presidency and the twelve smaller spires on those three represent the Twelve Apostles. On the west side of the temple the Big Dipper appears, which represents how the constellation was used to help travelers find the North Star and help them on their way,[95] in the same way the temple is viewed as a symbol to help people find their way back to heaven. On the east side of the temple are “clouds raining down” representing the way God has continued revelation and still speaks to man “like the rains out of Heaven”. Above each door appears the “hand clasp,” which is a representation of covenants that are made within temples. Around the temple there are several carved stones known as “sunstones” which represent heaven, “moonstones” in different phases representing this life in its different phases, and “starstones” representing Jesus Christ. The center tower on each side contains a depiction of the All-Seeing Eye of God representing how God sees all things.[]

Inscriptions

Cornerstone

Spires and Moroni

Spire

Moroni

Sculptor  Cyrus Dallin
Version
Placed
Faces
Height
Feet
Meters

Compass and picture

Project Manager

Manager
Also Did

General Contractor

Contractor
Also Did

Additional Contractors

Manager
responsability

Designers

Architect   Truman O. Angell, Don Carlos Young
Also Did  
Interior Designer  
Also Did  

Project Manager

Manager   Daniel H. Wells
Also Did  

General Contractor

Contractor   Member Constructed
Also Did  

Sources and Links for the Salt Lake Temple

External links

  • Temple at LDS.org(official)
  • Temple at MormonTemples.org (official)
  • Temple at MormonNewsroom.org (official)
  • Temple at LDSChurchTemples.com
  • Temple at LDSChurchNewsArchive.com
  • Temple at Wikipedia

Additional Articles

Primary Sources

Most of the History through the dedication of the temple was written using the information and sources cited in the following articles. I have used the original source citations from these documents where possible:

Wallace Alan Raynor, “History of the Construction of the Salt Lake Temple” ScholarsArchive.BYU.edu, August 1961. Accessed 23 September 2017

Richard O. Cowan, “The Design, Construction, and Role of the Salt Lake Temple, ” in Salt Lake City: The Place Which God Prepared, ed. Scott C. Esplin and Kenneth L. Alford (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, 2011), 47–68.

Marion D. Hanks “Salt Lake Temple History” Light Planet. Accessed 23 September 2017.

Sources/Citation

  1. [1]Satterfield, Rick, “Salt Lake Temple”, Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDSChurchTemples.com, retrieved October 11, 2012
  2. [2]“Discovery of pioneer journal sheds light on Temple Square mystery” Deseret News, 20 July 2017. Accessed 23 September 2017.
  3. [3]Susa Young Gates,  The Life Story of Brigham Young. New York, 1931.
  4. [4]Wallace Alan Raynor, “History of the Construction of the Salt Lake Temple” ScholarsArchive.BYU.edu, August 1961. Accessed 23 September 2017
  5. [5] Edward W. Tullidge, “History of Salt Lake City,” Salt Lake City, Utah 1886, p. 47-48.
  6. [6]James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965), 1:333.
  7. [7]Kate B. Carter, “Heart Throbs of the West,” Salt Lake City Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1939, P. 222.
  8. [8]Richard O. Cowan, “The Design, Construction, and Role of the Salt Lake Temple, ” in Salt Lake City: The Place Which God Prepared, ed. Scott C. Esplin and Kenneth L. Alford (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, 2011), 47–68.
  9. [9]Marion D. Hanks “Salt Lake Temple History” Light Planet. Accessed 23 September 2017.
  10. [10]Wallace Raynor Interview with James Sharp, 7 February 1959
  11. [11]“Deseret News Weekly,” Salt Lake City, 19 April 1851, p. 1.
  12. [12]James E Talmadge , “The House of the Lord,” p. 114
  13. [13]History of Salt Lake Stake, 30 April  1851.
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    A British Interest in the Little Cottonwood District, Utah Territory,” Utah Historical Quarterly XXIII, 340.
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  49. [49]Milton R. Hunter, “Utah, the Story of Her People,” Salt Lake City: Deseret News PRess, 1946, p. 196.
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  54. [54]Andrew Jenson, “Encyclopedic History of the Church,” Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News PRess, 1941, p. 907.
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  73. [72]Orson F. Whitney, “History of Utah,”  4 vols.’ Salt Lake City, Utah: George Q, Cannon & Sons C. 1898, v. III, p. 588-589. Church properties were turned over to Dyer upon request, including the Temple block, and were then rented back to the Church. While some properties rented for more than $500, the Temple Block was rented for $1 monthly.

    John Taylor died on 25 July 1887.

    Fall of 1887 brought a halt to the temple work. All workers were discharged, partly as a consequence of the financial difficulties that resulted from the Governments actions.[4]

    1888

    On 17 May the Manti Temple was dedicated by Lorenzo Snow.

    The Church sought for confirmation of title for all properties and buildings surrendered from the Utah Supreme court, but all cliams were denied with the exception of the temple block, which was released on condition it be used exclusively for religious purposes.[73]“Deseret Evening News,” 9 October 1888.

  74. [74]“Deseret News Weekly,” 2 November 1889
  75. [75]Doctrine and Covenants:OD1
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  80. [79]“The Contributor,” p. 282-283.

    During the following year, every effort was made to obtain the materials needed to finish the temple. A steam boiler plant was constructed north of the temple and steam was fed to 4 generators underground and west of the temple which provided enough power to light not just the temple, but planned electric lighting at the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall as well.

    1893

    The Temple and the Annex were finished on 5 April 1893.

    Dedication

    April 6 dawned cloudy and stormy, and winds approached Hurricane force as the General Authorities entered the temple through the Southwest Doors to dedicate the temple. A selected choir sang “Let Isreal Join and Sing.” President Woodruff then dedicated the temple, exactly forty years after the cornerstone was laid,[] and one year after the capstone was placed. The Choir then gave the Hosannah shout and the Choir sang the Hosanna Anthem. Then the Choir and congregation sand “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning.” President Woodruf then spake, followed by Joseph F. Smith. The Choir sang “Arise ye Saints,” and Elder Lorenzo Snow gave the Benediction. Sessions were held for all the surrounding stakes, with the closing thirty first session being the last held on April 24. 82,000 people attended all 31 sessions.[80]“Deseret News,” 6 April 1893.

  81. [81]“The Contributor,” p. 292, 301
  82. [82]James E. Talmadge, “House of the Lord,” p. 158-157.
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  91. [91]Walker, Joseph (March 23, 2012). “It’s official: the Provo City Center Temple”. Deseret News. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
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  94. [94] “Why Symbols?”, Ensign, February 2007, retrieved October 11, 2012
  95. [95] Truman O. Angell (17 August 1854), “The Temple: To the Editor of the Deseret News”, Deseret News, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory,  p. 2, retrieved 19 August 2014, Moral, [of Ursa Major is that] the lost may find themselves by the Priesthood

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