Star Valley Wyoming Temple

Star Valley Wyoming Temple

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Star Valley Wyoming Temple Wiki


The Star Valley Wyoming Temple is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Star Valley, Wyoming.[1] The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, Rexburg Idaho Temple, Twin Falls Idaho Temple, and the Boise Idaho Temple have all previously serviced Wyoming’s 63,000 Church members.

The Star Valley Wyoming Temple is the first in Wyoming and will serve members living in the western part of the state, who now travel approximately 1.5 hours to Idaho Falls and Rexburg, Idaho, for temple services. The journey to the Rexburg Temple from Wyoming was considerably difficult on rural roads with severe winter conditions.



The Star Valley Wyoming Temple was prophesied by Elder Moses Thatcher of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Thatcher first came to the valley in the late 1870s looking for a suitable location where colonizing Latter-day Saints could settle. Looking over the beautiful valley, he declared, “I hereby name this valley, Star Valley, because it is the star of all valleys.” He later returned with Elder Charles C. Rich, a senior apostle, to dedicate the valley as a Mormon settlement.

On 3 July 1894, Church officer, George Goddard, gave a report on his travels to Star Valley, as recorded in the Deseret Weekly. He referenced a prophesy given by Elder Moses Thatcher in his description of the temple bench:

A fine tract of bench land on the eastern portion of Afton will afford a beautiful site for a Temple hereafter to be built, as per prophesy of Elder Moses Thatcher. This bench lies at the mouth of Swift Creek canyon, from whence flows a large stream of pure water, flanked on either side by a park of beautiful swamp pines, many of which are more than 100 feet high. [2]


The announcement of the construction of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple was made at the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 October 2011.[1]  The announcement drew an audible reaction from the Conference Center congregation.[3] The temple was announced concurrently with the Barranquilla Colombia, Durban South Africa, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Provo City Center temples.[1] President Thomas S. Monson made the announcement. In his remarks, he joked, “I think I’ll dedicate that one. There’s good fishing up there!”

Local Wyoming Church spokesperson Jerry Hansen said of the announcement, “We truly believe this new temple will be a great asset not only to members of the Church but also to the people of the surrounding community, who will benefit from the peace and beauty a temple brings.” He also explained the importance of temples in the lives of Latter-day Saints: “Temples are where members participate in the highest sacraments of our faith — where we make and renew promises to God and to our families.”[4]

Grateful cheers and tears instantly filled the valley. “We were just as surprised as anyone,” said President Mark Taylor of the Afton Wyoming Stake. “There have been a lot of well-wishers and residents who have already stepped forward and offered land and other donations to get the ball rolling.” President Michael Allred of the Thayne Wyoming Stake commented, “I think it is important to note that this temple will not just be for members of our faith. This is for all residents of Star Valley and it will be a blessing to this area.”[5]

Planning and Approval

When problems were encountered with the originally proposed location for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple at the base of Hale Canyon, the location was shifted west next to the highway. The contractor found the ground conditions at the new location to be ideal for the foundation, eliminating the usual need for extensive fill and compaction work.

On 30 April 2012, Star Valley Independent reported that a letter from the Presiding Bishop to Mayor Hillyard had earlier confirmed the location of the temple. The letter proposed development of a portion of the site to construct a temple and requested a variance to the building height restriction of the zoning ordinance to accommodate a spire. “The actual temple is not too tall, it will just be the steeple,” Mayor Hillyard said. “Our flight path maximum is 45 feet so they are going through this variance process. I do not anticipate a problem. It is so far up the hill away from the airport I don’t think it will be an issue.”

On May 8, 2012, the Afton Town Council unanimously approved a variance to permit the spire of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple to exceed zoning height restrictions. Temple renderings shown to the Council as possible representations included The Gila Valley Arizona Temple, Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple, Sacramento California Temple, and Calgary Alberta Temple. The exact design and orientation of the building would be determined in consultation with 15 surrounding land owners.[6]

On 25 May 2012, the Church officially announced the location of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple as east of U.S. Highway 89 on the Haderlie Farm property in the town of Afton, south of Star Valley Medical Center, and north of the Star Valley View Golf Course. The Mayor of Afton, Loni Hillyard, said members are “elated at the prospects of a temple in our valley.” She believes that the temple “will have a positive effect on [the] entire community.” Local Church spokesman Jerry Hansen said, “We truly believe this new temple will be a great asset not only to members of the Church but also to the people of the surrounding community, who will benefit from the peace and beauty a temple brings.”

On December 11, 2012, the Afton Planning & Zoning Board Chairman informed the Town Council that representatives from the design firm for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple contacted him to inquire about additional rules and regulations pertaining to roads, water, and sewer. It was determined that the Town Attorney would review the matter and respond to the firm.

At the Afton Town Council meeting in February 2013, it was stated that a meeting had recently been held with Church representatives regarding the infrastructure for the temple site. No additional information was available.

On March 10, 2015, plans for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple were presented to the Afton Town Council, and approval was granted for a 30-month building permit. Construction is anticipated to begin on Monday, April 27—two days after the groundbreaking ceremony—with construction expecting to last two years. “We are very grateful to the city and community for their support of the Star Valley Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said President McKell Allred, chairman of the Star Valley Temple Groundbreaking Committee. “Tonight was another important step in the process as we look forward to the official temple groundbreaking on April 25.”[7]


The groundbreaking services for the Star valley Wyoming Temple took place on Saturday, 25 April 2015. Thousands of Church members and friends gathered to the site to witness the event. Many more joined by satellite and Internet transmissions. Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy presided.[8] He was accompanied by Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department. Several community and civic leaders also attended.

Elder Christensen remarked, “There couldn’t be a more appropriate place for a house of God. The temple is a gift of God. It is to the great heritage that is here… It links generations together. The temple will become a landmark, a sacred place for this valley for years to come.”

Elder Richards further commented, “[The temple] isn’t a monument to the past; it is a new beginning. It is a beginning of faith and courage of your generation and your children and your future. Everything we do is to prepare ourselves for the temple.”


Construction began the following Monday, April 27, 2015.

Open House

A public open house was held from September 23 to October 8, 2016, excluding Sundays.[9] The open house was held every day except Sundays and the evenings of September 24 and 25 and October 1 and 2, 2016. 79,000 people visited the temple during the 12 days of the open house, an average of 6,583 people per day.

Cultural Celebration

More than 1,200 youth gathered from throughout the temple district in western Wyoming and parts of Idaho on Saturday, 29 October 2016, the evening before the scheduled dedication of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple. Dancing to and singing songs of pioneer legacy and of faith, they performed for hundreds crowded into the gymnasium at Star Valley High School in Afton located just a few blocks from where the temple stands on Highway 89 in this “star of all valleys.”

The performance was titled “Mountain Heir: Clean and Pure.” Cultural celebration director Wendee Graham related that the performance reflected “our feelings that we are blessed by those who have come before,” referring to the pioneer heritage of Wyoming. “We are heirs to their dreams, to their hard work, to their sacrifices.”

Speaking about the theme, which symbolized both the clean and fresh mountain air of Star Valley and being “clean and pure” heirs to the blessings of the temple, Sister Graham told the Church News, “We are having a mountain top blessing. We’re heirs to this temple, and we’re also heirs to this valley.”

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife Susan K. Bednar who was raised in Afton, Wyoming, were in attendance for the Saturday evening performance. During his remarks, Elder Bednar said, “The Lord has blessed this area with a temple. That’s a remarkable blessing and I have an invitation for each one of you young women and young men. It’s really very simple. Please live worthy so that all throughout your teenage years you would always be worthy to enter into the temple to perform baptisms for the dead. Always.” He continued, “Please be worthy to enter in the Star Valley Wyoming Temple or any other temple in this Church so you can perform ordinances for your own ancestors.”

Also attending the performance was Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy, General Authority Seventies Elder Wilford W. Andersen, Elder C. Scott Grow and Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who is executive director of the Temple Department. Wives of the visiting authorities, Sister Rosana Soares, Sister Kathleen B. Andersen, Sister Lynda Wilson and Sister Rhonda Grow were in attendance. In addition, U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming was in the audience.


The temple was dedicated on October 30, 2016.[10] Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the dedication and traditional cornerstone ceremony on Sunday, 30 October 2016.

Members of the church from throughout the temple district in western Wyoming and parts of Idaho participated in three dedicatory sessions held at the 18,000-square-foot new edifice, which sits on the east bench of Afton. Latter-day Saints also watched dedicatory proceedings broadcast live to meetinghouses in many parts of Wyoming and into southeastern Idaho. The temple was formally dedicated in 3 sessions – at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

With the dedication of the new temple, President Mark Taylor, chair of the local temple committee, declared, “Now it’s time to get down to the business of temple work.”

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedication Order

The Star Valley Wyoming Temple was the 154th operating temple in the world, the 77th in the United States and the 1st in Wyoming.

At the time of its dedication there were 11 Temples under construction and another 10 awaiting groundbreaking. Additionally there were 3 temples undergoing renovation.

Under Construction Awaiting Groundbreaking Under Renovation
Rome Italy Urdanetta Philippines Frankfurt Germany
Concepcion Chile Winnipeg Manitoba Jordan River Utah
Lisbon Portugal Arequipa Peru Idaho Falls Idaho
Hartford Connecticut Abidjan Ivory Coast
Meridian Idaho Port-au-Prince Haiti
Barranquilla Colombia Bangkok Thailand
Durban South Africa Quito Ecuador
Kinshasa D.R.C. Harare Zimbabwe
Tucson Arizona Belem Brazil
Cedar City Utah Lima Peru Los Olivos
Rio de Janeiro Brazil


Temple President Years Served
President McKell W Allred 2016–

Star Valley is in Lincoln County, which has the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints in Wyoming.

The Star Valley Wyoming Temple is located east of U.S. highway 89 In a beautiful mountain valley south of Afton, Wyoming.[11] It was built on land formerly used for farming.


The outer edge of the property is surrounded by blue and Baker’s spruce, maple, crabapple and linden trees. Dogwood, juniper and mugo pine are found closer to the building. Oregon grape, barberry, roses, spirea, yew and cranberries provide colorful accents between the shrubberies. The planters include tulips, crocus, daffodils, daylilies and daisies.

The fence is of bronze enamel steel with buff-colored sandstone accent columns. Walkways around the temple are of concrete. The stone coursing pattern harmonizes with that found in the monument sign of the Afton Tabernacle.


The temple design is based on principles of classical architecture with historical references to buildings found throughout the area, including the Wyoming State Capital, the Afton Tabernacle and pioneer-built LDS structures.


The exterior of the temple is precast concrete panels installed on poured in place concrete walls over a structural skeleton.


Pink, green, blue, brown and yellow glass was used in the fireweed flower design. Fireweed, a tall wildflower, grows abundantly in the Wyoming mountains. The glass design gives the appearance of a wood lattice upon which the flowers are growing. Metal spandrel panels, seen between the upper and lower level windows, mimic the lattice pattern of the glass. Paint color on the metal panels, front door and window frames is Moca Chino.



There is one inscription on the Star Valley Wyoming Temple. It is on the west end of the temple above the entryway doors. The text is engraved into the concrete and painted black.




The cornerstone at the STar Valley Wyoming temple is no the southe ast corner facing east. This puts it on the rear of the temple, as the temple faces west. Like the Inscription, the text is engraved in the precast concrete panel and painted black.


Spires and Moroni


The temple height is 39 feet without the spire, 111 feet with the spire and 123 feet with the Angel Moroni. The spire’s shingles are of zinc and are manufactured by Rheinzinc of Duisburg, Germany.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that the placement of the Angel Moroni on the Star Valley Temple will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, 25 April 2016, exactly one year after the temple groundbreaking. Although not required, this iconic symbol of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands high atop most of the 150 operating temples worldwide. Contrary to previous statue installments, the event was announced beforehand, allowing hundreds of spectators to gather and witness the raising.[12] The statue is a fiberglass recast of a statue carved in 1985 by Karl Quilter and was placed on the spire facing west, in line with the front doors of the temple.



Stone flooring throughout the temple is Sunny Limestone quarried in Palestine and fabricated in China. The wool entry rug was designed and manufactured by Tai Ping Carpets based in Hong Kong. Bentley Mills of North Carolina manufactured carpets for the main corridor and instruction room. The wool carpet in the brides’ room was manufactured in China by Rugs International. In its Chinese facility, Nourison produced the floral damask, machine loomed, wool carpet for the celestial and sealing rooms.

Decorative Painting

A low-contrast range of whites was chosen to reinforce the principle of simplicity. The stencil pattern in the celestial and sealing rooms is derived from Victorian era motifs. CRSA designed the decorative painting. Gold accent lines are featured in the celestial, sealing and instruction rooms and on the altars.

Interior Art Glass

Inside the temple is a historic window that was rescued from the Astoria Presbyterian Church in Queens, N.Y., when that building was razed in 2008. An art dealer preserved the windows. He sold them to an LDS art collector, who in turn donated at least 4 of them to the Church. All 4 have now been placed in Temples, 2 in the Cedar City Temple, one in the Provo City Center Temple, and one here in the Star Valley Temple. In each temple the panels are set in ornate wood partitions constructed behind the recommend desk, with lighting behind the panels to allow the glass to be displayed in it’s full beauty.[13] Holdman Studios of Lehi, Utah, performed their restoration.[14]

Two other windows, like the sets found in the Provo City Center and Cedar City Temples, are also featured. In vibrant colors, they depict the Savior knocking on a handle-less door.

Some doors within the temple contain art glass which replicates the lattice pattern of the exterior windows.


The baptistry, confirmation room and entry chandeliers were  patterned after those in the Wyoming State Capital. They harmonize with the bronze door hardware and rails of the baptismal font. Fixtures throughout the temple are from Rejuvenation of Oregon, OCL Lighting of St. Louis, and Swarovski. The Greek key pattern is utilized in many fixtures. Lighting was installed by Nelson Electric of Rigby, Idaho.


Woodwork is an elegant simplification of forms and patterns in the Wyoming State Capital and the Manti Temple, featuring door casings with false transom panels.

Font Railings

The newel posts are a derivation of those found in the U.S. Post Office in Evanston, Wyoming.

Doors and Hardware

The interior doors are manufactured from cherry wood with panels exhibiting the influence of doors found in the Wyoming State Capital and the Manti Utah Temple. Door hardware is of cast bronze.


Three colors of paint are used in the temple, two, for the walls and one, for the ceilings. Paint is in shades of white with stenciling in the celestial room.


The ceilings are intended to be simple, elegant and bright.

Individuals and Contractors

Architect David Hunter
Contractor  Jacobson Construction
Structural Steel  Span Construction
Precast Concrete Supply and Install  Hansen Precast of Salt Lake City
Iron Fence Install  Western Fence of Salt Lake City
Landscaping Install  Triple H Landscaping of Afton
Sod  Sod Solutions of Idaho Falls, Idaho
Interior Design CRSA
Art Glass Construction Glass Images of Provo
Exterior Spandrel Panels Pohl Metal Products of Oakdale, California
Interior stone IMS Masonry of Lindon, Utah
Interior Detail Painting Iconography of Salt Lake City
Interior Paint Grow Painting of West Jordan, Utah
Door Hardware Rocky Mountain Hardware of Hailey, Idaho.
Font Railings Sheet Metal Specialties of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Millwork Masterpiece Commercial Millwork of Lindon, Utah.

Sources and Links

External links

Additional Articles

Fact Sheet


  1. [1]Walker, Joseph (October 1, 2011). “LDS general conference opens with the announcement of six new Mormon temples”. Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  2. [2]George Goddard, “Star Valley and Bear Lake,” Deseret Weekly Vol, 49, June-December 1849 p. 122
  3. [3]The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, “New Temples Announced for France, Africa, Colombia, Utah and Wyoming,” 1 Oct. 2011.
  4. [4]“Star Valley Wyoming Temple Site Announced,” Mormon Newsroom, May 25, 2012, .
  5. [5]Dahl Erickson, “LDS Church announces future construction of temple in Star Valley,” Star Valley Independent 1 Oct. 2011, 4 Oct. 2011.
  6. [6]Dahl Erickson, “Star Valley Temple variance approved,” Star Valley Independent 10 May 2012, 10 May 2012.
  7. [7]Sarah Hale, “Temple plans presented to town,” Star Valley Independent 11 Mar. 2015, 12 Mar. 2015.
  8. [8]“Ground Broken for Star Valley Wyoming Temple”, Newsroom, LDS Church, April 25, 2015
  9. [9]“Public Invited to Tour Star Valley Wyoming Temple”, Newsroom, LDS Church, September 20, 2016
  10. [10] “First Mormon Temple in Wyoming Is Dedicated: Star Valley Temple is 154th in the world”, Newsroom, LDS Church, October 30, 2016
  11. [11]Satterfield, Rick. “Star Valley Wyoming Temple”. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  12. [12]Angel Moroni Placed on Star Valley Wyoming Temple,” LDS Daily
  13. [13]Katherine Lyon and Alex Mortenson, “Why Cedar City and 2 Other LDS Temples Have Stained Glass Windows Rescued from a Presbyterian Church,” LDS Living, 23 October 2017
  14. [14]Cedar City Utah Temple Fact Sheet,” Newsroom, LDS Church, 23 October 2017

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