Cardston Alberta Canada Mormon Temple
The Cardston Alberta Canada Mormon Temple was dedicated on August 26, 1923, and was the first LDS temple built outside of the U.S. or its territories. However, the story of the Alberta temple began long before that summer day in 1923.
The Saints were experiencing persecution in Utah, and President John Taylor asked Charles Card (a Latter-day Saint from Logan, Utah) to go to Canada and seek a place of refuge for the Church. In 1887 the first eight LDS families set up camp in an area scouted by Charles Card. Other families began to arrive, and the town of Cardston was planned in a grid fashion, and irrigation and plowing began. In 1888 one of the Twelve Apostles, John W. Taylor, visited the Saints in Canada and said, “I now speak by the power of prophecy and say that upon this very spot shall be erected a Temple to the name of Israel’s God, and nations shall come from far and near and praise His high and holy name.”
Two years later President of the Church, Wilford Woodruff, instructed Charles Card to buy around 20 thousand acres of land surrounding the town of Cardston. The Saints flourished in the area, because the Canadian government was accepting of their religion, and by 1895 the first stake outside of the United States was organized in Cardston. In 1912, President Joseph F. Smith sent Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley to Canada to recommend the best site for a temple. He returned with photographs of four possible sites. President Smith said, “I feel strongly impressed that this is the one.” He had unknowingly selected the site dedicated by Elder Taylor over twenty years earlier.
On June 27, 1913, the building of the temple was announced. A groundbreaking ceremony followed the announcement that same day, and construction began almost immediately. The design of the Alberta temple was the first that did not include any towers or an assembly hall. The granite for the temple was hand-hewn from quarries in Nelson British Columbia. The temple has four ordinance rooms, five sealing rooms, and a total floor area of 88,562 square feet.
On August 26, 1923, the temple was dedicated by President Heber J. Grant. The temple has since undergone two remodelings and rededications. The first remodeling was done in the early 1960’s, and the temple was rededicated by Hugh B. Brown on July 2, 1962. The second remodeling occurred in the early 1990’s, and the temple was rededicated on June 22, 1991, by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
348 3rd Street West
P.O. Box 700
Cardston, Alberta T0K 0K0