Salt Lake Utah Mormon Temple
Surrounded by mountains that rise to more than 10,000 feet, Salt Lake City was settled in 1847 by Mormon pioneers seeking an escape from persecution. The city is now the worldwide center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. Salt Lake City’s Temple Square is home to the historical Salt Lake City Temple.
The Salt Lake Temple was the sixth temple built by the Mormon Church and the fourth finished after the Mormon pioneers’ arrival in what is now the state of Utah. Its construction took 40 years, and it stands as a striking emblem of the Latter-day Saints’ dedication and perseverance. It is also the most well-known temple and has come to symbolize the Mormon Church to many throughout the world.
In late July of 1847, the first group of Latter-day Saint pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. Within a few days, their leader Brigham Young indicated the precise location where the holy edifice should stand by striking the ground with his cane and announcing, “Here we will build a temple to our God.” Apostle Wilford Woodruff marked the spot then and there. Construction of the temple began on February 14, 1853, following a groundbreaking ceremony conducted by Brigham Young.
A granite deposit was found nearby, and workers began to hand-chisel massive granite blocks which weighed between 2,500 and 5,600 pounds. These large stones were transported by ox-drawn wagon (and later railroad) to the temple lot. Most of the labor was performed by volunteers who, despite their hardships in trying to settle a new land, gave freely of their time and skills. Brigham Young encouraged the Saints to make the Salt Lake Temple the best it could be.
There were numerous challenges which slowed the construction of this Mormon temple. At one point Church leaders learned that a U.S. Army contingent was being sent to Utah. Mormons distrusted the government that had allowed them to be persecuted and pushed out of Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and New York, so the work on the temple was stopped and the entire foundation was buried. As positive relations developed between the U.S. Government and the Mormon Church, work on the temple was resumed. The foundation was uncovered, but workers found that there were cracks in the foundation blocks. They were forced to take them out and start over, using new stones that were cut to fit together without mortar.
The Mormons worked tirelessly to build the 253,015 square-foot temple. Once the exterior was completed, skilled artists and craftsmen were brought in to complete the temple’s 170 rooms. The interior furnishings were completed in one year, marking 40 years since the groundbreaking ceremony. The Salt Lake Temple became the largest Mormon temple, with 12 sealing rooms and four ordinance rooms. With over one hundred temples constructed since then, it still remains one of the largest in the Church.
50 West North Temple St
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
50 West North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150