Star Valley Wyoming Temple
At the 181st semi-annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in October 2011, Prophet Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of a new Mormon temple in Star Valley, Wyoming. The prophet joked that he would personally dedicate the new temple, because the fishing is good nearby. This will be the first temple to be built in Wyoming.
Mormons in Wyoming had previously attended the temple in Rexburg, Idaho. The journey was considerably more difficult during the winter.
Mormon pioneers in the first westward party in 1847 made their way through Wyoming, stopping at Fort Laramie to repair their wagons. They followed the Oregon Trail along the Platte River to Fort Bridger
The pioneers used rafts and a boat to ferry themselves and their belongings across the Platte River. Nine men stayed behind to continue the profitable ferry, which found business from Oregon-bound travelers.
In Wyoming, the pioneers met Jim Bridger, who gave an optimistic opinion of the Great Basin area. Most pioneer companies traveled through Wyoming without incident; however, the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies of 1857 started later in the year and became trapped in the winter snows. Approximately 200 of the 1,075 in the companies died. Others were saved by Utah rescue parties.
In 1877, Church members settled the Star Valley area, and the following year, Church President Brigham Young dedicated the spot as a gathering place for members. In 1992, Wyoming Latter-day Saints erected three monuments in memory of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. Later, the Church purchased land at the mouth of Sweetwater Canyon where 21 pioneers died in one night. These sites were dedicated by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.
There are over 63,000 Latter-day Saints in the state of Wyoming in 154 congregations.
In June 2012 the location for the new Star Valley Wyoming Mormon Temple was announced. The new temple will be constructed east of U.S. Highway 89 on the Haderlie Farm property south of Afton.
For information and Mormon news about the other temples that have just been announced visit the newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”)