- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Go to Salt Lake Temple
The Salt Lake Temple was the fourth temple built in Utah (though its construction was started first) and the first built in the Salt Lake Valley.
The Salt Lake Temple was the only temple dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff.
With its distinctive spires and statue of the angel Moroni, the Salt Lake Temple is an international symbol of the Church.
The Salt Lake Temple is the largest temple (most square footage) of the Church.
Original plans for the Salt Lake Temple called for two angel Moroni statues—one on the east central spire and one on the west.
The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build with its highly ornate interior being completed in just a year. (View the story of the building of the Salt Lake Temple.) During the construction of the Salt Lake Temple, the St. George Utah Temple, Logan Utah Temple, and Manti Utah Temple were all started and completed. The walls of the Salt Lake Temple are nine feet thick at the base and six feet thick at the top.
The Salt Lake Temple is the first temple to feature a standing angel Moroni statue, which is 14-feet tall and attached to a rod that extends 27 feet into the tower, terminating with a 4,000-pound counterbalance to keep the statue immovable. The angel was created by Paris-trained sculptor Cyrus E. Dallin and built in Salem, Ohio.
The Salt Lake Temple features beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls of its progressive-style ordinance rooms: Creation Room, Garden Room, World Room, Terrestrial Room (no murals), and Celestial Room (no murals).
The Salt Lake Temple is one of only seven temples where patrons progress through four ordinance rooms before passing into the Celestial Room. (The other six temples are the Manti Utah Temple, the Laie Hawaii Temple, the Cardston Alberta Temple, the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, the Los Angeles California Temple, and the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.)
The Salt Lake Temple is one of two temples that still employs live acting for presentation of the endowment. (The other is the Manti Utah Temple.)
The Salt Lake Temple was completed the afternoon before the dedication. That evening, invited non-Mormon government officials, businessmen and their wives were given a complete tour of the temple. It was the first time that a temple had been opened to the public prior to its dedication.
The Salt Lake Temple was dedicated on April 6, 1893—three years before Utah became a state in 1896.
The Salt Lake Temple was closed on July 29, 1962 for extensive renovation that included demolition of the old annex; cleaning of the exterior stone; replacement or upgrade of all mechanical systems, plumbing, wiring, carpeting, and light fixtures; reupholstering of furniture; and redecoration of the entire building. The temple reopened on May 21, 1963. The dedication of a temporary annex was held on March 7, 1963. This building would later become the North Visitors' Center.
The new annex opened on March 19, 1966. It was built to house seven new sealing rooms, a children's waiting room, mechanical systems, two new locker rooms, new initiatory areas, and a new chapel seating 450 patrons. The annex was formally dedicated on October 23, 1967.
On August 13, 1993, the contents of the Salt Lake Temple record stone—a hollow stone in the foundation—were removed 136 years after they were originally placed there by Brigham Young and other leaders. Items placed in the stone included books, pamphlets, periodicals, and a set of Deseret gold coins. Because the stone had cracked, the paper items were severely damaged by moisture. Salvaged materials are now housed in the Church History Library.