The History of Temples
1. Temple Square – Salt Lake City
Temples are houses of the Lord. They are places where the highest expressions of religious worship take place.
The essential idea of a temple is and always has been that of a place specially set apart for service regarded as sacred.
2. Why Mormons Build Temples
3. The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel
The history of temples and temple building goes back to the time of the Old Testament. In the wilderness of Sinai, the Lord commanded Moses to build a portable tabernacle so the people of Israel could make promises with God.
4. Solomon’s Temple
After the Israelites settled in the promised land, the Lord gave them instructions to construct a temple. King Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
5. Herod’s Temple
Solomon’s Temple was later rebuilt and expanded by Herod. Jesus Christ spent time in the temple at Jerusalem during His mortal ministry. The temple was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.
6. Kirtland Temple
After Joseph Smith was called by the Lord to reestablish the original Christian church in 1830, he received a revelation that temples should again be built. The first of these modern temples was built in Kirtland, Ohio.
7. Nauvoo Temple
When the Mormons resettled in what became the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, they built the second temple. Completed after the majority of the Latter-day Saints had already left for the Rocky Mountains, this temple was destroyed by fire in 1848.
8. Construction of the Salt Lake Temple
Within four days of entering the valley of the Great Salt Lake, President Brigham Young announced the intent to build a temple. Construction started in 1853.
9. St. George Temple
Temples in St. George, Logan and Manti were the next temples completed, all in Utah.
10. Salt Lake Temple
Completed 40 years after it was begun, the Salt Lake Temple became a symbol of the Church and remains the largest temple with 253,000 square feet of floor space.
11. Cut-away model of the Salt Lake Temple
A cut-away model of the Salt Lake Temple is viewable in the South Visitors’ Center of Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
12. Laie Hawaii Temple
Originally named the Hawaii Temple, it was the fifth temple constructed and the first outside of Utah and the United States and was completed in 1919.
13. Bern Switzerland Temple
Dedicated in 1955, the Bern Switzerland Temple was the first built in Europe.
14. Washington D.C. Temple
In 1974 the Washington D.C. Temple, just north of the beltway in Kensington, Maryland, was dedicated by Church President Spencer W. Kimball.
15. Atlanta Georgia Temple
In 1983 the Atlanta Georgia Temple became the first of more than 80 temples dedicated by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley. This temple was remodeled and rededicated in 2011.
16. St. Louis Missouri Temple
The St. Louis Temple was the 50th temple of the Church, dedicated in 1997.
17. Vernal Utah Temple
The Vernal Utah Temple is unique, being the first temple built from an existing building. The exterior of the historic Vernal Tabernacle was preserved and the building was converted into a temple.
18. Monticello Utah Temple
A new era of building smaller temples commenced with the completion of the Monticello Utah Temple in 1998 — temple number 53.
19. Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico Temple
The 75th temple and one of 13 now in Mexico, the Tuxtla Gutiérrez Temple was dedicated in March of 2000.
20. Boston Massachusetts Temple
Boston became the home to the 100th temple in October of 2000.
21. New Nauvoo Temple
A new temple, designed after the original Nauvoo Illinois Temple and built on the original site, was completed in 2002.
22. Rexburg Idaho Temple
Dedicated by President Thomas S. Monson, the Rexburg Idaho Temple is the 125th temple of the Church.
23. Rome Italy Temple complex - Rendering
There are now more than 135 dedicated temples throughout the world and several more announced or under construction.