Salt Lake Temple
Nestled in the heart of Salt Lake City, Utah, this impressive granite edifice has been a centerpiece of the city's skyline for over a century.
SALT LAKE CITY
Salt Lake Temple: Sacred History
The Salt Lake Temple is an iconic symbol of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and its rich history. Nestled in the heart of Salt Lake City, Utah, this impressive granite edifice has been a centerpiece of the city's skyline for over a century. Yet, its significance extends far beyond its architectural grandeur—it's a testament to early Church members' resilience, faith, and unwavering dedication.
An Arduous Journey: Early History and Construction
The Salt Lake Temple's history begins with the arduous journey of early Church members, who migrated to the Salt Lake Valley following the murder of the Church’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr. Led by Brigham Young, the second president of the Church, they sought a safe haven to practice their faith free from persecution. Here, Young envisioned a temple—the fourth to be built since the Church's organization.
Construction began on February 14, 1853, but the completion of the Temple was no small task. The granite used for its construction was quarried from the nearby Wasatch Mountains and had to be transported over 20 miles—a trip that took up to four days. Church members remained undeterred despite these and other challenges, including the Utah War. Their labor of love continued for 40 years until the Temple's dedication on April 6, 1893.
Architectural Significance: A Testament of Faith
Designed in a Gothic style with some Romanesque elements, the Salt Lake Temple stands 210 feet tall and is constructed from quartz monzonite, a hard, gray stone similar to granite. It features six spires, with the tallest ones representing the Church's First Presidency: the president and his two counselors. The three smaller spires on the east represent the Melchizedek Priesthood, while the three on the west represent the Aaronic Priesthood.
The Temple's celestial room—a symbol of heaven—and its 12 sealing rooms for marriage ceremonies reflect the core LDS doctrines of eternal life and the importance of families.
A Central Hub: The Temple and Its Surroundings
The Salt Lake Temple is not just a place of worship but also a central hub of cultural and community activity. The Temple is part of a larger complex known as Temple Square, which includes the Tabernacle (home to the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir), the Assembly Hall, and the Church History Museum. Millions of visitors are drawn to the Temple and its surroundings each year, immersing themselves in the history, culture, and spirituality found there.
Salt Lake City offers a wide variety of accommodation options for travelers wishing to visit this spiritual and cultural hub. From the luxurious Grand America Hotel to the more budget-friendly Hampton Inn Salt Lake City Downtown, there's something for every type of traveler. You can explore this top 25 list of Salt Lake City hotels for a more comprehensive list of accommodation options.
Visiting the Salt Lake Temple: A Memorable Experience
Although only Church members can enter the Temple, all visitors can appreciate its architectural splendor from Temple Square's beautifully landscaped grounds. Moreover, the Temple grounds are a sight to behold during Christmas when they're illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights.
After immersing yourself in the sacred history of the Salt Lake Temple, you may wish to explore the natural wonders of the surrounding region. Just a short drive from Salt Lake City, you'll find the Great Salt Lake and Robert Smithson's Earthwork "Spiral Jetty", both must-see attractions in Utah.
Whether you're visiting for spiritual enrichment, historical interest, or architectural admiration, the Salt Lake Temple offers a unique and memorable experience. Its sacred history extends beyond its walls, reflecting the resilience and faith of the people who built it and those who continue to cherish it today.