- Through the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple, all temples had been built in the same state (or territory) as Church Headquarters: Ohio, Illinois, and Utah. The Laie Hawaii Temple was the first temple "brought to the people."
- The Cardston Alberta Temple was the first temple constructed outside of the United States (its states and territories).
- The Bern Switzerland Temple was the first temple constructed in Europe.
- The Hamilton New Zealand Temple was the first temple constructed in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The São Paulo Brazil Temple was the first temple constructed in South America.
- The Tokyo Japan Temple was the first temple constructed in Asia.
- The Johannesburg South Africa Temple was the first temple constructed in Africa.
- The first temple to be built in a nation under Communist rule was the Freiberg Germany Temple.
- The Ogden Utah Temple was the first temple dedicated in the state of Utah. (Utah gained statehood on January 4, 1896. Four temples—including the Salt Lake Temple—had already been dedicated in Utah Territory.)
- The Mesa Arizona Temple was the first temple to present ordinances in a language other than English. The ordinances were administered in Spanish in 1945.
- The Bern Switzerland Temple was the first temple to not have English as its predominant language.
- Endowments for the dead were performed for the first time in the St. George Utah Temple.
- The first temple constructed with the idea of using a film rather than live acting to present the endowment was the Bern Switzerland Temple.
- The first completed "smaller-and-remote-area" temple of the Church as conceived by President Gordon B. Hinckley was the Monticello Utah Temple.
- The Vernal Utah Temple was the first temple to be converted from an existing building.
- The Cardston Alberta Temple was the first for which the First Presidency invited architects to submit their original designs. (All previous designs had been received by direct revelation.)
- Elder Boyd K. Packer dedicated the Regina Saskatchewan Temple—the first 20th century temple to be dedicated by an apostle who was not a member of the First Presidency.
- The St. Paul Minnesota Temple was the first temple dedicated in the year 2000.
- On November 14, 1999, the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple and Regina Saskatchewan Temple became the first two temples dedicated on the same day.
- The Logan Utah Temple was the first temple built with a progressive room scheme for presentation of the endowment.
- The Jordan River Utah Temple was the first temple whose construction and maintenance costs for many years were funded entirely by monetary donation from local members. The temple site was also a gift to the Church.
Angel Moroni Statues
- Eight (8) temples do not have an angel Moroni. They are the St. George Utah, Logan Utah, Manti Utah, Laie Hawaii, Cardston Alberta, Mesa Arizona, Hamilton New Zealand, and Oakland California Temples.
- Several temples have received angels after their dedications. The first was the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, which had an angel Moroni statue added in 1983, almost 40 years after its dedication, at the request of the president and other officials of the temple. As a part of renovation projects in the 2000s, the Church added angel Moroni statues to several of the originally statueless temples including the Freiberg Germany (2001), Ogden Utah (2002), Provo Utah (2003), São Paulo Brazil (2003), Tokyo Japan (2004), Bern Switzerland (2005), and London England (2008) Temples.
- Both the Sydney Australia Temple and Boston Massachusetts Temple were dedicated without angel Moroni statues due to pending litigation. In both cases, rulings allowed for the angels to be installed about a year after their respective dedications.
- The Church added a spire and angel Moroni statue to the Manhattan New York Temple four months after its dedication. These features were not part of the original design because the temple was built within an existing Church-owned building that was not designed as a temple.
- The Monticello Utah Temple is the only temple to have had a white angel Moroni. White enamel-covered fiberglass statues were to decorate the "smaller and remote-area" temples as conceived by President Gordon B. Hinckley, but the Monticello statue proved too difficult to see, especially in cloudy weather. It was replaced about a year later by a larger, traditional gold-leafed statue, which remained the standard. The white statue was gold leafed and installed atop the Columbus Ohio Temple.
- The Anchorage Alaska Temple, Bismarck North Dakota Temple, Columbus Ohio Temple, Kona Hawaii Temple, and Caracas Venezuela Temple feature angel Moroni statues holding a scroll—a design originally created for use on the "smaller and remote-area" temples as conceived by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
- Only five temples feature an angel Moroni statue holding the gold plates. They are the Los Angeles California Temple, Washington D.C. Temple, Seattle Washington Temple, Jordan River Utah Temple, and México City México Temple.
- A short time after receiving a review of the design of the Atlanta Georgia Temple from the Faith & Values section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Church revised its plans for the temple to include a spire and angel Moroni. Every temple built since has featured an angel Moroni statue (except for the Freiberg Germany Temple, which received an angel 16 years after its dedication).
- In the early 1930s, a replica of the Salt Lake Temple angel Moroni was fashioned by Torleif Knaphus for the Washington D.C. Chapel. The statue was removed in 1976 when the chapel was sold (currently owned by the Unification Church) and is now on display in the Museum of Church History and Art. It is owned by the LDS Motion Picture Studio and was used in the filming of Mountain of the Lord. Castings of this statue have since been made and installed atop the Atlanta Georgia Temple (since replaced), Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, and Boston Massachusetts Temple.
- The Nauvoo Illinois Temple, The Hague Netherlands Temple, and Boston Massachusetts Temple participated in a tri-temple setting of the angel Moroni on the 178th anniversary of the day that Moroni first appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- The Nauvoo Temple was the first to have an angel (though not identified as Moroni), and it is the only temple to have a horizontal or flying angel (which functioned as a weathervane). The angel was inspired by Revelations 14:6, which says, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
- The first temple to have a standing angel Moroni was the Salt Lake Temple.
- Not all temples have an east-facing angel Moroni statue. In fact, the angels on some temples face nearly due west because of lot orientation or the placement of spires including the Seattle Washington Temple, Manila Philippines Temple, Taipei Taiwan Temple, Spokane Washington Temple, Nauvoo Illinois Temple, and Manhattan New York Temple.
- The trumpets of the angel Moroni statues on the Santiago Chile Temple, Tokyo Japan Temple, and Apia Samoa Temple have been lofted out of Moroni's grasp during earthquakes.
- Due to its height and conductivity, it is not unheard of for an angel Moroni statue to be struck by lightning during a thunderstorm just like a lightning rod.
Design and Construction
- The St. George Utah Temple originally followed the design of the Nauvoo and Kirtland Temples, featuring an assembly hall and an instruction hall partitioned for presenting the endowment.
- The Ogden Utah Temple, Provo Utah Temple, Jordan River Utah Temple, and Washington D.C. Temple were built with six endowment rooms to accommodate high capacity use by the Saints.
- Three temples feature no tower or spire: the Laie Hawaii Temple, Cardston Alberta Temple, and Mesa Arizona Temple.
- The Oakland California Temple, Cochabamba Bolivia Temple, and Provo City Center Temple are the only Latter-day Saint temples to be built with a central tower surrounded by four corner towers.
- A large priesthood assembly room was standard in all temples until the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated. Since then, very few temples have included such a room, representing a design transition that focused more on ordinance work and less on general assembly.
- Shortly after Brigham Young's death, the original "squatty" tower of the St. George Utah Temple, which he disliked, was struck by lightning and burned to its base. The tower was rebuilt taller and with a more elegant shape.
- The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build. It was dedicated 46 years after its announcement—the same length of time taken to erect the ancient Jerusalem Temple (John 2:20).
- The Nauvoo Temple and Apia Samoa Temple are the only two modern-day temples to have been destroyed. Replacement buildings were constructed.
- The Vernal Utah Temple, Copenhagen Denmark Temple, and Manhattan New York Temple are all adaptations of existing Church-owned buildings.
- Every window in the San Antonio Texas Temple is filled with art glass created by Utah artist Tom Holdman.
- The construction of the Hong Kong China Temple pioneered a concept of housing a temple in the same building as other church facilities. Since then, the concept has been repeated for the Fukuoka Japan Temple, the Manhattan New York Temple, and the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple.
- The Manhattan New York Temple is virtually a building within a building, which is completely soundproofed from the hustle and bustle of the City.
- The Washington D.C. Temple's 288-foot spire makes it the tallest of all Latter-day Saint temples.
- Plans for the Los Angeles California Temple were postponed for World War II and later revised to make it the largest temple built since the Salt Lake Temple. (The Salt Lake Temple has since been enlarged, making it the largest temple in the world.)
- The México City México Temple is the largest outside of the United States.
- With just one ordinance room and one sealing room, the Colonia Juárez Chihuahua México Temple is the smallest in the world.
- The St. George Utah Temple has more sealing rooms than any other temple—18.
- The year 2000 saw 34 dedications, the most temple dedications in one year in history.
- Since the dedication of the St. George Utah Temple, the 1900s and 1930s are the only two decades void of temple dedications.
- Dedications of the first 50 currently operating temples spanned 120 years. The next 50 dedications spanned 3 years.
- The Monterrey México Temple was the second announced to be built in Mexico but was the twelfth to be dedicated in that country due to long delays in neighborhood negotiations, which resulted in relocation of the temple site within the city.
- President Joseph F. Smith died just one year before the dedication of the Laie Hawaii Temple where he had labored as a very young missionary.
- The Nauvoo Illinois Temple was dedicated on the 158th anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
- The St. George Utah Temple, Salt Lake Temple, and Palmyra New York Temple are the three operating temples dedicated on April 6.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated 4 temples in just one week, June 11–18, 2000: Fukuoka Japan Temple, Adelaide Australia Temple, Melbourne Australia Temple, and Suva Fiji Temple.
- The announced date of dedication had to be withdrawn for the Montevideo Uruguay Temple due to a strike in the country that greatly delayed completion of the building.
- Joseph Fielding Smith wrote the dedicatory prayer for the Provo Utah Temple, but it was read by Harold B. Lee.
- The dedicatory services of the Mesa Arizona Temple were broadcast over the radio.
- Because of their historical significance, the dedicatory services of the Palmyra New York Temple, Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple, and Nauvoo Illinois Temple were broadcast internationally via encrypted satellite. This system has been used for numerous dedications since.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley is the most prolific temple dedicator in history, presiding over the dedication of 85 temples and the rededication of 13 temples, 5 of which he had not originally dedicated for a total of 90 temples.
- All Spanish-speaking nations in South America have at least one temple.
- The Redlands California Temple stands on a parcel of the original Mormon landholdings purchased in October 1851 by Elders Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich.
- An old Elizabethan manor, which was converted for a time for use as a missionary training center for the European saints, sits on the site of the London England Temple.
- No country outside the United States had more than one temple until 1990 when Canada's second temple was dedicated in Toronto, and East and West Germany reunited, placing its two temples in Freiberg (1985) and Frankfurt (1987) under one nation.
- Located off Highway 99, the Fresno California Temple—announced in 1999—was the 99th announced temple.
- The morning of the site dedication of the Manti Utah Temple, Brigham Young took Warren S. Snow aside and said, "Here is the spot where the Prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for a temple site, and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can't move it from this spot."1
- The land where the Portland Oregon Temple stands was originally purchased to build a Church junior college.
- The Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple is built on the site of a former Church welfare farm.
- The Palmyra New York Temple is located on the east end of the original 100-acre Smith Family Farm, which borders the Sacred Grove—a theme carried throughout the temple.
- The location of the Madrid Spain Temple was announced at the groundbreaking of the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple.
- Temples are adjacent to all Church-owned institutions of higher education including LDS Business College (Salt Lake Temple), Brigham Young University (Provo Utah Temple), Brigham Young University–Idaho (Rexburg Idaho Temple), and Brigham Young University–Hawaii (Laie Hawaii Temple).
- Real estate is limited and expensive in Asia, leading to an interesting pattern followed by the church of razing mission homes (or mission offices) to make way for temples including the Tokyo Japan Temple, Taipei Taiwan Temple, Seoul Korea Temple, Hong Kong China Temple, and Fukuoka Japan Temple. In the case of the latter two temples, mission president quarters were included in those buildings.
- The Church purchased an operating nine-hole golf course (which had announced its intentions to close) as the site for the Twin Falls Idaho Temple. Because the purchase included much more land than needed, the balance of the property was developed into residential lots with LDS-inspired street names.
1. Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Kimball Family, 1888) 447.
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—L. Lionel Kendrick
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