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Endowment House

Temporary structure used during the construction of the Salt Lake Temple; razed in 1889

Endowment House
Location:  Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.
Site Dedication:  April 1854
Construction Commencement:  Summer of 1854
Dedication:  5 May 1855 by Heber C. Kimball
Rededication:  2 October 1856 (baptistry only)

Endowment House Locale

Once located on the northwest corner of the temple block in Salt Lake City, the Endowment House served as a temporary temple for Church members in Utah Territory from 1855–1889 during construction of the Salt Lake Temple. The two-story adobe structure was razed in 1889, four years prior to the completion of the Salt Lake Temple.


Endowment House Facts

Prior to the construction of the Endowment House, temple ordinances were being given on a regular basis in Salt Lake beginning in February 1851. This was done in a variety of locations including Brigham Young's office, the Council House, and the top of Ensign Peak.

Recognizing the need for a separate dedicated structure for the administration of the endowment, the Endowment House was built on the northwest corner of Temple Square to function during the construction of the Salt Lake Temple.

At the time of its dedication, President Brigham Young declared that the Endowment House was "The House of the Lord."

The Endowment House was designed by Church architect Truman O. Angell.

The two-story Endowment House featured a washing and anointing room, "garden room," "world room," and "terrestrial room" on the main floor with a "celestial room" on the upper floor.

A year after the Endowment House was constructed, it was enlarged to include a baptistry, which was dedicated on October 2, 1856.

Baptisms for the dead were administered in the Endowment House until 1876, the year before the St. George Utah Temple (1877) was dedicated. Endowments for the living were performed there until 1884, the year the Logan Utah Temple (1884) was dedicated. And sealings of living couples were performed there until 1889, the year after the Manti Utah Temple (1888) was dedicated.

Endowments for the dead were not performed in the Endowment House, which were reserved for the temple only.

In 1889, President Wilford Woodruff had the Endowment House razed. The Church had three operating temples by then, and the Salt Lake Temple (1893) was nearing completion.


Council House

The Council House was a two-story building located on the southwest corner of South Temple and Main Street in Salt Lake City, which functioned as the site of various ecclesiastical and governmental gatherings; the Deseret News was even printed there. From 1851–1855, the Council House was used for the administration of endowments.


Spring City Endowment House

The so-called Spring City Endowment House, built by Orson Hyde in 1867, is a lovely and curious building—built with Federal and Greek Revival elements—that stands in Spring City, Utah. Though its actual use remains largely a mystery, some evidence suggests that the building may have been used for a short time to administer temple ordinances. Temple-related symbols were once attached to the exterior of the building and an official Church list of nontemple locations for receiving ordinances includes "O. Hyde's Office" in Spring City.

"I personally regard all of the houses of the Lord as the work of Jehovah, initiated by him, built by him, designed by him, and dedicated to him and his program."
—Spencer W. Kimball

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