Destroyed by arson fire in 1848; rebuilt in 2002
Site: Slightly less than 4 acres.
Exterior Finish: Light gray limestone quarried to the north and south of the city.
Ordinance Rooms: Approximately 60.
Total Floor Area: 50,000 square feet.
Construction Commencement: 18 February 1841
Private Dedication: 30 April 1846 by Joseph Young
Dedication: 1–3 May 1846 by Orson Hyde
The original Nauvoo Temple, rebuilt in 2002 as the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, stood on a high bluff overlooking a bend in the Mississippi River. It occupied a city block bounded by Woodruff, Mulholland, Knight, and Wells streets. Just two years after its dedication, the Nauvoo Temple was tragically destroyed by arson fire in 1848 and tornado-strength winds in 1850.
The Nauvoo Temple was the first temple built in Illinois.
The Nauvoo Temple was the first temple to have an angel atop its tower. It is the only temple to have a horizontal (or flying) angel.
The Nauvoo Temple is one of two latter-day temples to have been destroyed and rebuilt. (The other is the Apia Samoa Temple.)
The practice of baptisms for the dead was restored in this dispensation through the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. Such baptisms were first performed in the Mississippi River until the baptismal font of the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated.
On May 4, 1842, the first full endowments of this dispensation were given in Nauvoo in the upper room of Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store, which was used as an endowment room until the Nauvoo Temple was completed. The Relief Society was organized there on March 17, 1842.
A series of private dedications were held as portions of the Nauvoo Temple were completed including a dedication of the basement and baptismal font on November 8, 1841; the attic rooms for ordinance work on November 30, 1845; the sealing altar on January 7, 1846; and the temple "thus far completed" on February 8, 1846, just prior to the Saints' exodus to the West.