St. George Utah Temple
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1st operating temple
Physical Address250 East 400 South
St. George, Utah 84770-3699
Mailing Address250 E 400 S
St. George, UT 84770-3699Telephone 435-673-3533
Announcement: 9 November 1871
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: 9 November 1871 by Brigham Young
Private Dedication: 1 January 1877 by Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, and Brigham Young
Dedication: 6–8 April 1877 by Daniel H. Wells (with Brigham Young presiding)
Public Open House: 15–25 October 1975
Rededication: 11–12 November 1975 by Spencer W. Kimball
Site: 6 acres.
Exterior Finish: Native red sandstone quarried north of the city and plastered white.
Ordinance Rooms: Three ordinance rooms (stationary) and eighteen sealing.
Total Floor Area: 110,000 square feet.
Located on a city block in St. George's historic district, the gleaming white St. George Utah Temple is a striking monument among the red sandstone buttes that characterize Utah's Dixie. Sharing the grounds is a public visitors' center, which houses a replica of Thorvaldsen's Christus. Other nearby attractions include the Brigham Young Winter Home and the St. George Tabernacle.
The St. George Utah Temple is the oldest operating temple of the Church and was the first built in Utah.
The St. George Utah Temple was originally named the St. George Temple.
The St. George Utah Temple is the only temple completed during Brigham Young's 30-year tenure as president of the Church.
With a total of 18 sealing rooms (not all are in active use), the St. George Utah Temple has more sealing rooms than any other temple in the Church.
The swampy ground chosen for the St. George Utah Temple was packed with volcanic rock using a cannon as a pile driver, on display in the visitors' center.
The battlements that surround the St. George Utah Temple once functioned as chimneys for numerous narrow rooms that lodged traveling guests.
The St. George Utah Temple was originally patterned after the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples with two large assembly halls featuring a set of pulpits at each end. The lower hall was partitioned with screens for presentation of the endowment.
The original tower of the St. George Utah Temple fell casualty to a lightning storm about a year after the dedication, leaving it badly damaged. A new tower was completed several years later, taller and more majestic than the first.
The St. George Utah Temple was privately dedicated on January 1, 1877, in a series of three dedicatory prayers: the baptistry by Wilford Woodruff, the main floor by Erastus Snow, and the sealing room by Brigham Young, Jr.
The St. George Utah Temple is the first temple where endowments for the dead were performed.
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America appeared twice to Wilford Woodruff in the St. George Utah Temple asking why their temple work had yet not been performed on their behalves. A striking painting depicting this singular event hangs in the temple lobby (That We May be Redeemed by Harold I. Hopkinson).
In November 1928, fire broke out, destroying the St. George Utah Temple annex. All records and furnishings were saved. Today's annex, located on the north side of the temple, was constructed in the 1950s and serves as the entrance to the temple.
The St. George Utah Temple was extensively remodeled for over a year from 1937 to 1938. The lower hall was permanently divided into progressive-style muraled endowment rooms.
Following a second major renovation project, the St. George Utah Temple nearly doubled its 56,062 square feet. It was opened to the public for an open house and formally rededicated in 1975. The progressive-style ordinance rooms, used to present 3 live-acting endowment sessions a day, were replaced with three motion-picture ordinance rooms that presented 14 sessions a day.