Helena Montana Temple
On Sunday, 4 April 2021, during the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced that a temple will be built in Helena, Montana. The temple will be built on a 4.8-acre site located at 1260 Otter Road and will share the location with the Helena Montana Stake center.
Montana, located in north central United States and bordering Canada, is home to more than 50,000 Latter-day Saints and approximately 125 congregations. The first congregation in Montana was established in 1898.
The Helena Montana Temple will be the second temple for the Treasure State. The first is the Billings Montana Temple, which was dedicated on 20 November 1999. Plans call for a single-story temple of approximately 10,000 square feet with a center spire. The stake center will be razed and rebuilt while the temple is constructed. A news release revealed that it will be one of the smallest temple’s in the world. The site location and an exterior rendering of the temple was released to the public on 20 April 2021.
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Helena Montana Temple
On Saturday, 26 June 2021, just two months and 22 days after President Russell M. Nelson announced the Helena Montana Temple in April 2021 general conference, a groundbreaking for the new temple was held, marking the beginning of its construction.
Elder Vern P. Stanfill, a General Authority Seventy, presided at the Saturday, June 26, event and offered the dedicatory prayer on the temple site. Attendance at the groundbreaking was by invitation only. Those living within the temple district participated via broadcast.
During the event, Elder Standfill commented that he "pondered greatly on the many who have lived in the shadow of these mountains who . . . sacrificed, served and hoped for this day." He continued, "Theirs is a legacy of faith and discipleship of the Savior. They have driven millions of miles, met in homes, storefronts . . . and a myriad of other places as they have worked to build the Church here in Montana."
The Church Newsroom reported that Carl Hatch, a Latter-day Saint living within the temple district, offered historical background about the temple's significance to the local Church community. He said, "I testify that the holy temple is essential for obtaining eternal life which our Heavenly Father has said is the greatest gift He can give us."
Nancy Freeman, another local member, shared her testimony about how attending the temple helped blessings unfold in her life. She said, "From the temple comes the blessing of preparing us to return to our Father in Heaven. In the temple we are blessed with a greater learning and understanding of the gospel plan."