Monticello Utah Temple

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Monticello Utah Temple

The Monticello Utah Temple is the 53rd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the 11th built in Utah. On 4 October 1997, during the Saturday morning session of the 167th Semiannual General Conference, then President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, announced the building of smaller temples throughout the world, and one of those temples was to be built in Monticello, Utah.

The Monticello Utah Temple was the first of the small-scale temples to be completed. After the groundbreaking on 17 November 1997, the building took just eight months to construct, and in its original state, it was the smallest temple in the Church with only 7,000 square feet. President Hinckley dedicated the temple on July 26 and 27, 1998, following a public open house between July 16 and 18, 1998.

In less than one year after the announcement, President Hinckley dedicated the Monticello Utah Temple on 26 July 1998, following a public open house between 16 and 18 July 1998. In the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley stated:

Even in seasons of great poverty, they [the Mormon members] have struggled to erect these sacred houses [temples]. Now Thou hast made Thy will known and blessed us with the means to erect many more temples, smaller in size but complete in their necessary appointments. These will be convenient to Thy faithful Saints and will meet the needs of Thy growing Church throughout the world."

The Monticello Utah Temple serves nearly 13,000 members in Blanding, Moab, and Monticello, Utah areas and members from Durango, Colorado. Although at the time of its completion, the Monticello Utah Temple was the smallest in the Church, the temple was remodeled and an extra 4,000 square feet added including a second ordinance room and second sealing room. After the renovation, another public open house took place from 2 through 9 November, and President Hinckley rededicated the temple in one session on 17 November 2002.

Monticello is nearly 300 miles south of Salt Lake City, in Utah’s southeastern corner. This community started in the 1880s when pioneers settled the area. Today Monticello is the seat of San Juan County and hosts a population of almost 2,000. The Monticello Utah Temple is located at the base of the Abajo Mountains at 365 North 200 West in Monticello, Utah. The temple sits on 1.33 acres donated by Ernest and Paul Sonderegger. An adjacent Mormon meetinghouse shares a parking lot with the temple.

According to Chad Hawkins, in his book titled The First 100 Temples, "the exterior of the Temple is finished in a marble called Noah's Crème and which was chosen for its color, range of shades, and availability. The hue of the temple seems to change with the weather conditions and the time of day. Thirteen thousand tiles used on the Temple were evaluated carefully to make sure they blended with each other for a uniform effect." The Monticello Utah Temple currently has a total floor area of 11,225-square-feet, two ordinance rooms, and two sealing rooms.

The Angel Moroni Statue

The Angel Moroni statue, a distinctive feature of many Mormon temples, required some modifications also. The first Angel Moroni statue on the spire of the Monticello Utah Temple was made of fiberglass covered in white paint. In order to make the statue stand out on cloudy days, it was replaced by a taller, gold-leafed angel Moroni. The original statue had gold leafing added to it and was installed atop the Columbus Ohio Temple.

A refurbished statue of the Angel Moroni was recently placed atop the temple, replacing the statue that had topped the building for the previous 16 years.

Temple President, Tom Livingston, reports that the old nine-foot statue, which faces East, showed the ravages of age as the gold had worn off the top of Moroni’s head. He added that there is evidence that the statue had also been struck several times by lightning. The new statue actually topped the Snowflake Arizona Temple for several years until it was replaced earlier this summer.

External links

Videos of the Monticello Utah Temple

Other Temples in Utah