Orem Utah Temple
On 5 October 2019, during his closing remarks at the General Women's Session of the 189th semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced that a temple would be built in Orem, Utah. Utah currently has 17 operating temples. In addition to Orem, temples have been announced in Syracuse, Taylorsville, Tooele Valley, and Washington County. Temples in Layton and Saratoga Springs are currently under construction. This brings the total to 24 temples announced, under construction, under renovation or in operation in the state. The Church has 168 operating temples in the world.
On Wednesday, 24 June 2020, the First Presidency of the Church released an exterior rendering of the Orem Utah Temple and announced groundbreaking dates. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, 5 September 2020. Elder Craig C. Christensen, Utah Area President, will preside at the event. Attendance at the site will be by invitation only.
Plans include a three-story edifice of about 70,000 square feet with a center spire. A 20,000-square-foot meetinghouse is to be constructed on the temple site as well. On 11 December 2019, the location of the Orem Utah Temple was announced.The Orem Utah Temple will be located on a 16-acre site on the east end of the site next to FrontRunner at approximately 1471 S. Geneva Road, west of Interstate 15 and south of University Parkway, within close proximity of the Provo Utah Temple and Provo City Center Temple, as well as the campuses of Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University.
There are 26 stakes organized in the densely populated community of Orem, located between the Provo Utah Temple and Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple. Attendance is very high at these two temples, which were nearly running at capacity before the Payson Utah Temple and Provo City Center Temple were dedicated. The construction of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple and Orem Utah Temple will further alleviate demands on these temples and provide more opportunities for temple service among the Saints in Utah County.
The Orem Utah Temple will be the twenty-second temple built in Utah and the sixth built in Utah County, following the Provo Utah Temple (1972), the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple (1996), the Payson Utah Temple (2015), the Provo City Center Temple (2016), and the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple (under construction).
Groundbreaking Ceremony for Orem Utah Temple
On Saturday, 5 September 2020, a small group of invited guests gathered for the groundbreaking of the Orem Utah Temple. According to a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the number of attendees was limited due to local government restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, who grew up and maintains a residence in Orem, joined other dignitaries, including Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez, Orem Mayor Richard Brunst, and Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer in turning over the first ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt, Construction of the temple began in earnest on Tuesday, 8 September 2020.
Elder William K. Jackson, a General Authority Seventy said, by way of the news release: "This temple will be a place of personal revelation and learning. It will be a refuge, a sanctuary of peace in an often cluttered and noisy world. It will serve to mend, help, strengthen and encourage all who come here to worship and be edified."
Elder Craig C. Christensen, the Church's Utah Area President, presided at the event. He said, "In recent months we’ve experienced what the scriptures refer to as 'an overflowing scourge for a desolating sickness that shall cover the land.' Today is a perfect time for all of us to look to the future with hope and gladness as we prepare to worship, to serve, and to receive ordinances in the new Orem Utah Temple."
During the ceremony, Elder William K. Jackson of the Quorum of the Seventy, said, "It will be in this temple where we will have the opportunity to serve, to be responsible for others, and selflessness will be the result. We will gain a greater love for our ancestors and heighten our sense of belonging." At the end of the ceremony, Elder Christensen offered a dedicatory prayer on the temple site, blessing the land and those who will work on the construction.
The temple will have acoustical treatments on the interior and exterior to drown out outside noise. Elder Christensen remarked, "People worry about the freeway. I see 700,000 cars that are going to see the temple every day, and the train going by every 30 minutes, and to me the temple will be a reminder. This structure will be defining, and I think it's amazing to have it in this location."
Utah Governor Gary Herbert, commented, "There’s never been a time when we need more spiritual insight than today. The world has got a lot of challenges, over and above just a pandemic. We have a civil discourse that’s not becoming, and I think that’s probably not what Heavenly Father would like us to be in how we treat each other." He also said the Orem Utah Temple will be a place of refuge and a beacon of peace.
The temple is expected to open in 2022.