Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple
On Sunday, 5 April 2020, at the afternoon session of the 190th 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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple will be the second temple built in Pennsylvania, following the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple (2016). The temple will be a single-story temple of approximately 32,000 square feet with a center spire. It will stand next to an existing stake center.
Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania. The new temple will serve thousands of members in Western Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio, and Northern West Virginia who currently participate in temple worship at the Columbus Ohio Temple and the Washington D.C. Temple.
The Church enjoys a rich heritage in Pennsylvania, which is home to more than 100,000 Latter-day Saints in 108 congregations, 12 stakes, and two missions. Joseph Smith translated most of the Book of Mormon in Oakland Township, Pennsylvania. John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in a nearby forest and restored the Aaronic Priesthood. Joseph and Oliver also baptized each other in the Susquehanna River.
On 19 January 2021, the location of the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple was announced as a 5.8-acre site at 2093 Powell Road in Cranberry Township next to the stake center for the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania North Stake. The temple will stand north of Pittsburgh not far from the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76), providing good access to members living throughout the region. An official exterior rendering of the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple was also released on 19 January 2021.
Groundbreaking Ceremony Is Held for the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held on Saturday, 21 August 2021. Elder Randall K. Bennett of the Quorum of the Seventy presided at the event.
During his remarks, Elder Bennett said, "Brothers and sisters, I know you will make this temple, and more importantly Jesus Christ, the center of your lives. Thank you for your examples of faith and diligence, hope [and] love." He continued, "I pray that this will be the first temple district full of members, or among the first, where attendance will be virtually standing room only. So this temple is filled with faithful Latter-day Saints serving their ancestors, serving one another."
Several local Latter-day Saints shared testimonies during the groundbreaking ceremony, including Elder T. Michael Price, an Area Seventy. He said, "In temples, and elsewhere, we receive ordinances and make covenants with God that change our very nature and bless our lives." Sister Brenda Miller of the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania North Stake said, "Having this temple here in Pittsburgh reminds me of His love for all of us. I know this temple will be a great blessing to many people, and I am excited for the opportunity that it will give others to hopefully gain the same peace and reassurance that I've been able to have."
In a dedicatory prayer, Elder Bennett prayed, "Please let today’s groundbreaking also be a day of emotional and spiritual building in our own lives and families. Please bless us and our families with a refreshed commitment and enthusiasm for fully living thy gospel."
Attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony was by invitation only, while those who reside in the temple district were able to watch a broadcast.