Provo Utah Rock Canyon Temple

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The exterior rendering of the redesigned Provo Utah Rock Canyon Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Provo Utah Rock Canyon Temple is the 15th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Just shy of its 50-year-mark, the planned reconstruction of the Provo Utah Temple, as announced during the 191st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October 2021 by President Russell M. Nelson, resulted in a major redesign and exterior overhaul to the temple. President Nelson also mentioned that the reconstruction of the Provo Utah Temple would begin after the Orem Utah Temple was dedicated in January 2024. The Provo Utah Temple closed at the end of the day on February 24, 2024.

The Church released the exterior rendering of the redesigned Provo Utah Temple on Wednesday, 24 November 2021. The changes that will be made to the temple are similar to those made several years ago of its sister sacred edifice, the Ogden Utah Temple, which underwent a major renovation and architectural change unlike any other temple of the Church.

The location of the rebuilt Provo Utah Temple remains the same — at the mouth of Rock Canyon on Provo's east bench, overlooking the Provo Missionary Training Center, the Brigham Young University campus, the Provo-Orem area, and Utah Lake.

At the time of the Provo Utah Temple closure, Utah Valley was home to five other dedicated temples — the Orem, Provo City Center, Payson, Mount Timpanogos, and Saratoga Springs temples. The Lindon, Utah, north of Orem, is under construction and is expected to be completed mid-2025. In April 2024, President Nelson announced plans to build a temple in Lehi, Utah.

Renaming of the Provo Utah Temple

A few days prior to the closing of the Provo Utah Temple, the First Presidency announced that the reconstructed temple will be known as the Provo Utah Rock Canyon Temple. The name stems from its retained location at the mouth of Rock Canyon on Provo’s eastern bench, overlooking the city, Utah Lake and the expansive Utah Valley. The name also helps differentiate even more between two houses of the Lord located in Provo just 2.4 miles apart.

Not only will the new edifice be built to current codes with energy-efficient electrical, heating, and plumbing systems, it will feature a reconfigured layout from the previous building.[1] In addition to the extensive overall exterior redesign and new name, the temple will be without an angel Moroni statue. Originally built without, the Provo Utah Temple had its current angel Moroni statue added atop the spire in 2003, three decades after the temple was dedicated.

History of the Provo Utah Temple

The Provo Utah Temple. © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In 1967, an announcement was made that the Church would construct another Utah temple in Provo, to help ease the overcrowding of the Salt Lake, Manti, and Logan temples already in the area.

Since Provo's early years, a hill just northeast of downtown Provo, was called "Temple Hill." But hopes of a temple being there were cut off when the Maeser Building was built on the hill in 1911 as a part of the Brigham Young University campus. There was, however, a seventeen-acres block of property at the base of Rock Canyon that was still undeveloped when the temple was announced. This area was easily visible from most parts of Provo and it became the site for the Provo Utah Temple.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on 15 September 1969, with President Hugh B. Brown presiding. The construction of the temple began soon after. The dedication of the temple was held 9 February 1972. The prayer was written by President Joseph Fielding Smith and read by President Harold B. Lee. Only two dedicatory services were held because the sessions were broadcast to several large auditoriums on the Brigham Young University campus as well as the nearby 23,000-seat Marriott Center.

The Provo Utah Temple is one of the busiest temples in the world. Much of this is due to the fact that Brigham Young University and the Missionary Training Center are both included in the temple's district. The temple has led the Church in total number of endowments performed every year since its construction, without counting those done by the missionaries from the Missionary Training Center and Brigham Young University students.

Emil B. Fetzer, the architect for the Ogden and Provo temples, had been asked to create a functional design. Efficiency, convenience, and reasonable cost were all factors. The temple has 128,325 square feet, and 12 sealing rooms. A six-ordinance room design was approved. An outside hallway surrounds these rooms, and all connect to the Celestial Room in the center. The design is modern with a single spire. Thirty one years after the temple's completion, the angel Moroni statue was added to the temple's spire.

Provo Utah Temple Is Vandalized Prior to Closure

The Provo Police Department received a report on December 12, 2023, after 3:30 p.m. of a man with a hammer smashing windows near the front entrance of the Provo Utah Temple. The suspect fled the scene but was later apprehended with the help of camera footage that captured a view of the vehicle and a partial license plate number. The 30-year-old man was booked in Utah County Jail on a third-degree felony charge of property damage/destruction.

Provo Utah Temple Closure

The Provo Utah Temple closed at the end of the day Saturday, February 24, 2024, to accommodate reconstruction of the temple. During the closure, members from the temple district were reassigned to other temple districts and were encouraged to attend other temples as their circumstances permit.

External Links

Temples in Utah

Videos of the Provo Utah Temple