Stephen L. Chipman

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Stephen L. Chipman (1864-1945) was an early leader of the Church in Utah County and the first president of the Salt Lake Temple who was not an apostle.

Chipman studied at Brigham Young Academy (the predecessor of BYU) as a youth. From 1885-1887 he served a mission in the Southern States Mission spending most of his time as a missionary in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In 1885, before he left on his mission, Chipman had married Sine Nielsen. They eventually became the parents of seven children.

Chipman at various times served as a member of the city council of American Fork, a member of the Utah County Commission and of the Utah State legislature. He also held several callings in the Sunday School, a counselor in a bishopric and also served as a member of the high council of the Utah Stake (named such because at that time it took in all of Utah County).

When the Utah Stake, encompassing about 30 wards and all of Utah county was split into three stakes in 1901, Chipman was made the president of the Alpine Stake. This stake included all of Utah county north of Provo. For a few years prior to the split of the Utah Stake, Chipman had been serving as second counselor to Edward Partridge (not the same Edward Partridge who was the first presiding bishop of the Church).

In 1938 Chipman was called as president of the Salt Lake Temple. He succeeded George F. Richards in this position. The four men who had served in this position prior to Brother Chipman had all been apostles at the time of their service, with Joseph F. Smith having served as both president of the Salt Lake Temple and president of the Church simultaneously for 10 years. Chipman served as president of the Salt Lake Temple until 1945, when he was succeded by Joseph Fielding Smith.

One of Helaman Halls at BYU is named after Chipman.


  • N. B. Lundwall. Temples of the Most High. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1968) p. 113.
  • Andrew Jenson. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Vol. 3, p. 342.