The World's Largest Mormon Temple

The Salt Lake Temple.
The Salt Lake Temple.

The Mormon Church is considered to be a restoration of the early church which was initiated by the Lord Jesus Christ. The followers of this belief are often called the ‘Latter-day Saints’ or simply as the Mormons. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with the temple at the City being the largest Mormon Temple in the world. The Temple is in Temple Square and is the largest LDS temple by floor area. The temple was dedicated in 1893 and required forty years to be completed.

An Overview Of The Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple is constructed on a ten-acre piece of land at the Temple Square and is considered sacred by the church and the members. Temple recommend required to enter the temple hence limiting the number of public tourists visiting the temple. The first photography of the interior of the temple was established in 1912 in a book, ‘The House of the Lord’ by James E Talmage. However, the temple grounds are open to the public and are popular with tourists. The Salt Lake Temple is patronized by LDS from many parts of the world due to its historical significance and position as the Church's headquarters. It is also the weekly meeting venue for the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. As such, the temple has meeting rooms for such purposes and Holy of Holies which are not present in other temples. The official name of the temple is unique. In most cases, temples located in the US and Canada are named after the city or town in which the temple is located followed by the name of the province or state. For temples outside the two countries, the name is the city name followed by the name of the country. However, for reasons not elaborated by the church, the Salt Lake Temple was exempted from the guidelines and was not renamed “Salt Lake Utah Temple” as should have been the case. The temple contains elements that evoke Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem including the large basin for the baptismal font.

Construction And Dedication Of The Temple

The location for the temple was marked on July 28, 1847, by Brigham Young who was the second president of the LDS. The site was dedicated on February 14, 1853, with Young presiding over the ceremony and laying the cornerstone took place on April 6, 1853. The temple’s architecture was Truman O Angelle. The foundation of the temple was built using sandstone. However, during the Utah War, the foundation was buried and made to look like a plowed field to avoid attracting the attention of the federal troops. The work of the temple resumed in 1858 after the tension. The capstone was laid on April 6, 1892, marking the completion of the temple’s interior. The Angel Moroni statue was placed on top of the capstone on the same day. The Temple was dedicated on April 6, 1893, by Wilford Woodruff, the fourth president of the LDS church, exactly 40 years after the cornerstone was laid.

Temple Symbols

The temple incorporates many symbolic adornments just like many other LDS temples from around the world. The golden Angel Moroni symbolizes angels mentioned in the Bible in Revelation 14:6 that awaits the second coming of Christ. The priesthood is represented by the six spires of the temple while the three spires on the east represent Melchizedek. The smaller spires represent the 12 apostles. The hand clasp above the doors represents the covenants made within the temple while the center tower of each side depicts an All-Seeing Eye of God.


More in Travel