The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated its new temple in Saratoga Springs on Sunday — the 18th to open in Utah and fifth operating in Utah County.
“In some places, members may still be required to make heavy sacrifices to enter a temple of God,” said President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the church’s governing First Presidency. “Yet the Lord is also generously directing the placement of new temples where members already have temples close by.”
He said that one of the faith’s “major” objectives is to “strategically place temples to reduce the travel time of patrons.”
The Saratoga Springs Temple, northwest of Utah Lake, was announced by then-church President Thomas S. Monson at the April 2017 General Conference, and ground was broken for the Angel Moroni-topped, single-spired, three-story, 87,000-square-foot structure in October 2019. The temple’s design and color palette, according to a previous news release, are “inspired by the blues, purples, golds and greens of surrounding flora and fauna, such as wildflowers, marsh grass, reeds and the snowy egrets.”
The other temples currently operating in Utah County are the Space Age Provo Temple (poised to close in February 2024 to undergo a massive makeover), Provo City Center Temple (converted from the former Provo Tabernacle), Mount Timpanogos Temple (American Fork) and Payson Temple. The Orem Temple is scheduled to be dedicated in January, and another is under construction in Lindon, which will bring the total to seven in that county of more than 700,000 residents. The population of fast-growing Saratoga Springs is about 59,000.
Sunday’s dedication brings the number of temples currently operating in Utah to 15 — Bountiful, Brigham City, Cedar City, Draper, Jordan River (South Jordan), Logan, Monticello, Ogden, Oquirrh Mountain (South Jordan) and Vernal, in addition to the five in Utah County. The iconic Salt Lake, Manti and St. George temples are undergoing renovation.
Ten more temple are either under construction or have been announced: Deseret Peak (Tooele), Ephraim, Heber Valley, Layton, Lindon, Orem, Red Cliffs (St. George), Smithfield, Syracuse and Taylorsville. Altogether, there are 28 temples open, under construction, under renovation or announced in Utah.
Latter-day Saints view a temple as a House of the Lord, a place where the faithful participate in their religion’s highest ordinances, including eternal marriage.
At the dedication ceremony on Sunday, Eyring said Latter-day Saints “have been given this temple as a sign of the Lord’s trust ... and his confidence that [they] will respond with greater faith and energy. … He knows your desire to be lifted and to become a more righteous people — just as the world becomes more contentious and fallen.”
No cornerstone ceremony was held. The global faith of 17 million members has scrapped that tradition in which white-suited top church leaders exit dedication services and, with trowels in hand, apply mortar to a cornerstone — often with the assistance of young children.