Latest dedication gives Utah 20 operating LDS temples, with 10 more on the way

Apostle David Bednar does the honors, while fellow apostle D. Todd Christofferson does the same in South America.

A little more than four years ago, all temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shut down when COVID-19 swept across the globe.

Now, with Sunday’s dedication of the Layton Temple and the pandemic crisis largely past, nearly 200 are in operation, including 20 in Utah.

Apostle David Bednar dedicated the three-story, nearly 94,000-square-foot Layton structure, which features a golden Angel Moroni statue atop one of its twin spires.

Constructed of precast concrete panels over a steel frame, the temple includes design motifs inside and out that pay tribute to Davis County’s agricultural heritage, showcasing seedlings, leafy branches and cherry blossoms.

The second floor boasts a 1915 Tiffany art piece, titled “The Resurrection,” that was purchased from a now-demolished United Presbyterian Church in Amenia, New York, about 100 miles north of New York City.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The entrance of the second-floor patron waiting area in the Layton Utah Temple features this Tiffany Studio window, circa 1915, which was purchased from a United Presbyterian Church in Armenia, New York. That church was demolished in 2015.

Like the Taylorsville Temple about 30 miles to the south, the Layton edifice, nestled between busy Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 89, is visible day and night to freeway travelers.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Apostle David A. Bednar of the greets members after the dedication of the Layton Utah Temple on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

Bednar, a news release reported, encouraged templegoers to enhance their “covenant connection” with God through what they learn inside the building. Acknowledging that many individuals attend to seek answers to questions, the apostle suggested they might do well to reverse that sequence.

“We can and should come away from our worship in the House of the Lord with additional questions that we need to pursue,” Bednar said. “Sometimes the answer is not a solution. Sometimes the answer to our concern is an additional question. And when we come out of the House of the Lord, we take that new question into our homes, into our scripture study, into our prayers, into our conversation with other family members.”

New temple in Argentina

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Apostle Todd Christofferson and his wife, Kathy, pose for a portrait outside of the Salta Temple in Salta, Argentina, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. The temple was dedicated the next day.

About three hours before the Layton ceremonies, a separate news release noted, apostle D. Todd Christofferson dedicated the Salta Temple, one of the church’s seven built or announced temples in Argentina.

“This temple and all latter-day temples constitute our visible, tangible testimony of the living reality of the Redeemer, since without his Atonement and Resurrection, the temple would serve no purpose,” said Christofferson, who labored as a full-time missionary in the South American country as a young man in the 1960s.

(D. Todd Christofferson) Elder D. Todd Christofferson while serving in the Argentine North Mission in Salta, Argentina, with his missionary companion, Elder Glen Willardson, in 1965.

The leader urged members to attend the temple regularly to gain guidance in their lives.

“With a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we will individually receive impressions about what we need to do to present ourselves as a worthy offering to the Lord in his holy house,” Christofferson said in the release. “We can receive peace and reassurance that the Lord is pleased with our desires and efforts to follow him.”

The Utah-based church has 350 planned or existing temples around the world. Church President Russell Nelson, who took the faith’s reins in 2018, has announced 168, or 48%, of them.

Utah’s temples

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The Angel Moroni statue atop the Layton Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Layton Temple joins the one in Bountiful as the second in Davis County, with a third one coming, in Syracuse.

Utah County, home to the church’s premier school, Brigham Young University, has eight existing or planned temples, the most of any county in the Beehive State, followed by Salt Lake County, with six.

The Layton Temple becomes one of 20 functioning Latter-day Saint temples in Utah, joining Bountiful, Brigham City, Cedar City, Draper, Jordan River (South Jordan), Logan, Manti (rededicated in April), Monticello, Mount Timpanogos (American Fork), Ogden, Oquirrh Mountain (South Jordan), Orem, Payson, Provo City Center (converted from the former Provo Tabernacle), Red Cliffs (St. George — dedicated in March); Saratoga Springs, St. George, Taylorsville and Vernal.

The faith’s most-celebrated temple, the iconic six-spired Salt Lake Temple, in the heart of Utah’s capital, is undergoing a seismic upgrade and extensive renovation. It is expected to reopen in 2026.

The Space Age Provo Temple, meanwhile, is being overhauled. It will be renamed the Provo Rock Canyon Temple.

Eight more temples — Deseret Peak (Tooele), Ephraim, Heber Valley, Lehi, Lindon, Smithfield, Syracuse and West Jordan — are either under construction or in planning stages.

When all are completed, Utah will be home to 30 temples of the state’s predominant faith.

Latter-day Saints view these buildings as Houses of the Lord and, unlike their more common meetinghouses, places where devout members participate in their highest religious rites such as eternal marriage.