Ground Broken for Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple
November 1993

“Ground Broken for Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 111–12

Ground Broken for Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple

In a “day of beginning,” President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, participated in the ground breaking of the Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple.

Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple

An architect’s rendering of the Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple, which is scheduled for completion in approximately two years.

The October 9 ground breaking took place on a cool, crisp Saturday morning with a crowd of more than 16,400 gathered at the 16.5-acre site in American Fork, Utah. In addition to Presidents Hinckley and Monson, Elders David B. Haight, Neal A. Maxwell, Joseph B. Wirthlin, and Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve were also in attendance, as well as several other General Authorities.

Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple groundbreaking

President Gordon B. Hinckley (left), President Thomas S. Monson (center), and Elder David B. Haight participate in ground-breaking ceremonies. (Photo by Phil Shurtleff.)

“This is the greatest era in the history of the world in the building of temples,” noted Presidency Hinckley, who conducted the service and also dedicated the site. “There has never been another season like this in the construction of the houses of the Lord. Of the forty-five operating temples which we now have, more than half have been constructed and dedicated in the past twelve years. We are moving across the world to extend the blessings and privileges of temple service to the faithful Saints of this church wherever they may be found. And this is a part of that great process.”

In his address, President Hinckley said, “We commend most warmly the faithful Saints on their temple attendance and the work which they are doing. Surely your lives are being blessed as you are blessing the eternal lives of those beyond the veil of death,” he said.

“We dedicate and consecrate and set apart this ground as the site for the Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple,” said President Hinckley during the dedicatory prayer. “We pray that Thy Spirit may hover over this ground and hallow it and sanctify it for the purposes for which it is now set apart. We pray that construction, once begun, will go forward without hindrance and delay. …

“We pray that each of those laboring here may be touched by Thy Holy Spirit and realize that this house on which he or she labors is a unique and special building, a house of God, which will be dedicated to Thy Eternal purposes for the blessing of Thy sons and daughters of all generations. …

“We pray that this may become a place of peace, a sacred structure to look upon with reverence and respect and appreciation for Thy eternal purposes.”

President Monson shared a letter that he had received from Samuel Barnes, a boy living in American Fork. In part, the letter read, “I’m so excited to have a temple in our city. … Primary taught me that Primary boys and girls helped with the temples. I want to help with the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. I hope I can help and that you will tell me how at the ground-breaking services.”

“So, Samuel, I thought today I would try to tell you how you can help with the Mt. Timpanogos temple,” said President Monson.

First, he counseled, he would get a picture of the temple and hang it on a bedroom wall “where I could look at it every morning and every night when I say my prayers, and I’d have within my heart a desire to attend the dedication of the temple and to then attend the temple and do vicarious baptism work as a boy. And then later I’d desire to have my endowments prior to my mission and then to kneel at a sacred altar with a sweet child of our Heavenly Father, an eternal companion.

Next, President Monson suggested that “you contribute something financially, some type of sacrifice for the building of the temple. … Any contribution any boy or girl or any man or woman makes toward this temple, financially or otherwise, will be to his or her eternal benefit.”

And finally, President Monson reminded Samuel and the rest of the audience that “we ourselves are temples of God.

“‘Organize yourselves,’” he said, quoting D&C 88:119. “‘Prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.’

“That is our blueprint for the houses we’ll build and for the temple which will grace this particular site,” he concluded.

Elder Wirthlin also spoke at the dedication ceremonies, noting that the site of the future temple was hallowed. “At one time it was a farm for the welfare program and served the temporal needs of our Saints. Today we break ground for the spiritual welfare of all of us. … This will be a great event as the beautiful temple is erected.”

The new temple, which will take approximately two years to complete, is similar in design to the Bountiful Utah Temple, now under construction. The white stone exterior of the Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple exterior will feature a 187-foot tower topped by the angel Moroni.


More than 16,000 people attended the ground breaking. (Photo by Phil Shurtleff.)