President Hinckley Dedicates Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
December 1996

“President Hinckley Dedicates Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple,” Ensign, Dec. 1996, 66–67

President Hinckley Dedicates Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple

President Gordon B. Hinckley presided at the first dedicatory session of the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple, held on Sunday morning, 13 October 1996, in American Fork, Utah. In addition to offering the dedicatory prayer at the first of 27 dedicatory sessions during the week of 13–19 October, President Hinckley presided over cornerstone sealing activities, which began at 8:00 A.M. in the celestial room. Speaking at this ceremony were President Hinckley, President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.

After the First Presidency spoke, they and others left the temple briefly to put mortar around the edges of the cornerstone. An 800-voice choir, made up of young adults from the temple district, sang “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns, no. 19) as President Hinckley emerged from the temple. A 20- by 30-inch metal box containing memorabilia—addresses by President Hinckley, a history of American Fork, samples of temple wall coverings and woodwork, a local newspaper, among other items—had been placed inside the cornerstone earlier.

After each member of the First Presidency pressed mortar into the cornerstone groove, Elder W. Eugene Hansen of the Presidency of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department, President Robert J. Matthews, president of the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple, and Stephen M. Studdert, vice chairman of the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple Committee, also took a turn with the trowel, as did Sister Marjorie Hinckley, President Hinckley’s wife.

Nearly 3,000 people were gathered outside at the southeast corner of the temple for this part of the cornerstone ceremony. In the morning sunlight, President Hinckley invited three children to add mortar to the cornerstone. “Write in your journal about this,” he told them.

The dedicatory session began as soon as the First Presidency and others returned to the celestial room. The first dedicatory session was viewed by 11,617 people, who either attended the session or watched via closed-circuit television. Off-site locations for the remaining dedicatory sessions included the Tabernacle on Temple Square, the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, the American Fork Tabernacle, and 12 stake centers. Every baptized, worthy member of the Church within the temple district was invited to participate.

At the first dedicatory session, President Hinckley, President Monson, President Faust, and President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, all spoke briefly. A 60-person choir made up of members of the Highland Utah East Stake and the Lindon Utah Stake gathered in the celestial room and provided the music.

Temples “are houses of instruction,” President Hinckley has said on a previous occasion. “They are places of covenants and promises.” Within the sanctity of their walls “we commune with Him and reflect on His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who served as proxy for each of us in a vicarious sacrifice in our behalf. Here we set aside our own selfishness and serve for those who cannot serve themselves. Here … we are bound together in the most sacred of all human relationships—as husbands and wives, as children and parents, as families under a sealing that time cannot destroy and death cannot disrupt.”1

Before the cornerstone and dedicatory ceremonies, nearly 700,000 people toured the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple during a six-week open house held from 6 August through 21 September. Helping with the open house were more than 60,000 volunteers from the 45 stakes in the temple district, which includes stakes in Heber City and Midway in Wasatch County, and from stakes in northern Utah County, including the communities of Alpine, Highland, Lehi, American Fork, Pleasant Grove, Lindon, and Orem.

In April 1993 the First Presidency announced plans to build the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple. On 9 October 1993, President Hinckley and President Monson broke ground for the temple. The Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple is the ninth Latter-day Saint temple to be built in Utah and the 49th operating temple in the Church. In addition to the 49 operating temples, there are seven temples under construction and eight temples awaiting ground breaking.

Located on 17 acres of farmland in American Fork with a view of Mount Timpanogos, the temple opened for regular temple ordinance work on 22 October 1996. About 1,200 members serve as temple workers in this 104,000-square-foot white-granite building.


  1. Temples (booklet, 1988), 5.

President Hinckley dedicated the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple on 13 October, in the first of 27 dedicatory sessions. It is the Church’s 49th operating temple. (Photo by Maren Mecham.)