Salt Lake Temple Centennial: From the Ground Up

    “Salt Lake Temple Centennial: From the Ground Up,” Friend, Apr. 1993, 24

    Salt Lake Temple Centennial:
    From the Ground Up

    And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains (Isa. 2:2).

    1 Even before President Brigham Young came to the Salt Lake Valley, he saw the Salt Lake Temple in a vision. Four days after his arrival on July 28, 1847, he walked to an area between two creeks, hit his cane on the ground, and said, “Here we shall build a temple to our God.”*

    2 When President Young met with Truman O. Angell, the architect for the temple, President Young drew on a slate a simple drawing of the temple. Brother Angell based his design on this sketch, and William Ward completed a picture of it. President Young hung this picture in his office for many years.

    3 Work on the foundation wasn’t started until after the cornerstones were laid on April 6, 1853. Notice the old and the new tabernacles in the background.

    4, 5 Stonecutters worked on the temple grounds, cutting blocks of granite that were brought by wagons from the quarry in Little Cottonwood Canyon over twenty miles (32 km) away. The blocks weighed 2500 pounds to 5600 pounds (1125 k to 2520 k) and sometimes took four days to be delivered.

    6 One of the first things Latter-day Saint immigrants to Utah wanted to see was the (unfinished) temple. Their tithing, along with that from the rest of the Church members, helped pay for it. Many visitors also came to see it, including several presidents of the United States. A piece of granite was sometimes given as a souvenir. And when the scaffolding was in place, tours could be taken to the top of the construction for a view of the city.

    7, 8 Thousands of people came to an important ceremony held in 1892, just one year before the temple was completed. President Woodruff touched a button that set in place the capstone, which marked the completion of the stonework.

    9 After forty years of hard work and sacrifice by the Saints, the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated on April 6, 1893. Over the next few weeks many dedication services were held, including special sessions for children. A dedicatory inscription was put on the east side of the temple.