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Little-Known Stories & What You Should Look for Inside the Provo City Center Temple


The temple echoes its rich heritage.

From elegant sculpted wallpaper, intricate spiral staircases, Victorian lamps and furnishings, elaborate wooden moldings and decorations, and towering Gothic arches, everything in the Provo City Center Temple hearkens back to and honors the lives of the pioneers who worshiped in this place for over a century. In fact, in 1886-1887, general conference was held at the Provo Tabernacle, showing its centrality and deep significance to members of the Church in Utah County and throughout the world.

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Image from Mormon Newsroom.

The temple's motifs and designs draw heavily from pioneer buildings—most specifically the Manti Temple, which was built around the same year the Provo Tabernacle was constructed. Here are just a few specific design elements you should be sure to pay attention to when touring or viewing photos from the temple:

The Floral Ribbon Design in the Bride's Room

Just beneath the dark, mahogany moldings in the bride's room is a painted green and pink ribbon ornamentation. The design for this pattern comes from the original tabernacle itself. After the destruction of the tabernacle, while fire crews were cleaning the debris, this design was discovered beneath a layer of plaster severely damaged by the fire. It appears this original design had been covered and forgotten quite some time ago. But, it was because of this outer layer of plaster that the design was preserved, allowing it to be rediscovered and used in the temple today.

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Image from Mormon Newsroom.

The Bench-Style Seating in the Instruction Room

While most temple instruction room's consist of a series of individual seats set up in rows, the Provo City Center Temple has connected benches that are partitioned off into individual seats in order to better imitate the original bench-seating found in the Provo Tabernacle.

The Pulpit in the Chapel

The only original piece of furniture preserved from the Provo Tabernacle is the pulpit which can be found in the temple's chapel. This exquisite piece of woodwork escaped the fire after having been removed from the Provo Tabernacle in preparation for a music concert set to be performed there.

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Image from Mormon Newsroom.

The Gothic Arches

A unique feature of the Provo City Center Temple not found in any other LDS temple is the gothic arch design that can be found on the highest floor of the temple in the sealing and instruction rooms—arches crafted after the original architecture of the tabernacle.

The Oxen Holding the Baptismal Font

Made of bronze, these oxen are crafted after the same design as those in the Brigham City Temple, and, like all temple baptismal fonts, have 12 oxen symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel, three facing in each direction (North, South, East, and West). 

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Image from Mormon Newsroom.

Be sure to also note the extensive wooden carvings and moldings, the authentic Victorian furnishings, and the beautiful rugs and wallpaper that all pull their inspiration from historic pioneer buildings and temples.