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First Temple with an Angel Moroni Statue + Other Fascinating Temple Firsts

The first temple built by the Latter-day Saints in the modern dispensation was in Kirtland, Ohio. It was the start of a long tradition of building and dedicating temples to the Lord. Since then, many other temples have been built, and some with the distinction of being the "first"—from the first to be built on a particular continent to the first to offer temple ordinances in a language. Here are a few more of those unique "firsts."

Location Firsts

Laie Hawaii (Originally dedicated in 1919)

The first temple to serve members living outside the immediate area of Church headquarters. (Kirtland, Nauvoo, Utah)

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Photo taken in 2010 by Brigitte Medgyesy

Cardston Alberta (Originally dedicated in 1923)

The first temple built outside of the United States.

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Photo taken in 2007 by Steven Dudley

Bern Switzerland (Originally dedicated in 1955)

The first temple built in Europe.

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Photo taken in 2016 by Jorge Araya M.

Hamilton New Zealand (Dedicated in 1958)

The first temple to be built in the Southern Hemisphere

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Photo taken in 1987 by Stephen Snyder

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Photo taken in 2015 by Tracy Crump

Sao Paulo Brazil (Originally dedicated in 1978)

The first temple in South America.

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Photo taken in 2005 by Clairisa Giles

Tokyo Japan (Dedicated in 1980)

The first temple in Asia.

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Photo taken in 2016 by Tracy Crump

Johannesburg South Africa (Dedicated 1985)

The first temple in Africa.

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Photo taken in 1998 by Clive Martin, c/o Sean Bruton

Freiberg Germany (Originally dedicated in 1985)

The first temple built in a nation under Communist rule.

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Photo taken August 15, 2016 by Corrado Hess

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Photo taken in 2011 by Carl V. Larson


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Ogden Utah (Originally dedicated in 1969)

The first temple dedicated after Utah became a state. 

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Photo taken September 21, 2014 by Renee Packer

Oquirrh Mountain Utah (Dedicated in 2009)

The first temple to be built in the same city as another temple (Jordan River Utah).

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Photo taken in 2009 by Scott Cannon