Latter-day Saint Life

15 facts you didn’t know about the Provo Utah Temple

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Earlier this month, the Provo Utah Temple celebrated its 50th anniversary. Since its dedication, the temple has undergone some changes, and a major reconstruction and redesign are coming soon.

► You may also like: See what the redesigned Provo temple will look like

Take a look back through history with these 15 interesting facts about this beloved temple. You can learn more about the Provo Utah Temple at Church News in this piece celebrating its 50th anniversary and in this article celebrating its 40th anniversary.

1. The temple was originally named the Provo Temple. The name was changed in 1999 to the Provo Utah Temple to match the Church’s new temple naming convention to include the state or province name.

2. In 1893 there were four pioneer-era temples in Utah: St. George, Logan, Manti, and Salt Lake. It was 74 years before another temple in Utah was announced (Provo and Ogden were announced simultaneously).

3. When the First Presidency announced the construction of new temples in Ogden and Provo in 1967, the four pioneer-era temples in Utah were overcrowded and performing more than than half of all temple ordinances in the Church.

4. Provo Utah Temple architect Emil B. Fetzer also designed the Ogden Utah, São Paolo Brazil, Tokyo Japan, Seattle Washington, Jordan River, Atlanta Georgia, Nuku'alofa Tonga, Santiago Chile, Mexico City Mexico, Sydney Australia, and Freiberg Germany Temples. All of Fetzer’s temples were designed with single spires.

5. The Provo Utah Temple took less than a year and a half to build, with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place on September 15, 1969, and the cornerstone being laid on May 21, 1971.

6. The Provo and Ogden temples were announced and built at the same time to expedite and economize construction, according to Church leaders.

7. In 1972, a public open house was held for the temple January 8–29. According to Church News, more than 246,000 people visited the temple during the open house.

8. Over 70,000 people attended the two dedicatory sessions held in the newly built Marriott Center on the campus of Brigham Young University on February 9, 1972.

9. Since the temple also served thousands of college students and missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center, the Provo Utah Temple quickly became among the busiest in the Church with 50 endowment sessions a day beginning at 5:30 a.m. and closing at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m.

10. In 1973, during the temple’s first full year of operation, 17.7% of all temple ordinances worldwide were performed in the Provo Utah Temple.

11. In 1976, the Provo Utah Temple broke a record with 76,000 endowments completed in a single month.

12. Beginning in 1974, sessions in Spanish and for the hearing-impaired were held. Sessions in Portuguese, German, Japanese, Mandarin, and other languages were also later added.

13. The Provo Utah Temple served all of Utah Valley for 24 years until the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple was dedicated in 1996 and served all of eastern Utah until the Vernal Utah Temple was dedicated in 1997.

14. On May 12, 2003, a 13.5-foot angel Moroni statue was added to the temple spire.

15. When the Provo Utah Temple closes for its renovation, Utah Valley is expected to have five other dedicated and operational temples—Orem, Provo City Center, Payson, Mount Timpanogos, and Saratoga Springs. The temple in Lindon, Utah, may also be under construction by that time.

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