Ground was broken Saturday for the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple in northern Utah County, about 40 minutes south of downtown Salt Lake City. Elder Craig C. Christensen, Utah area president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presided over the event, with members of the Area Presidency attending.
Latter-day Saint and community leaders, along with local clergy, attended the October 19, 2019, traditional ceremony. Guests were invited to turn over a spade of dirt using ceremonial shovels. The event marks the beginning of construction of the three-story, approximately 87,000-square-foot temple. The public living in the general area watched the proceedings live from local meetinghouses.
Elder Christensen expressed the love of President Russell M. Nelson and the senior leaders of Church when he said, “We are gathered here under their direction.”
About a month ago, the Utah area president said he walked the temple site. “After I had absorbed the prominence of this particular setting, I started to picture in my mind’s eye the construction of the temple over the coming months.”
Then, Elder Christensen said, something more important occurred: “I started to think about what will take place within the walls of the temple once it is completed and dedicated, the sacred ordinances and covenants that will be administered here. I realized, in a more profound way, how this particular temple will bless many individuals and families, including your children, your marriages, your families, and, especially, many of your ancestors."
Elder Christensen continued, “This is the place where your children and families will be protected from the evils that are ever present in the world today, and to make sacred covenants with the Lord.”
The temple, announced in April 2017 by then-Church President Thomas S. Monson, is located at 897 South Ensign Drive, in the new Beacon Pointe subdivision, west of Redwood Road and north of Meadow Side Drive. An adjacent 21,000-square-foot meetinghouse will also be built.
Saratoga Springs resident Jennifer Raventos said her family is excited to have the temple literally in their backyard. “We’ve been excited ever since President Monson announced the temple two and a half years ago. The temple, to me, is a place that represents everything that is important; it represents our testimony of Jesus Christ and the strength of the family. It represents all that we believe in.”
Elder Walter F. González, a counselor in the Utah Area Presidency, said the temple is a reminder especially for those living near the temple. “Just by watching and seeing from their windows, the temple will remind them of the invitation that we just received from President Nelson on making an appointment with the Lord and being faithful.”
Utah currently has 17 operating temples. In addition to the one in Saratoga Springs, temples have also been announced in the following locations: Layton, Orem, Taylorsville, Tooele Valley and Washington County.
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord” and the most sacred places of worship on the earth. Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses (chapels). All are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at local meetinghouses. The primary purpose of temples, however, is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages that unite families forever and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity while living. Find out more about temples.