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LDS Church breaks ground for Orem Temple

LDS Church breaks ground for Orem Temple

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Representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints break ground on the new Orem Temple on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. 

  • Church newsroom
LDS Church announces Orem Temple groundbreaking

An outside rendering of the new Orem Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The groundbreaking announced June 24, 2020, will be held on Sept. 5 to a limited group with video available. 

  • Courtesy Intellectual Properties
Orem City Council approves LDS Temple zone change

A rendering of the Tooele Temple announced in April of 2019. The size is approximately the same as the Orem temple and does not have an Angel Moroni on top. 

  • Courtesy Intellectual Properties LLC

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Elder Craig Christensen speaks during a gathering at the groundbreaking for the Orem Temple. 

  • Church newsroom

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Attendees social distance during a ceremony for the groundbreaking of the Orem Temple on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. 

  • Church newsroom

Ground was broken Saturday for the Orem Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The event, which would typically see hundreds of people, was kept to only a very few due to COVID-19.

The ceremony was under the direction of presiding authority Elder Craig C. Christensen, Utah Area president.

“The Orem Utah Temple will become an added refuge of strength in an increasingly uncertain world — a holy place where we learn and live more fully the great plan of happiness made possible by our Savior, Jesus Christ,” said Elder Christensen, according to a church news release.

Because of current COVID-19 restrictions, arrangements have been made for a video recording of the groundbreaking ceremony available for viewing. More information surrounding the details will be forthcoming.

It may not have an Angel Moroni on top, but the new Orem Temple will be seen by thousands along Interstate 15.

“The city looks forward to the groundbreaking of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Orem Utah Temple. Since the announcement, the church has served as a wonderful partner in addressing concerns and issues associated with development of the temple site,” said Jamie Davidson, city manager at the announcement of the groundbreaking. “As a community of faith that prides itself on being family-centered, the temple and associated buildings will be a welcome addition to Orem.”

Orem Mayor Richard Brunst said that while most of Orem will not be able to readily see it, the edifice will be a blessing to the community.

Brunst, Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer and Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and their spouses were some of the few to receive invitations to the groundbreaking.

“I’m very excited to have the temple here,” Brunst said at the groundbreaking announcement. “We are blessed and lucky to have it.”

Brunst notes that the UVX route is close to the temple as is Utah Valley University. He hopes that Utah Transit Authority will have some sort of shuttle from the nearby FrontRunner station to the temple for patrons wanting to attend.

“It’s a beautiful design,” Brunst said. “Even though there is no Angel Moroni on top.”

Brunst and others on the city council were hoping for the iconic symbol of Moroni, a Book of Mormon prophet to be on top like many other temples in the area and throughout the world. However, the newest temple designs have kept Moroni off.

As for what the inside will look like, typically the LDS Church takes time to understand the history of the area and that will be manifested in the interior designs of the building. This could include nods to the many orchards of apple, peach and cherry trees.

“[The temple] will act as a beacon, drawing the gaze of millions as they pass by this hallowed ground, and inviting the devoted service of hundreds of thousands of faithful Latter-day Saints, as the ordinances of salvation are offered to the living and the dead,” said Elder Evan Schmutz, according to a news release.

The new temple will be located on a 16-acre site at approximately 1471 South Geneva Road, west of Interstate 15 and south of University Parkway.

Plans include a three-story temple of about 70,000 square feet with a center spire. A 20,000-square-foot meetinghouse is to be constructed on the temple site as well.

The Orem Utah Temple is one of two Utah temples announced in October 2019 by Church President Russell M. Nelson. Utah currently has 17 operating temples. In addition to Orem, temples have been announced in Syracuse, Taylorsville, Tooele Valley and Washington County.

Temples in Layton and Saratoga Springs are currently under construction. This brings the total to 24 temples announced, under construction, under renovation or in operation in the state.

There are currently more than 2.1 million Latter-day Saints in Utah, which is just under two-thirds of the state’s population of nearly 3.2 million residents.

Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord.” Temples differ from the church’s meeting houses. Unlike meeting houses, where Sabbath worship and weekly activities take place, temples are open throughout the week and are closed on Sundays.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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Genelle Pugmire

Genelle Pugmire

A 36-year veteran of covering news in Utah County, Genelle covers Provo, Orem, Vineyard, Faith/Religion, including the LDS Church and general assignments.

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