Sunday, December 17, 2006
Oquirrh Mountain Temple
My daughter Amy and I attended a satellite broadcast of the groundbreaking for the new Oquirrh Mountain, Utah Temple. After looking at the design of this temple, the exterior reminds me somewhat of the Nauvoo, Illinois temple.
It was a cold and snowy morning, but a large tent had been erected around the groundbreaking site. The tent was heated, and equipped with an organ. 1The First Presidency, several members of the Quorum of the Twelve, The Presiding Bishopric, and a few members of the Seventy were there. The audience was made up of Stake Presidents, and their families who reside within the new temple district.
A a beautiful sounding choir was also there. They sounded angelic and glorious! They sang common hymns found in the LDS Hymnbook, but they were special arrangements. I would not be surprised if they were specially arranged for this occasion.
All three members of the First Presidency spoke -- just 4-5 minute talks each. I was pleased to see President Faust feeling well enough to stand while giving his talk. President Faust spoke of a prophecy, from long ago, attributed to Brigham Young, that envisioned the Jordan River as being the center of the city, and that one-day there would be three million people in the valley. (We're somewhere around 1 million right now in Salt Lake County -- 2 million if you count the whole Wasatch Front.)
Originally, the name of the new temple was to be the "South Jordan, Utah" temple (that's what it said on our program too!) However, President Hinckley announced at the groundbreaking service that they had decided to change the name so as not to have this temple confused with the Jordan River Temple, which also happens to be in the city of South Jordan, Utah. When the Oquirrh Mountain Temple is completed, South Jordan, Utah will be the only city in the world that will have two LDS temples.
President Hinckley then offered the dedicatory prayer, dedicating the site for the construction of the temple. His prayer included all those who will work on the temple, that they may remember the special and sacred nature of this building, and do their work with the skill and care that this project will require.
After the prayer, and the close of the service, the ceremonial groundbreaking took place.
As you can see by the photo, they hauled in some fresh top soil for the occasion. They also erected a little platform, not unlike the deck of a swimming pool, covered in artificial turf. President Hinckley joked that, "This is kind of fake!" with the hauled in top soil.
However, the top soil served its purpose. Church leaders, civic leaders, and a representative of the Land Development company that donated the Land all had their turns.
Then they turned the shovels loose. Anyone in the tent, who had a desire, was invited to come and turn a spade of earth. There were several children present in the audience. What a great experience, especially for them.
You can read more about the groundbreaking in the Deseret News article here.
Oquirrh Mountain, Utah Temple
Temple Site: 11 acres
Floor Space: 60,000 Square Feet
Location: 11022 S 4000 W, South Jordan, Utah
Wall Height: 63 feet
Spire Height: 193 feet
Exterior Finish: Light beige granite from China
Just to get an idea of how the size of this new temple, compares to the size of other existing temples, I looked up the following information from an LDS Temples web site:
Temple Square Footage Comparisons:
Salt Lake Temple: 253,000 sq. ft.
Jordan River Temple: 148,000 sq. ft.
Provo, Utah Temple: 128,000 sq. ft
Mount Timpanogos Temple: 107, 000 sq. ft
Manti, Utah Temple: 100,000 sq. ft.
Oquirrh Mountain, Utah Temple: 60,000 sq. ft.
Draper, Utah Temple: 57,000 sq. ft. (Under Construction)
Nauvoo, Illinois Temple: 54,000 sq. ft.
Dallas, Texas Temple: 47,000 sq. ft.
Chicago, Illinois Temple: 30,000 sq. ft.
Monticello, Utah Temple: 11,000 sq. ft.