Over the next several years, Utah will be a focal point of dedications and rededications for temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In fact, last month’s dedication of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple signaled the start of an unprecedented surge of new temples dedicated and renovated temples rededicated in Utah alone. From December 2023 to the end of 2028, Utah could see at least 13 — and possibly 14 — temple dedications and rededications in that five-year period.

The surge started in Saratoga Springs

With its Aug. 13 dedication, the house of the Lord in Saratoga Springs, Utah, became the 15th operating temple in Utah, with 13 more under construction, under renovation or awaiting dedication or rededication. And one of the 15 operating temples is scheduled for reconstruction beginning in early 2024.

Barring anything unforeseen, all 14 should be completed and dedicated or rededicated within the next five years — most in less than half that time — giving Utah 28 operating temples.

That recent and rapid temple growth is not just limited to Utah. Rather, it is representative both of what is going on worldwide as well as what has happened during President Russell M. Nelson’s tenure as president of the Church in less than six years.

Temples by the numbers

When President Thomas S. Monson announced a temple for Saratoga Springs on April 2, 2017, the Church had 154 dedicated temples, 12 under construction and 11 announced — for 177 total.

Today, the Church currently has 315 total temples — dedicated, under construction or announced and in planning. The Saratoga Springs temple became the 179th dedicated house of the Lord, with 59 more under construction or awaiting dedication or groundbreaking, and the remaining 77 in planning and design.

Related
A complete list of all announced Latter-day Saint temples
A complete list of all Latter-day Saint temples under construction

In his five and a half years as President of the Church since early 2018, President Nelson has announced 133 new temples, or 42% of the 315 total. Of those 133 announced, seven are already dedicated, four are scheduled for dedication, 43 are under construction and two are scheduled for pre-construction groundbreaking. And the Church’s 77 still in planning and design are all locations announced by President Nelson.

All 10 of the Utah temples under construction were announced by President Nelson between April 2018 and October 2021. The state has no announced temples still in planning and design.

Utah’s total of 28 temples is more than twice that of the next highest state; California, with its 12 total temples, is the only other state in double digits. And Utah has more than any country other than the United States, with the highest totals of dedicated, under-construction or announced temples in international nations being 23 in Mexico, 20 in Brazil, 12 in the Philippines and 10 in Canada.

Houses of the Lord in Utah hold historic places among Latter-day Saint temples — with the state understandably home to the highest number of temples because Salt Lake City has been the site of the Church’s headquarters since the mid-1800s and some 2.17 million members live in Utah.

Here’s a closer look at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 28 temples in Utah, each’s current status and the possibility to have all 28 dedicated — or rededicated — and operating within five years.

Related
A complete list of Latter-day Saint temples in operation or under renovation

Dedicated and operating temples in Utah

Utah is home to 15 dedicated and currently operating temples, four of which have previously been renovated and rededicated, with another one scheduled for reconstruction. In chronological order of dedication, the 15 are:

Three previously dedicated temples are closed for renovations, 

Temples under construction in Utah

The 10 Utah temples currently under construction were all announced by President Nelson, with one already scheduled for dedication. Listed in order of announcement date, with groundbreaking date included, the 10 are:

  • Layton Utah Temple — announced April 1, 2018; groundbreaking ceremony held May 23, 2020.
  • Red Cliffs Utah Temple — announced Oct. 7, 2018; groundbreaking in St. George held Nov. 7, 2020.
  • Deseret Peak Utah Temple — announced April 7, 2019; groundbreaking in Tooele held May 25, 2021.
  • Orem Utah Temple — announced Oct. 5, 2019; groundbreaking held Sept. 5, 2020. The dedication of the Orem temple is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.
  • Taylorsville Utah Temple — announced Oct. 5, 2019; groundbreaking held Oct. 31, 2020.
  • Syracuse Utah Temple — announced April 5, 2020; groundbreaking held June 12, 2021.
  • Lindon Utah Temple — announced Oct. 4, 2020; groundbreaking held April 23, 2022.
  • Smithfield Utah Temple — announced April 4, 2021; groundbreaking held June 18, 2022.
  • Ephraim Utah Temple — announced May 1, 2021; groundbreaking held Aug. 27, 2022.
  • Heber Valley Utah Temple — announced Oct. 3, 2021; groundbreaking held Oct. 8, 2022.

Of the 10, four began construction in 2020, two in 2021 and the remaining four last year in 2022. The Heber Valley temple — the only one not under construction for at least a full year — will hit the 12-month mark in October.

The 10 under construction make for plenty of Utah temple open houses and dedications over the next several years.

With the Orem Utah Temple slated for its Jan. 21, 2024, dedication, the next three in-state temples that could be ready for dedication might be the Layton, Red Cliffs and Taylorsville temples. All started construction in 2020, the same year as Orem.

Utah’s 4 temples under renovation or announced for renovation

Three Utah temples are in various stages of renovation, and a fourth has been announced for not just extensive renovations but a reconstruction. The four are:

  • Salt Lake Temple — renovation project announced April 19, 2019; temple closed Dec. 29, 2019; project completion date amended earlier this year for a projected 2026 finish.
  • St. George Utah Temple — renovation project announced May 22, 2019; temple closed Nov. 4, 2019; a Dec. 10, 2023, rededication has been scheduled, with a public open house running now through Nov. 11.
  • Manti Utah Temple — renovation announced May 1, 2021; temple closed Oct. 1, 2021; the renovations were projected to take at least two years to complete.
  • Provo Utah Temple — included as an operative temple in the above list, it will undergo a reconstruction, as announced Oct. 3, 2021; the temple scheduled to close Feb. 24, 2024.

Not all of the headlines for temple news have been about new temples announced or under construction. Plenty of attention has been given to the Church’s four longest-operating temples — all in Utah, including the iconic Salt Lake Temple.

Preserving pioneer-era temples

The Salt Lake Temple, the St. George Utah Temple and Manti Utah Temple are undergoing extensive, multiyear renovation projects, as promised when President Nelson announced in April 2019 general conference plans to renovate the Church’s pioneer-era temples. 

The Salt Lake Temple’s multiyear seismic-renovation efforts and the overall Temple Square renovation project recently completed its third year of projects and progress. The temple, which began operating with its April 1893 dedication, closed for the current renovations in late December 2019.

In April of that year, Church leaders had announced a major, multiyear renovation to include replacing the structure’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The “significant seismic upgrade” — to help the edifice withstand a large earthquake — includes installation of a base isolation system and structural reinforcement. Its projected completion date was recently amended to 2026.

The St. George temple renovation project was announced in May 2019, with renovation plans unveiled for the temple and entire temple block. The temple closed in early November 2019, with the renovations beginning soon thereafter. Those renovations — moving beyond the initially anticipated November 2022 completion date — are now finished for the church’s oldest of its 315 temple. Dedicated in 1877, the southern Utah temple was renovated in the 1970s and rededicated in November 1975 by President Spencer W. Kimball. The latest rededication is scheduled for Dec. 10, 2023, with the temple’s open house running now through Nov. 11.

On May 1, 2021, President Nelson announced plans to preserve the “pioneer craftsmanship, artwork and character” of the Manti Utah Temple. It closed in October 2021.

Dedicated in 1888 and rededicated in 1985 after earlier renovations, the 74,792-square-foot Manti temple requires mechanical upgrades and technology that will allow the ordinances and covenants to be administered in multiple languages.

No announcement has been made regarding the expected renovation of the fourth pioneer-era temple, the Logan Utah Temple.

However, another Utah temple has been scheduled not just for renovations but a major redesign and extensive exterior overhaul. After announcing 13 locations for new temples in his concluding remarks at the October 2021 general conference, President Nelson included mention of the “reconstruction of the Provo Utah Temple after the Orem Utah Temple is dedicated.”

In November 2021, the Church released an exterior rendering of the redesigned Provo temple, with the extreme makeover similar to that of its sacred sister edifice, the Ogden Utah Temple, which underwent a major renovation and architectural change unlike any other temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If following a similar Ogden temple timeline of 42 months — the temple closed in April 2011 and was rededicated in September 2014 — a reconstructed Provo temple could be completed and ready for rededication as early as late 2027.

A historical perspective for Utah temples

After the Church moved west from Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, the first temple dedicated was the St. George Temple in 1877, followed by the Logan (1884), Manti (1888) and Salt Lake (1893) temples, all before Utah statehood. Nearly 80 years would pass until two more temples were added in Utah — in 1972 in Ogden and Provo.

The St. George Utah Temple is the Church’s oldest and longest-operating, the Salt Lake Temple is the iconic landmark, the Ogden Utah Temple was the first to undergo not just a renovation but an extensive reconstruction, and South Jordan became the first city to be home to a pair of temples — the Jordan River and Oquirrh Mountain temples.

While there are 10 temples currently under construction in Utah and all expected to be completed and dedicated within the next several years, the Church didn’t have its first 10 temples completed and dedicated in Utah until 1997, with the dedication of the tabernacle-turned-temple in Vernal. Getting from the first house of the Lord to the 10th in the Beehive State took 120 years.

Only 25 years passed from No. 11 to No. 18 — the Monticello temple in 1998 to the Saratoga Springs temple this summer.

The Saratoga Springs temple dedication was the first in Utah in nearly six years, since the Cedar City Utah Temple was dedicated in December 2017. That’s the longest period of time between Utah temple dedications since the 11-year span between the 1998 dedication of the Monticello Utah Temple and the 2009 dedications for the south Salt Lake Valley pair of the Draper Utah and Oquirrh Mountain Utah temples.

All the temples under construction and renovation in the Beehive State is why one of the Church’s general authorities labeled the recent open house and dedication of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple as “the beginning of a cascade for temples in the Utah area.”

Speaking at the Saratoga Springs temple’s April 10 media day, Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seventy and then first counselor in the church’s Utah Area presidency, acknowledged the long list of temple dedications and rededication in the state.

“So, over the course of the next four or five years, you’ll see the number of operating temples double, beginning with the Saratoga Springs temple. And it’s a marvelous explosion of opportunity to worship in the temple.”