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History of the Manti Utah Temple

Located in Sanpete County, the Manti temple still stands as one of the great Latter-day Saint pioneer temples

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Workmanship on the Manti Temple was largely done by Scandinavian boat builders.

Located in Sanpete County, the Manti temple still stands as one of the great Latter-day Saint pioneer temples

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Standing on the southeast corner of the Manti Utah Temple site, Brigham Young told Warren S. Snow, “Here is the spot where the Prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for a temple site, and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can’t move it from this spot.”

How was the temple built?

The Manti temple was the fifth temple built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. William H. Folsom, architect of the Salt Lake Tabernacle, designed the Manti temple, according to the Ensign magazine. While the site was announced on June 25, 1875, and dedicated on April 25, 1877, President Wilford Woodruff dedicated the temple itself in a private ceremony on May 17, 1888.

According to the Ensign, this temple contains murals from C.C.A. Christensen, Minerva Teichert, John Hafen, J.B. Fairbanks and Dan Weggeland.

This temple has a rich history. During the first winter in the Sanpete Valley, Mormon pioneers experienced extreme cold and moved to “temple hill” to brave the weather. Glen R. Stubbs showed that this same hill was where they built the temple — as predicted by Elder Heber C. Kimball, an early member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Although Kimball’s visions of the temple happened while the weather led the Saints to fear, crops prospered in the years that they were constructing the temple.

George Lambert reported in the Deseret Evening News in 1877 that Sanpete and Sevier counties were expecting an abundance of grain, especially compared to their first few hard years. But even when the winter temperatures dropped below zero degrees, a small group of men continued to quarry and haul stone for the temple.

When was the temple dedicated?

After 11 years of difficult work, the temple was dedicated. In his dedicatory prayer, President Woodruff said, “Heavenly Father, Thou hast seen the labors of Thy Saints in the building of this House. Their motives and their exertions are all known to Thee. The hearts of the children of men and every thought thereof are open to Thy sight. Thy people have sought to do Thy will in rearing and adorning this great structure.”

Nearly a century after this initial dedication, President Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the temple on June 14, 1985. In his remarks before the prayer, President Hinckley said, “I have been in the world’s great buildings and in none of these have I had the feeling I get in coming to these pioneer houses of God.”

The Manti Utah Temple is currently undergoing renovations.