Four and a half years of renovations — with several more still to go — for the Salt Lake Temple and the surrounding Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City may seem like a long endeavor. But it’s a far cry from the four decades needed to originally build the iconic house of the Lord in the late 19th century.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is trying not only to restore and replicate the pioneer craftsmanship of the historic temple but also to preserve a sacred edifice emblematic of the sacrifices to build the temple as well as the commitment to the covenants and ordinances performed within by Latter-day Saints for more than 170 years.

“You talk about the Salt Lake Temple, how it took 40 years to construct,” said Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department. “But 40 years was generations for them. They were evolving, going through issues, strengthening their testimonies, and the temple was there when they needed it.

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