Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Far West Temple

Independence Temple

Kirtland Temple

Historic Church building that ceased operation as a temple in the late 1830s
Kirtland Temple

© Scott C. Sorensen. All rights reserved.


9020 Chillicothe Road
Kirtland, Ohio  44094
United States


27 December 1832

Construction Commencement: 

5 June 1833


27 March 1836 by Joseph Smith

Exterior Finish: 

Sandstone stuccoed with plaster

Total Floor Area: 

15,000 square feet  |  1,394 square meters

Temple Locale

The Kirtland Temple stands on a bluff in northeastern Ohio, about 25 miles east of Cleveland, overlooking the beautiful Chagrin Valley. The temple is a historic Church property open for free tours to members of all faiths. Several sites and buildings have been restored in Historic Kirtland by the Church, bringing to life the story and spirit of the early Kirtland Saints.

Temple Facts

The Kirtland Temple was the first temple erected in this dispensation.

The School of the Prophets, a forerunner to temple worship, was established three years before the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. The school met in a room above the Newel K. Whitney Store.

The early Saints referred to the Kirtland Temple as simply the "Lord's House," as the term temple was not in general use at the time.

Log construction was proposed for the Kirtland Temple in early discussions.

The design for the Kirtland Temple was received by detailed revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith and others. The temple included a lower hall for worship and an upper hall for education. Both featured pulpits on either end with initials representing priesthood offices.

During construction, the Kirtland Temple was guarded at night to protect the building from threatening mobs and vandals.

At the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Saints experienced an outpouring of heavenly manifestations including visions, prophecies, the gift of tongues, and the appearance of angels. About that day, Joseph Smith wrote: "Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously rose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place."1

On Easter Sunday, April 3, 1836, during the Jewish Passover, the Lord appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple, accepting His house. Priesthood keys were then restored through three ancient prophets: Moses, the keys to the gathering of Israel; Elias, the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham; and Elijah, the sealing keys.

The ordinances received in the Kirtland Temple were only a partial endowment. The full endowment would not be received until the Saints settled in Nauvoo.

Two years after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Saints had largely abandoned Kirtland, and the temple became the venue of both private worship and public function. The temple was later leased for many years as a public school.

In 1880, Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) reestablished ownership of the Kirtland Temple and restored it as closely as possible to its original condition.

On March 5, 2024, ownership of the Kirtland Temple was transferred from Community of Christ to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for an agreed-upon amount. The building was closed for 20 days to prepare it for reopening to public tours on Monday, March 25, 2024.

  1. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., 2d ed., edited by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-51), 2:427-28.