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

Temple Designs

To meet the needs of a growing and diverse membership, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has evolved its approach to temple construction and design over the years. This brief article examines major design phases of Latter-Day Saint temple construction.

Restoration Temples

The first temples of the modern Church were built as places of instruction and traditional worship, featuring large assembly and instruction halls. When the endowment ceremony was introduced, partitions were used to create the various stages of the endowment. These temples include the Kirtland Temple (1836), which fell out of Church ownership, and is now owned by the Community of Christ; the Nauvoo Temple (1846), which was destroyed by arson fire and rebuilt over 150 years later as the Nauvoo Illinois Temple (2002); and the St. George Utah Temple (1877), which has been remodeled inside to function as temples do today.

Pioneer Temples

To better function for the presentation of the endowment, temples built by the Utah pioneers featured progressive-style muraled endowment rooms where instruction was given by live presenters. Large priesthood assembly rooms remained a feature in these temples, located above the endowment rooms. East and west towers represented the priesthood while battlements along the north and south walls gave the appearance of a castle fortified against the forces of evil. These temples include the Logan Utah Temple (1884), Manti Utah Temple (1888), and Salt Lake Temple (1893).

Mormon Settlement Temples

After the turn of the century, the Church recognized the growth of its membership in more distant settlements by building a temple for the first time outside the state where Church headquarters was located. This temple—the Laie Hawaii Temple (1919)—was based on a design for a temple already under construction in Alberta, which retained progressive-style muraled endowment rooms but was much smaller, having no assembly hall nor any spires. Temple dedications followed the dedication in Hawaii for the Cardston Alberta Temple (1923), Mesa Arizona Temple (1927), and Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (1945). The Idaho Falls temple featured a central spire that was patterned after an ancient Nephite temple beheld by the architect in vision.

Overseas Temples

Taking a temple to Europe brought a special challenge, as the staff and training required to present the endowment in various languages would be too difficult in an area where Latter-days Saints were few and scattered. Gordon B. Hinckley was given the challenge to overcome this obstacle, which he did through inspiration, conceiving the idea of using film to present the endowment in a single assembly-style endowment room. The idea was first realized in the Bern Switzerland Temple (1955) and then followed in the Hamilton New Zealand Temple (1958) and London England Temple (1958). These temples have since been remodeled to include multiple stationary endowment rooms.

High-Efficiency Temples

In the late 1960s, it was clear that Utah's Pioneer temples were operating above capacity, and Church members east of the Rockies still had to come west to attend the temple. This burden was lightened with three new Utah temples and a temple on the east coast, each featuring escalators (since removed) and an unprecedented six endowment rooms: the Ogden Utah Temple (1972), Provo Utah Temple (1972), Washington D.C. Temple (1974), and Jordan River Utah Temple (1981).

Pacific Temples

Growth of the Church in the Pacific was recognized in the late 1970s, prompting the announcement of the Samoa Temple, which would serve as a regional temple for the Pacific Islands. After reconsideration, plans for this temple were replaced with plans for three smaller temples for the region: the Apia Samoa Temple (1983), Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple (1983), and Papeete Tahiti Temple (1983). This design was also taken to the east and west sides of the Pacific for the Santiago Chile Temple (1983) and Sydney Australia Temple (1984). The temple in Samoa has since been rebuilt, following a fire that destroyed the original building. Larger versions of this design were used for the Atlanta Georgia Temple (1983) and Denver Colorado Temple (1986).

Six-Spired Temples

President Spencer W. Kimball initiated an aggressive international temple building program in the mid-1980s using a detached six-spire, sloping roof design that brought temples to all habitable continents of the world for the first time. These temples include the Boise Idaho Temple (1984), Manila Philippines Temple (1984), Dallas Texas Temple (1984), Taipei Taiwan Temple (1984), Guatemala City Guatemala Temple (1984), Stockholm Sweden Temple (1985), Chicago Illinois Temple (1985), Johannesburg South Africa Temple (1985), Seoul Korea Temple (1985), Lima Peru Temple (1986), Buenos Aires Argentina Temple (1986), and Frankfurt Germany Temple (1987), which features a single detached spire only.

Landmark Temples

In the late 1980s and 1990s, some of the most architecturally stunning temples of the Church were designed, which have become high-profile landmarks in the locations where they were constructed. These regional temples would serve many members and were built accordingly. They include the Portland Oregon Temple (1989), Las Vegas Nevada Temple (1989), Toronto Ontario Temple (1990), San Diego California Temple (1993), Orlando Florida Temple (1994), Bountiful Utah Temple (1995), Hong Kong China Temple (1996), Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple (1996), St. Louis Missouri Temple (1997), Preston England Temple (1998), Madrid Spain Temple (1999), Bogotá Colombia Temple (1999), Guayaquil Ecuador Temple (1999), Billings Montana Temple (1999), Albuquerque New Mexico Temple (2000), Cochabamba Bolivia Temple (2000), Houston Texas Temple (2000), Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple (2000), Boston Massachusetts Temple (2000), Recife Brazil Temple (2000), and Campinas Brazil Temple (2002).

Smaller and Remote-Area Temples

President Gordon B. Hinckley's announcement of "smaller and remote-area" temples in the late 1990s represented a major shift from the large landmark temples that had been designed up to that point and were still under construction. Shortly after the announcement, the 6,800-square-foot Monticello Utah Temple (1998) was constructed in just eight months as a pilot temple for the new concept. It featured one endowment room, one sealing room, and a baptistry with a white fiberglass angel Moroni statue. No cafeteria, clothing rental, or laundry facility were included. Similarly designed buildings followed with distinct spires and exteriors including the Anchorage Alaska Temple (1999) and Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple (1999). The Monticello and Anchorage temples have since been enlarged to two endowment rooms, and the white angel on Monticello was replaced with a gold-leafed version.

Converted Temples

The Vernal Utah Temple (1997) was the first temple constructed from an existing Church building. The challenge of converting the narrow Uintah Stake Tabernacle gave rise to the concept of in-line, progressive-style endowment rooms, which would inspire the next generation of smaller temples. The second temple converted from an existing building was the Copenhagen Denmark Temple (2004). It was constructed from the historic neo-classical Priorvej chapel. The Manhattan New York Temple (2004), which was constructed on the top three floors of a Church-owned office building near Lincoln Center, followed shortly thereafter. Finally, the burned-out shell of the Provo Tabernacle became the Provo City Center Temple (2016) twelve years later.

Standardized Temples

Utilizing the concept of progressive-style endowment rooms conceived during the construction of the Vernal Utah Temple (1997), a 10,700-square-foot temple floor plan with two endowment rooms and two sealing rooms was created as a standard plan for smaller temples that was built the world over. Church-owned property next to existing meetinghouses was often selected for these temples, allowing parking to be shared and temple grounds to be scaled down.

There were 43 temples built on this design including the Spokane Washington Temple (1999), Columbus Ohio Temple (1999), Bismarck North Dakota Temple (1999), Columbia South Carolina Temple (1999), Detroit Michigan Temple (1999), Halifax Nova Scotia Temple (1999), Regina Saskatchewan Temple (1999), Edmonton Alberta Temple (1999), Raleigh North Carolina Temple (1999), St. Paul Minnesota Temple (2000), Kona Hawaii Temple (2000), Ciudad Juárez Mexico Temple (2000), Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Temple (2000), Oaxaca Mexico Temple (2000), Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico Temple (2000), Louisville Kentucky Temple (2000), Palmyra New York Temple (2000), Fresno California Temple (2000), Medford Oregon Temple (2000), Memphis Tennessee Temple (2000), Reno Nevada Temple (2000), Tampico Mexico Temple (2000), Nashville Tennessee Temple (2000), Villahermosa Mexico Temple (2000), Montreal Quebec Temple (2000), San José Costa Rica Temple (2000), Fukuoka Japan Temple (2000), Adelaide Australia Temple (2000), Melbourne Australia Temple (2000), Suva Fiji Temple (2000), Mérida Mexico Temple (2000), Veracruz Mexico Temple (2000), Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple (2000), Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple (2000), Birmingham Alabama Temple (2000), Porto Alegre Brazil Temple (2000), Montevideo Uruguay Temple (2001), Guadalajara Mexico Temple (2001), Perth Australia Temple (2001), Asunción Paraguay Temple (2002), The Hague Netherlands Temple (2002), Brisbane Australia Temple (2003), and Aba Nigeria Temple (2005).

Three additional temples were built as a two-story adaptation of this plan including the Caracas Venezuela Temple (2000), Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple (2001), and Snowflake Arizona Temple (2002). Many of these temples have since been remodeled to alter the exterior appearance and update the interior.

New Millennium Temples

The new millennium brought an enlargement to the standard plan of about 7,000 square feet, and a customized approach to design was embraced at this time. Temple exteriors reflected the hertiage of the region and featured impressive spires. Murals were brought back to endowment rooms, and distinctive art glass was created for each building. This design is seen in the Columbia River Washington Temple (2001), Lubbock Texas Temple (2002), Monterrey Mexico Temple (2002), Redlands California Temple (2003), Accra Ghana Temple (2004), San Antonio Texas Temple (2005), Newport Beach California Temple (2005), Sacramento California Temple (2006), and Helsinki Finland Temple (2006).

Progressive Temples

While the construction of smaller temples brought temple blessings closer to the Saints, rapid growth in regions of more concentrated Church membership prompted the retirement of the standard floor plan. Architects and designers were tasked with creating larger progressive-style temples with bold interiors and exteriors that honored the culture of the region including custom murals, artwork, stained glass, and architectural features that centered around a particular theme or motif. The first dedicated temple of this era was the wheat-themed Rexburg Idaho Temple (2008). The Twin Falls Idaho Temple (2008), which features a waterfall motif, was dedicated a few months later. The following year, a pair of temples were dedicated in Utah: the Draper Utah Temple (2009) and Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple (2009).

Similarly designed temples during this time included the stunning double-towered Kansas City Missouri Temple (2012), Brigham City Utah Temple (2012), Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple (2016), and Rome Italy Temple (2019). Several single-level temples were constructed in the United States including a small end-spire floor plan for The Gila Valley Arizona Temple (2010); a larger end-spire floor plan for the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple (2014), Indianapolis Indiana Temple (2015), and Hartford Connecticut Temple (2016); and yet a larger plan for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple (2016).

Progressive temples were also built across Latin America including small designs for the Panama City Panama Temple (2008) and Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple (2011); two-level, center-tower designs for the San Salvador El Salvador Temple (2011), Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple (2013), and Tijuana Mexico Temple (2015); a single-level, center-tower design for the Córdoba Argentina Temple (2015) and Trujillo Peru Temple (2015); and an end-spire design for the Curitiba Brazil Temple (2008) and Manaus Brazil Temple (2012)—also seen in the Vancouver British Columbia Temple (2010).

Some especially unique designs during this era included the Phoenix Arizona Temple (2014), Sapporo Japan Temple (2016), Paris France Temple (2017), and Meridian Idaho Temple (2017).

Stationary Temples

By the early 2010s, temple architects were asked to create more efficient, appropriately sized floor plans. Muraled progressive endowment rooms were replaced with stationary rooms to increase the frequency of endowment sessions in temples both large and small. For the first time since the construction of the Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple (1999), temples were constructed with a single endowment room including the Star Valley Wyoming Temple (2016), Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple (2019), Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple (2019), Durban South Africa Temple (2020), and Winnipeg Manitoba Temple (2020). The largest temples since the construction of the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple (1996) were also constructed during this period including the Gilbert Arizona Temple (2014) and Payson Utah Temple (2015).

In 2017, two temples were dedicated in the United States. The Tucson Arizona Temple (2017) was the first temple to be constructed with a large central dome, and the Cedar City Utah Temple (2017) was a tribute to Pioneer architecture and decor. Europe saw the addition of the beautifully modern Lisbon Portugal Temple (2019). And five temples were constructed in Latin America including two-level, end-tower designs for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple (2018), Fortaleza Brazil Temple (2019), and Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple (2020); and two-level, center-tower designs for the Concepción Chile Temple (2018) and Arequipa Peru Temple (2019).

Aba Nigeria Temple
121st dedicated temple in operation
Accra Ghana Temple
117th dedicated temple in operation
Adelaide Australia Temple
89th dedicated temple in operation
Albuquerque New Mexico Temple
73rd dedicated temple in operation
Anchorage Alaska Temple
54th dedicated temple in operation
Apia Samoa Temple
22nd dedicated temple in operation
Arequipa Peru Temple
167th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Asunción Paraguay Temple
112th dedicated temple in operation
Atlanta Georgia Temple
21st dedicated temple in operation
Barranquilla Colombia Temple
161st dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple
94th dedicated temple in operation
Bern Switzerland Temple
9th dedicated temple in operation
Billings Montana Temple
66th dedicated temple in operation
Birmingham Alabama Temple
98th dedicated temple in operation
Bismarck North Dakota Temple
61st dedicated temple in operation
Bogotá Colombia Temple
57th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Boise Idaho Temple
27th dedicated temple in operation
Boston Massachusetts Temple
100th dedicated temple in operation
Bountiful Utah Temple
47th dedicated temple in operation
Brigham City Utah Temple
139th dedicated temple in operation
Brisbane Australia Temple
115th dedicated temple in operation
Buenos Aires Argentina Temple
39th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Campinas Brazil Temple
111th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Caracas Venezuela Temple
96th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Cardston Alberta Temple
6th dedicated temple in operation
Cedar City Utah Temple
159th dedicated temple in operation
Chicago Illinois Temple
35th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Ciudad Juárez Mexico Temple
71st dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Cochabamba Bolivia Temple
82nd dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple
55th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Columbia River Washington Temple
107th dedicated temple in operation
Columbia South Carolina Temple
62nd dedicated temple in operation
Columbus Ohio Temple
60th dedicated temple in operation
Concepción Chile Temple
160th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Copenhagen Denmark Temple
118th dedicated temple in operation
Córdoba Argentina Temple
145th dedicated temple in operation
Curitiba Brazil Temple
126th dedicated temple in operation
Dallas Texas Temple
30th dedicated temple in operation
Denver Colorado Temple
40th dedicated temple in operation
Detroit Michigan Temple
63rd dedicated temple in operation
Draper Utah Temple
129th dedicated temple in operation
Durban South Africa Temple
168th dedicated temple in operation
Edmonton Alberta Temple
67th dedicated temple in operation
Fort Collins Colorado Temple
153rd dedicated temple in operation
Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple
143rd dedicated temple in operation
Fortaleza Brazil Temple
164th dedicated temple in operation
Frankfurt Germany Temple
41st dedicated temple in operation
Fresno California Temple
78th dedicated temple in operation
Fukuoka Japan Temple
88th dedicated temple in operation
The Gila Valley Arizona Temple
132nd dedicated temple in operation
Gilbert Arizona Temple
142nd dedicated temple in operation
Guadalajara Mexico Temple
105th dedicated temple in operation
Guatemala City Guatemala Temple
32nd dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Guayaquil Ecuador Temple
58th dedicated temple in operation
Halifax Nova Scotia Temple
64th dedicated temple in operation
Hamilton New Zealand Temple
11th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; concrete work progresses around the temple site; interior renovations continue
Hartford Connecticut Temple
155th dedicated temple in operation
Helsinki Finland Temple
124th dedicated temple in operation
Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Temple
72nd dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Hong Kong China Temple
48th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; interior and exterior renovations underway
Houston Texas Temple
97th dedicated temple in operation
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
8th dedicated temple in operation
Indianapolis Indiana Temple
148th dedicated temple in operation
Johannesburg South Africa Temple
36th dedicated temple in operation
Jordan River Utah Temple
20th dedicated temple in operation
Kansas City Missouri Temple
137th dedicated temple in operation
Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple
163rd dedicated temple in operation
Kirtland Temple
Owned and operated by the Community of Christ
Kona Hawaii Temple
70th dedicated temple in operation
Laie Hawaii Temple
5th dedicated temple in operation
Las Vegas Nevada Temple
43rd dedicated temple in operation
Lima Peru Temple
38th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Lisbon Portugal Temple
166th dedicated temple in operation
Logan Utah Temple
2nd dedicated temple in operation
London England Temple
12th dedicated temple in operation
Louisville Kentucky Temple
76th dedicated temple in operation
Lubbock Texas Temple
109th dedicated temple in operation
Madrid Spain Temple
56th dedicated temple in operation
Manaus Brazil Temple
138th dedicated temple in operation
Manhattan New York Temple
119th dedicated temple in operation
Manila Philippines Temple
29th dedicated temple in operation
Manti Utah Temple
3rd dedicated temple in operation
Medford Oregon Temple
79th dedicated temple in operation
Melbourne Australia Temple
90th dedicated temple in operation
Memphis Tennessee Temple
80th dedicated temple in operation
Mérida Mexico Temple
92nd dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Meridian Idaho Temple
158th dedicated temple in operation
Mesa Arizona Temple
7th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; monument sign installed; landscaping continues including numerous plants, lamp posts, sidewalks, and streets
Monterrey Mexico Temple
110th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Montevideo Uruguay Temple
103rd dedicated temple in operation
Monticello Utah Temple
53rd dedicated temple in operation
Montreal Quebec Temple
86th dedicated temple in operation
Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
49th dedicated temple in operation
Nashville Tennessee Temple
84th dedicated temple in operation
Nauvoo Illinois Temple
113th dedicated temple in operation
Nauvoo Temple
Destroyed by arson fire in 1848; rebuilt in 2002
Newport Beach California Temple
122nd dedicated temple in operation
Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple
23rd dedicated temple in operation
Oaxaca Mexico Temple
74th dedicated temple in operation
Ogden Utah Temple
14th dedicated temple in operation
Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple
95th dedicated temple in operation
Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple
130th dedicated temple in operation
Orlando Florida Temple
46th dedicated temple in operation
Palmyra New York Temple
77th dedicated temple in operation
Panama City Panama Temple
127th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Papeete Tahiti Temple
25th dedicated temple in operation
Paris France Temple
156th dedicated temple in operation
Payson Utah Temple
146th dedicated temple in operation
Perth Australia Temple
106th dedicated temple in operation
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple
152nd dedicated temple in operation
Phoenix Arizona Temple
144th dedicated temple in operation
Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple
165th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Portland Oregon Temple
42nd dedicated temple in operation
Porto Alegre Brazil Temple
102nd dedicated temple in operation
Preston England Temple
52nd dedicated temple in operation
Provo City Center Temple
150th dedicated temple in operation
Provo Utah Temple
15th dedicated temple in operation
Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple
136th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Raleigh North Carolina Temple
68th dedicated temple in operation
Recife Brazil Temple
101st dedicated temple in operation
Redlands California Temple
116th dedicated temple in operation
Regina Saskatchewan Temple
65th dedicated temple in operation
Reno Nevada Temple
81st dedicated temple in operation
Rexburg Idaho Temple
125th dedicated temple in operation
Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple
Public open house and dedication postponed until large public gatherings deemed safe
Rome Italy Temple
162nd dedicated temple in operation
Sacramento California Temple
123rd dedicated temple in operation
Salt Lake Temple
4th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; sealing room wing and annex demolished; foundation exposed on east side of temple; removing underground structures surrounding temple
San Antonio Texas Temple
120th dedicated temple in operation
San Diego California Temple
45th dedicated temple in operation
San José Costa Rica Temple
87th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
San Salvador El Salvador Temple
135th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Santiago Chile Temple
24th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
99th dedicated temple in operation
Sapporo Japan Temple
151st dedicated temple in operation
Seoul Korea Temple
37th dedicated temple in operation
Snowflake Arizona Temple
108th dedicated temple in operation
Spokane Washington Temple
59th dedicated temple in operation
St. George Utah Temple
1st dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; visitors' Center annex demolished; priming and painting temple steeple; structural framing of temple annex continues
St. Louis Missouri Temple
50th dedicated temple in operation
St. Paul Minnesota Temple
69th dedicated temple in operation
Star Valley Wyoming Temple
154th dedicated temple in operation
Stockholm Sweden Temple
34th dedicated temple in operation
Suva Fiji Temple
91st dedicated temple in operation
Sydney Australia Temple
28th dedicated temple in operation
Taipei Taiwan Temple
31st dedicated temple in operation
Tampico Mexico Temple
83rd dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
141st dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
The Hague Netherlands Temple
114th dedicated temple in operation
Tijuana Mexico Temple
149th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Toronto Ontario Temple
44th dedicated temple in operation
Trujillo Peru Temple
147th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Tucson Arizona Temple
157th dedicated temple in operation
Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico Temple
75th dedicated temple in operation
Twin Falls Idaho Temple
128th dedicated temple in operation
Vancouver British Columbia Temple
131st dedicated temple in operation
Veracruz Mexico Temple
93rd dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Vernal Utah Temple
51st dedicated temple in operation
Villahermosa Mexico Temple
85th dedicated temple in operation; temporarily closed
Washington D.C. Temple
16th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; public open house and rededication postponed until large public gatherings deemed safe
Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
Angel Moroni installed on July 28, 2020; brickwork nearly finished; roof work continues; landscaping progressing
Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple
104th dedicated temple in operation