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, which featured 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 Hawaiian dedication for the Cardston Alberta Temple (1923), Mesa Arizona Temple (1927), and Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (1945). The Idaho Falls temple did feature a tower, which 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 historic 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 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.


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

After President Gordon B. Hinckley's announcement of his "smaller and remote-area" temple concept in the late 1990s, the 6,800-square-foot Monticello Utah Temple (1998) was constructed with one endowment room, one sealing room, and a white fiberglass angel Moroni statue. Similarly designed buildings were built 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 white angel was replaced with a gold-leafed statue.


Standardized Temples

While remodeling the narrow Uintah Stake Tabernacle into the Vernal Utah Temple (1997) where plans for side-by-side endowment rooms had to be rethought, the idea of in-line, progressive-style endowment rooms was introduced as an efficient layout for limited-space temples. This concept was incorporated into a 10,700-square-foot temple design with two progressive endowment rooms and two sealing rooms, which became a standard plan that was built the world over in 44 locations. Church-owned property next to an existing meetinghouse was often selected, allowing parking to be shared and limiting the size of the temple grounds. Three temples were built as a two-story adaptation 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.


Millenium Temples

The new millenium brought an enlargement to the standard plan of about 7,000 square feet, and customized approach to design was adopted at this time. Temple exteriors reflected the hertiage of the region and featured impressive spires. Murals were brought back to endowment rooms, and distinct 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).


Renaissance Temples

Having embraced the idea of customized exteriors and interiors, the late 2000s and 2010s became a veritable renaissance of temple design that broke away from the standardized temples of the past. Bold designs were devised to reflect the local architecture, and floor plans of varying square footage were developed to accommodate the number of Church members in each area. Small plans were used for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple (2016) and Durban South Africa Temple (2020) while large plans were created for the Gilbert Arizona Temple (2014) and Payson Utah Temple (2015).

A stunning double-towered design is seen in the 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 an end-spire floor plan for the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple (2014), Indianapolis Indiana Temple(2015), and Hartford Connecticut Temple (2016) and a larger center-tower plan for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple (2016) and Tuscon Arizona Temple (2017). Spanish Colonial architecture was embraced for Latin American temples including single-level, center-tower designs for the Córdoba Argentina Temple (2015) and Trujillo Peru Temple (2015); two-story, center-tower designs for the Tijuana Mexico Temple (2015), Concepción Chile Temple (2018), and Arequipa Peru Temple (2019); and a two-story, end-spire design for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple (2018). Other end-spire designs were devised for the Curitiba Brazil Temple (2008) and Vancouver British Columbia Temple (2010) and for the Twin Falls Idaho Temple (2008) and Manaus Brazil Temple (2012).

Accra Ghana Temple
117th 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
Barranquilla Colombia Temple
161st dedicated temple in operation
Bern Switzerland Temple
9th dedicated temple in operation
Billings Montana Temple
66th dedicated temple in operation
Bogotá Colombia Temple
57th dedicated temple in operation
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
Buenos Aires Argentina Temple
39th dedicated temple in operation
Campinas Brazil Temple
111th dedicated temple in operation
Caracas Venezuela Temple
96th dedicated temple in operation
Cardston Alberta Temple
6th dedicated temple in operation
Chicago Illinois Temple
35th dedicated temple in operation
Cochabamba Bolivia Temple
82nd dedicated temple in operation
Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple
55th dedicated temple in operation
Columbia River Washington Temple
107th dedicated temple in operation
Concepción Chile Temple
160th 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
Durban South Africa Temple
168th operating temple
Fort Collins Colorado Temple
153rd dedicated temple in operation
Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple
143rd dedicated temple in operation
Frankfurt Germany Temple
41st dedicated temple in operation
Gilbert Arizona Temple
142nd dedicated temple in operation
Guatemala City Guatemala Temple
32nd dedicated temple in operation
Guayaquil Ecuador Temple
58th dedicated temple in operation
Hamilton New Zealand Temple
11th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; interior and exterior renovations underway
Hartford Connecticut Temple
155th dedicated temple in operation
Helsinki Finland Temple
124th dedicated temple in operation
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
Kirtland Temple
Owned and operated by the Community of Christ
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
Logan Utah Temple
2nd dedicated temple in operation; renovation plans underway
London England Temple
12th 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
Manila Philippines Temple
29th dedicated temple in operation
Manti Utah Temple
3rd dedicated temple in operation; renovation plans underway
Mesa Arizona Temple
7th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; window and fence installation progressing; placing coping stones on retaining walls; road work around temple continues
Monterrey Mexico Temple
110th dedicated temple in operation
Monticello Utah Temple
53rd dedicated temple in operation
Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
49th dedicated temple in operation
Nauvoo Temple
Destroyed by arson fire in 1848; rebuilt in 2002
Nauvoo Illinois Temple
113th dedicated temple in operation
Newport Beach California Temple
122nd dedicated temple in operation
Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple
23rd dedicated temple in operation
Ogden Utah Temple
14th dedicated temple in operation
Orlando Florida Temple
46th dedicated temple in operation
Papeete Tahiti Temple
25th dedicated temple in operation
Payson Utah Temple
146th dedicated temple in operation
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple
152nd dedicated temple in operation
Portland Oregon Temple
42nd dedicated temple in operation
Preston England Temple
52nd dedicated temple in operation
Provo Utah Temple
15th dedicated temple in operation
Recife Brazil Temple
101st dedicated temple in operation
Redlands California Temple
116th dedicated temple in operation
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; crane installed to remove angel Moroni and some spire stones
San Antonio Texas Temple
120th dedicated temple in operation
San Diego California Temple
45th dedicated temple in operation
Santiago Chile Temple
24th dedicated temple in operation
Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
99th dedicated temple in operation
Seoul Korea Temple
37th dedicated temple in operation
Snowflake Arizona Temple
108th dedicated temple in operation
St. George Utah Temple
1st dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; scaffolding erected on east side of temple
St. Louis Missouri Temple
50th dedicated temple in operation
Star Valley Wyoming Temple
154th dedicated temple in operation
Stockholm Sweden Temple
34th dedicated temple in operation
Sydney Australia Temple
28th dedicated temple in operation
Taipei Taiwan Temple
31st dedicated temple in operation
Tijuana Mexico Temple
149th dedicated temple in operation
Toronto Ontario Temple
44th dedicated temple in operation
Trujillo Peru Temple
147th dedicated temple in operation
Twin Falls Idaho Temple
128th dedicated temple in operation
Vancouver British Columbia Temple
131st dedicated temple in operation
Vernal Utah Temple
51st dedicated temple in operation
Washington D.C. Temple
16th dedicated temple in operation; closed for renovation; open house and rededication dates announced February 27, 2020
Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple
104th dedicated temple in operation