Mesa Arizona Temple
7th operating temple; closed for renovation; removing windows; grading the grounds; clearing visitors' center site
© Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Address101 South LeSueur
Mesa, Arizona 85204-1031
Telephone: (+1) 480-833-1211
ServicesClothing rental available
NO patron housing available
Distribution center nearby
Announcement:3 October 1919
Site Dedication:28 November 1921 by Heber J. Grant
Groundbreaking:25 April 1922 by Heber J. Grant
Public Open House:Tours offered during the last two years of construction
Dedication:23–26 October 1927 by Heber J. Grant
Public Open House:19 March–3 April 1975
Rededication:15–16 April 1975 by Spencer W. Kimball
Exterior Finish:Concrete reinforced with 130 tons of steel. Exterior is faced with glazed egg-shell colored terra cotta tiles
Ordinance Rooms:Four ordinance rooms (stationary) and six sealing
Total Floor Area:113,916 square feet
On May 19, 2018, the Mesa Arizona Temple closed for extensive renovation that will be followed by a public open house and rededication ceremony. During the closure, temple patrons will be accommodated at the
144th operating templePhoenix Arizona Temple and the
142nd operating templeGilbert Arizona Temple. The renovations will include:
- Exterior maintenance including new roofing and drainage systems
- Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC upgrades
- Interior improvements consistent with the historical character of the building
- Replacement of the furniture and finishes
- Preservation and augmentation of the historic murals
- Replacement of the windows consistent with the originals
- Major renovation of the grounds that preserves shade trees, replaces the reflection pools, introduces new garden spaces, and better accommodates the Easter Pageant
- Demolition of the current visitors' center and construction of a new visitors' center and FamilySearch center across the street
Located just east of the original Mesa Townsite—settled by Mormon pioneers—the Mesa Arizona Temple anchors a historic district, which has predominantly retained its residential character. A public visitors' center shares the meticulously manicured grounds of the temple, which feature a cactus garden and large reflection pools. The Easter season brings thousands of guests to the temple grounds every year to watch Jesus the Christ, the largest annual outdoor easter pageant in the world. At Christmas time, the grounds are converted to an exquisite Nativity display accented by hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights.
The Mesa Arizona Temple was the first temple built in Arizona.
The Mesa Arizona Temple was the first temple to present the endowment in a language other than English. (The first non-English session was presented in Spanish in 1945.)
The Mesa Arizona Temple was the first temple to reopen to the public for an open house prior to a rededication.
The Mesa Arizona Temple was originally named the Arizona Temple.
Before the Mesa Arizona Temple was constructed, Arizona members performed temple ordinances in the
1st operating templeSt. George Utah Temple. Because of the numerous bridal parties that traveled the wagon road between St. George and Arizona, the well-trod path became known as the Honeymoon Trail.
The architects chosen for the Mesa Arizona Temple had recently designed the Utah Capitol Building.
The Mesa Arizona Temple is one of four temples built with no towers or spires. (The others are the
5th operating templeLaie Hawaii Temple, the
6th operating templeCardston Alberta Temple, and the
156th operating templeParis France Temple.)
Carved friezes decorate each corner of the top of the temple, depicting the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that the Lord would gather His people in the last days from the four corners of the earth.
Instead of a formal open house, tours were offered during the last two years of construction of the Mesa Arizona Temple to any interested visitors.
For many years, the Mesa Arizona Temple was known as the "Lamanite Temple," as it was the destination of annual temple excursions for Hispanic and Native American members of the Church, especially the Mexican Saints.
The Mesa Arizona Temple was originally constructed with muraled progressive-style ordinance rooms: Creation Room, Garden Room, World Room, and Terrestrial Room (no murals). They were designed around a grand staircase leading to the Celestial Room, occupying the highest level of the temple.
The Mesa Arizona Temple was closed in February 1974, for extensive remodeling that equipped the Creation, Garden, and World Rooms for stationary motion-picture presentation of the endowment; the Terrestrial Room became a veil room. The decaying burlap murals were removed from the rooms, and the salvageable pieces were shipped to Church headquarters for preservation and storage. A new entrance and an additional 17,000 square feet were added, providing larger dressing rooms and increasing the number of sealing rooms.
In 1980, a fourth ordinance room was added by converting a space previously used by the female patrons. This allowed endowment sessions to begin every half hour.
In 1991, the preserved sections of the original murals were sent back to the Mesa Arizona Temple for reinstallation and restoration. Only one wall in each room could be restored. The new ordinance room added in 1980, which did not have a mural before, was decorated with sections from the original World Room mural.