News Release

Groundbreaking Held for Orem Utah Temple

Small event held amid COVID-19 government restrictions

A small group of invited guests gathered in the north-central Utah community of Orem Saturday for the groundbreaking of the Orem Utah Temple.

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“We are grateful for the legacy of faith that exists among the Saints in this part of the Lord’s vineyard,” said Elder Craig C. Christensen, Utah Area President, who presided at the event.

“The Orem Utah Temple will become an added refuge of strength in an increasingly uncertain world — a holy place where we learn and live more fully the great plan of happiness made possible by our Savior, Jesus Christ,” said Elder Christensen.

The number of attendees was limited, including members of the news media, due to local government restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temple Location

The new temple will be located on a 16-acre site at approximately 1471 South Geneva Road, west of Interstate 15 and south of University Parkway, within close proximity of the Provo Utah Temple and Provo City Center Temple, as well as the campuses of Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University.

Elder Christensen offered the dedicatory prayer during the groundbreaking.

“We acknowledge, dear Father, the great legacy of faith that exists among the many Saints who live in this part of Thy vineyard and the rich heritage that has prepared the way for the construction of yet another temple in this beautiful valley,” he said in the prayer.  

“Having other temples in close proximity does not diminish the eternal importance and significance of this sacred building,” said Elder William K. Jackson, a General Authority Seventy.

“Human nature has taught us that proximity and ease can lead to complacency,” Elder Jackson added. “That is something to be challenged. Schedule time to attend the temple. … For many of our brothers and sisters around the world, the temple is a once-in-a-lifetime experience due to distance and expense, but I testify to you that their reverence and commitment to the temple is amazing.”

He continued, “This temple will be a place of personal revelation and learning. It will be a refuge, a sanctuary of peace in an often cluttered and noisy world. It will serve to mend, help, strengthen and encourage all who come here to worship and be edified.”

Plans include a three-story temple of about 70,000 square feet with a center spire. A 20,000-square-foot meetinghouse is to be constructed on the temple site as well.

“In the coming months, the Orem Utah Temple will rise toward the heavens from this beautiful spot of ground overlooking one of the most heavily traveled areas in Utah,” said Elder Evan A. Schmutz of the Utah Area Presidency, who grew up in Orem.

“[The temple] will act as a beacon, drawing the gaze of millions as they pass by this hallowed ground, and inviting the devoted service of hundreds of thousands of faithful Latter-day Saints, as the ordinances of salvation are offered to the living and the dead,” said Elder Schmutz.

“I feel blessed,” said Alberto Puertas, a local bishop in Orem. “If I were to speak for the community, I think we're all feeling rejoiceful in the moment and the occasion, and I'm also extremely grateful.”

“The temple holds a very special place in my heart, since I was able to serve there. I've always had a deep love for the temple, and I feel like it's where I can feel closest to our Heavenly Father and our Savior,” expressed Tori Thomas, a college student who attends a congregation for young, single adults in Orem. “It’s the best place on earth you can ever be.”

Utah Temples

The Orem Utah Temple is one of two Utah temples announced in October 2019 by Church President Russell M. Nelson.

Utah currently has 17 operating temples. In addition to Orem, temples have been announced in Syracuse, Taylorsville, Tooele Valley and Washington County (Red Cliffs). Temples in Layton and Saratoga Springs are currently under construction. This brings the total to 24 temples announced, under construction, under renovation or in operation in the state. The Church has 168 operating temples in the world.

There are currently more than 2.1 million Latter-day Saints in Utah, which is just under two-thirds of the state’s population of nearly 3.2 million residents.

Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord.” Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses. Unlike meetinghouses, where Sabbath worship and weekly activities take place, temples are open throughout the week and are closed on Sundays.

The primary purpose of temples is for faithful Latter-day Saints to participate in sacred ceremonies such as marriages, which unite families forever, and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity to be baptized while living.

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