Mormon Newsroom
News Release

Montanans Break Ground for Helena Temple

The temple will be Montana’s second house of the Lord

A group of Latter-day Saint leaders, members and friends of the Church in Helena, Montana, gathered to break ground for the Helena Montana Temple on Saturday, June 26, 2021.

Elder Vern P. Stanfill of the Seventy presided over the ceremony and offered the dedicatory prayer.

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“As a house of the Lord, a holy temple, rises out of the ground in this place, we pray that all who look upon it will see it as a great blessing and come to learn of its significance,” said Elder Stanfill.

In his remarks, Elder Stanfill said that leading up to the groundbreaking ceremony, he “pondered greatly on the many who have lived in the shadow of these mountains who ... sacrificed, served, and hoped for this day.”

“Theirs is a legacy of faith and discipleship of the Savior,” he said. “They have driven millions of miles, met in homes, store fronts ... and a myriad of other places as they have worked to build the church here in Montana.”

The Helena Montana Temple was announced by Church President Russell M. Nelson during the April 2021 general conference.

Elder Stanfill was joined by Helena Stake President Bret Romney and Latter-day Saints who live within the temple district, including Nancy Freeman and Carl Hatch.

“From the temple comes the blessing of preparing us to return to our Father in Heaven,” said Freeman, who shared her testimony about how attending the temple helped blessings unfold in her life. “In the temple we are blessed with a greater learning and understanding of the gospel plan.”

Hatch offered historical background about the temple’s significance for Montana Latter-day Saints who established the state's first congregation in 1898. He also shared how the temple has blessed his life.

“I testify that the holy temple is essential for obtaining eternal life which our Heavenly Father has said is the greatest gift He can give us," he said.

“‘We are building now for the future!’” said Elder Stanfill, quoting President Nelson’s remarks from the April 2021 general conference, when he announced a temple was coming to Helena. “‘We want to bring the house of the Lord even closer to our members, that they may have the sacred privilege of attending the temple as often as their circumstances allow.’”

Following their messages, local Church members performed the hymn, “High on a Mountain Top.”

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Local Church members perform the hymn, “High on a Mountain Top" during the Helena Montana Temple groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, June 26, 2021, in Helena, Montana.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The temple will be built on a 4.8-acre site located at 1260 Otter Road. The temple’s plans call for a single-story edifice of approximately 10,000 square feet with a center spire. The sacred building will share the site with a new meetinghouse.

Attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony was by invitation only but also available to view via live stream. A recording of the event will be available on Newsroom later today.

Details for the open house and temple dedication will be announced at a future date.

This will be the Treasure State’s second temple. The Billings Montana Temple was dedicated on November 20, 1999. Today, there are more than 50,000 Latter-day Saints in Montana spread throughout approximately 125 congregations.

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Each temple is considered a “house of the Lord” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man.

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