BRIGHAM CITY, UTAH
Although its style and design make the new Brigham City Utah Temple look like it could have been built more than 100 years ago, it's a modern construction.
"One of the most attractive things about this temple is [its] historic design," said Elder William R. Walker of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department during a media tour of the temple on Aug. 14. "It's quite unique from many that have been built in the last few years. It looks like a historic temple — the design characteristics look like the Manti [Temple] and Salt Lake Temple in many ways."
Announced by President Thomas S. Monson at general conference in October 2009, the Brigham City temple marks the 139th operating temple of the Church, and 14th temple in Utah.
"This community was founded during Utah's pioneer era," Elder Walker said. "For all of that time, the residents have hoped and prayed for a temple. ... President Monson announced three years ago that a temple would be built in Brigham City; there has been a feeling of joyful anticipation ever since. ... And now we have a temple here in Brigham City that is completed. It's beautiful, it's one of the loveliest temples we've seen built in the last generation."
As with most temples recently built, the architecture and design throughout the temple are specific to the area in which it stands. A painting in the baptistry depicts a group of Native Americans being baptized, a scene showing some of the history of the area.
In honor of the legacy of those who lived before in Brigham City, two paintings of former prophets — Brigham Young, after whom the city is named, and Lorenzo Snow, an apostle who was also the stake president in Brigham City for many years — hang on the wall of the sealing waiting room.
Since Brigham City produces and celebrates its local peach crops, there is a peach blossom motif throughout the windows, furniture and outside of the temple. The celesitial room's floor has a peach blossom motif hand carved into the carpeting.
"There is no religious significance of the peach motif, but it serves as a homage to the area," Elder Walker told the members of the media.
"From the early days, even with the historic temples detailed in the Old Testament, [builders] used the finest materials and the finest workmanship to build their temples, and we have tried to do the same as much as is practical. Let's use the most beautiful materials we can, let's use the finest workmen we can find to build a beautiful temple in this beautiful valley to last forever."
The temple sits on a lot across the street from the Brigham City Tabernacle. The temple site formerly housed Central School, a three-story elementary school that was completed in 1901 and was rebuilt after a fire in 1947. The school served the community and thousands of children for nearly 100 years.
"President Boyd K. Packer (president of the Quorum of the Twelve) went to grade school at Central School, which used to stand right on this very spot," Elder Walker said. "He presided at the groundbreaking for this temple."
Elder Walker said that President Monson feels it would be appropriate for President Packer to dedicate the temple.
"This beautiful, historic tabernacle across the street from the temple was built in the 1890s," Elder Walker said. "It's been an iconic building in this community for 120 years. It was the LDS image for Brigham City for so many years and it's a beautiful tabernacle, so to now have a beautiful temple across the street, facing [it], I think it's magnificent."
Already, more than 300,000 tickets to the open house have been reserved for the month-long open house. Once dedicated, the temple will serve more than 40,000 Church members from 13 stakes living in the northern Utah and southeastern Idaho areas.
Preston J. Checketts has been called to serve as the temple's first temple president. His wife, Louise Backman Checketts, will serve as temple matron.
"There's been tremendous interest in the temple as illustrated by the open house," Elder Walker said. "The interest is tremendous and, understandably, it's a beautiful temple."
The public open house runs from Aug. 18 through Sept. 15, excluding Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sundays.
In conjunction with the dedication a cultural celebration featuring music and dance will be held on Sept. 22.
The dedication on Sept. 23 will have three sessions — one at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. For tickets to the open house visit templeopenhouse.lds.org or call 1-855-537-2000. To see more photos of the temple go to ldschurchnews.com.
Brigham City Utah Temple facts
Once dedicated, the Brigham City Utah Temple will be the Church's 139th operating temple worldwide, and the 14th in Utah. It will serve more than 40,000 members living in northern Utah and southeastern Idaho in 13 stakes.
Announced: October 3, 2009
Groundbreaking: July 31, 2010
Public open house: Aug. 18-Sept. 15, excluding Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sundays
Dedication: Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012
Location: 250 South Main Street, Brigham City, Utah 84302; across the street from the Brigham City Tabernacle
Property size: 3.1 acres
Building size: 36,000 square feet
Building height: Approximately 165 feet to the top of the Angel Moroni statue
Angel Moroni statue: 12 feet tall
Architects: FFKR Architects
Contractor: Big-D Construction