FORT COLLINS, COLO.
More than a century after the first congregation was organized in Colorado — and five and a half years after President Thomas S. Monson announced the temple in general conference — the Church’s 153rd temple has been dedicated in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Situated near the Cache La Poudre River between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the great plains to the east, the temple stands — just as the previous forts in the area did — as a place of peace and refuge.
“The Fort Collins temple is beautifully located in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, where many early members passed through on their way to the Salt Lake Valley,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, told the Church News. “Quite a few who were searching for a new beginning stayed in Fort Collins. These faithful members who were the salt of the earth started the Church in that area. During the very early years the original Fort Collins offered during uncertain times a place of refuge, a place of safety, and a good place for restoring their supplies and energy.”
While the first known members of the Church arrived in Colorado as early as 1846, many different experiences tie the Church to Colorado. Whether it was as a refuge for sick members of the Mormon Battalion or an assignment from U.S. President Abraham Lincoln to assist in protecting the telegraph lines and mail routes during the Civil War, the Fort Collins, Colorado, area has a rich history with the Latter-day Saints.
To now have a temple in the area is a great blessing for the 44,000 Church members living in the temple district.
“Although a ‘Fort Collins’ is no longer needed in the traditional way, the temple is now there as a place of protection, and a place of light and truth. It has the power of renewal, of strengthening, of refuge from the storm and of safety for families and the whole community,” President Uchtdorf said. “One of the main reasons for the original fort was to establish peace among the settlers and within the communities. The temple, its values and its blessings will be a great source of peace for individual lives and for these communities.”
President Uchtdorf presided over three dedicatory sessions and the cornerstone ceremony. The services were also broadcast to meetinghouses in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska that are part of the Fort Collins Colorado Temple district.
Joining President Uchtdorf for the dedication and cornerstone ceremony were his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, and other Church leaders including Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Wilford W. Andersen and Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy, and Bishop W. Christopher Waddell of the Presiding Bishopric.
Wives of the visiting authorities — Sister Ruth L. Renlund, Sister Rosana F. Soares, Sister Kathleen B. Andersen, Sister Rhonda P. Grow and Sister Carol S. Waddell — also accompanied their husbands during the dedication and cornerstone ceremony.
Although the new temple is only 70 miles away from the Denver Colorado Temple, the distance will take off hours of transportation time for some of the members living in other areas of the temple district. The temple district includes members of the Church from 13 stakes located in Casper, Wyoming, to the north; Arvada, Colorado, to the south; parts of Nebraska to the east and Rawlins, Wyoming, to the west.
With beautiful scenic views surrounding the temple — and a street address of 2180 Majestic Drive — the newly dedicated temple will serve as a beacon of light for the community.
“It’s majestic — and not just the address,” said President Uchtdorf during the cornerstone ceremony. “It is wonderful. … The foliage has put on its nicest colors to celebrate with us. The sun is shining, and just a short while ago the full moon was setting — everything has come together to make this the best day ever.”
The first session included the cornerstone ceremony, in which President Uchtdorf led others in adding mortar around the symbolic stone. Choirs consisting of members in the temple district provided music during all three of the dedicatory services.
During the cornerstone ceremony, President Uchtdorf said, “It is a ceremony which is given to us to remind us that the true cornerstone in our lives is the Savior.” He later added, “We dedicate this temple to our Heavenly Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ. … We seal this stone and remind each other that it is really the Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone in our lives and in His Church.”
President Uchtdorf shared President Monson’s love and greetings, and he thanked the community for welcoming the holy edifice into their area. He also encouraged Church members to live the values and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We want to thank every one of you who has participated and is participating in such a wonderful way to have the house of the Lord here in Fort Collins. It is a continuous effort; it is a lifetime effort, because the temple and its values represent our way of life,” President Uchtdorf said. “These are the values and the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
He encouraged the youth to make an entry in their journals and in their hearts, so they will remember the uplifting and joyful feelings experienced both in the cultural celebration and the dedication.
For Kiley Ostler, 12, that journal entry will be special. She was one of the four children President Uchtdorf asked to come forward and put mortar in the cornerstone. Kiley and her mother, Shaunna Ostler, were at the temple at 6 a.m. to make sure they had a good spot during the cornerstone ceremony.
“It is special to have a temple here and to be a part of this and the cultural celebration,” Kiley said with tears in her eyes.
Her mother added, “As parents we want [our children] to know the divine gift of the temple. She will never forget this day.”
The 42,205 square-foot edifice is the second temple in Colorado. The Denver Colorado Temple was dedicated in 1986.
Plans announced: April 2, 2011
Ground breaking: Aug. 24, 2013
Public open house: Aug. 19-Sept.10, 2016
Cultural celebration: Oct.15, 2016
Dedication: Oct. 16, 2016
Property size: 12.3 acres
Building size: 42,205 square feet
Building height: 104 feet; with the addition of the Angel Moroni statue, 112 feet
Architect: Architectural Nexus, Aaron Arbuckle
Contractor: Okland Construction
Building: The temple has a structural steel frame covered with pre-cast concrete exterior walls. The fabricator for the pre-recast is Pretecsa of Mexico City.
Exterior art glass: Architectural Nexus of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Holdman Studios of Lehi, Utah, designed the exterior art glass. A mountain flora motif reminiscent of the local Rocky Mountain vegetation was chosen for the design in a pallet of blues, golds and greens. It was assembled by Scottish Stained Glass of Centennial, Colorado.
Fountain: Architectural Nexus of Salt Lake City and Water Design of Murray, Utah, designed the fountain located on the main temple plaza. It features spraying water and bubbler effects. The main basin was constructed from pre-cast, cast-in-place materials and stone.
Landscaping: The landscaping for the temple grounds was designed by Architectural Nexus and features a variety of hardy mountain plants and trees. The majority grow naturally in the region and include juniper, spruce, pine, maple and honey locust.
Fences and walkways: The fences and walkways were designed by Architectural Nexus. The fences are constructed from decorative aluminum and painted with a custom bronze finish. Handrails are of bronze. Walkways surrounding the grounds are cast-in-place concrete. The main plaza area features granite pavers.
Flooring: The tufted carpet in green, teal and cream was designed by Architectural Nexus and Bentley Carpets. The area rugs were manufactured by International Fabrication of Georgia. The types of stone utilized throughout the building include white and gold onyx; beige limestone; gold, cream and beige marble; and blue granite, all from Iran and Turkey and carved in China. The patterns feature a Spanish influence reflective of Colorado history and incorporate some elements of the mountain flora motif similar to the art glass. Stone sourcing and fabrication was by European Marble and Granite of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Decorative painting: Nexus Architecture and Iconography, both of Salt Lake City, Utah, designed the decorative painting for the temple. In blues, greens and golds, the designs incorporate Spanish and mountain flora motifs reflecting Colorado history and the surrounding Rocky Mountain region. Most of the painting is featured on the ceilings although there is gold leafing on the altars, imposts and the celestial room columns.
Interior decorative art glass: The interior art glass was designed by Architectural Nexus and Holdman Studios of Lehi, Utah. The motif is similar to that of the exterior art glass, constructed of various shades of blue, gold and green to mimic the mountain flora. The Rocky Mountain terrain provided the inspiration for the art glass located in the grand hall and the celestial room.
Lighting: Architectural Nexus and Envision Engineering of Salt Lake City, Utah, designed the lighting. Austrian crystal was used in the chandeliers adorning several rooms in the temple.
Millwork: Classic decorative millwork is featured throughout the building and feature Spanish Colonial patterns and designs. The millwork was fabricated and installed by Granite Mill of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Baptistry: The art glass and font railings in the baptismal font feature the mountain flora and Spanish motifs used elsewhere in the temple. Railings are fabricated from brass and etched glass.
Doors and Hardware: The entry doors are of steel and glass with a custom bronze-painted finish. Interior doors are constructed of solid wood and are painted. Pulls and handles are custom bronze with detailing consistent with other interior design details. They are by Atlas Bronze of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ceilings: The main corridors and instruction rooms feature barrel-vaulted ceilings constructed from glass reinforced gypsum ribs.