SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — The doors to the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple opened both literally and figuratively Monday, April 10 — literally as leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted a media day at the start of the temple’s prolonged open-to-the-public period.
And the figurative opening came as the Church published a video and photos of interior and exterior images of the Saratoga Springs temple Monday on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Much of the Saratoga Springs temple’s design styles and artwork draw heavily upon images and colors representing the nearby Utah Lake and Wasatch Mountains.
The video and photos provide a rare look inside a Latter-day Saint house of the Lord in the weeks leading up to its dedication. After that, the temple is accessible only to Church members participating in temple worship, instruction and ordinances for themselves and their deceased ancestors.
With 2.16 million Latter-day Saints residing in Utah, the state is home to 28 temples. Besides the one in Saratoga Springs, the Church has 14 dedicated and operating houses of the Lord, with three pioneer-era temples under extensive renovations and another 10 under construction.
Public access prior to dedication
Following Monday’s media day, the Saratoga Springs temple will host private tour sessions for invited guests Tuesday through Friday, April 11-14, with the scheduled 12-week public open house beginning Saturday, April 15, and running through July 8, excluding Sundays.
The Saratoga Springs Utah Temple will be dedicated on Sunday, Aug. 13, by President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, in sessions. The sessions will be broadcast to all units within the temple district.
The temple was announced in April 2017 by then-Church President Thomas S. Monson. The three-story temple of approximately 87,000 square feet is located at 987 S. Ensign Drive, west of Redwood Road in the Beacon Pointe subdivision. An adjacent meetinghouse of 21,000 square feet was also built on the 22.7-acre site.
Elder Craig C. Christensen, a General Authority Seventy and then-president of the Utah Area, presided over the groundbreaking of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple on Oct. 19, 2019, and offered the dedicatory prayer on the temple site.
The temple will be the Church’s 179th dedicated temple. The Church has 176 dedicated temples to date, following the Jan. 15 dedication of the San Juan Puerto Rico Temple. The next two scheduled for dedication before August are the Richmond Virginia Temple in early May and the Helena Montana Temple in mid-June.
Five more temples will follow in the two months after the Saratoga Springs temple’s August dedication.
Interior, exterior designs and elements
The temple’s exterior is eight-inch-thick beige concrete, with a band wrapping around the outside that includes a mountain design. The Utah Lake wetlands and snowy egrets are featured on metal panels on the exterior.
Like much of the interior features, the exterior art glass includes the lake and mountain colors of purples, blues, greens and golds. And with the temple sitting on a bluff overlooking Utah Lake and the Wasatch Front, an elevated plaza facing east offers a valley vista, with the plaza surrounded by evergreens and mountain shrubs. Local plant species offer sustainability and a natural feel to the landscape.
Inside the temple, various stylized wildflowers — including the iris, daisy and chrysanthemum — are represented throughout. In the baptistry and other areas of the temple, stylized lines representing water, waves and mountains reference the Wasatch Front and Utah Lake. Even the door hardware replicates the design details of the grass/wetlands features and the water lines.
The interior art glass includes the same colors and forms, with the glass in the baptistry depicting egrets in wetlands and grasses. Utah Lake is represented in the bottom wave and water patterns, stylized gold shapes suggest the silhouettes of birds, with the mountains atop the glass panels denoting the Wasatch Front.