See interior, exterior images of the new Helena Montana Temple

Announced just 27 months ago and built in less than 2 years, the temple will be the second house of the Lord in Montana

HELENA, Montana — Just 27 months after plans were announced to build a temple in Montana’s capital city and less than two years after start of construction, the Helena Montana Temple opened its doors to the public with a news conference and media tour Monday, May 15.

The temple will be The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 178th dedicated house of the Lord and second in the state of Montana. Worldwide, the Church has 315 total temples across the globe — operating, under construction or in planning and design.

In conjunction with the media day, the Church released exterior and interior images of the Helena Temple on

The front doors of the Helena Montana Temple.
The front doors of the Helena Montana Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Dedication and open house

Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the Helena Montana Temple in two June 18 sessions — at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to all units in the temple district, which includes five stakes total in Helena, Butte, Great Falls and Bozeman.

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Following the morning tour on Monday’s media day, invited guests have been invited and scheduled to tour the temple through Wednesday, May 17. The public open house tours begin Thursday, May 18, and run through Saturday, June 3, excluding Sundays.

Temple history

President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Helena on April 4, 2021 — one of 20 locations identified that day during April 2021 general conference.

Less than three weeks later, on April 20, 2021, the Church released a site location and exterior rendering for the temple.

Exterior rendering of the Helena Montana Temple. The temple was announced April 4, 2021, and the rendering was released less than three weeks later. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Just two months and 22 days after the announcement, a groundbreaking for the Helena Montana Temple was held on June 26, 2021, with Elder Vern P. Stanfill, a General Authority Seventy, presiding and offering the prayer to dedicate the site and the construction process.

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The Helena Montana Temple will be the state’s second house of the Lord; the Billings Montana Temple was dedicated on Nov. 20, 1999. A third — the Missoula Montana Temple — was announced by President Nelson in April 2022 general conference

Temple design and details

The single-story temple of 9,794 square feet rises to a height of nearly 97 feet, including the center spire.

The building is the first Latter-day Saint temple constructed through the design-manufacture-install process, according to

The temple’s modules were constructed in Birmingham, Alabama, and trucked to Helena, with the modules then connected and finished on site. The exterior stone cladding and tower assembly were also done on site, putting the finishing touches on this much-anticipated house of worship.

The building’s art deco style acknowledges Helena’s vibrant late 19th-century history and design, such as the temple’s entry portico and its low arch, which references the Richardsonian-Romanesque entry of Helena’s landmark Power Building, built in 1889 and an anchor of the city’s historic district.

Design elements reflect the area’s Native American artwork, such as the decorative patterns of flowers and leaves of the buttercup plant in geometric patterns.

Another example is the design of the exterior and interior art glass, with the three parts representing the roots of the buttercup, the plants stems and buds, and then the full flower’s blossoms and leaves — all in a blue border referencing Native American beadwork.

Inside, the flooring carpeting features natural colors — blues, greens, golds and creams — in suggestive nature and the other decorative elements. Paint colors of soft greens, blues and neutrals are accented at times with 22-karat gold leaf.

The temple is located at 1260 Otter Road, north of Helena proper and in the west-central area of Helena Valley and about a third of a mile west of Interstate 15. The 4.75-acre lot is adorned with trees, shrubs and flowers that will thrive in the west-center region of the Big Sky State and provide landscaping featuring seasonal color, texture and variety.

The Church in Montana

The first recorded Latter-day Saint to arrive in present-day Montana came in 1854, with Elisha W. Van Etten hauling freight between Salt Lake City and mining and logging camps in the region.

A year later, Minnie Miller moved with her husband to the Jocko Valley in western Montana to help manage the American Indian agency there.

Additional Church members were attracted to the region with the 1860s gold rush and 1869 completion of the overland railway.

Montana’s first unit of the Church was established in July 1917 in Drummond, about 60 miles west of Helena, with the small branch organized by Melvin J. Ballard, a future Latter-day Saint Apostle who at the time was president of the Northwestern States Mission. The state’s first meetinghouse was built in Drummond, with the first meetings conducted there in March 1919.

The Church’s first stake in Montana was created in Butte in June 1953; within four years, additional stakes were located in Great Falls and Missoula. By 1960, membership in Montana totaled 23,890.

Today, Montana is home to more than 51,000 Latter-day Saints comprising 127 congregations.

The Helena Montana Temple.
The Helena Montana Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opening for public tours. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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