The Salt Lake Temple is a six-spired granite edifice representing the inspiration and theological underpinnings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
 
Temple Square is lit with thousands of lights each Christmas season • © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

This temple is the symbolic heart of the Church worldwide. More important than its recognizable exterior, however, are the sacred ordi- nances performed within its walls.

 
Downtown Salt Lake City property map showing blocks surrounding Temple Square 
selected by early pioneer leaders • Brigham Young University

Streets in the city were laid out beginning at the temple block. The building is 186.5 feet long and 118 feet wide, with walls 167.5 feet high. The temple looks somewhat like a fortress and is built to symbolize strength and spiritual safety.

The angel Moroni stands guard over the tallest center spire on the east end of the Salt Lake Temple • David M. Whitchurch

The east center tower rises 210 feet into the air, capped by a statue of the angel Moroni, who announces with a trump the restored gospel message to all the earth. The 12.5-foot statue is made of hammered copper covered with gold leaf.

Majestic view of the temple •Utah State Historical Society

The temple’s exterior design includes symbolic stones, such as moon, sun, and star stones. These emblematic stones and architectural representations are meant to reinforce spiri- tual principles taught through sacred ordinances performed within the temple.

The temple is used exclusively by members of the Church in good standing for sacred ordinances reserved for the house of the Lord, such as proxy baptisms for the dead, washing, anointings, and eternal marriage ceremonies (see 1 Corinthians 15:29; D&C 124:26–42). Latter-day Saints believe that God has commanded them to be “saviors . . . on mount Zion” (see Obadiah 1:21) by performing proxy ordinances for the dead who did not receive them in mortality and that marriages can endure beyond the grave when couples are faithful to the covenants made in the temple.

On-site preparation: Salt Lake Temple stones were dressed and arranged in front of the newly completed Tabernacle. 
The Tabernacle and the Endowment House can be seen in the background 
• C. R. Savage courtesy of Richard K. Winters
 
 
 
 
Little-known shot of the interior of the temple, specifically the Assembly Room, while under construction. The Saints volunteered most of the labor that went into the Salt Lake Temple’s construction • Brigham Young University
 
Granite: Stone for the Salt Lake Temple was quarried from Little Cottonwood Canyon and hauled to downtown Salt Lake City, first by ox team and later by railroad • © by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
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