President Thomas S. Monson Rededicates Ogden Utah Temple
Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor
President Thomas S. Monson rededicated the renovated Ogden Utah Temple—which has served Latter-day Saints in northern Utah and parts of Wyoming for more than four decades—on Sunday, September 21.
“How grateful I am for the rededication of the beautifully renewed and refurbished Ogden Utah Temple,” he said. “As its doors open once again for the accomplishment of the purposes for which it was originally constructed and dedicated, lives will be blessed. It stands as a beacon of righteousness to all who will follow its light—the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In the temple and in meetinghouses across Utah and Wyoming, hundreds of thousands of Church members gathered to watch the rededication of the Church’s 14th temple.
In addition to President Monson—who spoke and offered the dedicatory prayer—several General Authorities, leaders, members of the new temple presidency, the temple matron and assistants to the matron, and general auxiliary presidency members participated in the three rededication sessions. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the sessions.
The 112,232-square-foot temple sits on 9.96 acres in the heart of downtown Ogden and will serve some 250,000 Latter-day Saints in northern Utah and parts of Wyoming.
Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department said Ogden has always been a strong area for the Church.
As early as the 1820s, fur traders were trapping along the rivers that flow through what is now Ogden—the oldest continuously settled community in Utah. In 1847 the Church purchased land in the area and early Latter-day Saints settled the community.
The Transcontinental Railroad soon brought settlers of diverse faiths and cultures to Ogden.
Elder Craig G. Fisher, an Area Seventy and chairman of the Church’s rededication committee, said Ogden—where the Church now has 33 stakes—continues to be a culturally diverse area. “There is a lot of variation,” he said. “It is a lot like the world. The people are really wonderful.”
The Ogden Utah Temple was originally dedicated on January 18, 1972, by President Joseph Fielding Smith. The temple—then the Church’s 14th operating temple worldwide—was the first built in Utah since 1896, the year Utah became a state, according to LDS Church Public Affairs.
Church leaders announced plans to renovate the temple and the nearby tabernacle on February 17, 2010. The temple’s entire exterior was reshaped with new stone and art glass, and the temple entrance was moved from the west side to the east side, where it faces one of the city’s main streets. The renovated temple includes reconfigured rooms and new electrical, heating, and plumbing systems. In addition, the site now includes underground parking, new landscaping, and a major water feature.
Because the temple’s original cornerstone is still in place and its contents remain unopened, Church leaders did not hold a traditional cornerstone ceremony before the rededication, Elder Richards said.
Elder Fisher said at the time of its closure the temple was one of the busiest in the Church. “You have a lot of hardworking, temple-loving people up here,” he said. “They really missed their temple.”
An estimated 550,000 people attended the Ogden Utah Temple open house.