Manti was settled by determined pioneers. They carved shelters for that first winter out of a hillside of creamy tan oolite; in the spring, they battled rattlesnakes for possession of the valley. And from that hill, they took the limestone to build their temple, fifth of the Church’s temples and third to be built in Utah.
Brigham Young announced the temple site 25 June 1875 and dedicated the site on 25 April 1877. Earlier that same morning, he had taken Warren S. Snow with him to the southeast corner of the temple site and told him, “Here is the spot where the Prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for a Temple site, and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can’t move it from this spot.”
William H. Folsom was the Manti Temple architect. He also designed the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
The temple cost $991,991.81, of which the Sanpete Stake alone contributed $274,815.05. Some workmen walked the seven miles from Ephraim each Monday morning and back home again Saturday night. In addition to being self-sacrificing, their service was of the highest quality.
This temple contains the only temple murals dating from the pioneer period. C. C. A. Christensen, Minerva Teichert, John Hafen, J. B. Fairbanks, and Dan Weggeland were among the artists represented.
Eleven years from the time it was started, President Wilford Woodruff dedicated the temple, first in a private ceremony on 17 May 1888, then in services attended by 5,400 members May 21, 22, 23.
Sources include a summary of Manti Temple information prepared by Anna Mae Robison, Church Historical Library; Glen R. Stubbs, A Temple on the Hill: A History of the Manti Temple (Rexburg, Idaho: Ricks College Press. 1976).