A Temple Square Christmas

Many people love to visit Temple Square at Christmastime. Liza, age 11, and Hiram, age 10, are cousins from Kaysville, Utah, who came to see the beautiful lights and sights on Temple Square.

It can be hard to decide what to look at first. Everywhere trees are covered with tiny twinkling lights in pink, yellow, blue, and green. Above it all, the Salt Lake Temple glows in brilliant white, with the gold statue of Moroni shining at the top.

Liza and Hiram enjoyed looking at some child-sized nativity sets made especially for children who came to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Artists from several countries created the sets to welcome children from all over the world and help them think about the Savior. Those sets are still displayed at Christmastime on Temple Square. There are sets from Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Poland. If you look closely, you can see some unusual gifts for the baby Jesus!


  • About a million people visit Temple Square at Christmastime.

  • There are dozens of lighted trees on Temple Square. Just one tree has 75,000 individual lights. How many lights would you guess there are all over Temple Square? LED lightbulbs are now being used to help save electricity.

  • Workers start putting up Christmas lights on August 1 and finish taking them down by March 31.

  • Children helped make the luminarias (right) on the Church Office Building plaza. Christmas messages are written on some of them in different languages.

  • Today the lights are turned on by computer. But years ago children helped plug in the lights on the night when the lights were turned on for the season. Once when one little girl plugged in her string of lights and all of Temple Square lit up at the same time, she thought she had lit all the lights herself!

Above: Liza and Hiram stop to look at the life-sized nativity scene near the Tabernacle and listen to the Christmas story over a loudspeaker.

Above: In front of the temple is an all-white nativity set. A pool reflects both the temple and Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. It’s a breathtaking sight.