The Salt Lake Temple

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Come with us this year for a look at important places on Temple Square.

The Salt Lake Temple

It’s an icy cold day in January. The towers of the Salt Lake Temple have a dusting of new snow. But Kate is more excited than cold. She has traveled to Temple Square from her home in Logan, Utah, for a tour of the Salt Lake Temple grounds.

It’s a sacred place, with many fascinating things to see and learn about.

Meet Kate

  • She is in sixth grade.

  • She loves to draw, play the piano, sing, tumble, and play soccer.

  • She wants to be a mother, a pharmacist, and a zookeeper.

  • She has a testimony that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and that families can be together forever.

Getting Ready to Go Inside

Kate says, “The temple is a very special place. I can’t wait to be old enough to go inside.” She turns 12 soon, so she doesn’t have long to wait to do baptisms for the dead. Kate knows it’s important to prepare for that day by respecting her body and keeping her thoughts and body clean.

How Did They Build It?

Four days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, President Brigham Young (1801–77) walked to the spot where the temple now stands. He stuck his cane in the ground and said, “Here is where we will build a temple to our God.”

Stonecutters cut huge blocks of granite from a mountain. Oxen hauled them 25 miles (40 km) to Temple Square. Hundreds of workers, including teenagers, helped build the temple. Children earned money to donate to the work, and sometimes they played hide-and-seek among the big granite blocks!

It took 40 years to finish the temple. When President Wilford Woodruff (1807–98) dedicated the temple in 1893, about 15,000 children went to the dedication sessions.

Online Video

Go to to watch a video about what it’s like to go inside the temple to be baptized for the dead.

Some of the temple’s walls are six feet (2 m) thick!

The golden angel Moroni stands on top of the tallest tower. Underneath, carved in the granite, are the words “Holiness to the Lord.”

How long did it take the pioneers to build the temple? Kate found the answer on the brass doorknobs on the temple’s big wooden doors.

The Big Dipper is carved so that it points to the real North Star.

The temple’s granite walls are chiseled with the shapes of the sun, the moon, the earth, clouds, and stars.

Photographs by Craig Dimond, except as noted; opposite page: illustrations by Dilleen Marsh; photograph of Salt Lake Temple baptistry by Welden C. Andersen; center: photograph of temple by Greg Frei; left: photograph of temple construction courtesy of Church History Library; photograph of tools by Lana Leishman