Church History Photos

15. Nauvoo Temple

photograph 15(click to view larger)

The original Nauvoo Temple was built from local grayish-white limestone. The building measured 128 feet (39 meters) long and 88 feet (27 meters) wide. The top of the tower stood 158 feet (48 meters) above ground level. Church members made great sacrifices to build this beautiful temple, beginning the work in 1841. Some labored for months on the building; others sacrificed their money. Even though not fully completed, the temple was filled to capacity by members coming for ordinances during the months before their flight to the West. While many of the Saints left Nauvoo in the early spring of 1846 under threat of mob violence, a special crew stayed behind to complete the temple. On April 30, 1846, Elders Orson Hyde and Wilford Woodruff of the Quorum of the Twelve and approximately 20 others dedicated this house of the Lord. The temple was abandoned in September when the remaining Church members were driven out of Nauvoo; mob forces then defiled the sacred structure. The interior was destroyed by fire in October 1848. The rebuilt temple (pictured here), a faithful reproduction of the original, was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley on June 27–30, 2002.

Significant Events: General conference was held in the assembly room of the temple on October 5, 1845. Endowment work began on December 10, 1845, and continued until February 7, 1846. Over 5,500 Latter-day Saints received their endowment, and many baptisms for the dead and sealings were performed.