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Saturday, October 1, 2011

From Tabernacle to Temple: The Provo City Center Temple

At around 11am during the Saturday morning session of the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1 October 2011), it was announced by President Thomas S. Monson that the fire-ravaged Provo Tabernacle will be rebuilt as a House of the Lord, the second Temple in Provo City.  Provo City, Utah, will then be only the second city in the world to have two LDS Temples.  The other is South Jordan, Utah.

The above photo can be seen at, and is an official rendering of how the Temple will look.  According to an article on that website, "Historically, the tabernacle was used for church meetings and cultural events.  Since the 2010 fire, Church leaders have worked with architects, engineers and historical experts to determine the future of the building.  The project will include a complete restoration of the original exterior." 

Provo's Daily Herald quoted President Monson as saying, "After careful consideration, we have decided to rebuild it with full preservation to become the second temple of the Church in the city of Provo".

Update 18 January 2012
As of 18 January 2012, Brigham Young University's Office of Public Archeology will be unearthing the foundation of Provo's "Old Meetinghouse", which stood just north of the current Tabernacle on the same block, facing Center Street.  The Daily Herald of Provo wrote,

Old Tabernacle
The original meetinghouse was raised in 1867 and demolished in 1919.  For a time, it stood next to its replacement, a larger Provo Tabernacle, which is now a burned shell after a 300-watt lamp bulb ignited a blaze that gutted the building in December.  The first tabernacle was one of Provo's earliest structures, with three levels, a large belfry and brick walls on a foundation of stone, said Richard Talbot, director of the Office of Public Archaeology at Brigham Young University. ("Archaeology team to unearth old Provo Tabernacle", (accessed January 18, 2012)).

Update 17 February 2012
The Deseret News of Friday 17 February 2012 announced that the LDS Church is purchasing NuSkin's existing Parking Terrance (just west (behind) the Tabernacle), and NuSkin also announced they are building a larger Parking Terrace southwest of their Tower in lieu of the Church purchasing NuSkin's old Parking Terrace.  The LDS Church is also planning on purchasing an adjacent portion of 100 South, in between University Avenue and 100 West.

Update 13 March 2012
The Deseret News of Tuesday 13 March 2012 wrote, "Provo's planning commission will address plans to permanently close a portion of 100 South at University Avenue [and 100 West] to accommodate an LDS temple being built downtown.The hearing will take place Wednesday.

Update 16 March 2012
The Provo Planning Commission has approved the go-ahead for the purchase of 100 South between University Avenue and 100 West, according to the Salt Lake Tribune of 14 March 2012 ("Provo panel endorses closing 100 South for Mormon Temple", Salt Lake Tribune).

Update 6 April 2012
In today's Deseret News, the groundbreaking plans for the Provo City Center Temple have been announced.  "The groundbreaking for the new Provo City Center Temple will be held on Saturday, May 12 at 9 a.m., with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presiding. Church spokesman Scott Trotter said tickets will be required to attend the groundbreaking ceremony, which will also be broadcast to LDS stake centers in and around Provo.

"Tickets will be available through local LDS ecclesiastical leaders within the new temple district" ("Provo City Center Temple groundbreaking plans announced", Deseret News, 5 April 2012).  The construction time, according to the Deseret News, should be roughly 2 1/2 years.

Update 12 May 2012
The groundbreaking ceremony was held Saturday at 9am.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided and offered the dedicatory prayer over the grounds.  More than 5,600 people attended on the grounds of the Tabernacle.  The groundbreaking was also broadcast to meetinghouses in both Provo and Springville.  The Provo Utah City Center Temple District will consist of 8 Stakes in Provo and 8 Stakes in Springville.  Among the many things said by Elder Holland during the ceremony, he remarked that groundbreakings in The Church of Jesus Christ are ordinances.  During the performance of the ordinance of groundbreaking and site dedication, the Spirit of the Lord was felt as Elder Holland, using his Apostolic Authority, dedicated the site, and also blessed the workers that they would be safe and protected, and that the Temple as it is constructed will be protected from both natural disasters and the hands of the wicked.
More details will be printed by The Mormon Eagle as they become available.

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