LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley is expected to be on hand today to help break ground for a new Mormon temple in Draper. The sacred edifice will be the church’s third temple in the Salt Lake Valley and the 12th in Utah. Worldwide, 122 temples have been dedicated, with 11 more announced or under construction.
The 96-year-old Mormon leader, considered a “prophet, seer and revelator” by LDS faithful, will be joined at the groundbreaking by his two counselors in the church’s governing First Presidency, Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust. The 10 a.m. ceremony is not open to the public but will be broadcast on the church’s satellite system to nearby LDS church buildings.
Hinckley first announced that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would build another temple in the Salt Lake area during the church’s semiannual General Conference in October 2004. In a move that tantalized the faithful, though, he declined to name the exact location. This led to widespread speculation about possible sites.
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A little more than a month later, LDS bishops in the south valley read a letter from the First Presidency that said the temple would be built in the foothills near Corner Canyon at approximately 2000 East and 14000 South, where the church already owned some 12 acres. There is an LDS stake center and parking lot on the property at 1911 E. Gray Fox Drive.
The temple will serve the growing LDS population at the south end of the valley, which now overtaxes the church’s South Jordan temple.
Draper’s planning commission approved plans for the temple on May 18. According to the Web site http://www.ldschurchtemples.com, the 57,000-square-foot temple will reach 166 feet high, capped by the traditional gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni. The design is reminiscent of the church’s temple in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with its white walls, central spire and stair-step design. The temple is located near 1,000 acres of dedicated open space.
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be “the house of the Lord” where members learn teachings of Jesus Christ and participate in rituals of marriage, baptism and others to unite families for eternity.