22 January 2015
Against the backdrop of the gorgeous Wasatch Mountains, the Brigham City Utah Temple’s twin white spires are visible from Interstate 15, two miles away. The temple’s precast concrete facing glows warmly in the sun. In Brigham City, Utah, a town of 18,000, Utah’s 14th temple and the 139th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occupies 3.1 beautifully kept acres across the street from the Box Elder Stake Tabernacle.
The 36,000-square-foot temple serves approximately 40,000 Church members from congregations in northern Utah and southeastern Idaho. Square corner towers and two central spires, one facing east and one facing west, are highlights of the temple’s architecture. Although the temple is not fully crenellated, detailed notched carvings on the top of the walls and towers subtly hint at the battlement style used in the Logan and Manti Temple designs. The grounds, which are accessible to foot traffic, are planted with 26 fruit trees; a round water feature stands in front of the entrance.
Brigham City is located near the northern edge of the Great Salt Lake, and the interior of the Brigham City Utah Temple reflects the natural wonders that surround it. One of the temple’s instruction rooms is painted with a detailed mural featuring Utah’s mountainous geography and migratory wetlands. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, one of more than 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, is only 10 miles southwest of the temple, and millions of birds representing 250 different species travel through the 80,000-acre refuge each year.
Brigham City’s native peach blossoms were used as the inspiration for decorative accents throughout the building, carved into the carpets and outlined in the art-glass windows. One of the most stirring instances of this decoration appears in the temple’s sealing, or marriage, rooms. Surrounding a gold-leafed circle on the ceiling, a ring of pink blossoms form a delicate backdrop for magnificent chandeliers.
As in some other temples, the interior color scheme grows lighter as patrons ascend from the bottom levels to the upper levels. Rich blue accents below give way to soft browns, golds and whites above. Artworks depicting stories from the Bible and local historical events hang on the walls throughout the building. Four original paintings hang in the baptistry — John the Baptist baptizing Jesus, a Box Elder County pioneer baptism, the Jordan River and an American Indian being confirmed a member of the Church through the laying on of hands.
The temple was announced on October 3, 2009. Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, broke ground for the temple and dedicated the site on July 31, 2010. Because Brigham City, Utah, is President Packer’s birthplace, this temple is special to him. In his remarks at the groundbreaking, he declared, “I am home.”1 President Packer attended elementary school where the temple now stands.
A public open house welcomed more than 400,000 visitors from August 18 through September 15, 2012. President Packer dedicated the temple in three sessions on September 23, 2012. In the dedicatory prayer, he recalled Church members who had come before:
“We honor the memory of those who came to this valley as pioneers and have raised their families to honor the order of the principles and ordinances of the gospel. When they first came, this was an untamed wilderness. Now we see the homes and the gardens and the communities which they have built.”
He prayed for the Lord’s blessings to be upon all those who enter the temple: “May Thy Spirit rest upon all who enter Thy house that they may feel of Thy power and acceptance of their offerings. Bless any who seek peace and understanding to find them in this place of holiness.”2
1 “President Packer Presides at Groundbreaking of Brigham City Utah Temple,” Mormon Newsroom, July 31, 2010, http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/president-packer-presides-at-groundbreaking-of-brigham-city-utah-temple.
2 Brigham City Utah Temple dedicatory prayer, in Church News, Sept. 29, 2012, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/62790/Brigham-City-Utah-Temple-Celebrated-and-enjoyed.html.