Take of virtual tour of the grounds and inside the recently completed Orem Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. See beautifully finished rooms, considered sacred to members of the faith before the public open house begins on Friday, October 27, 2023.
The Orem Utah Temple: A Sacred Haven in the Heart of Utah County
The Orem Utah Temple, a magnificent edifice of spiritual significance, had its genesis in the general conference held in October 2019. This remarkable structure stands as a testament to the enduring faith of the Latter-day Saints in Utah County and a symbol of their deep-rooted commitment to their beliefs. Situated on a sprawling 15.39-acre expanse at 1471 S Geneva Rd, just to the west of the bustling Interstate 15 and in close proximity to the Utah Valley University, the 70,000-square-foot temple is a beacon of faith and an architectural marvel in the heart of Utah County.
Nestled between the majestic Wasatch Mountains and the tranquil shores of Utah Lake, the Orem Utah Temple occupies a location of profound historical significance. The land upon which this temple now stands was originally settled by Norwegian immigrants who arrived in Utah in 1864. As they embraced the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they laid the foundation for a legacy that continues to this day. The Williamsen family, devout converts to the faith, meticulously nurtured the land, which comprised the 15 acres eventually acquired by the Church in 2004. This area, affectionately known as Lake View, was characterized by its lush fruit orchards. It is this heritage that inspired the incorporation of the cherry blossom as the central design element in the temple’s interior finishes, which adorn the art glass, wood panels, and metal handrails.
The interior of the Orem Utah Temple mirrors the simplicity and elegance of its exterior. The architects and designers have crafted an environment that harmonizes with the sacred ordinances and the sanctity of the patron areas. Marble wainscots and wooden columns grace the temple’s interior, creating a sense of timeless beauty. The intricacy of the columns, coffered ceilings, and marble wainscot becomes increasingly pronounced as one progresses through the ordinance rooms, culminating in the celestial room. Here, the woodwork is gracefully painted, and the wall coverings, while subtle, serve to direct one’s attention to the sacred covenants and ordinances in the Lord’s house. The secondary spaces, though more understated, are still beautiful and captivating.
While the Orem Utah Temple is distinctly unique to its location, it pays homage to the rich history of Utah County and the vibrant culture of the surrounding area through its design elements. The art glass and cherry blossom motif serve as a tribute to the enduring legacy of those who settled this land and the profound sense of community that has flourished in this region.
Orem Temple Media Day: A Glimpse into the Divine
On the morning of Monday, October 23, a select group of journalists and other honored guests were granted the privilege of stepping into the sacred sanctum of the Orem Utah Temple. This exclusive event, known as Orem Temple Media Day, provided a rare opportunity to witness the beauty and sanctity of this new house of the Lord.
Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, assistant executive director of the Temple Department, shared, “We have 335 temples, either operating, announced, or under construction, and this is the 186th temple in the Church.” This remarkable statistic underscores the remarkable growth and commitment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide.
Utah County, with the addition of the new Orem temple, will soon be home to six temples. This spiritual oasis will serve as a place of worship and reflection for more than 57,000 Latter-day Saints in the area. For the residents of Orem and its neighboring communities, the presence of a temple holds profound significance. Chad Lewis, president of the Orem Hillcrest Stake, expressed his awe and gratitude, saying, “I can’t believe we have a temple in my hometown. It’s a miracle to have a temple right here in Family City, USA, where families can be sealed together forever.” The sealing of families, a sacred ordinance performed within the walls of the temple, is a central tenet of the faith and a source of great joy and solace for Latter-day Saints.
Grace Miller, a student at the nearby Utah Valley University, encapsulated the sentiment shared by many when she said, “I have peace knowing my family can live together again.” The Orem Utah Temple is not only a place of worship but a testament to the eternal bonds that unite families.
Reyna I. Aburto, a member of the Orem Utah Temple open house committee and a former counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, presided over Monday’s news conference. The excitement in the air was palpable, and it was not limited to the older generation. Youth from the area, brimming with enthusiasm, eagerly volunteered to serve during the open house.
Jacob Luke, a 17-year-old local youth volunteer, expressed his fervor, declaring, “I couldn’t be more excited. This one is my temple.” For the younger generation, the Orem Utah Temple represents a sacred space uniquely their own, where they can find spiritual solace and connect with their Heavenly Father.
Claire Hirschi, a 12-year-old who visited the temple with her sisters, shared her excitement: “I’m really excited for this because it’s always nice to have a temple right next to your house so you can come find the peace in this crazy world and have a little time with Heavenly Father.” For these young souls, the temple serves as a haven in the tumultuous journey of life.
Mikelle Hirschi, a 17-year-old, echoed this sentiment, saying, “The temple is a good place for me to regroup and put things back into perspective when life gets crazy, and so I’m just so excited to have one so close to home just down the street.” The Orem Utah Temple stands as a beacon of hope and a source of strength, a place where the chaos of the world can be momentarily set aside.
Seth Johnson, a 16-year-old youth volunteer, offered his perspective, stating, “I personally consider temples to be just a little pocket of heaven. The temple is a place where we go to work on sacred covenants, to work on our relationship with Heavenly Father.” These young volunteers represent the future of the Church, and their dedication to the temple reflects the enduring values and teachings they hold dear.
The Significance of Temples: A Source of Spiritual Growth
The Orem Utah Temple is not just another impressive structure. It is a representation of the deeply held beliefs and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Temples, in the eyes of the faithful, are the most sacred spaces on earth, and they are considered literal houses of the Lord. Within these hallowed walls, families can be joined together for eternity, a concept that is central to the faith.
In the words of Grace Miller, the temple represents the peace of knowing that families can be reunited in the eternities. This sealing ordinance is a pivotal element of temple worship, and it is cherished by those who seek to strengthen their familial bonds beyond this mortal life.
Reyna I. Aburto, a member of the Orem Utah Temple open house committee, observed that the temple serves as a place for individuals and families to find solace and a deeper connection to their faith. For the Latter-day Saints, the temple is more than a place of worship; it is a refuge in a chaotic world.
In the state of Utah, there are a total of 28 temples, considered as sacred houses of worship. Among the currently operational temples in the state, you can find them located in American Fork (Mount Timpanogos), Bountiful, Brigham City, Cedar City, Draper, Logan, Monticello, Ogden, Payson, Provo (Provo City Center and Provo Utah), Saratoga Springs, South Jordan (Jordan River and Oquirrh Mountain), and Vernal.
Furthermore, there are ongoing construction projects for new temples in various Utah communities. These upcoming temples are being built in Ephraim, Heber Valley, Layton, Lindon, Smithfield, Syracuse, Taylorsville, and Tooele (Deseret Peak).
Additionally, the Manti Utah Temple and the Salt Lake Utah Temple are presently undergoing renovation and restoration efforts. The St. George Utah Temple is scheduled for rededication on December 10, 2023, and the Red Cliffs Utah Temple, located in Washington County, will be formally dedicated by President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, on Sunday, March 24, 2024.