Wednesday, January 8, 2020


The Salt Lake City Temple is now closed until as early as 2024.

This week, dozens and dozens of moving trucks began hauling away all of the furniture, historical items, artwork, light fixtures, stain glass windows and sacred items.  The Salt Lake Temple which is the epicenter for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been officially "decommissioned"

On Monday, I watched the movers carry out the contents from inside the temple into these bright orange Allied Semi-Trucks.

Once everything has been hauled off, the demolition of many of the buildings around the Temple will begin. It will be sad to see the Salt Lake Temple Chapel be torn down. I asked to take a photo inside of the chapel so I could show my children what it looked like inside and the beautiful 2 story mural of Christ ascension. Below is the photo of the outside of the chapel:

Here is the photo inside the Chapel. I am not sure if the Church has any plans to preserve this mural because I think it is painted onto the wall itself.

Another part of the demolition will be the sealing rooms that extend out from the North side of the building. One of the reasons for removing this section of the temple is that there are large cracks and  separation occurring.

This is a close up of one section of the granite wall that is starting to show the cracking despite attempts to fill in the gaps with compound adhesives. They will be rebuilding this entire part of the temple with all new sealing rooms.

In May of 2018, an article was published in the LDS Church News in the Mormon Times section stating that the Salt Lake Temple was built to last through the Millenium. Here is the link to the article.

President Brigham Young stated. "I want to see the Temple built in a manner that it will endure through the Millennium."

“Because the builders recalled President Young’s desire for this temple to stand through time, the structure was very solid. Even at their tops, the walls were six feet thick, and the granite blocks were individually and skillfully shaped to fit snugly together. Nearly a century later, Elder Mark E. Petersen (a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) attested to the soundness of the temple’s construction. He was in the temple when a rather severe earthquake hit, damaging several buildings around the Salt Lake Valley. 'As I sat there in that temple I could feel the sway of the quake and that the whole building groaned.' Afterward, he recalled, the engineers 'could not find one semblance of damage' anywhere in the temple.”

The article concludes by saying the:

"So, the finished Salt Lake Temple may be more earthquake resistant than some may believe."

I don't know of any other building that has a 14 foot granite foundation.
The Deseret News' LDS Church News of March 30, 1963, published a photograph of when extensive excavations were made around the base of the Salt Lake Temple. The article listed the granite foundation as 14 feet deep.

However, a year later in the April 2019 conference, President Nelson announced that the Temple will close for 4 years for major seismic and structural renovations to help the building withstand a large earthquake. According to Brent Roberts, the church’s director of special projects, this will require placing hundreds of shock absorbers between the ground and the building’s footings and foundations. “It actually will now be the foundation of the temple, so when the earth moves, the base isolation system takes all that movement."

"It actually will now be the foundation of the temple, so when the earth moves, the base isolation system takes all that movement," Roberts said.

So in other words, the original foundation that the Temple was build on will now be replaced by a "base isolation system". Essentially the building is no longer on rock, a steadfast and firm foundation, but on rollers that can move back and forth depending on the movement of the world.

I thought I would close with one of my favorite verses from the Book of Mormon found in Helaman 5:12 
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."


Vaughn Hughes said...

"Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that hears these sayings of mine and does them not shall be likened unto a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

Sand shifts, moves, and adjusts as needed underneath weight that sits on it, particularly as environmental conditions influence it. (wind, rain, vibration) Rock does not. One is deemed a suitable foundation by the Lord, and the other is not.

Sometimes I wonder if the Lord could have prophetically had more than one situation in mind when he made statements like this.

Vaughn Hughes said...

It is interesting where a lack of physical foundation is used as a symbol in scripture. It occurred to me that the magnificent building Lehi saw in vision "stood as it were in the air, high above the earth," therefore having no foundation. Photos of the Provo tabernacle remains propped high in the air on stilts with no foundation during its remake into an LDS temple might have been more similar to Lehi's depiction. I wonder if the Salt Lake temple will wind up on stilts at some point, too?

An angel later explained to Nephi that the building without foundation ("large and spacious") which his father saw represented the "vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men." Are our imaginings vain that a temple never commanded to be built by the Lord could last through the millennium? Could we as a people be described as ever having been "proud" of the Salt Lake temple? Are free round-trip shuttle rides still available from the SLC airport to Temple Square for travelers with long layovers? Do we ever advertise its splendor on roadside billboards?

OpenMind said...

I wonder how the Lord will take this building down now that it has been engineered to withstand serious earthquakes? I wonder if He will use an especially powerful earthquake far beyond the safety factor designed into this as a symbol that no matter how hard they try to subvert His authority and obfuscate His teachings, only in actually obeying Him and taking His words seriously can safety truly be found. We don’t have the right or ability to modify His words one degree. I think it would be an apt way to take that building down which was originally built by a condemned group and now renovated by an organization with wealth almost beyond imagination. Great post.

Anonymous said...

I know Brigham Young sometimes gets a bad rap, but I'm with him on the building of the Salt Lake Temple. He wanted it to last through the millennium, and I think he was right to put it on a 14 foot deep granite footing.

I'm not keen on Russell Nelson at all. I think he is, at a minimum, guilty of grandstanding.