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  • Nathan Augustine

Innovation Temples

Updated: Jul 3


Bern Switzerland Temple


This post is about certain temples the Church built that changed the way they built and used temples. There are many traditions associated with temple building. When the Church built the temples mentioned below they established new traditions. Early temples are the ones that began these traditions so most of them are included.


Kirtland Temple

  • First temple of the restoration.

  • First temple with a dedicatory prayer.

  • First temple with an assembly room.


Nauvoo Temple

  • First temple with a baptistry.

  • First temple the Church performed an ordinance for the dead in (baptism).

  • First temple the Church performed endowments and sealings for the living in.


St. George Utah Temple

  • Oldest operating temple.

  • First temple the Church performed endowments and sealings for the dead in.

  • Last temple designed with two assembly rooms.


Logan Utah Temple

  • First temple the Church designed with four progressive instruction rooms.

  • First temple with murals in its instruction rooms (St. George received murals in 1937).


Salt Lake Temple

  • First temple to have an Angel Moroni statue.

  • Only temple with a Holy of Holies.

  • Only temple with Church leadership meeting rooms inside.


Laie Hawaii Temple

(The Church began building Cardston Alberta first, adapted and simplified its design for Laie and dedicated Laie first).

  • First temple built away from Church headquarters.

  • First temple without a spire.

  • First temple without an assembly room.


Cardston Alberta Temple

  • First operating temple begun by someone other than Brigham Young.

  • First temple outside the United States.

  • First temple the Church rededicated after they renovated it.


Mesa Arizona Temple

  • First US temple built outside Utah.

  • First temple to present the endowment in a language other than English.


Idaho Falls Idaho Temple

  • First temple since Salt Lake to have a spire (all temples since have had spires until Paris France).

  • First temple retrofitted with an Angel Moroni statue.


Bern Switzerland Temple

  • First temple the Church designed for the stationary video presentation of the endowment.

  • First temple without murals in its instruction room.

  • First temple where English is not the primary language.

  • First temple to have a “Holiness to the Lord” inscription in a language other than English.

The change from the live to the video presentation of the endowment is perhaps the most significant change in the way temples are built and used.


Los Angeles California Temple

  • Last temple designed for the four stage live presentation of the endowment.


Oakland California Temple

  • First US temple designed for the stationary video presentation of the endowment.

  • First temple to have more than one video presentation instruction room.


Atlanta Georgia Temple

  • First temple with a fiberglass Angel Moroni statue, after which Angel Moroni statues became routine until Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Hong Kong China Temple

  • First temple in a multi-use building.


St. Louis Missouri Temple

  • First temple the Church designed for the two stage video presentation of the endowment.


Vernal Utah Temple

  • First temple converted from an existing building.


Monticello Utah Temple

  • First of the small standardized temples.


Columbia River Washington Temple

  • First temple with a mural in its two stage progression instruction room.


Nauvoo Illinois Temple

  • Only temple designed for the four stage video presentation of the endowment.

  • Only temple since Los Angeles with four progressive instruction rooms.


Paris France Temple

  • First temple since Mesa Arizona without a spire.


Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple

  • First temple since Tokyo Japan with a spire but no Angel Moroni statue, after which Angel Moroni statues have become increasingly uncommon.


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