1. Manti Utah Temple
Dedicated 1888 by Lorzeno Snow
The Manti Utah Temple has all of the upside of the Salt Lake Temple without any of the hoopla, and that’s a good thing that sets it above Salt Lake’s iconic monolith.
First off, its exterior design is stunning as it sits atop Manti hill. While Salt Lake is decidedly Gothic in style, the Manti Temple is an interesting amalgam of Gothic Revival, French Renaissance Revival, Second Empire, and Colonial styles, but somehow it works.
Also, the original structure was built with an underpass in it. An underpass.
On the inside, the temple’s two towers contain self-supporting staircases that are an architectural marvel of their time.
And like its fellow live session stablemate up in the 801, the Manti Temple feature progressive rooms for the endowment. However, unlike Salt Lake, which moves patrons between two rooms on the first floor before climbing a staircase for the final three rooms on the next level, Manti’s design involves a slow rise from level to level, implying even greater symbolism as one moves closer and closer, higher and higher to exaltation by the end of a session. It’s a small touch, but it’s a nice one, and since temples live and breathe on symbolism, even the smallest symbolic additions are important.
Manti also contains original benches from the pioneer era, unlike Salt Lake’s inevitable incorporation of flip-down padded seats.
And lastly, the Manti Temple still contains original artwork from its construction, including a World Room mural that blows away anything later artists have devised.
If you haven’t been to Manti, go.
Well that’s our definitive ranking of the top 21 Mormon temples. Do you agree or disagree? What’s your list?