Heber Valley Utah
Geoff: Look, we have no love for Utah. It is a strange place, obsessed with so-called “dirty” soda and bridal fairs. I take no joy in seeing Utahans get all giddy when President Nelson announces another temple in Wasatchia and the denizens of the Conference Center border on Arsenio-esque “whoops.” Enough is enough! Was the Saratoga Springs Temple announced as a consolation prize for Mia Love, because they knew through revelation that she would lose reelection?! What’s up with Layton?!
But the reality is this: Even though Utah’s overall percentage of Latter-day Saints as part of the population continues to decline, the Church itself is growing along with Utah’s booming population. That lets us turn our sites to one of the few actually wonderful places in Utah: Summit and Wasatch Counties, home to Park City and Heber City, respectively. When I went to BYU, a drive up ol’ US 189, skirting the Deer Creek Reservoir in search of some Dairy Keen, a sojourn to Heber meant an afternoon of peace. Naturally, others have hopped to how nice the area is, especially over in Midway, and the area has exploded in recent years; Midway split off an all-new stake in 2017. The Heber City North Stake was organized in 2004. The Park City Stake remains, uh, the Park City Stake. OK, Park City isn’t really factoring into any of this. It is populated by liberal coastal elites.
Sure, then, Heberites don’t have to venture far to get to the Provo or Mt. Timpanogos temples, but this is Utah, where anything more than a 15-minute drive to a temple in a developed area is heresy. After all, the Provo temple district has 53 feeder stakes and Mt. Timp has 61. The latter will presumably lose some stakes whenever the Saratoga Springs Temple is dedicated, but 114 combined stakes in the area is nuts.
So I give you the Heber City Utah Temple, but I think it would probably be called the Heber Valley Utah Temple if and when it comes. It would be small. It would serve seven stakes. It would be fine. Vote Heber, 2019, everyone.
Joseph: Geoff Geoff Geoff, you’re making a case for a temple district in Utah with a scant 7 stakes, while overlooking the fact that West Valley City?? It’s the state’s second largest city, with a potential temple district of at least 30 stakes, and it still remains without its spiritual Maverik Center. I mean, not even considering West Valley? How Utah Mormon can you even get?? Don’t abandon West Valley as Wise Guys and Hale Center Theatre did.
But since the official TWiM pick here is Heber Valley, I will play ball. Especially with how quickly those communities in that valley are growing. Besides, it may be as close as Park City will ever come to being a true Utah town. Can you imagine if the Heber Creeper offered romantic rail journeys specifically for Provo students to go on temple dates? That would be a sweet episode of the Provo Bachelor, or whatever it’s legally called, now. Squee!
Geoff: Why would anyone in his or her right mind consider West Valley City? For one, Utah does that weird naming convention where they put “city” after the name. (Think about it, because of “Salt Lake City” everything is “Provo City,” “Orem City,” “Ogden City,” etc. instead of “City of Provo,” “City of South Jordan,” etc.)
OK, I know that numbers-wise there’s probably a strong case for West Valley City or Magna or somewhere out there in oblivion, especially because of the strength in numbers out in Tooele. But I’m going to stand pat and refuse to acknowledge this if only to troll our own Kurt Francom, West Valley native.