[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ow that you’ve had a chance to catch your breath after a terrific General Conference (which we gloriously recapped in podcast form), and let the announcement of temples in China and Dubai sink in, enjoy some new temple renderings!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released renderings for the Tooele Valley Utah Temple, the Washington County Utah Temple, and the Moses Lake Washington Temple, lest you get your Washingtons mixed.
So… despite Elder Bednar calling out those of us who love to predict temple location announcements and analyze their designs (which we stress we do not place above the importance of the temple work itself), let’s break it down!
Tooele Valley Utah Temple
Announced in April 2019, the Tooele Valley Utah Temple will live up to its name by serving the… Tooele Valley of Utah, a land famous for its nuclear waste repository sites. And Virgs!
Through some other leaks, we thought this might follow a square design as opposed to the deep rectangle style of something like Layton. It looks pretty good! We like the cupola style across the dome—lacking an angel Moroni, no less—even if the rest of the building is somewhat contemporary anonymous, as many newer temples in Utah are. Still, this one is not going for the sharp angles of the one we’ll discuss next. It has more motion.
One of my favorite thing about renderings is how they often ignore the physical realities surrounding a temple, like how initial renderings of the Provo City Center Temple pretended the NuSkin campus wasn’t looming over the entire temple lot. In this case, Tooele is far more rural, but the rendering might have you believe the Tooele Valley is a verdant paradise! Is this temple being built in Banff? You might think! Alas, Tooele, while beautiful in its own way, is just a tad more arid than the rendering suggests.
The Tooele Valley Utah Temple will be three stories tall across approximately 70,000 square feet. The Church has not announced a groundbreaking.
Washington County Utah Temple
Let’s head down south along ol’ Interstate 15 to a var more arid landscape, that of the St. George metropolitan area, home of the longer-gestating Washington County Utah Temple. Behold the rendering:
First off, now that we have reached rendering status, it appears the Church really is going with the sort of dull naming convention: Washington County. The St. George Temple is also in Washington County, but it is named for a city. This is like how for years the Los Angeles Dodgers shared a media market with the California Angels. Anyway, given its location, the only viable municipal-level naming alternatives would have been just Washington Utah Temple, which gets even more confusing. Maybe something like Dixie Utah Temple would have been fun.
The design is fine. It’s modern. It has an open spire. It has a Moroni! It will also clock in at 90,000 square feet across three floors – no slouch. The St. George Utah Temple serves over 30 stakes, and with southwestern Utah still growing at an impressive pace, a second large temple to shoulder the load when St. George reopens makes sense.
Moses Lake Washington Temple
Now on to something a bit more reserved. Also announced in April 2019, the Moses Lake Washington Temple took many by surprise, but not the residents of central Washington that know there is an outsized Latter-day Saint presence in what is largely rural area. With those residents needing to travel to the Tri Cities or Spokane, a temple in the area is a huge blessing.
We’re getting vibes of the Hartford Connecticut Temple here, or maybe Indianapolis. Both are single-story buildings built to serve a more localized Latter-day Saint population.
The style is nice, and I appreciate the beauty of the spire and tile work on the cupola. No Moroni.
The temple will be 20,000 square feet. Additional features of the smaller temple, such as the number of rooms of a particular use, have yet to be revealed. But we can pretty much guarantee there will be one baptistry!
Great to have some new temple designs. We wouldn’t be surprised if a rendering for the Orem Utah Temple comes out soon, as some site plans have been released. There’s less news on the Taylorsville front.
Regardless, the current winner in design from the ever-expanding roster of Utah temples is clearly Saratoga Springs.