Tooele Valley Utah Temple Gets a New Location and a New Name

Tooele Valley Utah Temple Rendering
Mark Brendanawicz

Mark Brendanawicz

The Deseret Peak Utah Temple isn't particularly close to Deseret Peak.

Update: the original map provided by the Church Newsroom was incorrect, showing the temple basically on top of an apartment complex. The Church has since updated the map. We’ve included both below.

Be careful what you wish for. The Tooele Valley Utah Temple is no more. And it’s also not going to be in Erda. This is per the Church Newsroom.

In what can only be seen as a response to the surprising effort by locals to stop The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from building a residential community around the temple (as well as bad press due to the impending demise of Virg’s), the Church has decided to build the temple in Tooele proper, near the intersection of 2400 North 400 West. The move takes the temple farther away from the more central Erda location, requiring residents of Stansbury Park and Grantsville to increase travel times to the completed building.

The first map of the location published by the Church actually misidentified the location of the building.

 

The originally depicted location of the Deseret Peak Utah Temple, smack in the middle of a housing development.

A satellite view of the map above will show the temple was apparently going right on top of a few houses and an apartment complex. It didn’t make a ton of sense. It turns out that was an error thanks to Google Maps incorrectly processing Utah street naming conventions. 

The temple will actually not be in the center of Tooele, but instead on the northern edge of the city on undeveloped land and much closer to the previous site. No word on whether the Church intends to pursue the housing development in the new location.

The actual location of the Deseret Peak Utah Temple | Intellectual Reserve

Oh, and here’s a head scratcher. The temple is also being renamed even though it’s actually more Tooele-y than it was previous. Henceforth it shall be named the Deseret Peak Utah Temple.

There’s a lot that doesn’t make sense about this. For one, you could just rename the temple the Tooele Utah Temple since it will now be right there in Tooele. Second, Deseret Peak rests at the far west of the Tooele Valley while Clipper Peak is, like, right there. Clipper Peak Utah Temple? That’s at least sort of cooler.  For our money, The Other Side of Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple might have been cooler. Wordy? Absolutely, but way cooler.

Or what about the valley to the west of Deseret Peak? Skull Valley! Come on!

Whether or not the move and rename is in response to the trouble the Church ran into at the original site is purely speculation, but come on. What else could it be? The temple design inside and out haven’t changed. Nothing has changed other than a decidedly less central location in an area already mostly developed.

The only other possibility is the saints of Rush Valley lobbied hard to get the temple 10 minutes closer to them. OK. Sure.

Congratulations, Erda. You could have had a 70,000 square foot temple in your midst as well as some housing that is, despite what the naysayers have argued, not dense in any way. And you know a Cafe Rio wouldn’t have been far behind. Maybe that was the problem.

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