The Salt Lake Temple (fun trivia: it’s the only temple in the Church without a state/country identifier in its name) has been closed since December 2019 as it undergoes a major seismic retrofit, as well as a complete rebuild of the temple campus. As the project has evolved, the Church expanded the scope of work to include a reconstruction of the plaza in front of the Church Office Building (COB), a complete restructuring of the interior of the temple that means the end of live endowment sessions, as well as the demolition of the North Visitors Center. The entire project was slated to conclude within four years.
Today, however, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released an update on the project, and in the process revised the estimated completion date:
The seismic strengthening of the Salt Lake Temple and the extensive remodel of the Temple and surrounding area are sacred and significant undertakings. As the project has progressed, we have learned a great deal about the condition of the temple and its surroundings. The work is truly remarkable and is being guided by the First Presidency. Inspired modifications and additions to the project and scope have been made so the temple and Temple Square can serve many generations yet to come. It is anticipated that the temple and its surroundings will be completed in 2025. We look forward to welcoming the world at that time to visit, tour and learn about this sacred temple and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The original four-year timeframe could have meant the temple would be completed in December 2023. With a 2025 completion, this means the project could last a minimum of 13 months longer, finishing in January 2025, or 24 months longer, in December of that year. Hopefully we’ll wind up somewhere in the middle.
President Russell M. Nelson, the leader of the Church, released a video touring the construction site during the October 2021 General Conference. It was incredible to see the amount of work that is going in to preserving the Salt Lake Temple and protecting it from earthquakes for generations to come. (The Provo Utah Temple wasn’t so lucky.)
The Church has not elaborated on what more we have learned about the condition of the temple and what merits extending the project timeline by at least 25 percent, but hopefully we’re sure to continue to get a stream of updates from the Newsroom.
Or perhaps the extra time is so that the Church can buy a block of North Temple.