The Ogden Utah Temple

Ogden Utah Temple - Landscape 2The Ogden Temple was the last temple stop on our epic summer road trip. We visited the grounds on our way from Logan to Orem, where we would be visiting my parents for a few days.

I had never visited the Ogden Temple before its renovation. I wish I had- I just never really had reason to go to Ogden.

Flag at Ogden TempleWhen Carey and I started really falling in love with temples, we decided on a whim back in 2012 or so to swing by the Ogden temple on our trek to Orem. So we followed the directions and for some reason just could not find it. We drove around the block several times looking for the familiar lights of the temple before we realized that we were in the right place. There just wasn’t anything there. A green construction fence surrounded the grounds, and with it being dark, that was all we could see.

Ogden Temple - Corner View 2I admit that for years I just assumed that they knocked the whole thing down and started fresh. But in my research, I realized that the same basic structure was kept, only massively updated on the exterior.

Ogden Temple - East Entrance, LandscapeI wonder what it would have been like for the local residents to see their temple being taken apart piece by piece. I imagine it was a little bit hard to see. Of course, they knew it was going to be rebuilt, revitalized, and more beautiful than before. But seeing the Angel Moroni removed and the spire taken down would have definitely caused a little jab in my heart.

Levels - Ogden TempleSpeaking of Angel Moroni, the renovated Ogden Temple has the same statue that was removed before construction. Just a little bit reconditioned.

Ogden Temple - Northeast CornerWhen we visited, it was flipping hot outside. Like, really hot. We slowly walked the grounds as the bright sun blinded our sensitive Oregon eyes. The grounds are beautiful and so peaceful. I guess they call it the Ogden Temple Square, with an old tabernacle sitting on its grounds as well.

Ogden Temple - Southeast Corner 3It was a lovely and warm visit. I love that it is renewed. It is quite symbolic of how we can always change. Though our lives at times may seem stagnant or unclean, they can become revitalized and beautiful. Though we go through immense trials where we feel we are being taken apart at the seams, no worries. The core and foundation are still there, and we can be rebuilt stronger and more vibrant. That is the good news of the gospel!Ogden Temple Spire

Date Visited: July 31, 2017

Miles From Home: 738

Location: Ogden Utah

Dedication:  January 18-20, 1972 by Joseph Fielding Smith; Rededicated on September 21, 2014 by Thomas S. Monson

From the Dedicatory Prayer (1972): Wilt thou strengthen us in our desires to keep thy commandments and overcome the world, to be living witnesses of the truth and divinity of thy work, and to stand valiantly in bearing testimony of those things which we have received. We desire to bridle our passions, to control our appetites, and to rise above the lusts of the flesh and the evil and carnality that is everywhere to be found. We desire righteousness. We are thy people; pour out thy Spirit upon us.

The Logan Utah Temple

Logan Utah Temple Front View 1It must have been over 25 years ago that I first saw the Logan temple. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Utah Valley, but I didn’t make it over to Logan except for that one time. As I recall, my mom and I were driving my aunt to Utah State University for one reason or another.

I actually remember that trip quite vividly because of horses. I wasn’t really into horses like my other girls I knew. I still haven’t ridden one. But as we were driving to Logan, I was looking out the window on some grassland, the sun was shining through the clouds, and there I saw three horses galloping along in the rain. I was struck by the beauty of it. I don’t know why, but it stands out in my mind every time I think about Logan.

Logan Utah LDS TempleAnyway, as we drove into town, I was again struck by the beauty of the area. I wanted to live there, right then. Then as we were curving up a road toward campus, I saw the Logan Temple sitting up on that hill. It’s beauty and stature struck me, and I knew very strongly in that moment that it was a holy and powerful place.

Logan Temple - Looking UpFast forward almost three decades, and I was finally able to return to the Logan Temple, sitting up on that beautiful green hill. This time with my own children in tow.

We were in Logan so that my oldest, Michael, could go on a campus tour of USU. The timing of our trip was such that we could only be there on a day the temple was closed, but we were able to walk the grounds.

Logan Temple - SunshineThe Logan temple is the second temple completed in Utah, back in 1884. I’m still so in awe of what those early pioneers could accomplish. All volunteers, who had to support their families on top of building the temple over the course of seven years. There is a very detailed thesis about the history of the temple written by Melvin A. Larkin back in 1954. He writes about how after the temple site was dedicated, letters were sent to the bishops of the nearby wards requesting workers for the rock quarries. The letter, dated May 23, 1877 said:

Please send Monday next a thorough camping and quarrying
outfit for Green Canyon, with picks, shovels, crow bars, wedges,
etc. Say 4 good men, 1 team, 1 wagon also bring a no. 7 or 8
stove & furniture, one of your men bring a wife to cook for ten men.

Larkin goes on to say that on June 4, ten men and one woman showed up at the quarry and started working. The next day two more men showed up. They got to work immediately and within a week, rock was being hauled to the temple site.

I think that is the coolest. The church needed volunteers and they got to work.

Logan Temple Black and WhiteI think we would all be super willing to jump up and volunteer if we were called on today to build a temple or do some other grand thing. Then my mind goes to the small things that are sometimes harder to do than the grand gestures. Like our monthly assignment to clean the church building. Cleaning the bathroom stalls does not seem like a noble task, but could it be considered in some ways similar?

The Logan Utah TempleIn any case, our visit to the Logan Temple was wonderful. Carey couldn’t make it with us as he had to fly back to Oregon to work, so we’ll be back for sure.

Logan Temple Back View

Date Visited: July 30, 2017

Miles From Home: 726

Location: Logan Utah

Dedication:  May 17-19, 1884 by John Taylor; Rededicated March 13-15, 1979 by Spencer W. Kimball

From the Dedicatory Prayer: We ask thee to bless the nation in which we live and the rulers thereof, for we are persuaded, O Lord, that while great wickedness and corruption abound in all grades of society, that there are hundreds of thousands of honorable men who are desirous to do right and maintain the principles of freedom and the liberty of men, and who do not and cannot acquiesce in the measures taken by the thoughtless and uninformed, who seem to be desirous to injure Thy people, many of whom, however, through the circulation of misrepresentation and falsehood, do not comprehend the position which Thy people occupy, nor the principles by which they are governed. Enlighten their minds, we pray Thee, and lead them in the paths of life. Bless, we pray Thee, all the upright, the pure and virtuous who are seeking to maintain and sustain the glorious principles of freedom enunciated in the Constitution of the United States, and who are opposed to tyranny, misrule and oppression; and save this nation, O God, from the infamy, under guise of law, of being the spoliators and robbers of a virtuous, inoffensive and God-fearing people, in violation of their constitutional rights, and because they fear and reverence Thee and Thy laws but may this house be preserved unto us as a holy place wherein to worship Thee…

The Provo City Center Temple

Provo City Center Temple StatueI remember sitting at my kitchen table and crying as I watched the Provo Tabernacle burn. This was a special building to me. Growing up I attended several events there. And the spirit and history of it always tugged at my heartstrings. It just didn’t seem right to me that this could happen.

Fast forward to the October 2011 General Conference:

Cornerstone - Provo City Center TempleDo you remember that? Did your heart just explode when you heard the news like mine did?

As a side note, I just had to put this whole talk in by President Monson. He has been pretty weak for a while and it was good to remember his vibrant personality when I watched this.

The Provo City Center Temple is way up there on my list of favorites. To me its symbolism of rising from the ashes is just beautiful. Like it said in this video from the Mormon Newsroom- Saving what we thought was lost has enormous significance. It speaks to our deepest beliefs, that nothing is truly lost, and that all things can be made whole again.

Temple Grounds - Provo City Center TempleAs a family, we were able to hop over to Utah for its open house in 2016. This was the first temple open house for my children. I loved that they got to walk through it. It instantly became a special place for them as well.

Provo City Center Temple Looking UpOur most recent visit was the weekend of my brother’s wedding.

With us on this visit were my mom and dad, my sister, and my dear friend Kelly. I should do a whole separate blog post on Kelly. If you don’t know her, you’re missing out. She is the most genuine, loving, kind, fun person you could ever know. Here in this photo, you see Kelly with my mom and son. Kelly is in her element, kneeling at my mom’s wheelchair- talking and listening and loving and serving.

Family at Provo City Center Temple Grounds

We all met at the temple on this Saturday afternoon. There were so many people there. It seemed like half a dozen weddings were happening, a bunch of bridal photos, and just lots of people walking the grounds. Normally I like my space. But isn’t it great when so many people are at the temple? Everyone looked happy. It is truly a place of peace, inside and out.

The temple grounds are so gorgeous! The gardens were full of spring blooms and the trees were blossoming, it was just a perfect day.

Provo City Center Temple - Angel MoroniDate Visited: April 29, 2017

Miles From Home: 815

Location: Provo, Utah

Dedication:   March 20, 2016 by Dallin H. Oaks

From the Dedicatory Prayer: In this day of wickedness and selfishness, when men’s hearts fail them in turmoil and perplexities, we pray that Thou will blunt the powers of evil against Thy work and Thy children, and bless Thy covenant people with protection and strength to persist and stand fast in the works of righteousness.

The Provo Utah Temple

Provo Utah Temple Side ViewSo I’ve been going to the Provo temple my whole life. Up until the Mount Timpanogos Temple was built it was our assigned temple. And I think it is again for my parents. I did baptisms for the first time in Provo- way back around 27ish years ago.

Temple Hill was where my family gathered every year for the Fourth of July, where we’d watch the fireworks, play frisbee, and make good memories.

Ryan at Provo Temple

I still take my boys back there almost every year for the 4th. This year we’re missing it and I’m kind of sad about that.

I’ve brought my boys to this temple often just to walk around and it has become a family favorite. In fact it is my youngest son Ryan’s favorite temple.

Iphone taking photo of Provo Temple

On this particular visit we went with my dad and my sister, who was in town just like us for our brother’s wedding.

Like I said, we’ve been to the Provo Temple many times, but never have walked up on the grass on the back side. I wandered up there that evening and was greeted with such a beautiful and peaceful view. I (quietly) hollered down to my crew and told them to come join me. We sat there and watched the temple slowly light up as the sun set behind Utah lake off in the distance. It was one of those evenings you just don’t want to end.

Provo Utah Temple at dusk - rear viewGrowing up I loved the gold spire on the Provo temple. But I was so excited when, in 2003, they painted it white and added an Angel Moroni to the top. I thing is its the most beautiful thing to see him standing there, with the rugged Rock Canyon as a backdrop. And it just seems so fitting, as the temple is across the street from the MTC, and symbolizes the spreading of the gospel.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.”

Revelation 14:6

Provo Temple Looking UpAnd speaking of symbolism- let’s talk about the design of the Provo temple, which is a representation of the scripture in Isaiah 4:5-6 that says:

5. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.

6. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

How cool is that! Doesn’t it make you love it even more?!

Fountain at Provo TempleI’ve also heard it said that it looks like a fountain, as in The Fountain of all Righteousness.

Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

Ether 8:26

Provo Temple SpireDate Visited: April 29, 2017

Miles From Home: 815

Location: Provo, Utah

Dedication:  February 9, 1972 by Joseph Fielding Smith, but read by Harold B. Lee

From the Dedicatory Prayer: We look forward to the day, O our God, when thou wilt reveal unto thy servants where other temples shall be built in all the nations where thy saints increase in numbers and serve thee in righteousness. We know that all men are thy children, and we pray for the day when all who will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely and gain for themselves the fullness of the blessings that thou hast in store for all those who love and serve thee with all their hearts.


The Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple

Mount Timpanogos Temple _ Black and WhiteOf all the temples we have visited so far, this was my favorite visit. Why?

IMG_20170428_141233_284Because my baby brother got hitched!

We drove out to Utah for his wedding. It was a super quick trip. We left in the early evening on Wednesday and got home on Sunday. So we really only had two full days in Utah- one of which was filled with wedding festivities, and the other a few temple visits, a baby blessing, and lots of family time. We packed a lot into those two days, and it was such a fulfilling little trip.Mount Timpanogos Temple _ Looking Up

So my brother Matt is 15 years younger than me. He is a genius with music (have you heard of RKDN? If not, you will.), and also apparently with picking an eternal partner. I absolutely adore his new bride!

On the day of his wedding, in late April, it started snowing! It was a cold, windy, snowy day. But oh, so beautiful.Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple 2

With the exception of myself, all of my parents’ children have been sealed in the Mount Timpanogos Temple (Carey and I were sealed in Orlando). It is a special place for my family. We have done lots of work there through the years, and I’m sure I will return there many more times.

Mount Timpanogos Temple _ Angel Moroni

Date Visited: April 28, 2017

Miles From Home: 804

Location: American Fork, Utah

Dedication:   October 13–19, 1996 by Gordon B. Hinckley

From the Dedicatory Prayer: May it be a beacon of peace and a refuge to the troubled. May it be an holy sanctuary to those whose burdens are heavy and who seek Thy consoling comfort.


The Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple

Oquirrh Mountain LDS TempleGuys- it was snowing the day before this visit. Snowing. As you can see in the photos, it is a super sunny spring day. Crazy Utah weather. Thank heavens for the sun though, as at the time I was feeling incredibly ready to move away from Portland where we were experiencing the wettest spring in 70 years. I needed that sunshine, even if just for a day.

On this particular day we visited three temples- Oquirrh Mountain, Provo, and Provo City Center. Right before our visit here, to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, we were at a baby blessing for my newest nephew just a few blocks away. It seriously was the best day. Time with family and one of my dearest friends, three temples, and so much joy.

Oquirrh Mountain LDS TempleAnyway, Oquirrh Mountain. This temple is beautiful and in a great location up on a hill. You can see three other temples from the grounds. I mean, how cool is that! It was the 13th temple to be built in Utah, the fourth in the Salt Lake Valley, and the second temple in the city of South Jordan. Dude. Props to the members in Utah for needing so many temples- that means y’all are doing good!

I remember when President Hinckley announced this temple in General Conference back in 2005. They announced at the groundbreaking ceremony that it would be named after the Oquirrh Mountains that stood behind it.

Here’s an interesting tidbit- the Angel Moroni on top of the Oquirrh Mountain temple was struck by lightning during its open house, blackening his trumpet and face. It was replaced almost two months later, just before the temple was dedicated.

Oquirrh Mountain Temple UtahAnd speaking of the dedication- the cornerstone ceremony and first of the dedication sessions were on President Monson’s 82nd birthday. After he conducted the cornerstone ceremony, the crowd broke out in song, singing “Happy Birthday” to him. After they finished, President Uchtdorf finished by singing, “…and many more!”

Oquirrh Mountain LDS Temple Spire and Angel MoroniDate Visited: April 29, 2017

Miles From Home: 792

Location: South Jordan, Utah

Dedication:  August 21–23, 2009 by Thomas S. Monson

From the Dedicatory Prayer: Bless thy children throughout the world who know hunger, who have no shelter and who face daily suffering. May we reach out in a spirit of love and true charity to those who yearn for our help.

The Brigham City Utah Temple

brigham-city-lds-templebrigham-city-temple-steeple-side-viewWe visited the Brigham City temple back in 2015. We were actually on our way back to Oregon from a visit to my parents in Utah, and we decided to stop by on our way. Whenever we make the drive to Utah County – once or twice a year – we look for the Brigham City Temple. It’s the first of the Utah temples that we get to spot on our journey, and all of us just love how it seems to glow over there in the valley.

We visited on a perfect day. The sky was the perfect shade of blue, and it was warm. I may be remembering the warmth a little more fondly from where I sit right now because I am cold. It has been rainy and cold here in Portland and looking back at these photos kinda makes me want to move to a sunnier place.

Anyway- back to the post.

The temple sits directly across the street from the Box Elder Stake Tabernacle, often called
the Brigham City Tabernacle. I’ve gotta tell you- I was almost as enamored with this building as I was with the temple. It is gorgeous! I love its sort of simple yet Gothic style. Brigham Young chose the sight for it and laid the corner stone back in 1865. I wonder if he had any idea that 150 years later there would be a temple across the street.brigham-city-utah-lds-tabernacle

boyd-k-packer-gravesiteWe were there at the temple just a few days after President Boyd K. Packer’s funeral. He was originally from Brigham City, and was also buried there. We decided to go over and visit his grave while in town. It was a beautiful spot, and so solemn. Did you know that he’s buried right next to Lorenzo Snow? I’m so glad we were able to visit it. I have a thing for cemeteries, especially pioneer cemeteries. They hold so many stories and so many amazing people.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the temple, President Packer said, brigham-city-lds-temple-angel-moroni“I am home… I can see in my mind’s eye a temple sitting here in about two years time. It will be gorgeous, it will be white… It will be a beacon from all over the valley. ” The elementary school that President Packer attended was actually on the same plot of land where the temple now stands.

Date Visited: Pre-blog, July 11, 2015

Miles From Home: 718

Location: Brigham City, Utah

Dedication: September 23, 2012 by Boyd K. Packer

From the Dedicatory Prayer:  Bless any who seek peace and understanding to find them in this place of holiness.