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Church Announces Modifications To Salt Lake Temple, Manti Temple Renovations

This plaza at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is closed for renovations to repair the leaking top deck of the plaza that sits atop a parking garage for employees. The project will include new landscaping to complement the Salt Lake Temple. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Several modifications will be made to the Salt Lake Temple renovation project to increase capacity and will impact live sessions, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced.

Church leaders also announced there will be an upgrade to the Manti Temple, making it the third pioneer-era temple to be renovated.

According to a statement, there will be a second baptistry added to the Salt Lake Temple – making it the first temple with two baptistries. Additional instruction and sealing rooms will be  added, and the temple cafeteria will be discontinued. The changes will increase the building’s capacity.

“Storied but aging murals” in both the Salt Lake and Manti temples will also be removed, according to the Church.

Over the years, the murals have sustained water damage and other deterioration. Sections were in poor condition and beginning to crumble after being repaired and repainted many times.

“It was impossible to know whether the murals could be preserved during such a move,” according to the statement.

The murals have been carefully photographed and documented, and some original portions will be preserved in the Church’s archives.

Changes will allow temple instruction to move from a “live presentation conducted in several different rooms to single-room film presentations,” the statement said. The Salt Lake and Manti temples were among the last in the Church to hold live sessions.

“From the time our pioneer forebears arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the vision for, construction of and worship in the Salt Lake Temple have held a special place in the minds and hearts of Church members,” wrote President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring in a statement. “The building is a symbol of our love for the Savior Jesus Christ. It is now being renovated and upgraded so that it may continue to fill that role for many, many years.”

The Manti Temple renovations are set to begin later this year, Church officials said, and will include mechanical updates and other changes to “prepare the temple to serve for generations.”

President Nelson during the April 2019 general conference also announced plans to renovate Logan Temple.

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