RELIGION

‘I stand in awe’: Church leaders prepare to rededicate historic Manti Utah Temple

Mar 11, 2024, 6:26 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2024, 12:29 pm

MANTI — Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in central Utah are celebrating as their historic pioneer-era Manti Temple opens its doors to the public.

The Manti temple was dedicated in 1888, 136 years ago, becoming the third temple the Church opened in Utah. It sits majestically on a hill and can be seen for miles by those coming into town.

“It really is a beacon. It really is a light on the hill,” said Camille Johnson, General Relief Society President of the Church.

The Manti Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Courtesy Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

For the past two and a half years, the temple has been shut down for renovation.

A new entrance and gathering space were added on the north side, along with a bride and groom exit. The landscape was also upgraded with new plants and trees.

Chapel inside the Manti Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Courtesy Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

Other upgrades included a new marriage waiting room, additional lockers, and refreshed carpet, paint and furniture in selected areas. The project also involved restoring many of the original murals and other furnishings to life.

The exquisite woodwork, flooring, drapery, paint, spiral staircase and baptismal font can all transport visitors back in time.

The celestial room in the Manti Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Courtesy Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

“This Manti temple is one of the great architectural masterpieces of the Church,” said Emily Utt, the Church’s historical sites curator with the Church History Department. “The most exciting thing for me is the conservation and the restoration of the murals. These murals took months and a lot of detail and hard work from conservators working in one-inch squares cleaning these murals and getting them bright and clean and just the way they looked when it first opened.”

Elder Jonathan S. Schmitt, a general authority and the assistant executive director of the Temple Department, said it’s amazing to think that it was built by hand.

“I stand in awe as I think about the pioneers in the Sanpete Valley at that time. Most of them lived in small homes with dirt roofs, but out of their poverty, they sacrificed and consecrated everything to build this magnificent house of the Lord,” Elder Schmitt said.

The Manti Utah Temple will be rededicated in one session on Sunday, April 21 at 5 p.m. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Latter-day Saints in Sanpete County also helped hand stitch the padding on chairs, getting a little taste of what the pioneers may have gone through so many years ago to build their place of worship.

“They consecrated their talents, efforts and energy to build this historic temple while they were running farms or herding cows or sheep,” Johnson said.

The public open house runs from March 14 to April 5, excluding Sundays. The temple will be rededicated on April 21.

You can make a reservation for the public open house on the Church’s website.

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‘I stand in awe’: Church leaders prepare to rededicate historic Manti Utah Temple