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Temple Site

The Vernal Utah Temple is a historic landmark of the Ashley Valley landscape. Constructed inside the red-brick shell of the pioneer-built Uintah Stake Tabernacle, it is located just two blocks south of Main Street, where the domes of the temple and the steeple of the adjacent Vernal Utah Glines Stake Center are visible to travelers along Highway 191. Colorful flowers and beautiful mature trees on the temple grounds enhance the captivating architecture of the building.

Temple History

The Vernal Utah Temple was the first temple built from an existing building—the Uintah Stake Tabernacle. A modern temple was built within the shell of the gutted tabernacle, which had fallen into serious disrepair and had not hosted a stake conference since 1983. The Vernal Utah Temple was the tenth temple built in Utah.

1907 Uintah Tabernacle

Historic Uintah Tabernacle

At the dedication of the Uintah Stake Tabernacle on August 24, 1907, President Joseph F. Smith's words would prove prophetic when he said he "would not be surprised if the day would come when a temple would be built in your own midst here."

The Vernal Utah Temple is labeled 1907 and 1997, indicating the two years when the building was dedicated—first as a tabernacle and then as a temple.

The old dome of the Uintah Stake Tabernacle was removed and renovated into a gazebo, located at the Ashley Valley Commnunity Park. The Vernal Utah Temple was given two domes instead of one, as was featured on the tabernacle.



1997 Vernal Temple

The idea of converting the Uintah Stake Tabernacle into the Vernal Utah Temple was first proposed by leaders of the Vernal Utah Glines Stake to area authorities in 1984, but the proposal was eventually rejected by the First Presidency. Many other possibilities were pursued, and the building had even been put up for sale for a time. However, in 1993, the idea of a temple was proposed again. This time, it met with First Presidency approval.

Due to the narrowness of the building, a two-stage endowment room was innovated for the Vernal Utah Temple—a concept which has been used in many temples ever since.

The voices of the self-named "Vernal Tabernacle Choir" accompanied the services of the Vernal Utah Temple groundbreaking (or construction commencement) ceremony. The temple block was filled with throngs of people, nearly 12,000 in all.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Vernal Utah Temple, President Hinckley said that constructing a temple from an existing building was something "we've never done before and we are not likely to do again."

The Reader Home, a turn-of-the-century residence in Vernal, became the source of thousands of needed replacement bricks for the Vernal Utah Temple. The owner, a friend of another faith who planned to raze the home, agreed to donate it to the church instead. For two months, 16,000 bricks were painstakingly removed from the home and brought to the temple.

The eastern dome of the Vernal Utah Temple features a gold-leafed angel Moroni statue added on September 16, 1996. In an experiment, the statue had originally been painted gold. After four months, however, it was decided that the statue should be given the traditional finish of gold leaf.


Temple District

Vernal Temple celestial room

Northeastern Utah

  1. Altamont Utah Stake
  2. Duchesne Utah Stake
  3. Roosevelt Utah Stake
  4. Roosevelt Utah East Stake
  5. Roosevelt Utah West Stake
  6. Vernal Utah Stake
  7. Vernal Utah Ashley Stake
  8. Vernal Utah Glines Stake
  9. Vernal Utah Maeser Stake
  10. Vernal Utah Uintah Stake

Northwestern Colorado

  1. Craig Colorado Stake
  2. Rifle Colorado Stake

Southwestern Wyoming

  1. Green River Wyoming Stake
  2. Rock Springs Wyoming Stake

Presidents

Notable presidents of the temple include:

Access

Temple access is available to church members who hold a current temple recommend, as is the case with all operating Latter-day Saints temples. An adjacent visitors center is open to the public. An LDS Church meetinghouse is across the street on the East, which is also open to the public.

See Also

References


Vernal Utah Temple

Vernaltemple2.jpg

The Vernal Utah Temple, 51st operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a historic landmark of the Ashley Valley landscape. Constructed inside the red-brick shell of the pioneer-built Uintah Stake Tabernacle, it is located just two blocks south of Main Street, where the domes of the temple and the steeple of the adjacent Vernal Utah Glines Stake Center are visible to travelers along Highway 191. Colorful flowers and beautiful mature trees on the temple grounds enhance the captivating architecture of the building.

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