“We Shall Have Temples Built”: Joseph F. Smith and a New Era of Temple Building

By Gary L. Boatright Jr.

Gary L. Boatright Jr., “We Shall Have Temples Built”: Joseph F. Smith and a New Era of Temple Building,” in Joseph F. Smith: Reflections on the Man and His Times, ed. Craig K. Manscill, Brian D. Reeves, Guy L. Dorius, and J. B. Haws (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013), 303–19.

“We Shall Have Temples Built”: Joseph F. Smith and a New Era of Temple Building

Gary L. Boatright Jr.

 

Gary L. Boatright Jr. is a historic sites curator for the Church History Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.

 

On July 26, 1847, two days following his arrival in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, Brigham Young designated the location where the Saints would build a temple. [1] Young explained to the Saints, “We must be situated in local circumstances wherein we can efficiently administer in those ordinances of the house of God that cannot be administered to a people while they are scattered abroad among the nations of the wicked.” [2] To accomplish this, Church leaders encouraged the Saints around the world to come to the Great Basin. But notwithstanding this call to gather, Church leaders anticipated the day that the Church would build temples around the world. [3]     

In 1877, thirty years following the arrival of the first Saints to the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young dedicated the St. George Temple. In 1884, the Church celebrated the completion of the Logan Temple in northern Utah, and four years later the dedication of the Manti Temple, completed in 1888. Then, after forty years of construction, President Wilford Woodruff dedicated the Salt Lake Temple, which was built on the location selected by Brigham Young forty-six years before. These temples, along with the Endowment House, provided the gathered Saints with the opportunity to receive the ordinances of the temple, yet they also had to serve those living in areas outside of the Mormon core.

The call to gather to the Intermountain West slowly faded in the waning years of the nineteenth century, and leaders began to encourage Saints to build up the Church in the areas where they lived. As this philosophy gained momentum, pockets of Church membership began to grow around the world. Among these were strong communities of Latter-day Saints in southern Alberta, the Pacific Isles, Arizona, and northern Mexico. The members living in these areas had long desired to have temples constructed closer to their homes.

Building on the doctrinal foundation of early leaders and on the push for financial stability led by Lorenzo Snow, President Joseph F. Smith guided the Church into a new era of temple construction. Recognizing the need to provide all members, not just those living in Utah, with the ordinances of the temple, Smith directed an effort to build temples in southern Alberta and Hawaii. He also hoped for a temple for the Latter-day Saint colonies in Mexico, but when those were abandoned, his attention shifted to the possibility of a temple in Arizona.

Additionally, the architectural designs of these sacred structures strikingly announced the Church’s departure from the pioneer era of temple construction and its entrance into the twentieth century. Architects took the best building elements of the four pioneer-era temples, improved upon them, and eliminated other components that came to be considered unnecessary.

As Church membership grew around the world and the call to gather diminished, those members living great distances from the four Utah temples hoped for the day when other temples would be built closer to them. This hope became a reality as the Church emerged from the constricting shackles of debt and improved its financial stability. With resources now available, Joseph F. Smith led the Church into a new era of temple construction. The concepts developed in the site selection and construction of the three temples discussed in this chapter have influenced temple construction ever since. [4]

Looking Forward to a Temple

For many years, Latter-day Saints living in the outlying communities of southern Alberta, Hawaii, and Arizona had hoped for, made reference to, and even prophesied of the building of temples in their areas. In June 1887, just days following the arrival of Saints in the area that is now Cardston, Alberta, Jonathan E. Layne addressed a congregation of Saints gathered for Sunday services and predicted that “temples would yet be built in this country. . . . I could see it as plain as if it already was here.” [5] A year later, Elder John W. Taylor, an Apostle, stated while in Cardston, “I now speak by the power of prophecy and say that upon this very spot shall be erected a temple to the name of Israel’s God.” [6] As the Latter-day Saint communities in southern Alberta grew, local Church leaders reserved two possible locations in the towns of Cardston and Raymond for a future temple.

Hawaiian Latter-day Saints, like their counterparts in southern Alberta, also anticipated the day when a temple would be built. In April 1853, the Deseret News published a letter from Henry W. Bigler, who was in the Hawaiian Islands, to George A. Smith. Bigler asked, “Do you think these Saints [in Hawaii] will ever be gathered to California or in the Valley of the Mountains? or will they gather on these Islands, and have Temples built, &c.” [7] Sixty-four years later, after visiting the temple construction site at Laie in 1916, John A. Widtsoe wrote, “Many persons have foreseen the coming of the temple at Laie.” He continued by explaining that George Q. Cannon, during a visit to the islands in 1900, had “declared that he believed the time was near at hand when the temple ordinances would be enjoyed by the people of the Hawaiian Islands.” [8]

As early as 1870, Church members in Arizona had hoped for a temple in their area. More than twenty years before the formal announcement of the construction of the Mesa Arizona Temple, Helena Roseberry, a widow residing in Pima, Arizona, gave five dollars to Apostle Moses Thatcher for the construction of a temple in her area. [9] Additionally, according to tradition, Elias S. Kimball, then the president of the Southern States Mission, prophesied during a visit to the Mesa area in 1897 that the Church would build a temple there. [10]

Just before the turn of the twentieth century, Joseph F. Smith toured the Latter-day Saint settlements in Hawaii, southern Alberta, Arizona, and Mexico. [11] During these trips it is likely that he heard firsthand the desires of local leaders and members to construct a temple closer to their communities. Speaking at a ward meeting in Stirling, Alberta (approximately forty-five miles northeast of Cardston), Smith went so far as to say that “temples would be built here.” [12] Into his presidency, Smith continued to visit the Saints around the world and became the first sitting Church President to visit the Saints in Europe. Wherever he went, Smith counseled Church members not to gather with the Saints in the American West but to stay and build up the Church in their native lands, despite not being able to benefit from all the programs of the Church, including participating in temple work. [13]

Despite the hope that the Church would build temples in outlying Latter-day Saint communities, the reality remained: there were only four temples, and they were all in Utah. For those outside of Utah, traveling to and from one of these temples was difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. In April 1901, Joseph F. Smith addressed this issue in general conference:

There never was a time, until within the last few years, when the Latter-day Saints had access to four temples [Logan, Salt Lake, Manti, and St. George] in which to administer the ordinances of the Gospel for the living and the dead; and those four are becoming too distant—at least, the people are becoming so numerous in distant parts of the country that even though we have four temples in which to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, there are thousands of our people who are practically deprived of the privilege of enjoying them, because they are so far removed from them. Under these circumstances, I foresee the necessity arising for other temples or places consecrated to the Lord for the performance of the ordinances of God’s house, so that the people may have the benefits of the house of the Lord without having to travel hundreds of miles for that purpose. [14]

But despite the need and the desire to build more temples, the Church simply lacked the resources to do so.

Heavily in debt at the turn of the century, Church leaders made a number of moves to ground the Church on more stable financial footing. [15] Initially, Church leaders began focusing their efforts on encouraging members to live the principle of tithing. During meetings throughout southern Utah in 1899, President Lorenzo Snow pleaded with Latter-day Saints to pay a full tithe. Payment of tithing became a constant theme in discourses given by Church leaders in general conference and other meetings over the next few years. [16] In a 1901 discourse, Joseph F. Smith addressed the topic. He stated, “I hope to see the day when . . . non-tithe payers will add their mite to the tithes and offerings of the Church, in order that there may be more substance in the storehouse of God with which to meet the necessities of the work, and give the servants of the Lord an opportunity to do far more good than they have means to do with today.” [17] And in addition to the increased emphasis on tithing, the Church also purchased interest in a number of businesses whose profits helped to fill Church coffers, providing the Church with additional resources to fund its operations. [18]

Church leaders succeeded in securing Church finances. Historian Thomas G. Alexander has determined that the Church gained a 5 percent increase in revenue between 1900 and 1907. [19] This allowed Joseph F. Smith, speaking as President of the Church, to announce in 1907, “Today the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owes not a dollar that it cannot pay at once. At last we are in a position that we can pay as we go. We do not have to borrow any more, and we wont [sic] have to if the Latter-day Saints continue to live their religion and observe this law of tithing.” [20] With the finances of the Church solidified, the possibility of funding the construction of more temples became a reality.

Between 1899 and the 1907 announcement that the Church was free from debt, Smith continued to address the need to take temples to distant members. In the opening address of the October 1902 general conference, Smith stated:

We also feel that when the time shall come and our hands shall be free from the obligations that now rest upon us, other places should be prepared for the convenience of the Latter-day Saints in more distant stakes, in order that those who are living at great distances from the center may have the privilege of receiving the ordinances of the Gospel without being put to the great expense and loss of time that is necessary now in journeying from 500 to 1,000 miles in order to reach the houses of God. We hope to see the day when we shall have temples built in the various parts of the land where they are needed for the convenience of the people. [21]

However, despite the importance of temple work and the desire to build temples closer to the people, the demand to fund many other Church projects substantially multiplied. Higher-priority projects, possibly including those slated for Church headquarters (the Hotel Utah and the Church Administration Building), delayed other plans that leaders considered important. [22] As a result of this and other construction and investment projects (meetinghouses, tabernacles, business ventures, and so forth), it would be another ten years before Smith’s desire to build temples closer to the people came to fruition.

The Alberta Temple

Edward J. Wood, president of the Alberta Stake, was in Salt Lake City attending the October 1912 general conference. “To the surprise of us all,” Wood recorded, “[President Joseph F. Smith] announced that the Church would build a Temple in Canada and took a vote on it which received the especial support of all present.” [23] Elder Benjamin Goddard reported that the announcement came “in response to the pleas of the people” and that it “indicate[d] how the people are craving for blessings, for the true path of life and salvation.” [24] The following day, the Deseret News announced, “The temple will be built . . . just as soon as possible, and at a point within the province of Alberta, Canada, to be decided upon later, and of such a character as to meet the needs of the people of the section in which it will be constructed.” Continuing, the paper reported that President Smith said, “The proposition to build a temple for the benefit of the Latter-day Saints who live at remote points had been under consideration by the Church authorities for some time.” Smith gave “assurances . . . that the structure would be of sufficient size to amply take care of all the requirements of the people in the section where it is to be built.” [25]

Shortly following the announcement, the First Presidency authorized the Presiding Bishopric to invite architects to submit drawings as part of a competition to select the design of the temple. The invitations included guidelines regarding architectural elements that were required and some that were not needed (for example, a large assembly room or towers) for the new temple. These instructions significantly contrasted with the temples built during the pioneer era, all of which had a large assembly room and at least one tower. By excluding these building elements, which were unnecessary for the completion of vital ordinances, the Church could reduce overall construction costs. In all, seven firms responded to the invitation to submit designs for the temple and sent their proposals to Church headquarters by the December 24, 1912, deadline. [26]

After reviewing the submissions, Church leaders selected the design of Hyrum C. Pope and Harold W. Burton of Salt Lake City. Their design radically differed from anything the Church had previously built. The Deseret News stated that Pope and Burton’s aim was to “conform to the peculiar requirements of such a building rather than to imitate any style.” [27] The chosen architects meticulously kept to the guidelines established by the Church and even met with Church leaders to better understand what the leaders envisioned for the new temple. Anthon H. Lund recorded that Hyrum Pope met with him, President Joseph F. Smith, and Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley on October 28, 1912, in the Manti Temple. “We went through all the rooms,” Lund wrote, “and estimated the size of the rooms needed in the Canada Temple.” [28]

Pope and Burton’s design, inspired by the works of renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and pre-Colombian architecture found in Central and South America, challenged any preconceived notions of what a temple should look like. The drawings of the fortress-like structure, with no towers, must have surprised many readers of the Deseret News, which printed the drawings on January 1, 1913. But despite the influences on their work, Pope and Burton’s drawings exhibited an architectural uniqueness. Architectural historian Paul L. Anderson wrote, “To say that the temple was influenced by the work of other architects does not imply that it was lacking in originality. Indeed, Pope’s and Burton’s great achievement was their ability to use the newest and best design ideas in a way that was particularly appropriate for a Latter-day Saint temple.” [29] Writing of the architecture of the temple in 1923, the year of its dedication, Joseph Young Card described the temple thus: “Impressive and unique, it occupies a distinctive place of its own in the historic field of architecture. It has the Grecian massiveness, a Peruvian touch, and is similar only to the ancient temples of the Aztecs.” He went on to say that of all the “temples erected by the Latter-day Saints, there is no other of similar exterior design.” [30]

The floor plan also represented a significant change in temple design. Because Church leaders had determined that a large assembly room was not needed, interior space could be more efficiently utilized for the presentation of ordinances. The architects wrapped ordinance rooms around the center of the structure, with each room slightly elevated above the other and the celestial room in the center and highest point of the building. This design reflected the “perfectly logical and simple” thought of the architects while adding a symbolic undertone of progression as patrons would steadily move upward toward the celestial room. [31]

The architects also incorporated artwork throughout the new temple. As had been done in the four Utah temples, the Church commissioned artists to paint elaborate murals in the ordinance rooms and in other areas of the temple. This work brought together the best painters in the Church, bringing their own styles and adding artistic diversity throughout the temple. The Church also looked to emphasize beautification of the exterior of the building and commissioned Torleif S. Knaphus to create a frieze for the temple entitled The Samaritan Woman at the Well. Originally located outside the temple walls, the frieze was visible to all in front of the temple. Over time, additions to the structure have enclosed it, and the frieze now stands in the entrance lobby of the building.

The Hawaii Temple

As work progressed on the temple in Cardston, President Joseph F. Smith explained the Church’s decision to build a temple in Alberta. He shared with the congregation of the October 1915 general conference the story of a young man from northern British Columbia who had recently returned from a mission and who was penniless. Shortly after his return, he found a good woman to marry, but he lacked the means to travel to a temple to be sealed. In a situation like this, President Smith stated, “All we could do was say to him: ‘Go to the nearest bishop or elder of the Church that you can find, and with our permission and approval ask him to unite you in marriage for time, and as soon as you are able to reach a temple . . . go.’” Smith continued, “Those who are in these circumstances will not be compelled to waste all their substance in travel to come to a temple here [in Utah].” Smith then briefly alluded to his desire to build a temple in Mexico. He then spoke of Church members “away off in the Pacific Ocean” who lacked the means to travel to Utah, and then announced the following: “We have come to the conclusion that it would be a good thing to build a temple that shall be dedicated to the ordinances of the house of God, down upon one of the Sandwich [Hawaiian] Islands, so that the good people of those islands may reach the blessing of the House of God within their own borders.” [32] The congregation unanimously supported the decision to build the temple in Laie on the island of Oahu.

Unknown to most of the congregation, President Smith had selected and dedicated the site of the temple on June 1, 1915, four months before the announcement in conference. To the small group gathered at the site that day, Smith stated, “I feel impressed to dedicate this ground for the erection of a Temple of God, for a place where the peoples of the Pacific Isles can come and do their temple work.” [33] He explained further that he had not discussed this with any members of the Quorum of the Twelve, nor his counselors in the First Presidency, and then proceeded to dedicate the site for a temple on the Church-owned plantation in Laie. Elder Reed Smoot, who accompanied Smith on this visit, recorded, “I am positive it is the first step towards the erection of a small temple here in Laie wherein the Hawaiian Saints as well as the saints of other Islands of the Pacific can have their temple ordinations, sealings, baptisms, etc attended to.” [34] Considered by Hawaiians “as their local Zion” and as “the spiritual center of the Church,” Laie proved to be an ideal location for a small temple. [35]

The Church again turned to architects Pope and Burton to design the temple. They were tasked to design a temple similar to that done for Alberta (without a spire or assembly room, and so forth), except that the temple for Hawaii should be smaller, reflecting the size of the population it would serve. Rather than simply create a smaller version of the Alberta Temple, Pope and Burton designed a structure to complement the landscape of the site.

Like the Alberta Temple and other structures designed by Pope and Burton, the design for the Hawaii Temple was heavily influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and closely resembles his Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois. Pope and Burton drew additional inspiration from the ancient ruins of Central and South America and later compared the finished temple to the ancient temple in the Holy Land. “If the now generally accepted equivalent for the cubit, the ancient unit of measure, is correct,” Pope wrote in 1919, “then the principal portion of this famous edifice of antiquity [Solomon’s temple] had about the same cubical contents as the Temple in Hawaii.” [36]

Like the Alberta Temple, sculpture was used to beautify the exterior of the building. Joseph F. Smith asked sculptors J. Leo and Avard Fairbanks to create sculptures “representing the Four Great Gospel Dispensations,” which together would “not only tell a story but also . . . adorn or decorate the upper part of the temple.” [37] Painters were also commissioned to decorate and beautify the interior of the temple, providing an artistic setting for temple patrons participating in ordinance work.

The Arizona Temple

As previously discussed, Joseph F. Smith desired to have a temple built in the Latter-day Saint colonies in Mexico. But a number of events led to the eventual abandonment of the colonies in the early twentieth century, thus eliminating the need—for the time being—for a temple in northern Mexico. Concurrently, the reality of building a temple in Arizona gained momentum as Church membership grew in the area. Shortly following his call as the Maricopa Stake president in March 1912, James W. Lesueur remembered, “I was in Salt Lake City in April 1912, asking that a Temple be erected in Mesa, Arizona. . . . A year later, [the First Presidency] expressed willingness to have a temple built and said they would come down and look over sites” in Mesa. [38] In the fall of 1913, Smith and other Church leaders traveled to the Mesa area to tour potential sites for a temple, but with resources devoted to the temples in Alberta and Hawaii as well as other projects, and with the outbreak of World War I, the temple for Arizona had to be postponed. [39]

Seven years later, on October 1, 1919, Heber J. Grant announced that the Church would at last construct a temple in Mesa, Arizona. The Church again held a design competition and selected that of Don Carlos Young Jr. and Ramm Hansen. The design, as described by Paul L. Anderson, “was an essay in dignified and restrained classical style.” He noted that the architects drew much of their inspiration “from monumental public buildings of the previous two decades.” [40] Included in the design were many of the features found in the Alberta and Hawaii Temples, one of which was the efficient design of the interior floor plan. Regarding this, Anderson stated that the design was “based on the classical principle of strict symmetry and circulation paths and major rooms arranged along a central axis”—nearly mirroring that of its immediate predecessors. [41]

Like the temples in Cardston and Laie, sculpture also decorates the exterior of the Mesa Arizona Temple. Latter-day Saint artist A. B. Wright sketched four panels which Torleif Knaphus sculpted in plaster of paris. The four pieces, located at the corners of the temple near the top, were “intended to portray the gathering of Israel from the four corners of the earth in the last dispensation of the fullness of time.” [42]

Conclusion

The Hawaii Temple, the second temple announced by President Joseph F. Smith, was the first temple completed in the twentieth century. President Heber J. Grant offered the dedicatory prayer on November 27, 1919, just over a year following the death of Joseph F. Smith, which occurred on November 19, 1918.

Following ten years of construction, and four years after the Laie dedication, Grant dedicated the Alberta Temple on August 26, 1923. Its completion had been delayed by a number of things, including World War I.

The Arizona Temple took just over five years to complete and was dedicated on October 23, 1927, also by Grant. Two years following its completion, with the United States entering the Great Depression, the Church’s temple-building efforts paused out of necessity and were not renewed until the announcement of the Idaho Falls Temple in 1937.

In the one hundred years since the announcement of the Alberta Temple, the successors of Joseph F. Smith have expanded upon the principles of temple construction exemplified during the early twentieth century. President David O. McKay, during his nearly two decades of leadership, significantly expanded temple building efforts around the world and oversaw a change in their design in order to increase efficiency, which is reflected in the temples built in Ogden and Provo, Utah. [43] Temple construction continued to expand modestly around the world during the 1980s and early 1990s, with varying designs of temples. And, in 1997, under the direction of President Gordon B. Hinckley, the Church announced that it would once again build a number of small temples in “areas of the Church that are remote, where the membership is small and not likely to grow very much in the near future.” [44] This led to many more temples being erected in various locations around the world.

Today the Cardston, Laie, and Mesa Temples stand as monuments to the vision held by President Joseph F. Smith of taking the temple to faithful Latter-day Saints wherever they may be. The enduring designs of these three temples stand unique as timeless examples of Latter-day Saint architecture and are celebrated by the communities they serve and by all Church members everywhere. [45]

Notes

[1] See Randall Dixon, “Wilford Woodruff and the Site of the Salt Lake Temple,” unpublished paper presented at the Mormon History Association Conference in Provo, Utah, in 2004.

[2] Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854–86), 12:162.

[3] Brigham Young stated, “To accomplish this work there will have to be not only one temple but thousands of them, and thousands and tens of thousands of men and women will go into those temples and officiate for people who have lived as far back as the Lord shall reveal.” Journal of Discourses, 3:372. Wilford Woodruff declared that temples would be built across “North and South America—and also in Europe and elsewhere” around the world. See Journal of Discourses, 19:229–30.

[4] Historians have long written about the history of the temples in Cardston, Laie, and Mesa separately, without looking at the common influences leading to their locations and designs. For example, each was built in an area with a large, faithful population of Church members, and each temple’s design was based on the efficient use of both space and funds. For publications regarding the Cardston Alberta Temple, see Paul L. Anderson, “First of the Modern Temples,” Ensign, July 1977, 6–11; Richard O. Cowan, “The Alberta Temple: Seventy-five Years of Service,” in Regional Studies in LDS Church History: Western Canada, ed. Dennis A. Wright and others (Provo, UT: Department of Church History and Doctrine, 2000), 239–50; V. A. Wood, The Alberta Temple: Centre and Symbol of Faith (Calgary, AB: Detselig Enterprises, 1989). For publications regarding the Laie Hawaii Temple, see Paul L. Anderson, “A Jewel in the Gardens of Paradise: The Art and Architecture of the Hawai'i Temple,” in Voyages of Faith: Explorations in Mormon Pacific History, ed. Grant Underwood (Provo, UT: BYU Press, 2000), 147–63; Mormon Pacific Historical Society, Proceedings, Ninth Annual Conference Mormon History in the Pacific, May 21, 1988; Joseph H. Spurrier, “The Hawaii Temple: A Special Place in a Special Land,” in Mormon Pacific Historical Society, Proceedings, Seventh Annual Conference Mormon History in the Pacific, March 1, 1986, 28–40; George Whisenand, “An Architect’s View of the Mormon Temple at Laie,” Hawaii Architect, May 1978, 10–11, 18–19. For publications regarding the Mesa Arizona Temple, see Paul L. Anderson, “Desert Imagery and Sacred Symbolism: The Design of the Arizona Temple,” Journal of Mormon History, Spring 2005, 71–98; Richard O. Cowan, “The Historic Arizona Temple,” Journal of Mormon History, 31, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 99–118; Evan Tye Peterson, comp., The Ninth Temple: A Light in the Deseret (Orem, UT: Granite, 2002). Moreover, scholarship addressing the larger scope of temple construction during and immediately after the Joseph F. Smith era is limited. In his work Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890–1930, Thomas G. Alexander discusses a number of changes the Church made as it entered the twentieth century, including giving attention to the Church building program. However, he glosses over the importance of the construction of the temples built in Alberta, Hawaii, and Arizona. In the epilogue, Alexander states that the three new temples, along with the many meetinghouses and tabernacles built by the Church during this period, “were the signs of stability and prosperity . . . constructed through the efforts and sacrifice of church members over three decades.” See Thomas G. Alexander, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890–1930 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 307. In his 1997 publication Temples to Dot the Earth, historian Richard G. Cowan shares the Church’s history of temple building and highlights Joseph F. Smith’s influence on the Alberta and Hawaii Temples, but groups the construction of the Mesa Temple with the building of the Idaho Falls Temple, ignoring its connections to the Joseph F. Smith era. See Richard G. Cowan, Temples to Dot the Earth (Springville, UT: Cedar Fort, 1996), 119–46. Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton group the Cardston, Laie, and Mesa Temples together: “The greatest skill and most generous funding which the church afforded was put into that [the Salt Lake Temple] and subsequent temples, each representing its period and, in some way the feelings and concerns of the members at that time: . . . the early twentieth-century temples in prairie style, with motifs reminiscent of Central American Indian architecture, in Cardston, Alberta, Mesa, Arizona, and Laie, Hawaii.” See Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 2nd ed. (Urbana and Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1992), 266.

[5] Quoted in Lethbridge Stake, A History of the Mormon Church in Canada (Lethbridge, Alberta: Lethbridge Herald, 1968), 47.

[6] Quoted in V. A. Wood, The Alberta Temple: Centre and Symbol of Faith (Calgary, Alberta: Detselig Enterprises, 1989), 27.

[7] Henry W. Bigler to George A. Smith, October 3, 1852, in “Foreign Correspondence,” Deseret News, April 2, 1853.

[8] John A. Widtsoe, “The Temple in Hawaii: A Remarkable Fulfillment of Prophecy,” Improvement Era, September 1916, 955–56.

[9] Harry T. Payne, “History of the Arizona Temple,” Church History Library, 1992, 11. The author does not provide source information for his statements.

[10] “Temples of Our Lord: Ancient and Modern,” Genealogical and Historical Magazine of the Arizona Temple District 2, no. 2 (1925): 38.

[11] Joseph Fielding Smith, The Life of Joseph F. Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938), 305–7, 311–13.

[12] Stirling Ward Historical Record, Book A, November 8, 1899, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, 5.

[13] James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 471.

[14] Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, April 1901, 69.

[15] Alexander, Mormonism in Transition, 99–100.

[16] Allen and Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, 453–55.

[17] Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, April 1901, 71.

[18] See Alexander, Mormonism in Transition, 74–92; Richard O. Cowan, The Latter-day Saint Century, 1901–2000 (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1999), 38.

[19] Alexander, Mormonism in Transition, 100.

[20] Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, April 1907, 7.

[21] Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, October 1902, 3.

[22]The Church built the Hotel Utah between 1909 and 1911 and the Church Administration Building between 1914 and 1917. It is probable that the Church expended funds on these projects prior to the start of actual construction. It is important to note that the Hotel Utah also provided income for the Church. See Alexander, Mormonism in Transition, 100.

[23] Edward J. Wood, journal, October 4, 1912, holograph, Edward J. Wood Collection, 1884–1982, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

[24] Benjamin Goddard, in Conference Report, October 1912, 102.

[25] “Church Will Build Temple in Alberta, Canada,” Deseret News, October 5, 1912.

[26] “Approved Design for Temple in Alberta Province,” Deseret News, January 1, 1913.

[27] “Approved Design for Temple in Alberta Province.” The design of the Alberta Temple is generally regarded as that of the Prairie style influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright.

[28] John P. Hatch, ed., Danish Apostles: The Diaries of Anthon H. Lund, 1890–1921 (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2006), 489. 

[29] Paul L. Anderson, “First of the Modern Temples,” Ensign, July 1977, 10.

[30] “Alberta Temple Is Masterpiece of Construction and Finish,” Lethbridge Daily Herald, August 27, 1823.

[31] Paul L. Anderson “A Jewel in the Gardens of Paradise: The Art and Architecture of the Hawai’i Temple,” in Voyages of Faith, 150.

[32] Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, October 1915, 8.

[33] Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 421; see also Harvard S. Heath, ed., In the World: The Diaries of Reed Smoot (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 273–74.

[34] Heath, Diaries of Reed Smoot, 273. Smoot recorded that Bishop Charles W. Nibley felt the Church should “erect an Endowment House or Temple in Laie.” He believed that Joseph F. Smith’s dedicating the site for the Hawaii Temple was the “first step towards the erection of a small temple here in Laie.” See Heath, In the World: The Diaries of Reed Smoot, 273.

[35] R. Lanier Britsch, “The Conception of the Hawaii Temple,” in Proceedings, Ninth Annual Conference: 21 May 1998 (Provo, UT: Mormon Pacific Historical Society, 1988), 21.

[36] Hyrum C. Pope, “The Temple in Hawaii,” Juvenile Instructor, November 1919, 576.

[37] J. Leo Fairbanks, “The Sculpture of the Hawaiian Temple,” Juvenile Instructor, November 1921, 575. Of the four temples originally built with exterior friezes, Harold Burton was involved in the design of three of them: Cardston, Laie, and Oakland.

[38] James W. Lesueur, “Autobiographical Notes of My Life,” 1939, Church History Library, 59–60.

[39] James W. Lesueur, “The Arizona Temple,” Improvement Era, October 1927, 1064.

[40] Paul L. Anderson, “Desert Imagery and Sacred Symbolism: The Design of the Arizona Temple,” Journal of Mormon History, 6, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 84.

[41] Anderson, “The Design of the Arizona Temple,” 86.

[42] “Arizona Temple: Architect’s Description,” Genealogical and Historical Magazine of the Arizona Temple District, January 1924, 15.

[43] See Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005), 256–78.

[44] Gordon B. Hinckley, “Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, and Missionary Service,” Ensign, November 1997, 49.

[45] In 1992, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada listed the Cardston Alberta Temple as a National Historic Site of Canada. The Mesa Arizona Temple is the anchor of the Temple Historic District, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the year 2000. The Laie Hawaii Temple, though not listed on any national or local historic registers, is cherished as an important architectural and historic building of the Church.