Utah Needs Three More Temples
This post is in conjunction with my overall temple predictions for the upcoming 186th Annual General Conference, but perhaps with a bit more of a wink in the eye.
With the recent dedication of the Provo City Center Temple, Utah is now home to 17 temples. SEVENTEEN! That’s nuts. No matter how much I may tease the Beehive State, it keeps earning more temples. And yes, this is how we view important gospel matters: in terms of what is earned. Obviously.
I’ve long thought the Church timed construction on Provo City Center just right so that it could be temple No. 150. Not 149. Not 151. 150. Sorry, Tijuana and Fort Collins. 150 has a nice ring to it.
So how nice would it be for Utah to also get up to 20 temples in the state? Isn’t 20 better than 17? Of course it is. You know this. Math is good.
But it’s become pretty easy to see Utah as approaching maximum saturation when it comes to temples. Where on earth could we reasonably place one now and have it be full of patrons? That’s not an easy task. In real life, a lot of work and revelation goes into figuring out the best locations and how to maximize them to their fullest.
We know much more than demographics goes into the site selection of temples, but we also know that’s a big factor. And since we are not privy to the actual revelations involved in temple expansion, let’s stick with what we have and do our best to figure out where to put three more temples in Utah. I believe it is possible! It can happen!
This one is a given. This is one I actually believe in. The name “Layton” doesn’t carry a lot of caché, but the northern Wasatch Front is overcrowded when it comes to the number of stakes feeding into its temples. We should smooth that out.
Now we’re left with two slots. A fight to the end!
Ah, the quasi-secular US 189 corridor. Heber is small, but growing. Nearby Midway is a popular second home destination for many. And Park City is just up the road, with its whopping one stake. The number of units throughout this stretch isn’t really overwhelming, but there are enough to justify a small temple. All in favor of converting the Dairy Keen? Good.
Look, I still don’t know how to pronounce the name of this radioactive wasteland that gave us the Energy Solutions Arena and is probably home to the successor to Area 51. That said, I actually think the Tooele area could merit a temple. There are 11 stakes in the area, and members have to make an arduous-for-Utah trek to Oquirrh Mountain or Salt Lake to attend the temple. It’s not the end of the world, but do you really think these people are going to want to head east when they will eventually have to pass right by the new state prison?
Also, as a bonus, we won’t need to expend electricity to light the temple because the radiation will make it glow naturally!
Dang you, Utah County and your robust economy and continued growth. Blast you for finding ways to stay relevant when obsolescence should be thy name. Alas.
This little corner of Utah County keeps booming, and it won’t slow down anytime soon with tech companies moving in all over the place and the continued, unstoppable national allure of Thanksgiving Point.
There are over 20 stakes from Eagle Mountain over to the Lehi/Highland border. Considering more than that are left over to fill the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, there’s very little reason not to continue the westward push. Plus, UDOT is getting serious about the Mountain View Corridor.
And if not Lehi or Eagle Mountain, how about a temple right on a hilltop in Saratoga Springs, keeping vigil on that side of the lake? The only risk is wildfire, which admittedly seems to be an annual occurrence.
It’s not going to happen. There are two stakes around Delta and one in Fillmore. After that, we start picking off stakes that feed Manti or the future Cedar City. I’m mostly in this so that the “Delta Utah Temple” can confuse people into thinking Salt Lake City International Airport’s primary tenant somehow bought naming rights to a Mormon building.
West Valley City
At a cursory glance, it can seem that the Salt Lake Valley’s population is cleanly housed on each side of the valley, with I-15 splitting it. In reality, about the middle and eastern thirds represent the populated areas. The western third is largely empty, but it is going to grow. A lot. There are already two temples in the area: Jordan River (which is barely off I-15 so technically not in the western part of the valley) and Oquirrh Mountain (Daybreak forever!).
West Valley City or Magna or some heretofore unbuilt suburban sprawl could easily back a new temple in the area.
Given the sparsely populated areas in southeast Utah, plus the presence of the Monticello temple somewhat nearby, Moab doesn’t make a lot of sense, but hear me out. If we’re trying to stick to what is properly in Utah, Moab can pull in members from Grand Junction, Colorado. That’s my only play.
That’s it, right? I can’t possibly think of anywhere else that would get a temple. We have reached templus maximus. Midvale? No. Sandy? Nah. The Mt. Olympus area? Maybe.