Ground broken for Smithfield Utah Temple

Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Mary, along with Elder Gary E. Stevenson and his wife, Lesa, and other guests ceremonially turn the dirt at the Smithfield Utah Temple groundbreaking ceremony in Smithfield, Utah, on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Courtesy: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

SMITHFIELD — After more than a year since its announcement, construction officially began for the Smithfield Utah Temple Saturday morning as leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a ground breaking ceremony. Elders Quinton L. Cook and Gary E. Stevenson, members of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, were both in attendance and participated.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson shares his remarks at the Smithfield Utah Temple groundbreaking ceremony in Smithfield, Utah, on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Courtesy: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Elder Stevenson said it was no coincidence that he and Elder Cook, who both grew up in Cache Valley, were asked by the First Presidency to conduct the ceremony. He noted how residents here have a strong respect for their ancestors, especially those who were pioneers and crossed the plains to settle the area.

We remember and honor our ancestors by name through the work that is done in temples,” said Elder Stevenson, “even this Smithfield Utah Temple to be constructed. Our theology suggests no nobler gesture, no greater gift, than that of sacred ancestral temple ordinances, tying our hearts to our ancestors.”

He noted that the Smithfield Temple will be the 26th in the state. There are 172 dedicated temples worldwide in operation, with two more opening this weekend in Hong Kong and Cape Verde. It is estimated that 85 percent of the Church’s membership lives within 200 miles of a temple.

Ceremonial shovels on display at the Smithfield Utah Temple groundbreaking ceremony in Smithfield, Utah, on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Courtesy: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Elder Cook said the 2020 Census of American Religion showed 64 percent of Cache County residents are members of the Church, the second highest percentage in the state. He expressed appreciation for the early valley settlers and their dedication in establishing the communities here.

I love this beautiful valley,” said Elder Cook. “I have seen much of the world but this peaceful valley, surrounded by these majestic mountains always feels like home to me. It is among the most beautiful places on earth.”

The Smithfield Utah Temple was announced in April 2021 by Church President Russell M. Nelson.

Plans call for a three-story structure of about 81,000 square feet. It will be built on a 13.3-acre site at the intersection of 800 West and 100 North, south of Birch Creek Elementary School and northwest of the Blue Sox baseball fields.

In November 2021, the Church released a rendered drawing of what the exterior will look like. The illustration showed the light-colored temple will have a similar look as the Logan Temple, including round arches over the entryways and top floor windows. One other noticeable similarity is a single bulkier spire without the gold covered statue of an angel that the Church identifies as Moroni. The statue occupies a prominent place on many other temples throughout the world—symbolizing the restoration of the Church.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shares his remarks at the Smithfield Utah Temple groundbreaking ceremony in Smithfield, Utah, on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Courtesy: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

During the dedicatory prayer, Elder Cook expressed a desire that the temple will be a “beacon light” to the communities of northern Cache Valley. Also that it will be a source of peace, hope and joy.

“Please bless old and young alike,” prayed Elder Cook, “that they will prepare themselves and seek out their kindred dead. We pray that for the members, this will be a time for renewal, recommitment and preparation.”

Attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony was by invitation only, limited to around 500 residents and special guests. The proceedings were also broadcast to members in the temple district.

See a photo gallery of the day’s events:


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24 Comments

  • Joseph Smith June 18, 2022 at 4:41 pm Reply

    It breaks my heart to think about where the tax free dollars, the ones milked from duped cult members, could be spent to help the poor and disenfranchised. Instead, build another recruitment tool so they can continue the con and make lifelong donors of the all too foolish victims. Sad. So sad.

    • KA June 18, 2022 at 4:56 pm Reply

      Yeah, but at this point I have a hard time feeling sorry for them. It’s like the same rubes who still give Trump money. They deserve to be fleeced at this point.

      • Free Bird June 19, 2022 at 11:26 am Reply

        I highly doubt anyone with a brain, would take financial advice from a libtard, and a feminist.

        • skeetr June 22, 2022 at 9:34 am Reply

          You seem sound of mind and respectable.

    • Quinton VanWeerd June 20, 2022 at 4:26 pm Reply

      I don’t think realize the millions of pounds of food given throughout the world. Poor, disenfranchised, disaster relief (no matter of their religion and status in the world), they would even help you if needed.

      • skeetr June 22, 2022 at 9:36 am Reply

        A few years back, I think the amount of humanitarian relief paid by LDS inc. leaked via loose lips in a moment of pride was $40MM.
        Quite substantial, something to feel the spirit about for sure.
        Until you also realize the holdings which were also leaked at a prior date and have only grown were in excess of $100BN.

  • Lehi June 18, 2022 at 6:44 pm Reply

    This was in my dream, the “Great and Spacious Building” with hundreds of people pointing and laughing at those of us clinging to the Rod of Iron……

  • Nephi June 18, 2022 at 11:15 pm Reply

    Yes Lehi your dream is just as relevant today as it was back then but today the great and spacious building is much bigger and filled with those who have a hatred for the church. Many of those who are in the great and spacious building once had a hold of the iron rod but lost their way and are playing their part in your dream. There is no place better than the temple and I can’t wait until the Smithfield Temple is completed and I can attend. Hope to see you there.

    • skeetr June 22, 2022 at 9:38 am Reply

      hatred for ones abusers is quite common, not something to be mocked. the great abomination does protest loudly

  • St. George June 19, 2022 at 6:58 am Reply

    Thats gonna take a ton of concrete and provide jobs for hundreds over a couple of years.

    • skeetr June 22, 2022 at 9:38 am Reply

      likely a family business, the family of someone in the brass section so to speak

  • All Aboard June 19, 2022 at 9:32 am Reply

    No Angel Moroni? Is that part of the new, more Christian, less Mormon direction?

  • AKH June 19, 2022 at 12:25 pm Reply

    Cue the Scrooge McDucks. Who even cares what other people do with their lives, time, money or freedoms? I’ll live my life, you live yours, and in the end one, both, or neither of us will have been right/wrong.

    • Dan June 22, 2022 at 9:51 am Reply

      Hahaha like the mormons have any desire to let other people live their lives and keep their time, money, and freedoms. Do you live in a cave?

      • AKH June 22, 2022 at 3:33 pm Reply

        I didn’t say anything about Mormons living this way; because you are right, they don’t. I said I choose the let others live their lives, and I’ll live mine.

        • Joseph Smith June 22, 2022 at 11:10 pm Reply

          You’re not doing a very good job of letting people just live how they want. In fact, your commenting on this message board would be quite the contrary.

          What a hypocrite.

  • Joseph Smith June 20, 2022 at 12:05 pm Reply

    Hearing a mormon say “who even cares what other people do with their lives” is comedy gold. If I had 10% of a dollar every time a mormon (or any other religion for that matter) stuck their snout in other people’s business – hell, I’d be as rich as a church. The mormons have been active in influencing politics and the activity of everyone around them since the moment their religion was made up.

    Also, as a fellow human, I’m also torn on my obligation (on a human level) to protect people who don’t have the ability to help themselves. When Bernie Madoff was taking unassuming people for millions, shouldn’t the person who is wise to his con help the victim? Or should people like Madoff just be able to get away with it? If someone was taking advantage of a child, the elderly, or a mentally handicap person be stopped? Or should we just mind our business and let them get away with it? I say we have an obligation.

    • An Invitation for Introspection June 21, 2022 at 1:04 am Reply

      “Joseph Smith,” obviously you seem to have some deep-rooted resentment towards the LDS church as it is reflected in almost all of your comments I have read on this website. Since you’re soliciting obligatory warnings directed towards those who “can’t help themselves,” I wonder if you understand as why you are so wrapped up in the news and activities of the Mormon church? Why do you let them get to you? By relinquishing the control you have over your thoughts and emotions, you have given your power over to the church, do you realize that? By getting so angry and unleashing your anger upon those who choose to contribute to a religion, you are controlled by them and their actions. I don’t go to the LDS church, though I have family and friends who are members and who find joy, happiness and purpose in being active in the church. Just because I have chosen a different path to understand who God is doesn’t give me any right to ridicule and condemn those who walk on another path. There are good people and there are bad people to be found in all religions and in all human organizations precisely because we are human, and we are flawed. We have the capacity to choose to treat others well because we feel better about ourselves as human beings when we do so; when we conduct ourselves with dignity it makes us feel good whether or not the recipient “deserves” it. And who are we to decide what sort of “treatment” another deserves? I, too, at times fall into the same trap as everyone does, yet we don’t have to let an organization, or past experiences dictate how we will behave. Just a thought.

      • skeetr June 22, 2022 at 9:41 am Reply

        I challenge you to tell me one choice or area of your life that your 19th century conman’s cult has no influence in. I’ll wait.

        When this extends to control the local policy of the government of the land, via ‘church broke’ (their words in leaked recordings, research it) politicians who take their orders from Q12, then yes issue will be taken with public news in regards to this vile institution who seeks to control all.

        • An Invitation for Introspection June 22, 2022 at 12:20 pm Reply

          Every single area of our individual lives are dictated by wealthy and powerful organizations, whether overtly known or covertly hidden from the public view; every single aspect. Our destinies have already been planned for by corrupt organizations under the guise of “democracy” or the “common good.” That local, state, national, and international structure has been in place long before anyone contributing to this message forum was ever conceived. Once we recognize that corrupt and demonic structure exists and is what controls and influences policy, social programs, wars, conflicts etc, then we begin to have the capacity to conduct ourselves in accordance with whatever our allegiance may be. I for one, prefer to be part of the solution, to try and get others to realize that they (we) are being played. To get others to realize that by producing and contributing more anger, resentment, and discord to the already volatile situation that describes this world and the individual communities of which it consists, only fulfills the overarching goal of increased hatred, increased anger and social/political/religious division that’s being driven by those in power. Distractions are their driving force; I refuse to play their game and I choose to treat others with respect, honesty, and kindness untill they give me reason to cease. That includes understanding that most people are ignorant of the real forces that dominate our world and our world view. People need to wake up and realize that we are being divided along mythical and carefully constructed lines of religion, race, gender/sex, class, etc and see the big picture of what these skiffs and conflicts actually accomplish, and who benefits from our engaging in them.

          • Joseph Smith June 22, 2022 at 3:21 pm

            I read your reply and then the next reply and I’m puzzled. I feel like we are saying the same exact thing. You just don’t like the way I said it. A lot of us (as I mentioned in my initial post) are controlled by social/political/religious puppet masters: agreed. And, you’re right, I do post about mormon news more than other religions: they are in the news locally much more frequently. But I feel as strongly about any other organized religion and their ultimately ulterior motives and usually try and say as much. They are all dishonest and one of the worst parts of society – worldwide. Religion and lack of education have dulled a good portion of our countries brains, making them easily susceptible. And, if you would have read the second paragraph of my post, I’m asking – from a humanitarian level, what is my obligation to my misguided brothers and sisters? I’m nice. I think you have me twisted. My descript posts of the silliness or flat out villainous behavior of individuals or organizations might sound mean spirited, but I’m really doing it out of concern. See it to be more like a strong CLAP to wake up someone or gain attention than anything else.

    • AKH June 21, 2022 at 7:34 am Reply

      Except that I’m not a mormon, just a person with common sense and respect for everyone’s right to do as they please. But good luck with your assumptions and bitterness.

  • skeetr June 22, 2022 at 9:47 am Reply

    I feel like the single shovel of pre-turned dirt while standing on laid out AstroTurf in suits is a perfect analogy for no-sweat leadership living cushy lives that is this local sect of religious waste. Unpaid clergy, my apostate ass!

  • An Invitation for Introspection June 23, 2022 at 12:33 am Reply

    “Joseph Smith,” I agree, we are on the same page and probably see things in a similar way; religion is quite likely the main (if not only) aspect where trying to “wake up the masses” if you will, does not work. It is futile to attempt to even try. You can present the inherent contradictions in doctrine vs practice, present numbers that signify the church’s wealth and asset acquisition, along with plenty of other data that clearly disproves and displays the phony religion for what it is, yet people will still believe in it regardless. Individuals need to experience something personally, or someone close to them needs to experience, a shattering of their worldview in order for people to even attempt to formulate a question as to why they have been duped by their leaders, and to what purpose their ignorance has served. I can’t say with certainty that every single person in the leadership of the church has ulterior motives, I believe there are some who probably have the best of intentions. Yet those at the top of the power structure know full well what they’re doing. Just as Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, so do those in the top positions of leadership. I know God exists. I also know he knows what is in our hearts; he also knows what is in our minds, and he knows each of these things, and more, better than we do. I have come at others in anger, compassion, empathy, and reason to try and show them that they are being led astray by the very people in whom they have put their faith and to no avail. It was only until something happened, or something that could not be explained away, nor brushed aside by church leaders when people were able to see things for what they actually are, until then, all your attempts to wake them up will only be met with frustration and futility. I guarantee that. Most people (not even religious people) don’t have the moral courage to stand out, to ask questions and to go against the grain for fear of being rejected and alone. Most people don’t want to know the truth about what’s really going on in the world because they either lack the capacity to understand, or the mental and moral stamina to stand strong on their own two feet. When people lack intellect, moral courage, and confidence they won’t look at facts, or data, or anything that shakes their comforts on which they rely for their identity and worth. They will continue to plug their ears, shut their eyes, and carry on with what they have deemed to be safe. Take it or leave it.

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