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St. George Temple

When the Mormon pioneers arrived in Utah, they left behind two holy temples – one in Kirtland, Ohio, and one in Nauvoo, Illinois. Work began on a temple in Salt Lake City in 1853, but was delayed for various reasons. Desirous of having a temple built in the new Mormon territory before his death, Brigham Young chose St. George as the site where the goal could best be accomplished. Work on this unique structure, located three blocks east and five blocks south of here, began in November 1871. The majestic white landmark was dedicated in April 1877.

The project was a cooperative effort of all the communities of southern Utah. Similar to a public works project, it served as employment for people when money and provisions were scarce. Workers (as many as 250 at one time) obtained food for their families in return for their labor. Those living farther away furnished food stuffs and other commodities as their contribution to the project.

Difficulties were encountered throughout the six years of construction. In spite of water and sink holes in the gypsum soil, Brigham Young could not be persuaded to change his mind about the site. A major drainage system was built, and volcanic rock from black ridge to the west was hauled in and tamped deep into the earth with a 1,000-pound cannon dropped from a hoist. The building’s walls are of the same red sandstone found in the Tabernacle one block south of here.

When it was built, the temple stood alone, a good distance south of the town. It is said that Brigham Young declared the temple would one day stand in the center of the city. That day has long since come.

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Here’s another page about this temple.

This is S.U.P. Marker #72.08, for other markers in the series visit this page.  Other markers in the series located here in the St George Memorial Plaza are: