Update: On June 19, 2020, the First Presidency approved that the name of the Washington County Utah Temple be changed to the Red Cliffs Utah Temple.
The temple, which was announced in October 2018 by Church President Russell M. Nelson, will be built on a 14-acre site located northeast of 3000 East 1580 South in St. George, Utah. Plans call for a three-story temple of approximately 88,000 square feet.
Red Cliffs Utah Temple will be the name of Washington County's second temple, which has previously been known by the project name Washington County Utah Temple. #redcliffstemple #redcliffsutahtemple #washingtoncountytemple #washingtoncountyutahtemple pic.twitter.com/iicRmv3ZuC
— Church of Jesus Christ Temples (@cofjctemples) July 11, 2020
This will be the city’s second temple. The St. George Utah Temple, which was dedicated in 1877, closed November 4, 2019 for an extensive renovation. The temple is expected to reopen sometime in 2022.
Detailed design plans for the Red Cliffs Utah Temple are still being developed. Further information — including interior and exterior renderings — will be made public later. A groundbreaking date has not been set yet. Project leaders will soon start working with city officials on preliminary plans for the temple, and they will begin filing public documents in the coming months.
As Tad Walch of the Deseret News said, “St. George is famous for the red sandstone cliffs that rim the city. The 60,000-acre Red Cliffs Desert Reserve north of the city is famous as a back drop for movies and is a transition zone between the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau. The reserve offers hikes in slot canyons and petroglyphs 45 minutes from Zion National Park.”
Utah currently has 17 operating temples. In addition to Washington County, temples have also been announced in Layton, Orem, Saratoga Springs, Taylorsville, and Tooele Valley. Temples in southern Utah include Monticello, Cedar City and St. George.
Preliminary construction activity has settled down at the #WashingtonCountyUtahTemple site where earth movers have worked for weeks to build up the grade of the property, creating a level mound for the temple and compacting the ground for future roadways.https://t.co/seCXQDaV1q pic.twitter.com/rx4o7ypbmZ
— Church of Jesus Christ Temples (@cofjctemples) June 25, 2020
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord” and the most sacred places of worship on the earth. Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses (chapels). All are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at local meetinghouses. The primary purpose of temples, however, is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies such as marriages that unite families forever and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity while living.