A New Temple for South Utah County
It was on January 25, 2010, when I answered my cell phone to hear a very excited voice exclaim: “Dad, have you heard the announcement? We are going to have a temple in Payson.” “Sure, Stacy,” I replied, “and it is going to be in that vacant lot right next to my house, isn’t it!” “I’m serious” she said, and so she was. However, I had to satisfy myself that my daughter, in her childhood, had been paying attention to my lectures on always telling the truth. So, her skeptical father turned to his computer to verify her incredible claim. I googled “Payson Temple.” The first thing that came up on my monitor was a photograph of a house trailer topped by a steeple and a gold angel. Ah, hah! She was pulling my leg. However, further research soon revealed that yes, indeed, she knew more than I did. How embarrassing it was that she was ahead of me on this one.
Having served as an ordinance worker in the Provo Temple for more than ten years, my first thought was a selfish one: “Hooray! Soon, I’ll no longer have to get up in the early morning darkness and drive on icy roads for 20 miles from Payson to Provo surrounded by all those 18 wheelers and other sleepy and obnoxious drivers.” Wow! What a tiny sacrifice for me when I think of my ancestors who needed several days to make the trip from Beaver, Parowan and Toquerville to attend the St. George Temple. Or, when I think of those Tongan, Maori and Samoan saints that I met in Laie in 1954 who saved out of their meager incomes for a lifetime just to make one trip across the Pacific to visit the Hawaiian temple.
President Thomas S. Monson did in fact announce on this day plans for the construction of a new temple in Payson, Utah. Groundbreaking and site dedication would occur on October 8, 2011, under the direction of Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Beginning in July of 2010 and for the next eighteen months,
numerous meetings were held with Payson city officials to resolve legal issues before construction could be approved. On August 6, 2010, the deed which conveyed the site from the Denise Y. Dehart Revocable Trust to the Church was recorded by Utah County. At long last, on January 4, 2012, the temple plans were nally approved. What a delight it has been to sit on the back deck of my home just a few blocks away and watch this magnificent edifice rise from a beautiful site known as Payson’s South Meadows. The temple site consists of 10.63 beautifully landscaped acres. It echoes wonderfully the theme of so many of our temples by the fact that can be seen from so far away. The Payson temple is the fifteenth in Utah, the third in Utah County and number 152 for the Church in these latter days. It is also one of the larger ones, consisting of 96,630 square feet. On October 10, 2013, two years after the groundbreaking ceremony, hundreds of cameras were clicking away, sounding like crickets on a warm summer evening, as a golden replica of the Angel Moroni was hoisted more than 200 feet to the top of the temple. There, its stately presence welcomes visitors from all around the valley and beyond. 78,000 members of the Church in the Payson Temple District will now have access to a new temple closer to home. The exterior of the temple was completed in September. Work continues on the interior of the temple and on landscaping, fencing and other site work. e photograph you see here was made in late October, while the bright autumn maple leaves were still on the trees. is beautifully photograph is available as a framed print from Deseret Book in Spanish Fork and from Seagull Book in Spanish Fork and in Springville. Now, Church members and visitors are anxiously awaiting the open house and dedication which are expected to occur sometime in the rst half of 2015.
(Await o cial word from the Church for actual dates)
The Payson Utah Temple adds beauty to south Utah Valley.