SALT LAKE CITY — The locations of two future temples in Orem and Taylorsville were announced Wednesday in a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Orem Utah Temple will be located on a 16-acre site near 1471 South Geneva Road in Orem, about a four-minute drive from Utah Valley University. It will be a three-story temple with a center spire covering about 70,000 square feet. A 20,000-square-foot meetinghouse will be built nearby.
"I'm just so excited to have a temple coming to the city of Orem, and we love what it's going to do for our city. It will be a beacon of light," said Orem Mayor Richard Brunst, who noted that he thought the church wasn't going to announce the temple's location until March.
The temple will serve not just the Orem area, but Vineyard and Lindon, as well, he explained. Those areas are growing quite rapidly, and a new temple will help serve the coming population surge.
According to Brunst, 70% of Orem are members of the church, and the temple will be "a real blessing" to the area. Brunst claims he felt an impression that Orem would have and would need a temple, so he contacted the church and requested one for the area.
"I'm excited to see that the day has finally come," he said. "It will be gorgeous."
The Taylorsville Utah Temple will be located on a 7.5-acre site at 2603 W. 4700 South in Taylorsville. It will be a three-story temple with a center spire covering about 70,000 square feet. A church meetinghouse already located at the site will be removed but won't be replaced.
"Many people worship (in that meetinghouse), so it's just exciting to know that they'll be worshipping there for years to come," said Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson.
The temple will be easily accessible from I-215, and prominent in the city and the valley, Overson added.
"When the church builds an edifice, it enhances the community. So we're very excited to have it invigorate the rest of the area in our community," she said. "We understand there will be some challenges, but we're happy to roll up our sleeves and work side-by-side with the church to make this a success."
Design plans for the temples are still in development, and project leaders will soon begin working on preliminary plans with city officials. Exterior and interior renderings of the temples will be made public later. Groundbreaking dates have not yet been set.
Leader of the church, President Russell M. Nelson, first announced construction of the two temples during the organization's biannual general conference in October. The location of the McAllen Texas Temple, which he also announced in October, was revealed Wednesday, as well.
Utah currently has 17 operating temples. In addition to the Taylorsville and Orem temples, temples in Layton, Tooele Valley and Washington County have been announced. A new temple in Saratoga Springs is under construction. The Salt Lake Temple is set to close for renovation Dec. 29. It will be closed for four years.
Faithful Latter-day Saints believe temples are sacred houses of God where families can be bound for eternity, even after death. Only members who abide by the standards of the church may enter and perform sacred ceremonies.
Contributing: Mary Richards, KSL NewsRadio