The Cedar City Utah Temple is opening its doors to the public beginning on Friday, Oct. 27. As part of the free guided tours of Utah’s 17th temple, visitors will walk through the main rooms, including the baptistry, an instruction room, a sealing room, the celestial room and the bride’s room.
“When they approach the temple, they’ll be able to find different elements within the architecture that they’ll find similar to some of the other historic buildings and temples that are in southern Utah,” said Mark Berry, project manager of the temple, in a press release. “We tried to make sure that we brought that pioneer feel.”
Part of sticking to design elements native to the area, the Cedar City temple’s color palette draws from the rich colors and textures of southern Utah. Native flowers and juniper berries are incorporated into the design.
“We have a lot of art glass that you can see from the exterior windows,” Berry said. “And in some of the design of that art glass from the exterior is a flower design. It’s kind of a columbine flower that is found in the high mountain valley areas … in southern Utah.”
While the woodwork and stone come from outside of Utah — there is African mahogany and sapele woodwork and stone and tile flooring from Israel, Turkey, Spain and Iran — the design elements hold true to the southern Utah feel.
“There are elements into the stone that are red in nature, and they kind of depict the colors that we find in the natural stones and formations here in southern Utah that help us pull together this pioneer feel in this area,” Berry said.
Eight original pieces of art inside the temple depict the local landscape or the ministry of Jesus Christ. Then there are two of four historic windows that were recovered and donated to the Church from the Astoria Presbyterian Church in Queens, New York, when the building was razed in 2008.
“They set a tone of reverence as you enter, and as you go through the temple you’ll be able to feel the Savior here,” said Berry. “You’ll be able to understand that this is the house of the Lord, that this is a place for learning.”
Keeping with the local feel, the LDS Church chose native plants and traditional ornamentals suited for the mountain climate, including 225 trees, more than 2,200 shrubs and hundreds of perennials and annuals, as part of the landscape design.
On April 6, 2013, President Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of the Cedar City Utah Temple at general conference. The LDS Church broke ground for the temple on Aug. 8, 2015. As the 159th operating temple of the Church worldwide, the Cedar City Utah Temple will serve approximately 45,000 Latter-day Saints in 17 stakes in southern Utah and eastern Nevada.
The temple is located at 280 South Cove Drive on more than eight acres of land in a residential area in Cedar City. It will be dedicated on Sunday, Dec. 10 in several sessions at 9 a..m, 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. The dedication will be broadcast for members of the Church at meetinghouses in the temple district. Prior to the dedication, about 4,500 local youth will participate in a cultural celebration at the Southern Utah University America First Event Center on Dec. 9.
The Cedar City Utah Temple Open House runs from Friday, Oct. 27 through Nov. 18 with tour times available on every day of the week except Sunday. Reservations for the complimentary open house tickets are available online at templeopenhouse.lds.org.