Wonderful granite structure of The Salt Lake LDS Temple was constructed over a period of 40 years, from the laying of the cornerstones on 6 April 1853 to the dedication on 6 April 1893.
The location for the temple was first marked by Brigham Young, the priest and second president of the church, on July 28, 1847, just four days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. The temple site was dedicated on February 14, 1853. Groundbreaking ceremonies were presided over by Brigham Young, who laid the cornerstone on April 6 of that year. The Salt Lake LDS Temple is the centerpiece of the 10-acre (4.0 ha) Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build with its highly ornate interior being completed in just a year. The walls of the Salt Lake Temple are nine feet thick at the base and six feet thick at the top. The Salt Lake Temple features beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls of its progressive-style ordinance rooms: Creation Room, Garden Room, World Room, Terrestrial Room (no murals), and Celestial Room (no murals). Rich symbolism adorns the exterior of The Salt Lake LDS Temple, depicting mankind’s journey from mortality into the eternal realms.
- The Angel Moroni depicts both a messenger of the restoration of the gospel and a herald of the Second Coming: “for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds”( Revelation 14:6).
- The three towers on the east side represent the First Presidency of the Church and the Melchizedek Priesthood; the twelve pinnacles rising from the towers represent the Twelve Apostles. The three towers on the west side represent the Presiding Bishopric and the Aaronic Priesthood; the twelve pinnacles rising from the towers represent the High Council.
- The castle-like battlements that surround the temple symbolize a separation from the world as well as a protection of the holy ordinances practiced within its walls.
- The Earthstones, located at the base of each buttress, represent the earth—the “footstool of God.”
- The moon is depicted in its various phases around the temple. The changing moon can represent the stages of human progression from birth to resurrection.
- The sunstones depict the sun—a symbol of the glory of the celestial kingdom.
- High above the sunstones on the east center tower are two clouds with descending rays of light. Once temples were dedicated in ancient Israel, they were filled with the “cloud of the Lord.”
- Six-pointed stars represent the actual stars in the heaven. Upside-down five-pointed stars represent morning stars, compared to the “sons of God” in the scriptures. The large upright five-pointed stars may represent the governing power of the priesthood while the small upright five-pointed stars may represent the saving power of the priesthood for those who attach themselves to it.
- Located atop each of the center towers of the temple is the all-seeing eye of God, which represents God’s ability to see all things.