Nauvoo Illinois Temple

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple is the 113th dedicated temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It is the third such temple that has been built in Illinois (the original Nauvoo Temple and Chicago Illinois Temple being the others).

Nauvoo Illinois Temple
DedicationJune 27, 2002, by Gordon B. Hinckley
Site3.3 acres (1.3 ha)
Floor area54,000 sq ft (5,000 m2)
Height162 ft (49 m)
Official websiteNews & images
Church chronology

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Nauvoo Illinois Temple

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Additional information
AnnouncedApril 4, 1999
GroundbreakingOctober 24, 1999, by Gordon B. Hinckley
Open houseMay 6 – June 22, 2002
Current presidentRichard A. Irion (2016–2019)
Designed byFFKR Architecture[1] based on design by William Weeks
LocationNauvoo, Illinois, U.S.
Geographic coordinates40°33′01.5″N 91°23′04.4″W / 40.550417°N 91.384556°W / 40.550417; -91.384556
Exterior finishLimestone block quarried in Russellville, Alabama
Temple designGreek revival
Ordinance rooms4 (four-stage progressive rooms)
Sealing rooms6
Clothing rentalYes
Visitors' centerYes
NotesBuilt on the site of the Nauvoo Temple and dedicated on the 158th anniversary of the death of Joseph Smith, the exterior is an almost exact reconstruction of the original temple. Primary difference is weather-vane has been replaced with a statue of Moroni. However, the interior has 4 progressive ordinance rooms with murals like those in the early Utah temples leading to the celestial room and 6 sealing rooms.

History Edit

Located in the town of Nauvoo, the temple's construction was announced on April 4, 1999, by church president Gordon B. Hinckley.[2] Groundbreaking was conducted on October 24, 1999 and the cornerstones were laid November 5, 2000. The structure itself was built in the Greek Revival architectural style using limestone block quarried in Russellville, Alabama. It is built in the same location as the original structure that was dedicated in 1846.

The origins of the temple go back to 1937. In that year, Wilford C. Wood purchased some of the land on behalf of the LDS Church and purchased another piece of land that he later sold to the church. He also organized a group of church members from the Chicago Illinois Stake, co-led by Ariel S. Williams, to clear and beautify the recently purchased land. At the time, the Chicago Stake was one of only two east of the Mississippi River.[3]

Wood purchased land in 1951 that included a house which was made a visitors center for the temple site. In the late-1950s, and then in 1962, agents for the LDS Church completed the purchase of the temple lot.[4]

Exterior design and decoration Edit

The building measures 130 feet (40 m) long, 90 feet (27 m) wide, and 162 feet (49 m) tall to the top of the statue of angel Moroni, which sits atop the temple spire, in a pattern similar to the Salt Lake Temple. It has an area of 54,000 square feet (5,000 m2). It is the only temple owned by the LDS Church today that has a bell tower, although the Kirtland Temple also has a bell tower. The angel on the first Nauvoo temple was a weather vane, sculpted of metal. The figure was positioned horizontally as if it were flying, clothed in a robe and cap. The angel held a book in one hand and a trumpet in the other.

Church leaders and architects carefully worked to replicate the original exterior design of the 19th-century temple, which was damaged by an arson fire in 1848 and by a tornado on May 27, 1850. It was consequently condemned and demolished by the Nauvoo City Council. Construction materials and furniture were derived from the original design as well.

Interior design and decoration Edit

The interior floor plan of the temple is noticeably different from the original structure in which the endowment ceremony assumed its present format. At the direction of Joseph Smith, the west end of the attic story was divided by cloth partitions into four spaces used to administer the endowment. One of the canvas "rooms" was decorated with potted plants to suggest the Garden of Eden.

The Salt Lake City Endowment House and early Utah temples, each with a series of four ordinance rooms through which patrons moved during the presentation of the endowment, followed this layout. The first three rooms were decorated with murals representing, the creation of the world, the Garden of Eden, and the world after the fall of Adam and Eve. The fourth room, known as the Terrestrial Room, was ornately decorated but lacked murals. The Los Angeles California Temple, dedicated in 1956, was the last temple with this layout. Subsequent temples presented the endowment in one or two rooms without murals adorning the ordinance rooms. The use of murals resumed again in 2001 with the opening of the Columbia River Washington Temple.[citation needed]. The Nauvoo Illinois Temple, a throwback to the four room layout, is the sole exception, as it has the four-room progressive format with murals decorating the first three rooms.[citation needed]

Open house and dedication Edit

After the temple was completed, a public open house from 6 May to 22 June 2002 attracted over 250,000 visitors to tour the temple. The completion and official dedication took place on June 27, 2002, on the anniversary of the death of Joseph Smith, the church's founder.

Up to 1.5 million visitors a year have visited Nauvoo since the temple opened in 2002.[5]

In 2020, like all the church's other temples, the Nauvoo Illinois Temple was closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.[6]

Presidents Edit

Notable presidents of the temple include Richard W. Winder (2002–04) and Spencer J. Condie (2010–13).

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Nauvoo Illinois Temple", Church News
  2. ^ Hinckley, Gordon B. (April 4, 1999). "Thanks to the Lord for His Blessings". Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  3. ^ Don F. Colvin. Nauvoo Temple: A Story of Faith. BYU Religious Studies Center, Chapter 13
  4. ^ Colvin, Nauvoo Temple
  5. ^ Dennis, Jan (August 22, 2006). "Mormon temple a tourism draw for tiny Nauvoo". USA Today. AP.
  6. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher. "All Latter-day Saint temples to close due to coronavirus", The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 March 2020. Retrieved on 28 March 2020.

External links Edit

Temples in the United States Midwest
Red = Operating
Blue = Under construction
Yellow = Announced
Black = Closed for renovation edit