In two weeks, the same Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated two temples — on two different continents.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Orem Utah Temple today, Sunday, January 21, just seven days after he dedicated the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple on January 14.
The dedication of the Orem Utah Temple “marks a milestone in the progress of the kingdom of God on the Earth, and particularly in this vital part of His vineyard,” said Elder Christofferson.
The three-story, 71,998-square-foot temple is Utah’s 19th dedicated house of the Lord; another nine temples await dedication or are under construction.
Elder Christofferson was accompanied by his wife, Katherine. Also participating were Elder Patrick Kearon of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Jennifer; Elder Hugo Martinez, General Authority Seventy and First Counselor in the Utah Area Presidency, and his wife, Nuria; Elder Kevin R. Duncan, General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Nancy; and Elder Jonathan S. Schmitt, General Authority Seventy and assistant executive director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Alexis.
Elder Christofferson said Latter-day Saints can find heavenly help and eternal perspective through their temple attendance.
“What had seemed overwhelming and impossible can, with the Lord’s help, find resolution, and we are more certain of His help,” he said. “…In short, with our time in the temple we have been refined, even if only in a small degree, and heaven is that much closer.”
Elder Christofferson noted that Latter-day Saints first entered the Orem area when Brigham Young sent several dozen families to establish Fort Utah along the Provo River in 1849.
The city wasn’t named until 1919, when “Orem” was chosen in honor of Walter C. Orem, who was president of the electric railroad than ran between Salt Lake and Provo.
Ten years later, Elder Stephen L. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles created Orem’s first stake, the Sharon Stake. “Explosive” population growth led to many more stakes and to the creation of the Utah Orem Mission.
“Today we dedicate this magnificent temple, a testament to the faith of many generations, with the promise of more faithful, covenant-keeping generations to come,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Robert T. Smith, an Area Seventy, said the announcement of a temple in Orem by Church President Russell M. Nelson in 2019 “was a joy and an unexpected, miraculous surprise” for Orem Saints, especially because other temples were nearby.
In Utah, the Orem temple is one of the 28 temples dedicated or under construction or being renovated. Elder Smith said that during a recent visit to the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple, he looked out from the building’s east side and saw several other temples.
“I feel like we’re living in the days when the revelations of the prophets are bringing to pass the prophecies of old and the inspired feelings of faithful Church members. This beautiful temple is part of fulfilling that prophetic destiny,” Elder Smith said.
During the past few years, the Church has been renovating its three pioneer-era temples. The St. George Utah Temple was rededicated on December 10, 2023, and work is continuing on the Salt Lake and Manti temples. The six other Utah temples under construction are Deseret Peak, Ephraim, Heber Valley, Lindon, Smithfield and Syracuse.