MANTI, Utah — In a special address to members in Sanpete County, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new temple to be built in Ephraim and modifications to previous renovations for the Manti Temple.
Renovations for the 133-year-old Manti temple were announced in the April 2019 general conference. The temple's multi-year renovation plan includes mechanical updates and other changes to prepare the temple to serve for generations.
In addition, plans to eliminate the multi-room "member experience" presentations by live actors and plans to remove historic murals inside the temple were announced.
In the days after the announcement, thousands of members signed a petition, "Save the Manti Temple Murals" to ask church leadership to reconsider their decision. They said the murals are meaningful to the community and decedents of the artists.
President Russell M. Nelson said in his recorded address on Saturday that the murals will stay where they are located now.
“As we have continued to seek the direction of the Lord on this matter,” President Nelson said in his recorded address. “We have been impressed to modify our earlier plans for the Manti Utah Temple so that the pioneer craftmanship, artwork and character will be preserved, including the painted murals loved by so many. We will leave those murals where they are located now — inside the Manti Utah Temple.”
In addition to renovation modifications, leaders announced a new temple will be constructed in Ephraim Utah, which is less than 10 miles away from the Manti Temple.
Temple Department Executive Director Elder Kevin R. Duncan said in the meeting, “We are especially thrilled that, similar to students who attend other colleges and universities, students who attend Snow College will now have an easily accessible temple in which to serve and worship.”
The new temple will be similar in size to the Brigham City Utah Temple, which is about 36,000 square feet. It will have four 30-seat endowment rooms, three sealing rooms and one baptismal font.
The design and location of the new temple were not released during the conference. Leaders say after design and permitting are complete, the temple will take about two years to build.
The Ephraim temple will be the 252nd temple in the Church and the 27th in Utah.