Logan Temple

Associated Locations:

  • Logan, Utah

Associated Dates:

  • May 17, 1884 – Dedication

A few interesting Facts Connected with the History of the Logan Temple:

“On May 21, 1884, the first baptismal day in the Temple, there were 51 baptisms for the dead performed, Apostle Franklin D. Richards being the first person to act as proxy in this work. Those who officiated at the font for the first baptisms in the Temple were David H. Cannon, baptizer; John Taylor, Thomas Moore, George Q. Cannon and Charles O. Dunn, confirmers; Charles O. Card, Orson Smith and Frederick Smith, witnesses; Samuel Roskelley and L. John Nuttall, recorders. On July 11, 1925, there were 4,120 baptisms performed for the dead, this being the greatest number performed in one day. On May 21, 1884, there were 43 endowments given for the living and 14 for the dead, a total of 57. This was the first day upon which endowments were given. On February 22, 1930, there were 1,505 endowments given, this being the greatest number given in one day. At the beginning of work in the Temple, but one endowment session was held each day. The number of sessions held daily has increased from time to time, until today (1934) six sessions are held daily, four during the day time and two each night. On a very few occasions it has become necessary to hold seven sessions during the day and night.”

Inspiring Stories

On one occasion I heard the late Apostle Marriner W. Merrill, President of the Logan Temple, relate this extraordinary incident:

He was sitting in his office one morning, he said, when he noticed from the window a company of people coming up the hill to the Temple. As they entered the Temple grounds they presented rather a strange appearance, not only in dress but in their mode of travel. Some were riding on horses, others were in conveyances, and still others were afoot. He wondered who they could be as he was not looking for a company of such size that particular morning. They dismounted from their horses, stepped down from their conveyances, put their animals under the shade and walked about complacently as if they had a perfect right to be there.

A little later a person unknown to Brother Merrill entered the room. Brother Merrill said to him: “Who are you and who are these people who have come up and taken possession of the Temple grounds unannounced?” He answered and said: “I am Satan and these are my people.” Brother Merrill then said: “What do you want? Why have you come here?” Satan replied: “I don’t like the work that is going on in this Temple and feel that it should be discontinued. Will you stop it?” Brother Merrill answered and said emphatically, “No, we will not stop it. The work must go on.” “Since you refuse to stop it, I will tell you what I propose to do,” the adversary said. “I will take these people, my followers, and distribute them throughout this Temple district, and will instruct them to whisper in the ears of people, persuading them not to go to the Temple, and thus bring about a cessation of your Temple work.” Satan then withdrew.

President Merrill, commenting on this strange interview with the Evil One, said that for quite a period of time the spirit of indifference to Temple work seemed to take possession of the people and very few came to the House of the Lord. The presumption was that Satan had carried out his threat which caused a temporary lull in Temple work.

It is not to be wondered at that Satan, who is the enemy of all righteousness, is displeased with Temple work. 1

Physical and Historical Description

The Logan Temple, like other Temples constructed in this dispensation, is in fulfillment of prophecy, uttered, in this case, by President Wilford Woodruff.

The site for this Temple was designated by President Brigham Young and was dedicated by Orson Pratt on May 17, 1877, at which time impressive services were conducted by President Young. Elder Charles O. Card served as Superintendent of construction of the Temple from the beginning until its completion, and Truman O. Angell was the architect. On the 28th day of May excavation was begun and the cornerstones were laid on September 17, 1877, under the direction of President John Taylor of the Council of the Twelve, President Brigham Young having died on August 29th previous. The Temple was dedicated on May 17, 1884, by President John Taylor as President of the Church.

The territory covered in the district of the Logan Temple at the time of its building and dedication comprised but three stakes; viz: Cache, Box Elder and Bear Lake, with a total Church population of about 25,000. As a result of the dividing and subdividing of these stakes, there were in 1933 thirty-six stakes in the Logan Temple district, with a Church population of over 151,000, with a proportionate increase since that census.

The grounds upon which the Temple stands comprise a full city block of eight acres, to which has been added nearly two acres on the east end, which, with an elliptical frontage, gives a very attractive entrance to the Temple. The whole block is planted with beautiful trees, shrubs, lawns and flower beds, and is the admiration of all who view it.

The main building of the Temple is 171 feet long, 95 feet wide, and 86 feet high at the square, with an octagonal tower at each corner 100 feet high, and a large square tower at each end. The tower at the west end is 165 feet high, and the one at the east end is 170 feet high. Massive buttresses strengthen the walls, and the masonry is of the very best; and today there is scarcely a crack or defect to be seen in the whole building. The rock used in the construction of the building was brought from mountain quarries near by, and is a very dark silicious limestone. The lumber for the building was obtained from Logan Canyon, and was prepared at the Temple sawmill specially installed for that purpose. The building has five stories. In the basement is a beautiful font room finished in white enamel, the font being of cast iron, cast in a logan foundry, and stands upon the backs of twelve oxen, also cast in iron and bronzed, which present a very impressive appearance. The rooms of the Temple throughout correspond in a general way with the rooms of all other Church Temples; are all beautifully finished in white enamel, with chaste decorations of gold leaf and soft colors, and are representative of the best art of the day in which they were erected and compare equally well with present day decoration and finish. The Temple was seven years in building—1877 to 1884. It is difficult to estimate the exact cost of the building because of the manner in which it was built, a large portion being given in labor, farm products, and other means; but it is safe to say that it cost approximately $750,000 exclusive of the land and improvements.

Of the 20,939,792 ordinances performed in all of the Temples, since the organization of the Church, including the Nauvoo Temple and the old Endowment House in Salt Lake City, it is interesting to learn that 5,454,043 of this number were performed in the Logan Temple, being a little over 26% of all. These figures are up to December 31, 1933, and represent work performed for fifty years (1844 to 1933).

Presidents of the Logan Temple:

  • Marriner W. Merrill, 1884-1906.
  • William Budge, 1906-1918.
  • Joseph R. Shepherd, 1918-1935.
  • William A. Noble, 1935-1936.
  • Joseph Quinney, Jr., 1936-1943.
  • El Ray Christiansen, 1943-1952.
  • A. George Raymond, 1952—Present Incumbent.

A few interesting Facts Connected with the History of the Logan Temple:

“On May 21, 1884, the first baptismal day in the Temple, there were 51 baptisms for the dead performed, Apostle Franklin D. Richards being the first person to act as proxy in this work. Those who officiated at the font for the first baptisms in the Temple were David H. Cannon, baptizer; John Taylor, Thomas Moore, George Q. Cannon and Charles O. Dunn, confirmers; Charles O. Card, Orson Smith and Frederick Smith, witnesses; Samuel Roskelley and L. John Nuttall, recorders. On July 11, 1925, there were 4,120 baptisms performed for the dead, this being the greatest number performed in one day. On May 21, 1884, there were 43 endowments given for the living and 14 for the dead, a total of 57. This was the first day upon which endowments were given. On February 22, 1930, there were 1,505 endowments given, this being the greatest number given in one day. At the beginning of work in the Temple, but one endowment session was held each day. The number of sessions held daily has increased from time to time, until today (1934) six sessions are held daily, four during the day time and two each night. On a very few occasions it has become necessary to hold seven sessions during the day and night.”

Dedicatory Prayer

By President John Taylor (May 17, 1884)

O God, the Eternal Father, the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, the Author of our existence, the Lord and Giver of life; we approach Thee, as Thou hast directed, in the name of Thy well beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, and say: “Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” We acknowledge Thy power, we bow to Thy authority and reverence Thy holy name.

We, O God, a few of Thy creatures, according to Thine instructions, and in obedience to Thy law and Thy word, have built this house unto Thee, which was contemplated and designed by Thy servant Brigham; that it may be “a house of order, a house of prayer,” a place acceptable to Thee, and wherein we can worship Thee in accordance with Thy will, Thy law and the principles which Thou hast revealed; and for the manifestation of Thy will, and the teachings and administration of ordinances, and the instruction of Thy people in all principles of science and intelligence pertaining to this life, and the lives that are to come.

It hath pleased Thee, O Lord God, our Heavenly Father, to reveal Thyself in our days, and to make known unto us through Thy servant Joseph—by the manifestation of Thyself and Thy well beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, by Thine appearing unto him, that Thou still livest by the opening of the heavens, by the brightness of Thine appearance, and by Thine own voice Thou hast manifested Thyself unto him, and pointing also to our glorious Redeemer who was present with Thee, declared Him to be Thy well beloved Son in whom Thou wast well pleased, and commanded Thy servant Joseph to hear Him.

Thou hast also been pleased through Him and through the Holy Priesthood, which have lived on the earth and still exist in the Heavens, to restore the everlasting Gospel in its fulness, richness, power and glory; with the Holy Priesthood, and the keys thereof and pertaining thereunto, together with the dispensation of the fullness of times, spoken of by all the holy Prophets since the world was; which our forefathers have waited to be revealed, that we, as well as Thy servant Joseph, might be put in possession of the knowledge of Thyself and of Thy law, through the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the everlasting Gospel which brings life and immortality to light, and opens a communication between the heavens and the earth; and through which, as Thou hast stated, “God shall give unto you (the Saints) a knowledge by His Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now.”

Thou didst command Thy servant Joseph in the land of Ohio to build a house unto Thee, saying: “Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” And when this house was completed Thou didst manifest Thyself to Thy servant Joseph, to Oliver Cowdery, and to others of the Holy Priesthood and in the brightness of Thy glory didst reveal unto him exceedingly great and precious principles, and Thou didst send also Thine ancient servant Moses, who formerly gathered Thy people Israel from the land of Egypt, to commit the keys of gathering of latter-day Israel; and also Elias, who committed the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham; and also Elijah the Prophet, to whom was committed the keys of the dispensation spoken of by Malachi, which was to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” And Thou didst then introduce a preparatory work associated with the washings and anointings of Thy people. Thou didst also command Thy servant Joseph to build a house at Nauvoo wherein further development of the Holy Priesthood might be introduced, saying: “For there is not a place found on earth that He may come and restore that which was lost unto you, or which He hath taken away, even the fullness of the Priesthood, for a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my Saints, may be baptized for those who are dead.” And it is written: “Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices, by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places, wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.” This house was commenced by Thy servant Joseph, and completed by Thy servant Brigham and the Twelve; and in it were revealed many great and precious principles and ordinances which had previously been communicated to a chosen few before Thy servant Joseph’s death. And as Thou didst give a standing commandment that Thy people were always to build houses unto Thy holy name, when Thy people came here unto this land, even the land of Zion, Thy servant Brigham, according to this commandment and Thy manifestations unto him, did build a house in St. George, in this Territory, wherein many precious principles have been developed, and much labor performed according to Thy holy ordinances, in the interests of the living and the dead; so we have now completed this, another house, which we this day dedicate and consecrate unto Thee, that we may be further prepared to carry out Thy will, to administer in Thine ordinances, to purify and instruct Thy Church, and to build up and establish Thy Zion on the earth, which Thou hast decreed should be accomplished in the dispensation of the fullness of times. We feel, O Lord God, our weakness and unworthiness before Thee, and our inability to do anything without Thy guidance and assistance; but as Thou hast given us a commandment, in common with others, we have built this house, and present it to Thee, and pray that Thou wilt accept it in the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer. We dedicate the ground on which it is built, as also by which it is surrounded, known as the Temple Block; we dedicate the foundation upon which it rests, the stones, the mortar, the doors, the stairs, the windows, the floors, the fastenings, the ceilings and roof, the painting and ornamentation, the stands for the Holy Priesthood, the baptismal font and the various rooms associated therewith, and also all the rooms for the performance of ordinances and the various purposes for which they are designed, the heating apparatus, and te furniture and everything therein from the foundation to the towers thereof, unto Thee, the Lord our God, that it may be a place most holy, wherein Thine ordinances may be performed, and Thy Priesthood administered according to Thy holy law, and in accordance with Thy will and purposes pertaining to the human family. For Thou, O God, hast ordained the principles which have been developed for the blessing, salvation and exaltation of the human race, and hast appointed Thy holy ordinances for the endowment of Thy Holy Priesthood and in the interests of the living and the dead; that Thy servants may go forth to the nations of the earth endowed with power from on high, and bear a message of salvation, even as Thy messengers to all the family of Adam, according to Thy word. And that Thy people may be prepared through the ordinances of Thine House to inherit thrones, principalities, powers, dominions and exaltations in the eternal worlds. And, also, that Thy purposes pertaining to the redemption of the dead may be carried out strictly in accordance with Thy law, that in this Thy holy house Thine ordinances may be performed in the interest of those who have died without a knowledge of the gospel; and that Thy servants and handmaidens who may officiate in Thy holy ordinances therein may thus become saviors upon Mount Zion, even according to the words of Thine ancient servant Malachi, wherein he stated that it was necessary that the hearts of the fathers should be turned to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, and that according to later revelations, a welding, connecting link might bind together the living and the dead in fraternal and patriarchal relations, according to the holy order which exists with the Gods; and a bond of union and fellowship be brought about between the heavens and the earth, for Thou hast said that they without us cannot be made perfect, and that we without them cannot be made perfect; we pray Thee, therefore, O God, that those who officiate here may act prudently, wisely and intelligently, with purity, virtue and honor before Thee, and perform their duties acceptably in this Thy Temple on earth.

And we also pray Thee, O Father, that Thy Priesthod may be assisted by Thy Holy Priesthood in the heavens, that Priesthood which is after the order of the Son of God, after the order of Melchizedek, and after the power of an endless life, which administers in time and eternity, to impart unto us by Thy direction and according to Thy will, a correct knowledge of all laws, rites and ordinances, and direction how to administer and to whom to administer; that there may be a perfect union and harmony, if we are counted worthy, between the Priesthood on the earth and the Priesthood in the heavens. And that Thou wouldst teach us Thy will and Thy law, and Thine ordinances more fully and completely, and reveal unto us the abundance of truth and intelligence associated with the interests of the living and the dead; that knowing Thy will we may do Thy will on earth as it is done in heaven.

And as Thou hast said, among other things, pertaining to Thine house, that in it we were to seek diligently and teach one another words of wisdom, “Yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning by study and also by faith,” and Thou hast further instructed us to “become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues and people,” and obtain a knowledge of nations, kingdoms, governments and laws, and Thou hast declared that there is “a time to come in which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many Gods, they shall be manifest.”

“All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and also if there be bounds set to the heavens, or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon or stars; all the times of their revolutions; all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months and years, and all their glories, laws and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fullness of times. According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other Gods, before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into His eternal presence, and into His immortal rest.” And, as all wisdom dwells with thee, and, as all light, truth and intelligence flow from Thee, we humbly seek unto Thee for Thy blessing to rest upon this house, that it may be indeed a house of learning under Thy guidance, direction and inspiration, as Thou didst ordain the laws of the universe, and art the Creator and Sustainer of worlds, and the Regulator of their times and seasons, we ask that in this house a more full knowledge of Thee and Thy laws may be developed, and that those things spoken of by Thy servant Joseph may begin to be made manifest. We therefore pray Thee to grant that when Thy people draw nigh unto Thee in the holy order that Thou hast appointed and revealed, that Thou will hear their prayers, and look with favor upon their supplications, which are made in accordance with Thy word, and Thy will and Thy law. And if we are accounted worthy, and it is in accordance with Thy will and purposes, and not incompatible with the holy order which exists among the Gods, and that Thou hast ordained, we pray Thee that Thy presence may be with us. We pray also that the presence of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, may be here, and that the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, may be our guide and instructor, and that Thine angels may be permitted to visit this holy habitation and communicate with Thy Priesthood in the interests of the living and the dead.

We also pray Thee, as Thou hast revealed unto us many things, to give us a more clear knowledge of the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial glories, and the laws, regulations and bounds by which they are governed; and the duties and responsibilities connected with each, that we may be enabled more fully to comprehend our duties, responsibilities and obligations, pertaining to all men in the various conditions and associations of life, and connected also with this nation and other nations of the world, that we may be enabled to act justly, prudently, righteously and intelligently in all the various relations of life, pertaining to social, religious, political and other duties devolving upon us, and that we may comprehend always fully the relationship that we sustain to this nation, to other nations, and to the world generally in which we live, and understand more perfectly our responsibilities to the living and the dead, to the wicked and corrupt, to the honorable and upright among men; to Thee, our heavenly Father, to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant, to the Ancient of Days, and to the different orders, quorums and organizations of the holy Priesthood, and to our brethren generally, in this the land of Zion.

We ask thee to bless the nation in which we live and the rulers thereof, for we are persuaded, O Lord, that while great wickedness and corruption abound in all grades of society, that there are hundreds of thousands of honorable men who are desirous to do right and maintain the principles of freedom and the liberty of men, and who do not and cannot acquiesce in the measures taken by the thoughtless and uninformed, who seem to be desirous to injure Thy people, many of whom, however, through the circulation of misrepresentation and falsehood, do not comprehend the position which Thy people occupy, nor the principles by which they are governed. Enlighten their minds, we pray Thee, and lead them in the paths of life. Bless, we pray Thee, all the upright, the pure and virtuous who are seeking to maintain and sustain the glorious principles of freedom enunciated in the Constitution of the United States, and who are opposed to tyranny, misrule and oppression; and save this nation, O God, from the infamy, under guise of law, of being the spoliators and robbers of a virtuous, inoffensive and God-fearing people, in violation of their constitutional rights, and because they fear and reverence Thee and Thy laws but may this house be preserved unto us as a holy place wherein to worship Thee, and to administer Thine ordinances, to learn Thy laws, the laws of the universe—embracing the world and other worlds; for the instruction of Thy people in the higher branches of education in all true intelligence, scientific, linguistic, natural and theological.

Bless the honest and upright throughout the world, and lead the erring in the paths of righteousness; and as Thou hast decreed that terrible judgments shall overtake the ungoldly, we leave these things, O Lord, in Thy hands, and wish to conform ourselves to Thy will.

Preserve us, O God, in these valleys of the mountains, and let not our enemies and Thine enemies triumph over Thy people, and suffer them not to bring us into bondage, for Thou, O Lord, knowest that we are seeking to do Thy will and carry out Thy laws; preserve us, therefore, in our immunities, liberties and rights, and save us from the menacing power of tyranny and oppression, for our trust, O God, is in Thee.

Bless, we pray Thee, the councils and authorities of the Church; the First Presidency, the Twelve with their council, the Patriarchs, the Presidents of Stakes, the High Councils and Bishops thereof, together with the Seventies, High Priests, Elders, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, and all the quorums and authorities of Thy Church, as also all the helps, aids and governments pertaining thereto, the Relief Societies, the Sunday School, the Primary and the Mutual Improvement Associations, and all men and wom- en who are seeking for the welfare of Zion. Bless all our friends who are not of us, who are desirous to maintain the principles of virtue, integrity, honor and freedom. We pray Thee also to bless those who have assisted to build this house, the committee of construction, the architects, the superintendents, the workmen in all their various branches that have contributed by their industry and talent to construct this building as a habitation for Thee, our God; bless the Stakes of this Temple district, as well as all persons who have contributed of their means thereunto, or in any wise assisted in the construction thereof. Let the fear of God rest upon all Thy people. Preserve them in the principles of honor, of virtue, of truth, of integrity, and in the love of God, that they may be worthy of Thy blessings. Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. O Lord, our God, hear us in the heavens, and answer us upon the earth, that Zion may arise and shine, that the glory of God may rest upon her. That thy people may be preserved from the errors of vanity, the follies and corruptions of the world; that they may progress and excel in every principle of integrity, intelligence, virtue and purity, until Zion shall become the praise and glory of the whole earth, and Thy will be begun to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask this at Thy hands, and dedicate this house unto Thee, together with ourselves, our wives, our children, our houses, our lands, our flocks and herds, and our possessions, for time and all eternity, in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen. 2

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Notes:

  1. Church Section, The Deseret News, Dec. 12, 1936, Vol. 344, No. 61.
  2. Millennial Star, Vol. 46, pp. 386-391.

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