October 24, 2022

Architecture and Design of the Snowflake Arizona Temple

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The Snowflake Arizona Temple is the ”sister temple” to the Winter Quarters Temple in Nebraska. Both temples are built on a hill, with the lower level partially set into the hill. There was sixteen feet removed from the top of the hill to make the temple design possible. The Snowflake Arizona Temple has very unique design elements to be highlighted.

Outside of the Temple

The hill that the Temple is built on gets a lot of wind. The decision to built the temple with granite rock because of the hardness and durability for the wind storms of the area. They hoped that by using granite it would help stop erosion.

The fountain on the outside of the entrance of the Snowflake Arizona Temple is made from rocks that were excavated from the hill where the temple sits. The largest rock in the fountain weighs seventeen tons.

Inside Temple Design

The Snowflake Arizona Temple district covers northeastern Arizona and a small part of northwestern New Mexico. In those areas of Arizona and New Mexico it has Navajo, Hopi, Apache and Zuni Reservation.

The designers of the Snowflake Arizona Temple wanted to bring design elements from these different groups and cultures into the design of the temple.

The beautiful design of the Snowflake Arizona Temple combines the Native American culture and early pioneer heritage, to make a unique Temple. Some of the designs include patterns taken from pioneer quilt blocks and also tribal designs. These patterns are represented in everything from stenciling on the ceilings to sculpting in the carpet.

In the Church News they talked about what it meant for the people in the Snowflake Arizona area for these designs to be present in the temple.

“President Frankie J. Gilmore of the Tuba City Arizona Stake, which includes much of the Navajo and Hopi reservations, said that including the tribal designs was important. "It has a lot of meaning to us," he said. "Each temple has some significance. This one has a special meaning for us simply by putting these things in there."

Another element of the temple is a mural in one of the ordinance rooms, painted by Native American artist Linda Turley-Christensen. On three walls she represented the varying landscapes included in the temple district from red sandstone cliffs to pine-covered mountains in vivid detail.”

Snowflake Arizona Temple Ceiling

When building the Snowflake Arizona Temple they had to make some changes of the temple designs to accommodate fire codes. They needed to rotate the celestial room ninety degrees from the original temple plan. The celestial room has a beautiful domed ceiling, this was the first temple of its kind to have a dome ceiling in the celestial room.

The best things about each of the temples is the covenants and promises we make with our Heavenly Father inside these holy buildings. All the work and the time to make these temples different and special is secondary to the work that goes on inside, but it’s still fun to learn about!

More Blog Posts

Snowflake Arizona Temple Fun Facts

Stained-Glass Windows of the Snowflake Arizona Temple

Waiting upon the Lord, Prophesy of the Snowflake, Arizona Temple 

Stained-Glass Windows of the Snowflake Arizona Temple

Pioneers of Snowflake, Arizona

Founding of Snowflake Arizona



“Temples of the New Millennium” by Chad S. Hawkins p. 218-219

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