The Cardston Alberta Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the first temple built in Canada. It was announced in June 27, 1913. The site was dedicated by Joseph F. Smith and the Temple was dedicated by Heber J. Grant. The Cardston Alberta Temple had been rededicated twice since once in 1962 by Hugh B. Brown and in 1991 to President Gordon B. Hinckley.
The Cardston Alberta Temple is the first temple outside the United States. The Laie Hawaii Temple was finished before the Alberta Temple and is the first temple built outside the continental United States but the Cardston Alberta Temple was first outside the United States to be announced, but it took a long time to build.
The Cardston Alberta Temple was the first temple whose design was put out to bid to prominent architects. Until that time, all temples had been designed under the direct supervision of Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. The Cardston Alberta Temple was designed by Salt Lake City architects Hyrum C. Pope and Harold W. Burton. Their design was very different than any of the previous temples. With no spires or assembly room, the temple design was different than anything that had been done before.
A water feature inside the east entrance to the Cardston Alberta Temple features a 33-foot wide sculpted stone panel depicting Jesus Christ offering living water to the Samaritan woman at the well. The feature was created by a Norwegian artist, Torleif Knaphus. The striking sculpture was originally the centerpiece of an exterior courtyard, but it was later enclosed.
The Cardston Alberta Temple took 10 years to build. It was difficult to get the supplies to the small town and World War I made the problem much worse. Other problems included harsh Canadian winters, and low funds.
The temple was 29,471 square feet originally, and the renovation made the temple 81,700 square feet. It is 85 feet high.
So many General Authorities attended the dedication of the Carston Alberta Temple it was the first time in the history of the Church that so many General Authorities had assembled at one time outside the boundaries of the United States.
President Heber J. Grant spoke on the work beyond the veil during the sixth session of the dedicatory service he said: “Now, we as Latter-Day Saints have everything in the world to be grateful for. We have not only the benefits of the Gospel for ourselves, but we can do a marvelous work for those who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel. . . And I want to bear my witness here today in connection with others, that the unseen powers, that those who are working for us beyond the veil, never lose their interest in the work of those who are living here upon the earth.”