February 7, 2022

St. George Temple Foundation

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Photo credit: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

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Brigham Young announced the spot for the St. George temple, as he was directed by Heavenly Father. After announcing where the Temple location would be, the problems with the locations began. Turns out, the land that was selected was not the easiest land to work with, and the land ended was the beginning many difficulties.

Did Brigham Young know what kind of trouble they would find? Nobody is sure what Brigham Young knew exactly, when he announced the Temple. What is known, is with the help of Heavenly Father, Brigham was able to guide the saints to solve the ground problems and build this beautiful St. George pioneer temple.

 The Saints were so excited to have a temple in their town that they started working on the temple the same day it was announced!

 As the saints started digging the foundation they found marshy land, and eventually an underground river was found when they started digging for the temple basement. 

Some of the Saints wanted the temple site to be moved somewhere else, when they found the water problems.  Brigham Young did not want the temple site moved. Brigham informed the saints that he was inspired to have the temple in that location by Heavenly Father, and the location would not be changed. The Saints responded with great faith and kept building the temple.

Underground River of the St. George Temple

It took a lot of work to solve the water problems and get the land ready to build a temple. Finding an underground river under the plot would have been a problem even with our advanced technologies today, but back in the late 1800’s it normally would have meant to ‘abandon ship,’ but not when it comes to the Pioneers when they are directed by a Prophet of God.

When the water was found under the temple plot, Brigham Young told the saint exactly what needed to be done to solve the water problem.

How in the world could Brigham have known to solve the underground river situation?!

Through the inspiration from Heavenly Father, the Pioneers built the St. George Temple foundation to last!

St. George Temple Foundation

Brigham told the saints to dig trenches deep into the ground(imagine doing this without big machinery).  Then they would dump volcanic rock into the trenches. When the volcanic rock was filled they, then, took a big cannon and smashed the rock into the ground.

Why did they used a cannon to smash the rock?

The cannon was the heaviest thing they had in the area at the time.

The cannon was pulleyed up high with a polly system, and then dropped onto the volcanic rock to smash the rock down.

The builders were instructed on how much volcanic rock needed to go in each of the trenches and how often they had to drop the cannon. When the cannon bounced the workers knew it was done and they could move to the next spot.

The volcanic rock helped the underground river stabilize, and made the temple durable for over a hundred years!

It is pretty amazing that Brigham Young was able to solve such complex foundational problems, and it is a witness of God’s help.

St. George Temple Location

 Looking at the city of St. George now, you can see how inspired the Temple plot was. The land chosen is the perfect place, right middle of the growing town of St. George.  The red rocks behind the temple make it stand out.

 The willingness to build the temple in a difficult place liken St. George, with swampy, muddy land can inspire all. The St. George Temple teaches us about the perseverance of the Pioneer Saints.   The sacrifices of the Saints truly laid a foundation for future members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Picture credit: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

More Blog Posts:

Renovations to the St. George Temple

Founding Fathers and the St. George Temple

History of the St. George Temple Spire

Awesome Facts about the St. George Temple:

More Places to visit:

Jacob Hamblin Home

Brigham Young’s Winter Home

St. George Tabernacle


More information about how the saints dug large trenches and filled it with volcanic rock and smashed it to fix the water issues can all be found here http://www.stgeorgetemplevisitorscenter.info/temple/buildingtemple.html


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