Are you looking for unique places to stay while touring the newly renovated St. George Temple or visiting the newly built Red Cliffs Temple in the Washington Fields area? Before we recommend our favorite places to stay near the St. George Temples, let’s give a brief overview and history. The St. George Temple is not only the first temple built in St. George, Utah, but it is also the oldest temple belonging to the global community of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
History of St. George Temple
In 1871, Brigham Young announced plans to build a temple in St. George. Knowing the challenges ahead, church members drew on their prior experience. Shortly after founding St. George, Brigham Young directed the Saints to construct a public meeting space, a tabernacle. They started building in 1863 and used the Tabernacle as a learning experience for future construction in St. George. They identified sources for stone, plaster, mortar, and wood, setting the stage for the temple.
Truman Angell created the temple’s plans. On November 9, 1871, Brigham Young dedicated the site and spent subsequent winters in a home nearby, overseeing construction. The site stood partially on marshland, so the first construction step involved stabilizing the ground. Workers pounded black volcanic rock from a nearby bluff into the ground with a converted cannon used as a pile driver. When the pile driver bounced three times, they confirmed the ground’s stability for foundation construction.
In 19th-century Utah, everyone in the community contributed to temple construction. Residents of St. George and the surrounding Southern Utah area had some connection to the building. People donated money, sewed carpets, fed workers, or offered moral support. Brigham Young declared, “This temple builds upon the principles of the United Order. We can achieve anything by putting aside selfishness and focusing solely on building God’s kingdom on Earth.”
After completing the red sandstone walls, workers plastered them white. Brigham Young dedicated each finished section. In 1877, he announced that the April General Conference would occur in St. George. Upon his arrival, banners and cheering crowds greeted him, displaying their excitement for the temple and their prophet.
Many Saints had lost hope of ever seeing another temple. When Orson Hyde saw the font installation, he left the temple in tears, overwhelmed with emotion. After the temple’s dedication, Brigham Young met with Wilford Woodruff, who served as one of the Twelve Apostles in the Quorum and the first president of the St. George Temple. Together, they recorded temple ordinances for future generations.
Brigham Young passed away later that summer but left the Saints a lasting legacy: their first enduring temple for performing endowments for the living and the dead.
The Red Cliffs Temple
The Red Cliffs Utah Temple covers 96,277 square feet and is a three-story building with a full basement. It will be the twentieth Utah temple and the second in Washington County, following the 1877 St. George Utah Temple.
Rentals Near the St. George Temples
St. George, Utah, offers stunning natural landscapes and a rich history. Vacation rentals near the St. George Utah Temple and the newer Red Cliffs Temple provide comfort and convenience. Whether you seek a cozy townhome overlooking Copper Rock Golf Course, a spacious desert retreat, or a luxurious villa, options suit every budget and taste. All rentals lie within a 15-minute radius of these temples and provide easy access to activities like hiking in Snow Canyon State Park or exploring downtown St. George.