Editor’s note: This article is the third in a series by Deborah Goodman about religious structures in South Utah County. Check out articles on the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple and the Springville Community Presbyterian Church.
Completed and dedicated in 2015, the Payson temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was the first of its kind to be built in the lower half of Utah County.
With views of Dry Mountain and Loafer Mountain in the background, the Payson temple’s neoclassical architecture stands out amongst the modest structures in this town of a little over 12,000 people. There are twenty Church of Jesus Christ temples in the state; the other temples built in Utah County now include one built in American Fork and two in Provo.
The Payson temple is located near 930 West and 1550 South and is the tenth largest temple in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The temple district covers 27 stakes, servicing over 90,000 members.
When President Thomas S. Monson announced there would be a temple built in Payson in 2010, he said, “Temples answer those soul-searching questions of the purpose of life, of why we are here and where we are going. They are sanctuaries from the storms of life and bless the lives of members of the Church who worship within their sacred walls.”
The sheer size, simple geometric shapes, and long, vertical lines of the 96,630 square feet building support its Neoclassical style. Sitting on nearly fifteen acres, the temple is surrounded by trees, water features, and immaculate landscaping.
The flowers on the stained glass start as buds. However, as you go higher up in the temple, they bloom and blossom. Also featured on the stained glass are images of the surrounding apple orchards.
Wadman Corporation describes the unique beauty of this temple. “It is designed in a classical architectural style influenced by the pioneer vernacular architecture of the area. Exterior expression is executed in a highly articulated architectural precast concrete cladding in a warm color tone evocative of historically used native stone and masonry.”
After its completion in 2015, the Utah Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors awarded the Payson temple the Champion Project of the Year. It was also awarded the Worship Project of the Year by the Associated Contractors of Utah and the Most Outstanding Community Institutional for a large building by Utah Construction and Design.