The Palmyra New York Temple

of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Palmyra Temple is one of the most significant temples in the Church. Despite the fact that the temple is one of the new small temples, following the same design as more than a dozen other operating temples, the Palmyra Temple has deep historical and spiritual significance and incorporates several features that are unique among all temples, not just the small ones.

Palmyra is where this dispensation began, in 1820 Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus in a grove of trees just a short distance from the temple. In 1823 he received the Plates containing the Book of Mormon from the hill Cumorah which is also less than a mile from the temple.

The Palmyra Temple was the 100th temple announced by the Church and was planned to be the 100th temple dedicated but delays on other temple projects made it the 77th temple dedicated. It was dedicated on the 6th of April 2000, exactly 170 years from the date of the organization of the Church, in Fayette New York, a short drive away from the temple site.

Because of the special significance of the Palmyra Temple, and the small size of the temple district (17,700 members, the smallest number of members in any temple district) the Church leaders decided to broadcast the first session of the dedication ceremony to the Salt Lake Tabernacle. They then extended the broadcast to 1,300 selected Stake Centers and other Church Facilities throughout North America. Each facility that participated in the broadcast became an extension of the temple and all those in attendance had to have a current recommend, just as if they were attending the dedication in person. The Church estimated that about 1.5 million members viewed this broadcast, making the attendance at the dedication of the Palmyra Temple the largest in Church history.

Among the architectural details that make the Palmyra Temple unique are the stained glass windows found throughout the temple. Originally the Church planned to install a single mural of stained glass depicting the First Vision in one of the hallways of the temple. However, the artist that the Church commissioned to create the mural, Tom Holdman of my old ward in American Fork Utah, suggested including stained glass windows in the building, all of them depicting the trees of the sacred grove. The First Presidency agreed, and now the temple is graced with over 17,000 pieces of hand cut colored glass in windows in the front lobby, the Baptistry, the Sealing Rooms, and the Celestial Room, as well as the original mural.

President Hinckley wanted patrons of the temple to be able to see the sacred grove from with in the temple so the three windows in the front lobby that overlook the sacred grove include one clear pane and two stained glass ones. Most windows in Church temples are tinted or curtained so that the world and its associated cares are symbolically shut out. In this case an small piece of the world that served as a temple for a few moments in 1820, is brought in.

The concrete used in the temple also has a unique feature. All of the primary children in the temple district painted their names on small rocks. These rocks were then placed into the concrete used to make the walkway and landing leading to the temple.

The temple was announced on 21 February 21 1999.
Ground was broken and construction begun on 25 May 1999.
The cornerstone was laid and the temple dedicated on 6 April 2000.
There are 2 Sealing rooms and 2 Ordinance rooms in the 10,900 square foot temple.
The spire is about 78 feet tall.
The Palmyra Temple serves stakes in western New York.

Pictures of the Interior:

The Waiting Area.
Source: Church Media Pack.

The stained glass mural of the first vision.
Source: Church Media Pack.

The Baptistry.
Source: Church Media Pack.

One of the two Sealing Rooms.
Source: Church Media Pack.

One of the two Endowment Rooms.
Source: Church Media Pack.

The Celestial Room.
Source: Church Media Pack.

Rooms not Pictured:
One of the two Sealing Rooms

Previous Temple.

Next Temple.

Back to The Chronological List.

Back to The Temple Guide.

Back to The Alphabetical List.

Back to Athens.