Announced: On 28 July 1847 — merely days after the arrival of the first wagons of Latter-day Saint settlers in the Great Salt Lake Valley — Brigham Young, the Church’s second president, drove a cane in the hard, dry ground and announced that at that precise location they would build a temple.
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: Young broke ground for the temple on 14 February 1853. Heber C. Kimball, first counselor in the First Presidency — the Church's highest presiding body, dedicated the site.
Dedication: Wilford Woodruff, the Church's fourth president, dedicated the temple in 31 sessions held between 6 and 24 April 1893.
About the Temple: The Salt Lake Temple is situated on a 10-acre site in downtown Salt Lake City. The temple's exterior is granite. The walls of the temple are nine feet thick at the base and six feet thick at the top. The temple has 170 rooms, including four sealing rooms and one ordinance room. The temple is approximately 119 feet by 181 feet, and has over 253,000 square feet of floor area. The Salt Lake Temple has six spires towering above its main area; the center spire on the east end is the highest — reaching 210 feet in the air. This spire is topped by a 12½-foot statue depicting an ancient American prophet from the Book of Mormon named Moroni. The three-ton statue was hammered out of copper and overlaid with 22-karat gold leaf. A heavy weight is attached to the statue's feet and suspended inside the spire so the statue can sway slightly in the wind without breaking.