Someday soon, Latter-day Saints who live in Tooele County and in northeastern Nevada won’t have to travel to Salt Lake Valley to attend temples there.
As reported in last Tuesday’s edition, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced during the church’s April General Conference that it will build eight more temples.
And one of those eight temples is coming to Tooele Valley.
President Nelson’s announcement came as a welcome and delightful surprise. Local church members who have been praying for such an announcement must have been happily stunned to have their prayers answered.
Understandably, such news immediately began speculation on social media of a possible temple site in Tooele Valley. Although the location has yet to be announced, and may not be for several months or longer, one possible and logical site is on Tooele City’s east bench.
It is known that the late Maxine Grimm, who was born and raised in Tooele and lived here until she died at 102-years-old in 2017, had told Church President Gordon B. Hinckley she would donate land for a temple. That land is suspected to be on the east bench not far from Middle Canyon with a grand view of Tooele Valley below.
Another site speculated for the temple is in Erda. Located on the valley’s major growth corridor between Tooele City and Lake Point, Erda appears to be a logical site as well. But the site may remain a mystery until the church officially announces the location.
But what isn’t a mystery is the potential impact the temple’s construction and presence may have in Tooele Valley and Tooele County. Although the size and scope of the new temple is unknown, it could be said the church spares no expense when building a temple that becomes, according to mormonnewsroom.org, a sacred place on earth and a “house of the Lord.”
Local contractors, construction workers and related vendors may enjoy a welcome bonus of earnings during the temple’s design and construction. And after it opens, the new temple may result in more growth with hopeful benefits to all.
Such benefits could include more local jobs with businesses and companies that offer higher pay, and expanded retail and related opportunities, all of which would help lessen the county’s dependence on the Wasatch Front for employment, shopping and services.
But there are potential downsides as well. The temple announcement for Tooele Valley isn’t welcome by everyone. Also, after opening, it may present unwanted growth, like more traffic congestion caused by ineffective planning.
Such matters, however, are for now only possibilities. The ultimate benefit the new temple presents is the spiritual nurturing local Latter-day Saints will receive and enjoy. According to the church’s website, temples are places of holiness and peace and are separate from the world. Inside, church members make formal promises to God and it is there the highest sacraments of the faith occur.
The temple announcement for Tooele Valley is welcomed news. It will be compelling to watch and learn where it will be built and how the Tooele County community responds to its presence over time.