SALT LAKE CITY — After Wednesday's announced face-lift to the Ogden Utah Temple, the expected questions regarding the Provo, Salt Lake and Jordan River temples were answered with a resounding "no current plans" by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Given their mirrored timelines of some four decades and near-identical designs, the Ogden and Provo temples have long been labeled "sister" temples.
Because of the Ogden-Provo parallelism, many reasons cited for upgrading the former temple would seemingly apply also to the latter — seismic concerns, dated exterior and interior designs, inefficient mechanical systems and out-of-date building materials built on old specs and technology.
One major difference, however, is the LDS Church matching a revitalized temple with a redeveloping downtown Ogden.
"You combine that with what was going on in Ogden, and I think the First Presidency felt this would be a wonderful thing to do for the church and for the Saints in Ogden as well as a wonderful thing to do for the city of Ogden," said Elder William R. Walker, a member of the Quorums of the Seventy and executive director of the church's Temple Department.
Still, people wonder if the Provo Temple is destined for Ogden-style massive makeover.
"I think it would be safe to say that that wouldn't even be considered until the Payson Temple (announced last month) is completed," Elder Walker said.
Rumors linger about the Salt Lake Temple closing for renovations, especially with last year's addition of the Draper and Oquirrh Mountain temples.
Elder Walker, who publically rebutted the rumor two months ago, reiterated the same Wednesday.
"There are no plans to close the Salt Lake Temple for any significant renovation," he said. "The temple is magnificent and beautiful as it now stands."
Nor is the Jordan River Temple in South Jordan a renovation target. During a recent two-week maintenance closure, that temple received new carpet and new chairs.
LDS temples are scheduled with two two-week closure periods annually — usually one each in the summer and winter — in which maintenance and minor renovation projects are completed.
"We can do a lot of work in those two-week windows — if it is organized and planned — without having to close the temple," said Elder Walker, adding that the church's First Presidency prefers to avoid extended temple closures.
Some larger maintenance projects may overlap several two-week shut-down periods or be spread over several years.
Three other temples — in Atlanta, Buenos Aires and Laie, Hawaii — are currently closed for renovations, the latter for the second time since its 1919 completion.
Some two-dozen LDS temples have been closed previously for renovations and subsequent rededication, but nothing like the overhaul awaiting the Ogden Temple.
With 130 operating temples throughout the world, the LDS Church will dedicate another three in six-week period beginning in May — in order, the Vancouver British Columbia, The Gila Valley Arizona and Cebu City Philippines temples.
The Ogden and Provo temples were Utah's first temples in nearly eight decades, following the Salt Lake Temple in 1893.
In 1921, then-LDS President Heber J. Grant visited Ogden's Tabernacle Square to consider a possible temple, but it was then deemed financially unfeasible.68 comments on this story
In 1966, church studies showed that 52 percent of its temple ordinances were being done at three of the 13 operating temples — Salt Lake, Logan and Manti. Within three years, temples were announced for Ogden and Provo.
The dual design and construction of the two near-identical temples in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s helped reduce both cost and time.
The sister temples were built at a projected cost of $4 million each. To build something the size and design of the Los Angeles Temple would have cost three times as much.