Site location announced for Star Valley Wyoming LDS Temple


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  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    April 28, 2013 11:35 p.m.

    Prodicus, having spent my teenage years in Star Valley (and my parents still live there), I'm better informed than you on the environment and population of Star Valley. Afton currently has around 2,000 people, but entire valley contains over 10,000 people. The valley is dotted with towns such as Thayne, Grover, Auburn, Smoot, Osmond, Fairview, Freedom, Bedford/Turnerville, Etna, Star Valley Ranch, Alpine, and county land. Of the 10,000 people who live there, approximately 50-60% are Mormon. That means about 5,000 to 6,000 are Mormon (some of which are not active). In the immediate vicinity there are dozens of small villages such as Cokeville and slightly larger towns such as Jackson Hole and Kemmerer.

    Obviously it is nothing like the Mormon population of Utah, but the temple will be much smaller as well. As far as the winters are concerned, they can be brutal and winter driving can be very treacherous. No matter what route you take, roads can be closed due to bad weather. The road to Idaho Falls has a section called Antelope Flats which is often closed. I've known several people who were killed going to the Idaho Falls temple.

  • Yakira Buffalo, NY
    Feb. 16, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    Sharrona, since you reside in the Ogden, UT area, do you know of Jewish life in/near Montpelier, Idaho, or its surrounding area? I'm thinking of relocating there to be closer to some family in region, but being Jewish only know of closest centers of Jewish worship in Pocatello or Ogden. Montpelier is closer to Afton than the other two regions. I can find no evidence of Jewish life there. Would you know if there is any? Shalom! Am Y'Israel Chai.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    May 29, 2012 11:32 a.m.

    If I remember correctly, people criticized President Young for building the St George Temple wayout in the boonies in swamp country. In some countries it is not the number of members that dictates where a temple is going to be built, but it is the freedom of those members whose government prevents a temple being built that can make a difference. I guess all of us armchair critics should be glad that the Lord is in charge of his church and not man.

  • trueamerican Huntsville, AL
    May 28, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    Very cool for Wyoming.

  • Larry Lawton Wan Chai, Hong Kong
    May 27, 2012 9:25 p.m.

    Although we are now in Hong Kong, we usually live in Star Valley, Wyoming, which has more than 10,000 people, not the 4,000 mentioned earlier. We served in the Idaho Falls Temple on Friday, with 21 other couples who drove the snowy, slippery road to Idaho Falls every week, except on those days when to road was closed. Although the Snake River canyon has many curves and hills, it is also dangerous when it departs from the river and crosses the flats, where ground blizzards can reduce the visibility to zero. I think almost everyone in the valley knows someone who has lost their lives going to or from the temple. Thus, we rejoice in a temple. Is it an undeserved blessing? When I consider the number of people in Star Valley who serve, the difficulties of travel, and the many who are not counted in census figures because they are summer residents, that seems to decrease the feeling that we do not yet deserve a temple. Could the funds be employed better elsewhere? I frankly have enough to do monitoring my own affairs, without undertaking a role as advisor to those charged with temple construction.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    May 27, 2012 3:35 p.m.

    What a blesing this is for the poor and downtrotten people of the world.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    May 27, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    Remember, as a faithful member, you are required to be current on your tithing before you can partake of the temple rituals. When you sit back and think about it,actually a very good business decision for the church to build this temple (or for that matter, any temple).

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 27, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    RE: Bill in Nebraska one repents, Baptized and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost/Spirit same Greek word(pneuma).
    There are exceptions without Baptism, King Benjamin in(Mosiah 4:3)…and it came to pass that after they had spoken these word, the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received the remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience. because of exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ….
    Luke 23:43,where the Savior on the cross says to the thief, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise".

    Re: Snowman, Temples are sacred[secret] places. I have spoken openly to the world, Jesus replied I always taught in synagogues or at the Temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in Secret.(John 18:20 NIV)
    Jesus… them, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days. They replied, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken of was his Body. John 2:19-21 (NIV) The Christian Temple is Jesus .

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    May 26, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    With respect to Afton, the saints in Riverton and Lander, WY and surrounding areas now travel to Ogden (which is undergoing a major renovation); Rock Springs and Rawlins are in the Vernal Temple District; Cody, Powell, Lovell and Sheridan go to Billings; Cheyenne goes to Denver until they build the Fort Collins Temple. I didn't look up where Casper, Laramie and Gillete saints travel for a temple. There isn't a temple anywhere in Wyoming so I am grateful there will now be one in Afton.

    I know people in one temple district back east that have a three hour drive and when another temple back there is finished they'll be in the new district---and still have a 3-hour drive. But no one is complaining.

    If the airport size was the determining factor, how'd they get one in Monticello and Payson, or even Nauvoo?

    Years ago relatives were told a temple would be built in the Seattle area "when the local saints did enough genealogical research to support one being open more than two days."

    There are many factors that are considered and I'm not about to second guess the First Presidency.

  • Erich Lake Oswego, OR
    May 26, 2012 10:14 p.m.

    As someone who grew up in Star Valley, I am overjoyed that a Temple is being built in my hometown. I know of many people who have died in crashes on the roads to the Idaho Falls Temple. Prodicus underestimates the danger involved with traveling U.S. Highway 26, in particular the area known as "Antelope Flats." Black ice, blowing snow, and overall poor driving conditions are all too common during the winter months in this area.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 26, 2012 10:04 p.m.

    Sharrona do you really understand the scriptures you cite. You focus on just a couple of things as of proof but if you continue to read you will find that unless one repents, baptized and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost can in no wise enter into the kingdom of God. Many on this earth including Church members will not enter into the Celestial Kingdom. Most will be in either the telestial or terrestial kingdoms, isolated from the father because of rebellion or just not strong enough. Baptism gives them the opportuniy but as with all else they have the choice to accept or reject. Many on the other side of the veil who left this world with all their wants, addicitions will take that with them. Many will not be able to overcome the effects of this life. In fact, this life determines your eternal glory. You decide and at judgement is when you finally find out. The thing is many who have left this life has already been given their glory, i.e. Peter, James, John, Joseph Smith and all of the modern prophets, Abraham and all of the Old Testament Prophets.

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    May 26, 2012 9:25 p.m.

    One thought. " My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts" Who are we to second guess Him?

  • snowman Provo, UT
    May 26, 2012 8:14 p.m.

    Utah Native: The temple being built in Billings has nothing to do with the size of the sirport.

    Sharrona: Temples are sacred places.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 26, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    RE: Temples are where members participate in the highest sacraments of our faith.

    Jesus warns to not trust in sacred(secret) places: … the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem(Temple). You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”(John 4:21-24 )

    Baptism for the dead,(2 Nephi 28:21) And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them; I am no devil, for there is none and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains from whence ‘there is No deliverance.’

    Mosiah 3:25)… endless torment whence they can’ No more Return..’; .

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    May 26, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    The answer to your question, Mr. Prodicus, could have to do with the cost of building and keeping a temple open in some of the more corrupt locations on the planet. Do you get an e-mail from Star Valley Wyoming every day or two inviting you to share in millions of dollars of money just waiting for you to claim it? I get such invitations from Nigeria. Do you think the architect and the Project Manager will be carjacked, kidnapped and robbed at gun point on their way to a job meeting in Star Valley, like they were in Nigeria? Do you think the temple in Star Valley will have to be closed much of the time because of threatened violence?

    I think it is a tremendous reach for the Church to bless the African Saints to the extent they now enjoy. Let us pray for the day when there is peace on Earth and a temple in every African Stake.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    May 26, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    @jg76- just wanted to say I appreciated your weighing in and that my slight puzzlement and wish for more insight into the placement priorities in no way keep me from being glad for you folks and glad for the continued spread of temples across the earth.

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    May 26, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    So happy for the saints in Star Valley, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Can't wait for the faithful saints in Cody and Lovell to get a temple, too. (They decided on Billings rather than Park County, WY, because there was a bigger airport there. Lots of opposition from folks in Billings, who love big religious gathering places as long as they aren't LDS.)

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    May 26, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    @Whoa Nellie- are you joking? The current Provo temple district has ~300,000 members and a constant stream of MTC and student use. Extreme wait times show it's beyond capacity.

    @desert pete, whitebread- Though guided by inspiration at each step, the normal process by which revelation comes- studying it out in your minds, counseling and reasoning together, formulating decisions, praying for confirmation, repeating as necessary- is filled with reasons and purposes accessible to mortal minds. There is nothing wrong with seeking to understand, and there is nothing meritorious about telling people to shut up and stop trying to understand.

    @comment- your comment makes more sense, though the road from Afton to Idaho Falls (or Rexburg) follows the broad valleys of the Salt and Snake and should be relatively safe.

    @Over The Top- Less than 7% of the people in Teton County and less than 14% of the people in Sublette County are LDS. So those only add another ~2000.

    @inspectorc, cindyb: I'm uncomfortable with the assertion that they're too righteous for a 2.5 hour drive while 22000 Kenyan and Ugandan saints are too wicked to have better than a weeklong exodus. Gotta be other deciding factors.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    May 26, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    Nellie: There is going to be another temple in Provo because the one we have now is the busiest in the world.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    May 26, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    To: Prodicus - in answer to your question..it is being built where the Lord wants it.

  • kenny Sterling Heights, MI
    May 26, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    The building of temples does not follow logic at times but it does follow what the Lord wants for his children. I live in Michigan and yes we also have a temple very close but I'm equally thrilled to have this new temple built in Star Valley.

  • jg76 Afton, WY
    May 26, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    While we are absolutely thrilled about our new temple, many of us in Star Valley have asked the same question, Why a temple here? I don't know that I have any better answers than those listed above, but I do have my testimony that the Lord knows what He is doing and and that He leads his church. Someday we will know that it was for a wise purpose.

  • cindyb CASPER, WY
    May 26, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    My friends in Star Valley have told me that the saints in the Star Valley area have been demonstrating their temple faithfulness for many years by having a very high percentage of temple attendance in Idaho Falls.

    My husband and I were able to attend the smaller temple in Memphis Tennessee in the USA, while traveling. I learned then that all temples are not the grand buildings of some of the bigger or even moderate sized ones. This one was sharing the same parking lot as a stake center and truly was "smaller" than I would have thought it would be, yet all temples are of the Most High God and serve the sacred puposes that all other temples serve. While there, the temple matron was kind enough to share her temple clothes with me as we didn't have ours on the trip with us and there was no clothing rental. My husband was also able to borrow clothing from the temple president had set aside. We had a wonderfully spiritual experience in the very small and modest Memphis Temple.

    I have no doubt

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    May 26, 2012 6:24 a.m.

    Every temple is a blessing to mankind. As the Church keeps them coming, may the rest of us keep going. It will bless your family, your life and your progenitors.

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    May 25, 2012 11:29 p.m.

    RE: Prodicus @ 8:56 PM--

    One issue that is always mentioned in the placement of LDS Temples has to do with the "worthiness level" of the Saints in that area (e.g., % of full tithe payers, etc.) So, in that respect, this site selection is a HUGE compliment to the Saints of Star Valley, Western Wyoming and Southeastern Idaho, thought their numbers may be few!

    Additionally, Star Valley is about as "close to heaven" as you can get here on Earth, so a temple there only seems natural (even if there were only 100 Saints around that region! 8^)

    If The Millennium begins in my lifetime, I'll volunteer to move to Afton to serve fulltime in THAT temple for the thousand years!

  • rhappahannock Washington, DC
    May 25, 2012 10:55 p.m.

    Nigeria now has ~104,000 members. Nearby Ghana has ~49,000 members, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo has ~31,000. Even with all the trouble in Zimbabwe, there are ~21,000 members. In contrast, Wyoming only has 64,000, and a large number of fairly nearby temples. Over 200k members, a huge land mass, and only two small temples. Further, it is way cheaper to build a temple in Africa than it is in the United States.

    What we need is a BYU-Africa. Instead of blowing money on the UU Law school, let the money help people who really need a better education system. If the church won't do it, we should do it through private funding - like Southern Virginia.

  • Over the Top Rigby, ID
    May 25, 2012 10:12 p.m.


    This is only my opinion but this temple will probably serve far more than just Star Valley. It most likely will take in the Jackson Hole and Pinedale, WY areas. And it is reasonable to think the Soda Springs/Montpelier, ID area may be included in this temple district as well. So that possibly brings the total number of people served to be about the same as the soon-to-be Brigham City temple district. These saints presently are served by the Logan or Idaho Falls temples - making it much easier for the patrons to serve more regularly, particularly in the winter.

    Additionally, it could give some of the "out-of-state" LDS members (such as those from Utah) an opportunity to include temple service in their R&R when they are in that area vacationing.

  • Whitebread Platte City, MO
    May 25, 2012 10:10 p.m.

    The Lord inspires his prophets on the locations of his temples. I think all we need to know is that is what happened in this case. We just received a temple in our area and all are thrilled about it. We too had to travel nearly 3 hours to get to the temple when we were in the previous temple district, and I understand that there are others in the world that have to sacrifice so much more. I am prayerful that they too will receive the great blessings of having a temple in their midst. One thing I am very sure of, and that is the timing and placement of temples is in the Lord's hands and he reveals it through his chosen prophets.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    May 25, 2012 10:03 p.m.

    Prodicus -- Revelation

  • comment Rawlins, WY
    May 25, 2012 10:02 p.m.

    Saints in that area, if I understand right, have to pass through treacherous passes through the winter in order to make that trip. Having a temple where they are at, will help them immensely.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    May 25, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    Why Provo?

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    May 25, 2012 8:56 p.m.

    As glad as I am to see temples dot the earth, I'm puzzled about the placement of this one. Afton has less than 2000 people. The entire region has less than 4000. The Rexburg, Idaho Falls, and Logan temples are all less than 2.5 hours away from Afton by car. There are lots of nations which have more than 4000 members of the Church (and millions of nonmembers) without a temple, and for many of those members, temple attendance requires not only the hassle of crossing borders but also very long train/bus trips or expensive flights. Does anyone have any insight about why Star Valley?