PROVO — A little more than a month ago, an LDS Church spokesman made a passing reference to the "new Provo City Center Temple" in a story about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acquiring additional property for its new temple in downtown Provo.
Evidently, that was an announcement.
Ending months of speculation and thousands of name recommendations since plans for the new temple were announced at the church's general conference last October, LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said today "the name of the temple is the Provo City Center Temple."
For most of the LDS Church's 136 temples operating worldwide (with another 30 in various stages of the construction or design), determining the official name is simple and straightforward: city then state (or province or country). From the Aba Nigeria Temple to the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple, the pattern remains the same, with only a few exceptions — for example, the aforementioned Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple, which is actually in Omaha but draws its name from a nearby Mormon pioneer historic site.
Other temple names that vary from the standard city then state (province or country) format include the Gila Valley Arizona Temple (which is physically located in Central, Ariz.), the Jordan River Utah Temple (South Jordan), the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple (American Fork) and the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple (also in South Jordan).
Like the new Provo City Center Temple, the Salt Lake Temple doesn't have a state, province or country associated with its name. It doesn't even have the full, official name of its city. But everyone seems to know where it is.
Provo becomes the second city in the world to host two temples (South Jordan was the first, with both the Jordan River and the Oquirrh Mountain temples within its boundaries), which is why there was so much speculation about what the new temple would be named.
The Provo City Center Temple name is certainly appropriate, as the new temple is being built at the intersection of Provo's Center Street and University Avenue — pretty much the center of Provo City. But there were many who advocated a name that reflected the fact that the temple is being built literally in the ashes of the historic Provo Tabernacle, which was destroyed by fire in December 2010 — 10 months before plans to build the new temple were announced.