Folktales Make Great Stories

SCULPTURE & ART

Although “Mormon” Church President Brigham Young was greatly pleased to have the St. George LDS Temple completed while he was still alive, he was blatantly disappointed with the original tower on the building.  The aging and ailing leader had watched much of the construction of the first temple in the west from his downtown winter home, but upon completion of the structure in 1877 – only a few short months before his death – Brother Brigham voiced his displeasure with the tower, which he described as “short and squatty”  suggesting it needed to be 27-feet taller. 

The building of the temple had already physicially and financially stretched the people to their limit.  In a highly unprecedented decision, the weary early settlers took a stand and told President Young they liked it just as it was and had no intention of changing it.  Brother Brigham went to his grave before he could convince them of the error of their ways.

But, as was usually the case in most matters, “the lion of the Lord” eventually got his own way, when on October 16, 1878, a terrible electrical storm hit St. George.  Among other damage done by the storm, a powerful lightning bolt hit the tower, destroying it completely.  When the tower was rebuilt, the original design was modified to a taller, more attractive tower.

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