As family gathered from all over to witness the couple marry for Time and All Eternity, the skies had plans to ruin the day. As the couple exited the Temple for the first time as husband and wife, it started to drizzle. The rain was headed right towards us and there was nothing we could do except make the best of it. And that we did.
We moved to the north side of the Temple to take family pictures to limit our exposure to the elements. Many members of the family, as well as ourselves prayed fervently that the clouds would pass over us and the rain would leave us be, and that it did. Just as we were finishing up taking pictures, the clouds split up and went everywhere but where we were. It was as if the heavens opened, allowing us to continue.
Just as the couple came out of the temple, my partner shooting the photography and me as their videographer, the Bride looked at me with the most confused facial expression. It was then that I realized that she figured out that I was shooting video. You see, her brother referred her to me for both photography and videography, but she didn’t spring for both options. Josh knew that she really wanted a video, so he called me privately to make it happen.
Later at the reception, the couple danced the night away with family and friends, there was no shortage of cute little kiddos dancing around the room hand in hand. Clay performed a number by Michael Buble, and Jeanette’s brothers performed a choreographed dance that was a sight to see.
The Provo City Centre Temple has a fascinating history.
First Provo Tabernacle
- Predating the existing Provo Tabernacle was a smaller tabernacle (sometimes called the Old Provo Tabernacle) that stood from 1861-1919 on the same block, and was situated north of the location of the new temple which faces Center Street.
- Plans for the first tabernacle began as early as 1852, though ground wasn’t broken until 1856.
- The tabernacle was dedicated August 24, 1867.
- The tabernacle was razed in 1919.
- A baptistry, built around 1875, was discovered on the Provo Tabernacle’s site during site preparation for the Provo City Center Temple.
- The baptistry included a five-by-nine-foot font.
- The font floor had three layers of wood laid in crisscross fashion and was held together with nails and screws. As the screws were tightened, the wood was pulled together to form a floor solid enough to hold water.
- The excavation unearthed a water pipe used to fill the font and a drain to empty it.
- In early baptistry photographs a chimney is shown, which archaeologists believe vented a stove that heated the water to make the facility usable year-round.
- Large quantities of painted plaster fragments were also discovered, revealing the original sky-blue color of the baptistry’s interior walls.
- Church historians identified the location of the early baptistry using fire insurance maps dated from the 1880s to 1910.
- Ground was broken for the Provo Tabernacle in 1882.
- The Provo Tabernacle was dedicated in 1898. It was a historic treasure for the Church.
- The tabernacle was constructed from 1883 to 1898 at a cost of $100,000.
- U.S. President William H. Taft visited and spoke in the tabernacle September 24, 1909.
- The tabernacle was used for Church meetings and conferences and cultural events, such as Handel’s Messiah each year at Christmastime.
- The tabernacle was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
- The tabernacle was modified several times over its century of use, but the historic character remained.
- The last renovation took place in 1986; President Thomas S. Monson, then second counselor in the First Presidency, rededicated the tabernacle.
- The Provo Tabernacle burned on December 17, 2010.
- The structure was preserved despite the damage.
- The tabernacle’s pulpit was saved and is now installed in the Provo City Center Temple’s chapel.
- The Church spent several months stabilizing the surviving structure and combing through every inch of debris looking for clues and information about the history of the building, changes over time, design and construction.
- Review of the Church archives revealed the tabernacle was not well documented. The building is now among the best documented buildings in the Church. This intensive level of preservation research was possible because of the fire.
- The level of intensive documentation and preservation would not have been possible without true collaboration between multiple Church departments and consultants.
- Visit history.lds.org for additional historical information.