The Billings Montana Temple is the closest to Cody.

Cody has been chosen as the site of a new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple. 

Sunday night, church president Russell Nelson announced plans to build 13 more temples.

“As I emphasized this morning, please make time for the Lord in His holy house,” Nelson said prior to announcing the temples in a news release. “Nothing will strengthen your spiritual foundation like temple service and temple worship.”

One in every nine residents of Wyoming, roughly 68,000 people, claim membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Area LDS Stake President Andrew Jacobsen said it was a surprise to local leadership.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “It’s a big deal for us. It gives us a lot closer access to a temple.”

This will be the state’s third temple. Other temples are the Casper Wyoming Temple and Star Valley Wyoming Temple. Right now the closest temple for people in the area is in Billings. 

Jacobsen said for the roughly 3,600 members of the stake, which includes most of Park County and Burlington, it will have a big impact. 

“Having it this close will make it easier,” he said, noting some people will go to the temple weekly, many once or twice a month. 

Wyoming has a significant place in the history of the church, as pioneers traveled across the state in their westward migration to Utah, primarily from the 1840s to the 1860s. 

According to the official release, temples differ from the church’s chapels. All are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at local chapels. The primary purpose of temples, however, is for Latter-day Saints to participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity while living.

Jacobsen said after these announcements it usually takes time to plan on where the temple will be built and the timeline. He said once the temple is built, anyone in the community will be able to attend an open house to see inside, before it is dedicated and restricted to members of the church only.

(19) comments

Goerge Neilson

The announcement for the Church's Temple was "at or near the following locations". I personally suspect more "near" Cody than "at" Cody but time will tell.

Seth George

Enterprise, thanks for the great article. For anyone interested in learning more about the temple, what to expect and why its significant to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this is a great short video. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/video/2019-01-1000-two-apostles-lead-a-virtual-tour-of-the-rome-italy-temple?lang=eng

Whitney Maslak

I’m so glad we live in a country that allows for freedom of religion! I’m not LDS, but this is a very exciting time for my LDS friends and it will be a positive thing in their lives. The negative comments remind me a lot of the flack that the Carmelite monks got when they started building their monastery. It’s just anti-religious bigotry. I’d much rather see a temple being built in Cody than a strip club!

Aaron Billin

Well spoken Paige Martinez. I support everything you have said.

Robert Alber

Well that should boost Cody to 20k population, if you don’t have a house or lot you better buy one quick. I had intended to retire in Cody from central Wyoming, time to rethink.

Luke Hopkin

The temple will help boost the economy some, but I am pretty certain that it won't double the population of the town. It will still be a great place to retire!

Paige Martinez

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I can testify that the presence of the house of the Lord in the Bighorn Basin will be a blessing to our entire community, believers and non-believers alike. This temple, like the many others across the globe and the one pictured above, will be a divine example of architecture, beautifying and edifying our community. Whether merely passing by or walking upon the temple grounds, if one opens her heart and momentarily sets aside all bitterness, an undeniable peace and inner warmth will be felt. In the hardest of times, the sight of temple serves as a reminder of Him and as a. respite from the chaos of the world.

Not only will the temple provide blessings of an intangible nature, but it will serve the community in temporal matters. Currently, the Latter-day Saints of the Cody, Powell, Meeteetse, Burlington, Otto, Wapiti, and other communities have to travel to Billings in order to attend the temple. After the Cody Wyoming Temple is constructed, a weekly influx of members visiting Cody in order to attend the temple will be seen. Businesses like restaurants and hotels will benefit as a result, and, although unforeseen at this moment, Cody will likely be blessed in other economic matters.

Yes, two to three hours to Billings is not a terribly long drive, but the closer proximity of a temple is an unimaginable blessing to us—especially for the many who struggle to find the time that must be set aside in order to attend. The sacrifices of Saints in the far reaches of the world testify of the profoundness of this blessing, and help one to understand the sacredness and importance of temples:

For a group of over a hundred people in Manaus, Brazil, they had to travel for seven days under uncomfortable circumstances—little to eat, nowhere to sleep—in order to reach the São Paul, Brazil temple, which was nearly 2,500 miles away. The men of another family, who made a meager living as plantation workers on a small island in the vicinity of Tahiti, spent four years and 3,000 miles away from their family in order to afford the airfare required for flying the entire family to the Hamilton New Zealand Temple. And countless others make financial sacrifices of a similar degree each year while waiting for a temple to be built closer to their communities.

Furthermore, personal beliefs and philosophies aside, it’s undeniable that this temple—like the countless other temples, monasteries, cathedrals, and chapels of other faiths across the nation—serve as a fulfillment and manifestation of those defining First Amendment rights held within The Constitution of the United States of America. It should be celebrated that, after 230 years, freedoms like free exercise of religion without fear of persecution are still ours’, and have withstood the tests of man and time! I apologize if any of you have ever felt persecuted or as if religion is being imposed upon you; I can assure you that the establishment of a temple in Cody will not be a omen of such. It’s our expression of reverence to the Lord, a reminder of Him, and a refuge—nothing of a negative nature.

My sole hope is that it will serve as further encouragement for people of all faiths to research and strive to understand each other’s mindsets, so as to fulfill that defining goal implied each year as religious leaders counsel together at the G20 Interfaith Quorum: to not merely tolerate but to accept each other and work towards the visions that unite us all.

Luke Hopkin

Great thoughts Paige. Everything you said is spot on.

Dewey Vanderhoff

First we have the Carmelite order of monks who built their 14th century Gothic monastery way up in the boondocks above Meeteetse Creek at timberline on Carter Mountain . Now a great full service great white Mormon Temple. What's next --- a giant glass and chrome megachurch with lasers and 16 channel sound for the televangelists ?

The steel building fundamentalists and holy rolling snake handlers in their single story cinderblock cathedrals certainly won't sit still with all this cement truck prosletyzing .

Who knew the New Dark Age could be so fun around here ? Where's Kanye ?

Gregory Taggart

Dewey, your English teachers must have loved you. Probably still do; though if they're Catholic, evangelical, fundamentalist, holy rolling snake handlers, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, they may be having second thoughts. Not me. I'm writing to invite you to the Temple open house in about three years. Together we can discover whether the Cody Temple is "great full service" or sans laundry, whether it's "great white" or great grey, and whether it's even great big. (You might be surprised to know that some Mormon temples are smaller than single-story cinderblock cathedrals.) I'm most excited to see if it will have the angel Moroni atop the steeple, blowing into or with the wind. Afterward, I'll buy you breakfast or lunch at Wendy's where we can debate the relative merits of Cody and Powell schools. Until then, peace be unto you and your muse.

Luke Hopkin

Dewey, I'm not exactly sure what you are trying to say here. I can't imagine the monastery has had any negative impact on your life. I also, very much doubt, that the LDS Temple will either.

I'm happy to discuss anytime you'd like.

Miriam Roberts

I’m sorry to read the negative comments on this topic thus far. As I read today’s local, national and world news, it seems to me we need more kind feelings wherein people reach out in fellowship to one another, not antagonism toward each other. In my experience, temples built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bless the individuals and families who worship there, and strengthen and beautify the community in many ways. The people and town of Cody will be blessed by this temple. I urge the curious and the concerned to read about temples on churchofjesuschrist.org and learn for themselves.

Ryan Beardall

This will be such a blessing and positive thing for this community. Many people in Billings in 1999 were opposed to the temple there and had similar concerns as those expressed in these comments. However, those concerns were resolved or never became true problems. Billings truly has benefited from the temple there. My hope is that the community as a whole will respect and welcome this. I hope we can all be kind and civil to one another. I would hate to see any bigotry or religious persecution come from this.

Tom Conners


Arlie Sorenson

Do the citizens of Cody really wanted a religious backed monstrosity in our community? Aren't the days of super-churches over? "If" it must be built, please consider the Kanye West Monster Ranch property. It's already been so torn up and turned into an eyesore that anything, even some overbuilt "temple" would be an upgrade

Luke Hopkin

Arlie, an LDS temple is not really a super church thing. However, some of them are very large structures. That will very likely not be the case for this one. In smaller communities, like ours, the temples are much smaller.

I don't have any official information on the planned design, but it will likely be about the same size and design as the one in Billings.

That building has a footprint that is only slightly larger than the existing LDS Chapel on the 13th st hill.

It will likely have a bolder architectural design than the chapel, but I don't believe the word "monstrosity" will be applicable.

Justin Smith

Complete waste of money by Morm Corp. the LDS church runs their business like one and should be taxed just like any other.

Tom Conners

AMEN to that.

kevin ceceralli

cody needs more businesses and less churches. wait, the LDS "is" a business!

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