The Palmyra New York Temple is the 77th operating temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The site for the Palmyra New York Temple, atop a wooded hill in pastoral western New York, is in an area prominent in the early history of the Latter Day Saint Movement. Nearby is the grove of trees known as the Sacred Grove in which the founder and first prophet of the Church, Joseph Smith, Jr., reported having a vision in which he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, and event known as the First Vision. The temple grounds, on the border between the towns of Manchester and Palmyra, are also on the grounds of the original Smith Family Farm. The Church itself was organized only thirty miles away inFayette, New York in 1830.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, held May 25, 1999, the Church President at the time Gordon B. Hinckley commented on the area's rich history, saying that it was in that locale that Mormonism truly began. President Hinckley also marveled at how much the Church had grown since its founding in 1830.
Local reaction to the new temple was positive and more than 30,700 visitors toured the new temple before its dedication. The temple serves about 18,000 members within seven stakes, or groups of Mormon congregations. The Palmyra New York Temple was dedicated on 6 April 2000, the 170th anniversary of the organization of the Church. While only about 1,200 members attended the dedicatory sessions within the temple itself nearly 1.5 million members took part through media broadcasts throughout the United States and Canada.
The Palmyra New York Temple has a total of 10,700 square feet (990 m2), two ordinance rooms, and two sealing rooms. The exterior is white marble. Forty art glass windows inside the temple depict local events in LDS Church history. A gold statue of the angel Moroni tops the single spire. Beautiful carved cherry wood railings, wainscoting, and moldings line the halls, along with hand-sculpted carpeting.