THE NAUVOO TEMPLE. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built its second temple at Nauvoo. The limestone structure, begun in 1841, was erected at great sacrifice by the followers of Joseph Smith. During the winter of 1845-1846 the Temple was sufficiently finished for the Mormons to use its uppermost floor for sacred ceremonies, even as they prepared to abandon Nauvoo for the Rocky Mountain West. When the Mormons left the city in February 1846, a few workers remained behind to finish the Temple, which was finally dedicated in May 1846. At the time it was one of the most imposing buildings in the state of Illinois.

The original Nauvoo Temple no longer stands. It was gutted by fire in 1848 and a tornado toppled one of its walls in 1850. Two other walls were torn down for safety reasons soon after, leaving only its western facade standing. The citizens, who occupied Nauvoo after the Mormons left, finally razed the Temple's remaining wall in 1865. The stones used for the Temple's construction were utilized for other buildings; many of these stones can still be seen throughout present-day Nauvoo. The Mormon Church now owns the site where the Temple stood. The Church authorized a number of archeological digs of the Temple's foundation, which uncovered significant information about the building. The site was tastefully landscaped and provided with a monument to the Nauvoo Temple, including a scale model and examples of some of some of its symbolic stones.

 THE NAUVOO ILLINOIS TEMPLE. At the final session of the April 1999 General Conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would rebuild the Nauvoo Temple, to serve both as a functioning temple and as a monument to the early Latter-day Saints who sacrificed so much for the construction of the original Temple. President Hinckley presided over ground breaking ceremonies on October 24, 1999, following issuance of a building permit by the Nauvoo City Council on October 19th. The cornerstones were laid on November 5, 2000. Work progressed steadily and the temple was completed by June 2002.  A number of Internet sites, such as  NauvooTemple.com and Deseret Book's webcam, provided ready access to the building's construction. The new Nauvoo Illinois Temple was dedicated on June 27, 2002 by President Gordon B. Hinckley, becoming the Church's 113th functioning temple.