Joseph F. Smith : Reflections on the Man and His Times
Religious Studies Center, BYU ; Deseret Book Company
Under President Smith’s direction, and due to his unique life experience, the Church was well-suited to embrace its increasing international presence in a paradigm-altering way. Evidence of this evolution is particularly manifest by President Smith’s singular role in the construction of the Laie Hawaii Temple. The purpose of this essay is to explore how President Joseph F. Smith’s integral involvement in the building of the Latter-day Saint temple in Hawaii resulted in the first temple “away from the traditional centers of Mormon colonization in Utah.” This is significant because with the temple comes the introduction of Laie as an early prototype of gathering, which did not really take hold Churchwide until the mid-twentieth century.
In examining this topic, a series of questions will be addressed. First, what connections did Joseph F. Smith have with the Hawaiian Islands that led to the building of a temple there? Second, why and how was Laie selected as the location for the temple? Third, what events led to President Smith’s decision to build a temple in Laie, Hawaii, at that time in Church history? And lastly, what impact did the building of the Hawaiian Temple, as it was known, have on the Church today—nearly one hundred years later? [From the text]