Brigham spent some of his winters in St. George, and Heavenly Father wanted him to build a temple there. The workers laid the foundation for the temple, but it kept sinking because there were springs of alkali (salty) water under the earth. Brigham had tons of black volcanic rocks from nearby mountains hauled in to make the foundation of the St. George Temple solid.
Brigham studied the temples in the Old Testament to make sure he was building the St. George temple as Heavenly Father wanted it. He asked his daughter, Susa Young Gates, to read to him about the tabernacle in Leviticus, and Solomon’s Temple in Chronicle and Kings. He made the baptismal font as near to the one in Solomon’s Temple as he could.7
The first level of the St. George Temple was dedicated on January 1, 1877. Brigham’s legs were so weak because of his rheumatism that he had to be carried into the room. During his speech he became so upset at the influence of Satan among the people that he struck the podium with his hickory cane, denting it so that the marks could still be seen years later. “I will never cease my preaching until Satan and his hosts are overcome,” he said.