Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is the 8th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Located on the banks of the Snake River, the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is surrounded by three ponds which continuously flow from one to the other and which creates three beautiful waterfalls. In addition, more than sixteen hundred pine trees adorn the landscape, creating a scene of tranquility to those that pass by and those that enter the sacred doors of the temple. The temple serves as a centerpiece for the city of Idaho Falls with its exterior constructed of white quartz aggregate and white cement, which radiates in the light. The temple is built on a solid foundation of lava rock, discovered when excavation began.
The area surrounding the Idaho Falls Temple is rich in pioneer heritage. Many early members of the Mormon Church were asked to settle in this harsh and barren prairie. But in 1884 President Wilford Woodruff encouraged the members to 'not be discouraged; be not disheartened [in your endeavors], because Gods' blessing is upon this land ... the time will come when the Basin and the inhabitants will prosper and develop into a strong community." The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was announced 3 March 1937.
As construction began, the Mormon Church approached a cement products company located in Salt Lake City, Utah and asked if they could provide the materials needed to build the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. The Buehner family eagerly accepted remembering that years earlier Brother Buehner had received direction in his patriarchal blessing that, he and his sons would assist in building temples. In the years that followed, the Buehner family assisted in the construction of five additional temples.
The exterior of the temple was completed in September of 1941 and the interior was expected to be completed the following year. However, with World War II shortages, it delayed the completion of the temple for four more years. In spite of delays, LDS Church President George Albert Smith dedicated the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple just one month after the war ended, on 23 September 1945.
- The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was the first temple built in Idaho.
- The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was the only temple dedicated by President George Albert Smith.
- The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was the first temple designed with a central spire. (The design represented a return to the use of spires, as the three previously dedicated temples featured no towers or spires.)
- The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was originally named the Idaho Falls Temple.
- The east side of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple originally featured a series of three reflecting ponds that were filled with water lilies and small fish. In the 1960s, the ponds were converted to flowerbeds. In 2011, the concrete ponds were removed as part of a landscaping renovation and replaced with a waterfall feature.
- The erection of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was considered the fulfillment of a prophecy made by Elder Wilford Woodruff in 1884. While visiting the Saints who were struggling to colonize the windswept desert prairie, he said: "Be not discouraged; be not disheartened, because God's blessing is upon this land." He continued: "Yes, as I look into the future of this great valley I can see temples—I can see beautiful temples erected to the name of the Living God where holy labors may be carried on in his name through generations to come."
- The design of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was inspired by a vision of an ancient Nephite temple beheld by architect John Fetzer, Sr., who had prayed for guidance.
- While excavating through sand for the foundation of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, workers encountered solid lava rock beneath—an ideal foundation for the basement walls.
- At the cornerstone ceremony for the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple held on 19 October 1940, six-year-old John Groberg was given the assignment to hold President David O. McKay's hat. John would later become a General Authority and the temple's 14th president.
- Once the exterior of the temple was completed in September 1941, the interior was expected to be completed by the end of the next year. However, World War II shortages delayed completion of the temple four more years.
- The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple features beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls of its progressive-style ordinance rooms: Creation Room, Garden Room, World Room, Terrestrial Room (no murals), and Celestial Room. (Only two other temples feature full Celestial Room murals: the Hamilton New Zealand Temple and the Los Angeles California Temple. The corner pillars in the Logan Utah Temple Celestial room portray a heavenly landscape, too.)
- The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is one of only seven temples where patrons progress through four ordinance rooms before passing into the Celestial Room. (The other six temples are the Manti Utah Temple, the Salt Lake Temple, the Laie Hawaii Temple, the Cardston Alberta Temple, the Los Angeles California Temple, and the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.)
- In September 1983, a helicopter was employed to install an Angel Moroni statue atop the spire of the previously statueless Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.
- The Angel Moroni statue atop the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is a casting made by LaVar Wallgren of the statue created by Torlief Knaphus for the Washington D.C. Ward chapel, which he made as a replica of Cyrus E. Dallin's statue atop the Salt Lake Temple. (Other castings of this statue stand atop the Boston Massachusetts Temple and formerly atop the Atlanta Georgia Temple.)
- In October 2011, a complete renovation of the landscaping of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was completed, which included replacement of the flower beds on the east side of the temple with a beautiful waterfall feature, installation of four gathering plazas—one in each quadrant of the grounds, reconfiguration of the walkway to the baptistry, and creation of a bridal courtyard on the south side of the temple. The Idaho Falls Beautification Commission awarded the project its top award for 2012 in the non-residential category.
Closing and Renovations
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple which services members in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming will close for renovation on Monday, 16 March 2015 through October 2016. Members are encouraged to attend the Rexburg Idaho Temple during that time. Once the renovations are complete, the temple will be re-dedicated.
A Picturesque Tour of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
The following pictures ©Intellectual Reserve, Inc., are from Deseret News of the inside of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple were officially released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 17 April 2017.
Open House and Rededication Dates Announced
The First Presidency has announced open house and rededication dates for the newly renovated Idaho Falls Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The general public, including children of all ages, is invited to attend an open house of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple from Saturday, 22 April through Saturday, 20 May 2017, except for 23 April, 30 April, 7 May and 14 May 2017. Admission is free, but reservations are requested. Free reservations for the open house can be made through Temple Open House.lds.org. Modest dress is requested. Parking will be provided at nearby stake centers. Ushers will guide you to an available parking space and direct you to a temple shuttle. Plan to arrive early to allow time for traffic and parking.
On Saturday, 3 June 2017, at 7:00 p.m., a youth cultural celebration entitled Temple by the River – Reflections, was held at Holt Arena on the campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello. The production included a brief narrative of the history of the Snake River Valley, interwoven with drama, music, and dance—including a choir of 500 young people. A massive screen at the east end of the arena magnified the action on the floor was broadcast to each stake center in the temple district Idaho Falls Temple District. More than 12,000 teenagers, parents, family members, friends and others participated in the celebration.
Youth from Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Ammon, Shelley, McCammon, Pocatello, Rigby, Salmon and elsewhere spent months practicing for the cultural celebration. Through music, dance and drama, they shared the history of the LDS Church in East Idaho leading up to the construction of the temple. One LDS youth who participated in the production, Luke Layton, said, "It’s been really cool because we get to do something you don’t get to do, but maybe once or twice in a lifetime. I’m really happy I’ve been able to be a part of this." Before the show, President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency told the youth, "This is a celebration of light, unity, hope, and faith in every footstep, every dance step, and every music note. Your performance tonight is part of the wonder God will perform in your life and the lives of others."
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Redication
The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was rededicated in three sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, 4 June 2017. The sessions were broadcast to all the stakes in Idaho. To enable the Saints to participate in the temple dedication and to place appropriate focus on this sacred event, the three-hour block meetings will be canceled that day for these members.
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presided and offered the dedicatory prayer. Other LDS General Authorities involved in the temple rededication included Elder Ronald A. Rasband of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Richard J. Maynes, Elder K. Brett Nattress and Elder Bradley D. Foster. Henry J. Eyring, son of President Henry B. Eyring, told EastIdahoNews.com, "“This is a place of great memories for me. This is the first place I ever entered the temple as a young man performing baptisms for the dead and my father has had great spiritual experiences here as he has sought guidance in leading the college. It’s a marvelous place for us."
The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is the 8th operating temple of the Church’s 156 temples worldwide. It is one of four temples in Idaho, with others in Twin Falls, Boise and Rexburg. A temple in Meridian is currently under construction. The temple officially opened for worthy members to participate in the temple ordinances on Tuesday, 6 June 2017.
Videos of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
- "Temples to Dot the Earth," Cowan, 1989