Meridian Idaho Temple
A new temple for Meridian, Idaho, was announced on 2 April 2011, during the Saturday morning session of the 181st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by President Thomas S. Monson on 2 April 2011. It will be the fifth temple to be built in the state of Idaho. The other four temples are the Boise Idaho Temple (1984), Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (1945), Twin Falls Idaho Temple (2008), and Rexburg Idaho Temple (2008). A sixth temple, in Pocatello, has also been announced.
There are approximately 426,000 Latter-day Saints in Idaho. Meridian, the third largest and fastest-growing city in the state, is located about eleven miles west of Boise. From 2000 to 2010, the city experienced 115 percent increase in population. During this time of rapid expansion, three additional stakes were organized in Meridian and four more in the surrounding communities of Nampa (the second largest city in the state), Kuna, and Middleton. The Meridian Idaho Temple will reduce demands on the nearby Boise Idaho Temple, where endowment rooms often fill near capacity during busy operating hours.
The Meridian Idaho Temple will stand on the Boise River at 7345 North Linder Road in Meridian, approximately a 12-mile (or 20-minute) drive from the Boise Idaho Temple, a few blocks north of the intersection of North Linder Road and Chinden Boulevard. The two temples will serve together to meet the needs of the Saints of the Treasure Valley and its surrounding region.
The 67,331-square-foot temple is made of structural steel and a precast white exterior and is topped with an Angel Moroni statue that stands 13 feet tall. Tom Lindhardt, the project manager of the temple, said, "It's on a bluff that overlooks the Boise River. It's just a beautiful setting. As you look to the views of the north and the east, you start to see the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains."
History of the Church in Idaho
The Church was first established in Idaho in 1855 after Brigham Young asked 26 Latter-day Saints to settle along the Salmon River. They remained there for about three years. More members of the Church arrived in 1860 and helped the Native Americans in the area learn about agriculture and the gospel of Jesus Christ. By 1890, when Idaho became a state, about one-fifth of the population was made up of Latter-day Saints.
On Saturday, 23 August 2014, officials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with community leaders in Meridian, Idaho to break ground for the new temple that will be constructed there.
Elder David A. Bednar of The Quorum of the Twelve presided at the ceremony. He was joined by Elder Kent F. Richards, executive director of the Temple Department. Also present at the ceremony were some community and civic leaders including Meridian Mayor Tammy DeWeerd, Eagle Mayor James Reynolds, and Ada County Commissioner Dave Case. They all joined Elder Bednar to turn the first shovels of dirt on the project.
During his remarks, Elder Bednar said, "What I pray you will remember is to have gratitude not just today as we assemble here, but gratitude when the way is easy. When attending the temple becomes easy, when it no longer requires much travel to get to a temple, the natural man and the natural woman in each of us often forgets to be grateful."
A Picturesque View of the Meridian Idaho Temple
The following pictures from Open House Begins for Meridian Idaho Temple and A first look inside the Mormon Temple in Meridian, Idaho of the Meridian Idaho Temple are being shared online courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Public Open House
The free public open house for the Meridian Idaho Temple was held on Saturday, 21 October 2017, through 11 November 2017, except for the Sundays of 22 and 29 October and 5 November 2017. More than 200,000 people toured the interior and grounds of the temple during the public open house.
J. Craig Rowe, the coordinator of the Meridian temple committee, commented, "We feel the Meridian temple open house was very successful. We opened the doors of the temple and allowed people from all walks of life here in the Treasure Valley and the western part of Idaho to feel the Spirit and see the beauty of the Meridian temple." He continued:
- We have watched our members grow [their] excitement in anticipation of its [the temple's] opening. During the past three years of construction, there has been an anticipation about the future, and an excitement to have another house of the Lord in the valley. . . .We had people from all walks of life, a number of people from other faiths and those with no faith tradition at all. We enjoyed the company of many national and local political leaders, as well as everyday families and youth from the valley. It was a wonderful occasion and honor to have so many people come and enjoy a tour of the temple."
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and his wife, Lori Otter, Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, and his wife, Rebecca Johnson Labrador, and Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, and his wife, Vicki Risch, toured the temple along with other state and local leaders.
Whether it was guiding guests to a parking spot or leading visitors through the temple, more than 5,000 volunteers — comprised of members from the 16 stakes in the temple district — helped make the open house a success.
A youth cultural celebration honoring Idaho and Church history, featuring over 6,000 Treasure Valley youths performing music and dance was held Saturday, 18 November 2017. The celebration was held at the Taco Bell Arena on the Boise State University campus in Boise. LDS members including church leaders from far and wide came to be a part of the celebration.
Hudson Roberts, one of the performers in the cultural celebration, commented, "I think it's really cool that this is able to bring so many youths close together. I think it helps us learn to love each other more and love our culture and Idaho and Meridian." Their performance titled "Be strong, Steadfast and Immovable" showed their commitment to following Christ and the history of the Gem State.
While the youths practiced for months all for this day, many older LDS members in the community are happy to see Meridian be home to a new temple. Former pro-baseball player Vernon Law commented, "It means a lot to the city of Meridian and the surrounding area. I know people have looked forward to something like this for years and years."
The Meridian Idaho Temple is Dedicated
The Meridian Idaho Temple was dedicated on Sunday, 19 November 2017, in three sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The dedication was broadcast to members of the Church in Idaho and the temple district. The three-hour block of meetings was canceled for those congregations to enable members of the Church to participate and focus on this sacred event.
The Meridian Idaho Temple is the Church's 158th operating temple around the world and serves more than 60,000 Latter-day Saints in 16 stakes in the greater Boise area, including a few stakes in eastern Oregon.