TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will preside at groundbreaking services for the Twin Falls Idaho Temple to be held on Saturday, 15 April 2006.

This will mark the official beginning of construction, which is expected to last about two years. Elder Andersen will be accompanied by Elder Paul E. Koelliker of the First Quorum of the Seventy and executive director of the Church’s Temple Department; Elder Shayne M. Bowen, newly called to the First Quorum of the Seventy; and other area seventies from the Idaho Area.

Because of limited access and parking constraints at the temple site, attendance at the services will be by invitation only. However, the full proceedings will be taped and shown at Latter-day Saint stake centers throughout the area that same evening at 6:00 p.m.

The Twin Falls Temple, announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley on 2 October 2004, will become the fourth temple in Idaho, the second begun in the state in the past year. Construction on the Rexburg Temple began in August 2005. The Idaho Falls Temple was completed in 1945 as the eighth temple of the modern Church, and the Boise Temple was dedicated in 1984.

The Twin Falls Temple will serve some 40,000 Church members from 14 stakes in south-central Idaho. 

Following a brief program, Elder Andersen will pronounce a prayer of dedication on the site. Local dignitaries and Church leaders will then join him in turning the first shovelfuls of earth. Once construction is complete, a public open house will be scheduled and announced. Following the public open house, the temple will be formally dedicated and thereafter used by faithful members of the Church for marriages and other sacred ordinances.

For some 12.5 million Latter-day Saints in the world today, the Twin Falls Temple will be a sacred “house of the Lord” where families can be united for eternity. It will also stand as a constant reminder of the sacrifice and example set by early members of the Church who first settled in the area. There are 122 temples operating throughout the world, with another 10 announced or in some phase of construction. Dates were recently announced for the open house and dedication later this year of the Sacramento California and Helsinki Finland Temples.