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The interior of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple underwent extensive renovation, and now the 77-year-old building has been rededicated by President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The sacred structure was the first Mormon temple in Idaho, dedicated in 1945 by Church President George Albert Smith, followed by temples in Twin Falls, Boise and Rexburg. A fifth temple in Meridian is scheduled for dedication November 19, 2017. Plans were announced in the April 2017 general conference to build a sixth temple in Pocatello.
The Idaho Falls Temple holds a special place for President Eyring and his wife. “This is the temple I came to during the years that my wife and I were at Ricks College [BYU-Idaho], and so I have sweet memories of this place. And also of the people in this place. This is the place of faith among Latter-day Saints.”
President Eyring was joined for the cultural celebration and the three rededicatory sessions by Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy, Bishop Dean M. Davies first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, Elders Wilford W. Andersen, Bradley D. Foster and K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy.
Approximately 12,000 youth from Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Lost River, McCammon, Pocatello, Rigby and Salmon participated in a cultural celebration June 3, 2017, with the theme “Temple by the River — Reflections.” The script included a narrative of the cultural history of the Snake River Valley intertwined with drama, music and dance.
More than 250,000 people visited the temple in April and May during a public open house, including area residents, Latter-day Saints, clergy of many different faiths and business, government and community leaders.
President Eyring said he hopes people who visited the temple during the open house would feel that the temple was the house of the Lord. “I hope they felt that families can be forever.”
Latter-day Saint temples differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Jesus Christ’steachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite familiesfor eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man.