Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
8th operating temple; closed for renovation; finish work underway; resurfacing and restriping parking lot; estimated to be completed in early 2017 (no official dates announced)
Physical Address1000 Memorial Drive
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402-3497
Mailing Address1000 Memorial Dr
Idaho Falls, ID 83402-3497Telephone 208-522-7669
Distribution Services 208-525-2500
Announcement: 3 March 1937
Groundbreaking: 19 December 1939 by David Smith
Site Dedication: 19 October 1940 by David O. McKay
Public Open House: 15–20 September 1945
Dedication: 23–25 September 1945 by George Albert Smith
Site: 7 acres.
Exterior Finish: Reinforced concrete; a mixture made from aggregate and white cement called cast stone covers the 16-inch thick exterior walls in two-inch thick slabs.
Ordinance Rooms: Four ordinance rooms (four-stage progressive) and nine sealing.
Total Floor Area: 92,177 square feet.
Beginning Monday, March 16, 2015, the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple will be closed to accommodate an extensive renovation. Following the renovation, the temple will be rededicated. Specific rededication information will be provided to Church members in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple District as the renovation project nears completion. The Rexburg Idaho Temple will accommodate members during the closure, including those desiring to receive their own ordinances.1
A major focus of the renovation will be to bring the historic temple up to code. Structural walls will be reinforced, and mechanical and electrical systems will be upgraded including heating and air conditioning equipment, wiring and lighting, elevator systems, emergency lights and exit signs, and a new fire suppression system. A separate exit will be created for brides and grooms, and a large waiting room added for wedding parties—reducing the size of the current office space. In the ordinance rooms, the murals will be restored and the number of seats reduced by approximately 35 percent to increase roominess and to improve the room-to-room progression of the temple. Finishes and furnishings will be refreshed throughout the temple, and clothing rental and cafeteria services will be retained. Landscaping improvements also are planned.2
Standing on the banks of the Snake River, just above the cascading waters for which the city is named, the gleaming white Idaho Falls Idaho Temple serves as a centerpiece to the city. Just east of the temple is a gorgeous waterfall feature and public visitors' center featuring films, displays, multimedia presentations, and an awe-inspiring reproduction of Thorvaldsen's Christus statue. A stake center and parking lot occupy the property just south of the temple on the former site of an LDS Hospital.
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 lillies 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 prophesy 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 October 19, 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 flowerbeds 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.
1. "Two Temples Scheduled for Renovation in Germany and Idaho," The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, 16 Dec. 2014.
2. "LDS Idaho Falls Temple Renovation," Okland Construction <http://www.okland.com/markets/religious/lds-idaho-falls-temple-renovation/>.