12 February 2015
The Boise Idaho Temple, the 27th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a majestic, six-spired edifice built on 4.83 acres in western Idaho. A gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni, a Book of Mormon prophet, stands atop the east tower and overlooks the expansive lawn from 112 feet. A peaceful water feature on the grounds reflects the sky and the temple’s white granite, and the surrounding benches invite visitors of all faiths to enjoy the tranquility found there.
The presence of the Church grew in Boise when missionaries arrived and established the first branch, or small congregation, in February 1903. Boise’s first stake — a large congregation similar to a Catholic diocese — was organized in 1913. The first temple in Idaho was completed in 1945, near the Snake River in Idaho Falls, and the Boise Idaho Temple was announced 37 years later, on March 31, 1982.
Upon the temple’s completion, over 128,000 people attended the 19-day open house, including Idaho’s governor and lieutenant governor, other state officials and over 240 ministers of other faiths. The Boise Idaho Temple was dedicated in 24 sessions to allow the many Church members within the temple district to attend. Gordon B. Hinckley, then the second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, offered the dedicatory prayer.
Latter-day Saints in the Boise Idaho Temple district made temple attendance a high priority. As a result of their service and frequent attendance, the beautiful building needed both expansion and renovation just two and a half years after opening its doors, and then again in 2011. The 2011 renovation took 15 months to complete and altered both the interior and exterior of the temple. The structure is now 35,868 square feet, and the exterior gray marble has been replaced with white granite, giving the building a lighter appearance. The remodeled interior features ivory tones with the rich contrast of vibrant blues and African mahogany woodwork.
Upon entering the temple, patrons see reproductions of two of Carl Bloch’s paintings of Jesus Christ: “Christus Consolator” and “The Twelve-Year-Old Jesus in the Temple.” Just behind the entrance desk, a stained-glass panel depicts shining trees fed by an azure stream and provides one of the first glimpses of the temple’s tree and flower motif. Representations of the syringa — the white, four-petal state flower of Idaho — along with its leafy branches are found on gilded mirror frames, in glass panels and in carpet and upholstery patterns throughout the temple. In the celestial room — a room symbolizing heaven on earth — a domed art-glass ceiling infuses the interior with light and color. Trees designed in the glass stand out against the rich blue of the glass sky. Their higher branches, dense with ivory flowers and green leaves, reach toward the pastel blue at the top of the dome.
Local Church members celebrated the reopening of the beloved edifice, and community interest was evidenced by the over 11,000 visitors who toured the temple on the first day of the open house that lasted from October 13 to November 10, 2012. A cultural celebration including 9,200 Mormon youth and featuring 4,000 dancers and 1,000 singers was held before the rededication of the temple. In the celebration, “Treasure the Light,” participants expressed gratitude for the temple, their families and their heritage. Sixty youth from the temple’s district participated in a committee to provide their ideas and inspiration for the performance. They chose to focus the performance on the Light of Christ and the blessing of His gospel in their lives.
Church President Thomas S. Monson spoke to the youth at the cultural celebration and expressed his fond memories of similar performances and cultural experiences in his own youth. He also told them how proud he was of them.
In the rededicatory prayer of the Boise Idaho Temple, President Monson prayed for the youth: “Our Father, strengthen the youth. … Give them the courage to stand firm for truth. Bless them with a lengthened view of their eternal possibilities. We express our gratitude for all who have participated in the preparations for this day of rededication. They have labored in a spirit of consecration, and the fruits of their labors are beautiful to behold.”1
1 Boise Idaho Temple dedicatory prayer, in Church News, Nov. 4, 2012, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/62997/Boise-Idaho-Temple-Again-hallowed.html.