24 March 2015
Construction is underway for a new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Meridian, Idaho. On April 2, 2011, President Thomas S. Monson, the leader of the Church, announced plans to construct the Meridian Idaho Temple. President Monson also stated that new temples in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, would be constructed. After the announcement, he declared, “[The new temples] will certainly be a blessing to our members in those areas.” 1
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be literal houses of the Lord. They are sacred places where members who live the standards of the gospel can find peace and make promises with God and their families. Beautiful rooms within temples are specially designed to create an atmosphere of peace and holiness so members can feel closer to God. One room, called the celestial room, represents heaven on earth. Sealing rooms are where marriages are performed, and instruction rooms are where Latter-day Saints can learn more about God’s eternal plan. Inside each temple, there is also a baptistry, which includes a font resting on the backs of 12 oxen. This is reminiscent of the ancient Temple of Solomon.
The Meridian Idaho Temple will be the fifth temple in the state of Idaho; other temples are located in Boise, Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Twin Falls. Meridian is located approximately 11 miles west of Boise, Idaho’s capital, and is the state’s third-largest city. The Meridian Idaho Temple will help alleviate some of the strain on the Boise Idaho Temple by serving a growing number of members in the area. With more than 420,000 members of the Church in Idaho, the five temples will provide many people with the opportunity to visit the temple.
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 August 23, 2014, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at the site for the Meridian Idaho Temple to mark the beginning of its construction. Elder David A. Bednar of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the event and dedicated the site. He said he hoped the members in the area would always be grateful for the temple: “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.” 2 Elder Bednar also expressed gratitude for the faithful members of the Church all around the world as well as for those in the Meridian area. After the ceremony, those in attendance were invited to shovel some of the dirt on the site as part of the groundbreaking.
The Meridian Idaho Temple will serve members in Treasure Valley and the surrounding area. Like all Mormon temples, it will be built using the finest materials. Great care will be taken to maintain the temple and its grounds. When the temple is completed, there will be an open house, during which the public will be invited to attend a tour of the temple and learn more about temples. As Elder Bednar stated, “For people in this community, this will be a beautiful place.” 3
1 Thomas S. Monson, “It’s Conference Once Again,” Ensign, May 2011, https://www.lds.org/ensign/2011/05/its-conference-once-again?lang=eng.
2 David A. Bednar, in Marianne Holman Prescott, “Elder Bednar Attends Meridian Idaho Temple Groundbreaking,” Church News, Aug. 25, 2014, https://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-bednar-attends-meridian-idaho-temple-groundbreaking?lang=eng.
3 David A. Bednar, in Marianne Holman Prescott, “Elder Bednar Attends Meridian Idaho Temple Groundbreaking,” Church News, Aug. 25, 2014, https://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-bednar-attends-meridian-idaho-temple-groundbreaking?lang=eng.