Idaho Falls Idaho

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Idaho Falls Temple Wiki


The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (formerly the Idaho Falls Temple)Located in the city of Idaho Falls, Idaho it was the first temple built in Idaho, and the first temple built with a modern single-spire design. Located on the banks of the Snake River, the Idaho Falls Idaho

In 1884 President Wilford Woodruff encouraged the members to ‘not be discouraged; be not disheartened [in your endeavors], because Gods’ blessing is upon this land … “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.”[1]




The Temple in Idaho Falls was announced on 3 March 1937.[2]

In September of 1937 engineer E. Milton Christensen began a site survey and determined that the temple foundation should be laid on basalt bedrock approximately 18 feet below grade.[3]


19 December 1939 ground was broken by David Smith, North Idaho Falls Stake president. Construction began in December 1939 with Birdwell Finlayson serving as general contractor. [3]


The building was designed by the church board of temple architects; Edward O. Anderson, Georgious Y. Cannon, Ramm Hansen (one of the Architects for the Mesa Arizona Temple), John Fetzer, Hyrum Pope (One of the Architects for the Cardston Alberta and Laie Hawaii Temples), and Lorenzo Snow Young. Each Architect submitted conceptual designs as part of an in-house competition. 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. Fetzer’s son and partner, Henry Fetzer, designed the exterior of the building with influences from city skylines and their Art Deco skyscrapers.[3]

As construction began, the Mormon Church approached a cement products company located in Salt Lake City, Utah and asked if they could provide the materials needed to build the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. The Buehner family eagerly accepted remembering that years earlier Brother Buehner had received direction in his patriarchal blessing that he and his sons would assist in building temples. (In the years that followed, the Buehner family assisted in the construction of five additional temples.)


Site dedicated 19 October 1940, by President David O. McKay of the First Presidency. The cornerstone for the Idaho Falls Temple was laid on October 19, 1940.[4] At the cornerstone ceremony for the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple held on 19 October 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.

The exterior of the temple was completed in September 1941 and the interior was expected to be completed the following year. However, with World War II shortages, it delayed the completion of the temple for four more years.

Open House



In spite of delays, President George Albert Smith dedicated the Idaho Falls Temple just one month after the war ended, on 23 September 1945 over 8 sessions. The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was the only temple dedicated by President George Albert Smith. At that time the temple was 2 Stories, 70,000 square feet, and contained 38 rooms. [3]

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedication Order

 The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is the 10th constructed and 8th operating temple of The Church. It is the 1st in Idaho, the 7th in the United States, and the 7th in North America. At the time of it’s construction there was 1 additional temple under construction and no temples awaiting groundbreaking.  There were no temples undergoing renovation at the time.

Temples under construction Temples awaiting groundbreaking 
Los Angeles California


In 1960 a Visitors Center was added to the temple grounds on the east edge of the property, north of the temple.[5]


A significant renovation was done in 1972. 20,000 square feet and forty-six rooms were added to the temple. The new total area for the temple is over 90,000 square feet and eighty-four rooms. [3]


Renovation Commencement

Beginning March 16, 2015, the temple closed for renovations that were anticipated to take approximately 18 months.[6]

Renovation Open House

Following completion of the renovations, a public open house was scheduled from 22 April through 20 May 2017, excluding Sundays.[7]

Renovation Cultural Celebration

On Saturday, 3 June 2017, at 7:00 p.m., a youth cultural celebration entitled Temple by the River – Reflections, was held at Holt Arena on the campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello. More than 12,000 teenagers, parents, family members, friends and others participated in the celebration.

Youth from Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Ammon, Shelley, McCammon, Pocatello, Rigby, Salmon and elsewhere spent months practicing for the cultural celebration. Through music, dance and drama, they shared the history of the LDS Church in East Idaho leading up to the construction of the temple. [8]


The temple was rededicated by Henry B. Eyring on 4 June 2017.[9] Each of the three dedicatory sessions was broadcast to Stake Centers within the temple district.

Rededicatory prayer

In 1983 a statue of Angel Moroni, designed by Knaphus, replaced the stainless steel tower cap, and in 2005 new windows were installed. Additional interior renovations also occurred in 2008, to redesign the baptistery, and 2015, to address life safety issues.

Rededicatory Order
Temples under construction Temples awaiting Groundbreaking Temples undergoing rennovation
Rio De Janeiro Lima Peru Los Olivos Frankfurt Germany
Cedar City Utah Belem Brazil Jordan River
Tucson Arizona Harare Zimbabwe
Arequipa Peru Quito Ecuador
Winnipeg Manitoba Bangkog Thialand
Durban South Africa Port-au-Prince Haiti
Barranquilla Peru Abidjan Ivory Coast
Kinshasa DRC Urdaneta Phillipines
Lisbon Portugal Greater Manilla Phillipines
Concepcion Chile
Fortaleza Brazil
Rome Italy


President Donald J Archibald 2014–
President Gerald A. Mead 2011–2014
President Larry G. Stoddard 2008–2011
President John H. Groberg 2005–2008
President Newell K. Richardson 2002–2005
President Mark G. Ricks 1999–2002
President Glen C. Nelson 1996–1999
President Preston B. Brimhall 1993–1996
President C. Gayle Williams 1990–1993
President Milton A. Romrell 1987–1990
President Rheim M. Jones 1984–1987
President Devere Harris 1980–1984
President Delbert V. Groberg 1975–1980
President Cecil E. Hart 1970–1975
President Parley A. Arave 1966–1970
President William L. Killpack 1949–1965
President David Smith 1943–1949


The temple was built on a 7-acre (2.8 ha) plot,The temple is 148 ft tall. 234 ft wide, and 192 ft long.

The east side of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple originally featured a series of three reflecting ponds that were filled with water lilies and small fish. In the 1960’s, 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.

In October 2011, a complete renovation of the landscaping of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was completed, which included replacement of the flower beds 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.


The building is faced with two-inch-thick Mo-Sai precast white marble and concrete aggregate cladding. Mo-Sai was a newly developed method for fabricating exposed aggregate concrete in 1940, and its use on the temple was considered experimental. The material reflects color changes in the sky throughout the day.[3]








Spires and Moroni


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. Prior to the spire-less temples, it was common for the temples to have 2 spires, one on each end, or 1 spire, but placed at one end of the temple.

The spire rises 125 ft atop the temple to a total height of 150 ft.


Sculptor  Torlief Knaphus
Version  1930
Placed  1983
Faces  East
Though initially constructed without  an angel Moroni, in September 1983, a helicopter was employed to install an Angel Moroni statue atop the spire.
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.)


has a total floor area of 92,177 square feet (8,563.5 m2).


The font is held up by 12 Art Deco, white bronze (a nonporous alloy highly resistant to corrosion) oxen, designed by Torlief Knaphus.

Ordinance Rooms

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.)

The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple features beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls of its progressive-style ordinance rooms

Creation Room

Harris T. Weberg depicted scenes of the Creation.[3]

Garden Room

Robert Shepherd created a chromatic, Art Nouveau-inspired Garden Room noted for two bas-relief trees representing good and evil, created by Knaphus.[3]

World Room

Joseph A. F. Everett’s painting of the world room represents life’s dreary hardships in a local farming scene with a pioneer couple, Adam and Eve, breaking ground in a field of sagebrush.[3]

Terrestrial Room

(no murals)

Celestial Room.

Lee Green Richards are located in the last room of the progression, the Celestial Room, representing the highest kingdom of heaven. Murals are rarely located in Celestial rooms and Richards created warm images of eternal families in a park-like setting, and included a panel telling the story of the vision of a new Zion from the Book of Revelations.[3]

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.

Sealing Rooms

The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple has 9 sealing rooms.

Individuals and Contractors

Also Did
Also Did

Additional Facts

  • The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was originally named the Idaho Falls Temple.[10]

Sources and Links

External links

Additional Articles Idaho Falls Temple Visitor Center


  1. [1] “Temples to Dot the Earth,” Cowan, 1989
  2. [2]The First Presidency, in the Improvement Era of March, 1937
  3. [3]“Idaho Falls Temple” SAH Archipedia. Accessed 26 June 2017
  4. [4]“Idaho Falls Temple” US history. Accessed 26 June 2017
  5. [5]Rachel Sterzer, “Idaho Falls Temple Open House Begins”, 17 April 2017. Accessed 26 June 2017.
  6. [6]“Two Temples Scheduled for Renovation in Germany and Idaho”Newsroom, LDS Church, 2014-12-16
  7. [7] “Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Open House, Rededication Dates Announced”NewsroomLDS Church, 2016-11-11
  8. [8]Nate Eaton, Tens of thousands across Idaho participate in ‘Temple by the river’ production”, 4 June 2017. Accessed 26 June 2017.
  9. [9]“Idaho’s First Mormon Temple Is Rededicated: 12,000 youth participate in cultural celebration”NewsroomLDS Church, 2017-06-04
  10. [10]“Temples renamed to uniform guidelines”Church NewsDeseret News. October 16, 1999. Retrieved October 11, 2012.



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