Idaho Falls Idaho Temple

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Idaho Falls Temple Wiki


The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (formerly the Idaho Falls Temple) [1] is located in the city of Idaho Falls, Idaho.



The erection of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was considered the fulfillment of a prophecy 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.”[2]


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


On 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. []


In September of 1937 engineer E. Milton Christensen began a site survey and determined that underneath all the sand the temple foundation could be laid on basalt bedrock approximately 18 feet below grade.

This rock provided an excellent stable foundation for the temple.[4]

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. John Fetzer, Sr.’s submission was inspired by a vision of an ancient Nephite temple he beheld after had prayed for guidance. Fetzer’s son and partner, Henry Fetzer, then designed the exterior of the building with influences from city skylines and their Art Deco skyscrapers. Fetzer’s design was the one chosen with which to build the temple. [4]

As construction began, the Church approached a cement products company located in Salt Lake City, Otto Buehner Co., and asked if they could provide the materials needed to build the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. The Buehner family eagerly accepted. 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.) [4]

Two years later, the majestic white cast stone exterior stood 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. [4]


The site dedication and cornerstone ceremony was held on 19 October 1940. Then Elder David O. McKay of the First Presidency presided over the event. At the cornerstone ceremony Elder McKay asked six-year-old John Groberg to hold his hat. John would later become a General Authority and the temple’s 14th president. [5]

Open House

A 5 day open house was held for the newly completed temple from 15 to 20 September of 1945. This is the first example of an organized multi day open house that was held after construction was completed. (Prior temples had either had no open house, a one day open house (Salt Lake Temple) or had allowed tours during the final year or two of construction (Cardston Alberta and Mesa Arizona.)


President George Albert Smith dedicated the Idaho Falls Temple a month after Japan’s surrender ended the war 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.[4]

President Smith referred to the mighty Snake River when he said in his dedicatory prayer,

“We are grateful, Heavenly Father, that we have been permitted to rear this temple on this beautiful spot, upon the bank of one of thy majestic rivers, the waters of which have made it possible for Thy faithful Saints residing here to subdue the land and establish delightful homes.”

He prayed that the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple would be

“a house of prayer, a house of praise and of worship, that Thy glory may rest upon it.”

He was also mindful of the many who had recently served their nation during World War II:

“With deep gratitude in our hearts we thank Thee that the nations have ceased their warfare and the destruction of human life. We thank Thee that peace temporarily is established in the earth.”


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, the 7th in North America, and the 1st in Idaho. 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 constructionTemples 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.[7]



Temple is expanded to the west with 2 small additions to expand the space in the dressing rooms.



A significant renovation was done starting 17 September 1972, Temple closes for an expansion and reservation that would add a new chapel, sealing rooms, cafeteria, laundry, storage, youth waiting rooms. A New entry was added to the west end between the previous expansions. In all 20,000 square feet and forty-six rooms were added to the temple. The new total area for the temple was over 90,000 square feet and it now contained eighty-four rooms. [4] The temple reopened in October 1973.



5 May, 38 years after Dedication, an Angel Moroni Statue is placed atop the temple.



New entryway is added to the west side of the temple, and a new heating plant is added to the north west side.



New stained glass windows installed


Baptistry redesigned

Renovation 2017

Renovation Commencement

Beginning March 16, 2015, the temple closed for renovations that were anticipated to take approximately 18 months. [8] The renovations took nearly two years.

Renovation Open House

A public open house was held from 22 April through 20 May 2017, excluding Sundays.[9]

A major focus of the renovation was to bring the historic temple up to code. Structural walls were reinforced, and mechanical and electrical systems were 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 was created for brides and grooms, and a large waiting room added for wedding parties—reducing the size of the former office space. In the ordinance rooms, the murals were 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 were refreshed throughout the temple, and clothing rental and cafeteria services were retained.[10]

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.[11]

Before the show, President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency told the youth, “This is a celebration of light, unity, hope, and faith in every footstep, every dance step, and every music note. Your performance tonight is part of the wonder God will perform in your life and the lives of others.”


The Idaho Falls Idaho temple was rededicated by Elder Henry B. Eyring, second Counselor in the First Presidency, on 4 June 2017.[12]

Three sessions were held at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, 4 June 2017. The sessions were broadcast to all the stakes in Idaho. To enable the Saints to participate in the temple dedication and to place appropriate focus on this sacred event, the three-hour block meetings will be canceled that day for these members.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presided and offered the dedicatory prayer. Other LDS General Authorities involved in the temple rededication included Elder Ronald A. Rasband of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Richard J. Maynes, Elder K. Brett Nattress and Elder Bradley D. Foster. Henry J. Eyring, son of President Henry B. Eyring, told, ““This is a place of great memories for me. This is the first place I ever entered the temple as a young man performing baptisms for the dead and my father has had great spiritual experiences here as he has sought guidance in leading the college. It’s a marvelous place for us.”

Rededicatory prayer

Rededicatory Order

At the time of it’s rededication there were 156 temples in operation in the world (Including Idaho Falls.) There were 12 temples under construction, 9 temples awaiting ground breaking, and 2 undergoing renovation.

Temples under constructionTemples awaiting GroundbreakingTemples undergoing rennovation
Rio De JaneiroLima Peru Los OlivosFrankfurt Germany
Cedar City UtahBelem BrazilJordan River
Tucson ArizonaHarare Zimbabwe
Arequipa PeruQuito Ecuador
Winnipeg ManitobaBangkog Thialand
Durban South AfricaPort-au-Prince Haiti
Barranquilla ColombiaAbidjan Ivory Coast
Kinshasa DRCUrdaneta Phillipines
Lisbon PortugalGreater Manilla Phillipines
Concepcion Chile
Fortaleza Brazil
Rome Italy


President Donald J Archibald2014–
President Gerald A. Mead2011–2014
President Larry G. Stoddard2008–2011
President John H. Groberg2005–2008
President Newell K. Richardson2002–2005
President Mark G. Ricks1999–2002
President Glen C. Nelson1996–1999
President Preston B. Brimhall1993–1996
President C. Gayle Williams1990–1993
President Milton A. Romrell1987–1990
President Rheim M. Jones1984–1987
President Devere Harris1980–1984
President Delbert V. Groberg1975–1980
President Cecil E. Hart1970–1975
President Parley A. Arave1966–1970
President William L. Killpack1949–1965
President David Smith1943–1949


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 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.


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 quartz 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.[4]


The original, unadorned windows on the Idaho Falls Temple were replaced in 2005 with Art Glass panels created by Architectural Art Glass and designed by CRSA.[13]



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 (Cardston Alberta, Laie Hawaii and Mesa Arizona) featured no towers or spires. Prior to the spire-less temples, it was common for the temples to have 6 spires (Salt Lake Temple,) 2 spires, (Logan Utah, Manti Utah) or 1 spire (St. George Utah ).

The use of a single spire is a style that has since been adapted and replicated for dozens of Mormon temples. The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is a masterpiece of the International Style, which was popular in the first half of the 20th century. The architects created a distinctly Mormon building that also fit well with the cutting-edge design of the 1930s

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


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 in 1930. Knaphus made the statue as a replica of Cyrus E. Dallin’s statue atop the Salt Lake Temple. (Another casting of this statue stands atop the Boston Massachusetts Temple and a third formerly sat atop the Atlanta Georgia Temple.)


The Idaho Falls Idaho 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, Salt Lake, Laie Hawaii, Cardstonn Alberta, Los Angeles California Temple, and the Nauvoo Illinois Temples.)

The Ordinance Rooms feature beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls.

Creation Room

Harris T. Weberg depicted scenes of the Creation.[4]

Garden Room

Robert Shepherd created a chromatic, Art Nouveau-inspired Garden Room. At the front of the room arer two bas-relief trees representing good and evil, created by  Torlief Knaphus.[4]

World Room

Joseph A. F. Everett’s painting of the world room represents life’s hardships in a local farming scene with a pioneer couple, Adam and Eve, breaking ground in a field of sagebrush.[4]

Terrestrial Room

The Terrestrial room is the only ordinance room in the Idaho Falls Temple without murals.

Celestial Room.

Lee Green Richards painted the murals for the Celestial Room, representing the highest kingdom of heaven. Murals are rarely located in Celestial rooms (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.) 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.[4]

Sealing Rooms

The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple has 9 sealing rooms.

Individuals and Contractors

Architect (1945)John Fetzer
Assistant Architect Henry Fetzer
ArchitectEdward O. Anderson
ArchitectGeorgius Y. Cannon
ArchitectRamm Hansen
ArchitectHyrum Pope
ArchitectJLorenzo S. Young
ContractorBirdwell Finlayson
EngineerE. Milton Christensen
Precast Concrete Otto Buehner Co
Mural PainterHarris T Weberg
Mural PainterRobert Shepherd
Mural PainterJoseph A. F, Everett
Mural PainterLee Green Richards
Architect (1972)Emil B. Fetzer (Expansion)
Architect (2005)CRSA (Art Glass Windows)
Stained Glass (2005)Architectural Art Glass
Architect (2008)Jensen, Hayes, Shropshire
Architect (2011)MGB+A (Landscaping)
Contractor (2011)Headwaters Construction  (Landscaping)
Architect (2015)Naylor, Wentworth, Lund Architects
Contractor (2015)Okland Construction

 Additional Facts

  • The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was originally named the Idaho Falls Temple.[14]

Sources and Links

External links

Additional Articles Idaho Falls Temple Visitor Center


  1. [1]“Temples renamed to uniform guidelines”. Church News. Deseret News. October 16, 1999. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  2. [2] “Temples to Dot the Earth,” Cowan, 1989
  3. [3]The First Presidency, in the Improvement Era of March, 1937
  4. [4]“Idaho Falls Temple” SAH Archipedia. Accessed 26 June 2017
  5. [5]“Idaho Falls Temple” US history. Accessed 26 June 2017
  6. [6] “Dedicatory Prayer: Idaho Falls Temple,” Improvement Era, Oct. 1945, 563, 565
  7. [7]Rachel Sterzer, “Idaho Falls Temple Open House Begins”, 17 April 2017. Accessed 26 June 2017.
  8. [8]“Two Temples Scheduled for Renovation in Germany and Idaho”Newsroom, LDS Church, 2014-12-16
  9. [9]“Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Open House, Rededication Dates Announced”Newsroom, LDS Church, 2016-11-11
  10. [10] “LDS Idaho Falls Temple Renovation,” Okland Construction.
  11. [11]Nate Eaton, “Tens of thousands across Idaho participate in ‘Temple by the river’ production”, 4 June 2017. Accessed 26 June 2017.
  12. [12]“Idaho’s First Mormon Temple Is Rededicated: 12,000 youth participate in cultural celebration”NewsroomLDS Church, 2017-06-04
  13. [13]Robert Fehrenbacker, “Idaho Falls LDS Temple Window Replacement,” Behance, 17 December 2010. Accessed 27 June 2017.
  14. [14]“Temples renamed to uniform guidelines”Church NewsDeseret News. October 16, 1999. Retrieved October 11, 2012.


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