POCATELLO, Idaho — Idaho’s newest temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been dedicated. M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided at the dedication of the Pocatello Idaho Temple in three sessions on Sunday.
During a chilly morning, President Ballard conducted the cornerstone ceremony, which symbolized the completion of the temple. He was joined by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, president of the North America Central Area; and Elder Gary B. Sabin, assistant executive director of the Temple Department.
President Ballard said temples are places where covenants and ordinances can be performed. The faith is building temples at a faster rate than ever before in the history of the Faith.
The Church estimates that more than 250,000 people attended the public open house for the temple in September and October.
Elder Andersen has ties to the Pocatello area. He grew up in the nearby town of Tyhee and attended schools in Pocatello. With some of his family members, he said he was so happy to see a magnificent temple on the hill.
The 71,000-square-foot temple sits on the eastern foothills of Pocatello and can be seen throughout the valley.
Elder Sabin noted the large temple was needed because of the many people who want to visit it. The Church was first established in the area in 1888.
On Saturday evening, about 6,000 young men and young women and local Church leaders attended a devotional at a meetinghouse in Pocatello. It was also broadcast to four other chapels in the region.
The groundbreaking for the Pocatello Idaho Temple was held in the spring of 2019. The temple was announced in April 2017 by Church President Thomas S. Monson.
The Pocatello Idaho Temple is the sixth temple in Idaho and the 170th operating temple in the Church. There are already temples are in Boise, Idaho Falls, Meridian, Rexburg and Twin Falls. Two other temples have been announced in Burley and Rexburg North. More than 460,000 members of the Church reside in the state.