POCATELLO — Blackfoot residents will soon have a new temple for special forms of worship with the completion of the Pocatello Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as the temple home for the community’s five stakes.
“This is an opportunity for all of the Saints here to be great neighbors in normal and natural ways to just reach out and love those around them and invite them to help them understand what the temple is all about,” said Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, serving as the president of the North America Central Area.
Nielsen was in Pocatello with other church leaders, including Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, for a media day Monday and to help host tours for invited guests that will be held throughout the week. The public is invited to tour the new temple beginning Saturday.
Also participating in the media day were Elder Gary B. Sabin, assistant executive director of the Temple Department, and other members of the North America Central Area Presidency.
The temple open house runs through Oct. 23, except for Sundays, including Sept. 19, 26, October 2–3 (general conference), 10 and 17.
Reservations are available online for complimentary tickets to the open house.
The Pocatello temple will be dedicated on Nov. 7 in three sessions by President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The dedicatory sessions will be held at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.
The interior of the 71,000-square-foot temple includes elements that are unique to Idaho and the Pocatello area, including images of the state flower, the syringa. There is white granite from China and sustained glass from Orem, Utah. Officials say the Pocatello temple is a large one, serving 61,000 members in the temple district.
Ray Matsuura, Blackfoot area communication director, and Nancy Call, assistant communication director for the area, are excited to be a part of the new temple.
“We’re unique in that we have two temples in close proximity to us, about a half hour apart each direction,” Matsuura said. “Temples bless communities, it’s just wonderful to be part of this new temple that’s coming and we’re excited for it to come in.”
“I am so very excited for it to come here,” Call said. “For me, I’m 20 minutes away now from the temple so I’m excited for that. Idaho Falls has been the temple we’ve been assigned to, though we’re free to visit any temple in the world, and it’s very exciting to see this come in here.”
There has been a good amount of involvement from the Blackfoot area. Local artist Ken Spencer has a few paintings that are prominent in the temple. Local youth have been involved since just after ground was broken in the spring of 2019. Local contractors have been involved with preparing the ground, hauling dirt, and interior painting, Matsuura said.
“I have loved what the local youth have done,” Call said. “They’ve planted the flowers, helped with the landscaping. That excites me to see tomorrow’s generation involved with it.”
The temple is located at 3100 Butte Street on Pocatello’s east bench. The structure is a streamlined classical architecture design and is patterned after other temples as well as other buildings in Pocatello.
This will be Idaho’s sixth operating temple. Temples are in Boise, Idaho Falls, Meridian, Rexburg and Twin Falls. A seventh temple has been announced in Burley.