Idaho will become the 2nd US state to have a city with two temples

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The Rexburg Idaho Temple shines through clear, autumn weather. Photo credit: Joel Randall

Rexburg will become Idaho’s first city with more than one temple.

President Russell M. Nelson announced the addition of the Rexburg North Idaho Temple during the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This will mark the eighth temple in Idaho.

Several cities in Utah currently have more than one temple; for example, Provo, Utah, and South Jordan, Utah, each have two temples. The Rexburg North Idaho Temple will add to this trend as the first Idaho city to have two temples.

Doug Andersen, the director of media relations for Church Newsroom, told Scroll that little is known about the new temple’s construction.

“At this point, limited information is available beyond the intent to build a temple in the announced area,” Andersen said. “More information will be offered as the Church moves forward.”

Details about the 13 new temples, Andersen said, emanate from the First Presidency.

“At the appropriate time,” Andersen said, “the Church will convey pertinent information such as specific site locations, groundbreaking dates and construction details for each of these newly announced temples or temple renovations.”

The new temple will hold a public open house before its dedication, with the date still to be determined.

“(This is) an exciting time for Saints and the greater Rexburg community,” Andersen said.

Damia Shimmin, an alumna who graduated fall of 2020 with a degree in marriage and family studies, experienced divine guidance through consistent temple attendance. Before the pandemic, she made it an effort to go to the temple once a week to perform baptisms for the dead.

“It was a special experience,” Shimmin said. “I received blessings in my life at that time, including blessings to complete my homework and other tasks I had on my plate. But even more important, my testimony grew.”

Shimmin recently started volunteering as an ordinance worker in Provo, with Tuesday being her first day.

“I’m so excited to be in the temple so often, especially at a time when most people are limited as to how often they can attend,” Shimmin said. “I am so grateful for that time I lived so close to the Rexburg temple so that I could serve, feel the Lord’s Spirit and deepen my testimony of His house.”

Shimmin said the Rexburg North Idaho Temple will be a great blessing to BYU-I students and community members, as long as they take advantage of living in a city with two temples.

“I encourage you to attend the Lord’s house as often as you can,” Shimmin said. “Stretch yourselves and go once a week or more. You will see great blessings come from temple service. If you are endowed, become an ordinance worker. You will have the opportunity to grow your knowledge of temple ordinances and covenants, and it will be a special time in your life.”

During a December 2006 commencement speech titled “Zion Revisited,” given during the construction of the Rexburg Idaho Temple, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland emphasized the miracle of attending a temple near a university.

“When the Prophet Joseph Smith drew the plans for the ideal City of Zion, he conceived such a city as being anchored by two great symbolic structures,” Elder Holland said. “A temple and a university — a house of covenant and a house of learning, two institutions dedicated to the exalting of the human soul.”

Though this speech refers to the first temple in Rexburg, Elder Holland’s words ring true as Rexburg students and residents consider the divine blessing of being spiritually edified in addition to academically edified.

“BYU–Idaho and its host environment here in southeastern Idaho becomes the newest of the Lord’s experiments in attempting to create yet again a kind of Zion,” Elder Holland said. “Or at least the newest opportunity to show how the whole soul is edified when a temple and a university join hands to bless a very fortunate student community.”