The Pocatello Idaho Temple was dedicated on Nov. 7 during three dedicatory sessions. This is the sixth temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Idaho and the 170th overall.
The 71,000-square-foot temple rests on top of a hill and can be seen for miles in all directions.
President M. Russell Ballard, the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, presided over the dedication and performed the cornerstone ceremony. This ceremony marked the temple’s completion and symbolized the foundation of the gospel being apostles and prophets with Christ as the chief cornerstone.
This symbolism is taught in Ephesians 2: 20-22, which reads, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Items were placed within the cornerstone itself to represent the Church and people within the Pocatello area.
According to Church News, “President Russell M. Nelson’s autobiography and a book of his teachings were included. A set of scriptures that was marked by high school seniors in the temple district with their favorite verses was also placed inside.”
Elder Neil L. Anderson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, accompanied President Ballard to the dedicatory sessions and offered the final dedicatory prayer.
This temple is special to Elder Anderson because he grew up in the Pocatello area.
“I had a beautiful childhood here from the time I was just about 4 or 5 until the time I left on my mission and came back, so it has great memories for me,” Elder Andersen said in a news release. “I’m so happy to see it is a magnificent temple on the hill. It’s no small temple. And you can see it from almost everywhere in the valley. The light of the gospel will shine on everyone and increase the love of God in this wonderful community.”
The temple hosted an open house during the months of September and October, extending an invitation to people of all ages and religious backgrounds.
According to a news release, “More than 250,000 people of many faiths attended the public open house for the temple.”
On Nov. 6, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, president of the North American Central Area, spoke to youth at a devotional and emphasized the urgency and importance of temple work.
“This temple is built for everyone here in Pocatello, but my focus really is the thoughts of how this temple is going to bless the rising generation,” Elder Nielsen said. “There is urgency in this work of gathering Israel, dear friends. And it’s up to us to invite those people who are lucky enough to cross our paths today.”