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September 23, 1945 by George Albert Smith
Location: 1000 Memorial Drive; Idaho Falls, Idaho (in northwestern Idaho Falls on the banks of the Snake River)
Site: 7 acres.
Exterior Finish: Reinforced concrete; a mixture made from aggregate and white cement called cast stone covers the 16-inch thick exterior walls in two-inch thick slabs.
Temple Design: Modern single spire design.
Number of Rooms: One ordinance room and nine sealing.
Total Floor Area: 86,972 square feet.
Current Temple Schedule: Idaho Falls Temple Schedule
Dedicatory Prayer Excerpt: "Our hearts are filled with gratitude towards Thee, O God our Eternal Father, that Thou didst cause Thy Spirit to move upon our forebears and inspire them to come to this goodly land, declared by Thee to be choice above all other lands, where thy might worship Thee untrammeled; that Thou didst promise, 'The wilderness and solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing . . . And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.' For the fertility of this land which, once most undesirable and forbidding, now produces in rich abundance delicious grain, fruits and vegetables, we are most grateful. We too express to Thee our joy in beholding great mountains towering majestically toward the sky to inspire Thy children to look up as well as around them that they might enjoy Thy handiwork."
Comments: The Idaho Falls temple sits on a beautiful tract of land, donated by the Chamber of Commerce, that overlooks the falls of the Snake River. Its existence is a fulfillment of prophecy made in 1884 when Elders Wilford Woodruff and Heber J. Grant were visiting the discouraged Saints who were working hard to establish a foothold in this new, difficult area. Elder Woodruff gave encouragement to the Saints by saying, "Be not discouraged; be not disheartened, because God's blessing is upon this land." After promising the Saints a time when the land would be dotted with gardens, fine homes, schools, and meetinghouses, he said, "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." The sketch drawn by John Fetzer, Sr. was chosen by the board of architects as the design for the temple. He affirmed that after praying for guidance, "he saw in vision an ancient Nephite temple which he used as the basis for his design." His son Henry helped develop the elevations for the tower by drawing from ideas of modern skyscrapers. The architect said that the temple, "pointing skyward . . . seems to tell of eternal values." Most of the construction on the temple was completed in 1941, and it represented a record on temple building for the Church. Indeed, the exterior was completely finished, and it was expected to open for service the next year. However, due to unavailability of materials caused by World War II, the temple's interior could not be completed and, consequently, would not be dedicated until after the war was finished in 1945. President Heber J. Grant, who had directed the temple's erection, died just four months before its dedication. Therefore, the responsibility of holding the dedicatory sessions fell to his successor President George Albert Smith. The state held beautification projects in preparation for the dedication of such a holy and magnificent temple. The statue of the angel Moroni was not added to the Idaho Falls temple until September 5, 1983. President Devere Harris and officials of that temple district thought that the temple's tower was ideal for such a statue. The First Presidency agreed, and a helicopter was flown in to place the ten-foot angel atop the temple.
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