MERIDIAN, Idaho — The public got its first look inside the LDS Church’s new Meridian Idaho Temple when the church released photos Monday.
At 67,331 square feet, the building is one of the church’s larger temples, noted Elder Quentin L. Cook of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a media tour Monday.
The temple stands 120 feet high, including a 13-foot statue of the angel Moroni on top, and sits on just over 15 acres in this suburb of Boise. Its exterior is made of white precast concrete panels. The octagon-shaped cap is made of titanium and changes color slightly from blue-gray to gold, depending on the sun’s reflection.
The building sits on a bluff overlooking part of the Boise River and is located in an area settled by descendants of Mormon colonizers. The Meridian Temple is about 12 miles from the church’s Boise Temple, and very different in design.
“(The temple has) kind of a unique shape and design. … It doesn’t have the traditional tall spires of a lot of the Latter-day Saint temples,” said Tom Lindhardt, temple project manager, in a prepared statement.
The Meridian temple’s exterior takes design cues from the church’s Cardston Alberta Temple and Laie Hawaii Temple, according to Thomas E. Coburn, managing director of temples for the church.
“The design motifs that you’ll see throughout the temple are the camas flower and the Syringa flower (the Idaho state flower),” Lindhardt said.
The interior features Egyptian marble and Sapele African mahogany. It also includes more than 100 pieces of art, 10 of which are original. Two murals in the building’s instruction rooms are original and depict the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.
Open house and dedication
A public open house for the temple begins Oct. 21 and runs through Nov. 11, except Sundays. Tickets can be requested at www.templeopenhouse.lds.org.
The Meridian Temple will be dedicated during three sessions on Sunday, Nov. 19. In conjunction with that, about 6,000 local youth will participate in a cultural celebration of Idaho and church history on Nov. 18 at Taco Bell Arena in Boise.
Once it’s dedicated, the temple will serve more than 60,000 church members in 16 stakes from the Boise area and eastern Oregon.
Church President Thomas S. Monson announced plans for the Meridian Temple in April 2011. Ground was broken on Aug. 23, 2014.
About 2,000 construction employees worked to build the temple over the past several years, Coburn said. They and their families were able to tour the building last week.
The Meridian Temple will be the church’s 158th operating temple worldwide, and the fifth in Idaho. Other Idaho temples are in Boise, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, and Rexburg. The church announced plans to build a temple in Pocatello, Idaho earlier this year. It’s one of 24 temples either announced or under construction.
Elder Cook explained the significance and sacredness of the temple and pointed out that temples serve a different purpose than LDS meetinghouses. For more on that, visit www.lds.org/topics/temples.
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