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BOISE, Idaho — The newly-renovated LDS temple in Boise, Idaho was re-dedicated by President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sunday morning. The temple has been refurbished and expanded, something that has happened once before due to its popularity.
Scattered rain the night before gave way to clear skies as Pres. Monson arrived for the first of three dedicatory sessions Sunday morning.
The temple closed in July 2011 for a 17-month refurbishment. The interior was "taken down to the concrete" in most places, received reinforced walls and a sprinkler system, among other improvements. Dark wood trim, marble floors, new stained glass and decorative glass art are among the additions that give the interior a very new look.
The grounds were entirely re-landscaped, and a new maintenance and engineering building was added, coming in at roughly 5,000 square feet.
The temple was the third built with six spires on it after Salt Lake and Washington D.C., with several others following.
When it first opened in 1982, almost 130,000 people toured the building, about double the expected number. It was dedicated with a spectacular 24 sessions, more than any other temple in history at the time with the exception of Salt Lake City.
This time, more than 166,000 people attended the temple open house, which concluded Nov. 10.
A large Youth Cultural Celebration was held Saturday at Taco Bell Arena on the Boise State University campus. Approximately 9,000 youth from the Boise Temple District, some who had traveled up to five hours to attend, delivered dance and musical presentations for the event, with the theme "Treasure the Light."
Pres. Monson also addressed those in attendance before the festivities began. They shouted praise and Pres. Monson responded with thumbs up and salutes.
"(The Boise temple) shines as a beacon of righteousness to all who will follow its light," he said. "We treasure that light."
He also praised those who performed, saying he is an advocate for such large events and celebrations and that they bring people together.
Many of the participating youth described the event as "awesome" and inspiring, and called it a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.
"When you go home, write in your journal the things you saw here, and how you felt," Pres. Monson admonished the youth. "Years from now, you'll be telling your children and your grandchildren about the opportunity you had to participate in this tremendous cultural celebration."
As part of a blessing for the youth, he said, "I bless you, that you will always walk in truth and treasure the light of the temple."
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder William R. Walker of the First Quorum of Seventy and the executive director of the Temple Department, were on hand for the celebration as well.