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Members of the LDS Church in southern Idaho are celebrating the dedication of a new temple tonight. The Twin Falls, Idaho, temple is the latest to be dedicated by LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson.
This is the second temple dedicated by President Monson just this month. Two weeks ago, he was in Panama for a new temple there. The Twin Falls temple is now the fourth LDS temple in Idaho and the 128th temple open in the world.
President Monson traveled to Twin Falls to lead the dedication services inside the LDS church's newest temple. "We'll go in and dedicate this house. Right now it is yours and mine and all the church, but in a few minutes it will belong to the Lord," he said.
First, President Monson held the traditional cornerstone ceremony outside, then invited others, including young children from Idaho, to fill the temple's cornerstone with mortar.
For those who live in Twin Falls and the surrounding region, today is something they have been looking forward to for a long time. Victor Gunter and his family live close to the new temple in Twin Falls. "We're very excited, we celebrate as a family, as a ward, as a stake and community," he said.
Carol Gunter said, "It's been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. You can feel the joy in the air almost."
The Church opened the doors of the temple to the public in July and early August, attracting 160,000 people who toured the inside. It was an opportunity to build more friendships among all faiths in the community. Mission President John W. Yardley said, "Everybody has some ownership, and everybody is part of it, and so by doing it, the unity is dramatically increased."
The temple is now a landmark in Idaho's Magic Valley. It will officially open tomorrow.
The LDS Church has a total of seven temples under construction right now, including two in the Salt Lake Valley. The temple in Draper and the Oquirrh Mountain temple in South Jordan are both scheduled to open sometime in 2009.