Church to break ground on second Rexburg, Idaho, temple this weekend

A rendering shows the Teton River Temple that will be built in Rexburg, Idaho. The groundbreaking is set for Saturday.

A rendering shows the Teton River Temple that will be built in Rexburg, Idaho. The groundbreaking is set for Saturday. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

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REXBURG, Idaho — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is breaking ground on its second temple in Rexburg Saturday.

Elder Ricardo P. Giménez, a general authority seventy and second counselor in the North America Central Area presidency, will preside at the groundbreaking, which will begin at 10 a.m.

The three-story, 130,000-square-foot temple will be built on a 16.6-acre parcel at North Second East and Moody Drive across the street from Walmart. The church announced in September 2022 the temple would be called the Teton River Temple.

Members of the public can attend the ceremony in person by invitation only. It will be streamed live online on the church website.

John and Shelley Hegsted previously owned the property where the temple will be built. A 3,200-square-foot home in the southeast corner of the property and surrounding farmland had been in their family for three generations. They sold it to the church in July 2021.

"Our family has been in that home since 1914 when it was built," Shelley said in 2021. "It's been a wonderful place to raise our family, but since town moved out that way and Walmart came, it's been so busy. It's not a fun corner to live on anymore."

Despite feeling some initial sadness over the sale, the Hegsteds, who are lifelong Latter-day Saints, were humbled the church chose that spot and "couldn't be happier" with its ownership of the property.

The temple, which was announced by President Russell M. Nelson during the faith's October 2021 general conference, comes in the wake of several new temples in eastern Idaho, including the five-story, 57,500-square-foot temple adjacent to BYU-Idaho that was dedicated in 2008.

Church leaders broke ground on a 27,000-square-foot temple in Montpelier last year. The Pocatello temple was dedicated in 2021.

Temples typically take between two and three years to complete. An open house and tour will be open to the public once it's built. Once dedicated, only church members with an ecclesiastical endorsement can enter.

This will be the fifth temple in eastern Idaho and the ninth in the Gem State. Additional temples are in Boise, Idaho Falls, Meridian, Twin Falls and Burley.

Idaho is home to more than 470,000 Latter-day Saints in over 1,200 congregations. The Teton River Temple is expected to serve church members from Rexburg to Island Park.

Worldwide church membership is 17,225,394, according to the latest data. As of April 1, the church has 335 temples in various stages of construction. Of those, 189 have been dedicated.

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