The new Meridian Temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be dedicated on Sunday, November 19. Construction on the large temple began in 2014.
The facility, located near the intersection of Linder Road and Chinden Boulevard, will serve Idaho's growing Mormon population.
Over the past month, tens of thousands of members of the general public have toured the Meridian Temple. But after its formal dedication this weekend, only a select few will be allowed to enter the sacred space.
"We want people to understand what takes place in an LDS Temple," says Larry Wilson, a Church elder who leads the Temple Department nationwide.
On a break from touring donors through the temple, he explains, "All of our buildings, all of them are paid for without any debt. And this building, as well as all of the others that are erected by the Church, are paid for in cash."
This is the fifth Mormon temple in the state. "When I was a boy," recalls Wilson, "I grew up in Pocatello. There was the Idaho Falls Temple and that was it. Now we’ve added temples in Boise, Rexburg, Twin Falls, this second temple here in the Boise area, and a temple announced in Pocatello. It reflects the fact that our church membership is growing here."
In Wilson’s lifetime, over the past 67 years, membership is not just expanding in Idaho, but surging across the world to nearly 15.9 million members.
This temple is larger than most, and the white concrete building has a distinctive retro look. It was designed with characteristics of some of the more beloved buildings in the Treasure Valley. "They looked at the Ada County Courthouse and the Hoff building," says Wilson, "which are both built in an Art Deco style. So it’s a combination, really, of Art Deco, Arts and Crafts, and the Prairie Style."
Two instruction rooms are covered in large murals of outdoor scenes depicting Idaho’s natural environment. After Sunday’s dedicatory prayers, the temple will only be open to members of the Church who have a “temple recommend.”
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