Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Pocatello Idaho Temple

Pouring foundation walls
Pocatello Idaho Temple

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Location

3100 Butte Street
Pocatello, Idaho  83201
United States

Announcement: 

2 April 2017

Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: 

16 March 2019 by Wilford W. Andersen

Site: 

12.77 acres

Ordinance Rooms: 

Four ordinance rooms (stationary) and four sealing

Total Floor Area: 

67,696 square feet

Groundbreaking Ceremony

In an answer to many prayers, sunshine and beautiful blue skies accompanied the Pocatello Idaho Temple groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, March 16, 2019, despite weeks of gray clouds and heavy snowfall. The opening prayer was offered by hometown hero, Taysom Hill, who is a quarterback for the New Orleans Saints but put on his jersey for the Latter-day Saints on this occasion. Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the Seventy presided at the ceremony and offered the dedicatory prayer. Church and community leaders, local developers, and numerous interfaith leaders were the first to turn the ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt.

On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, over 2,500 eager Pocatello-area youth descended on the temple site with shovels in hand to clear the ground of vegetation in preparation for the groundbreaking ceremony. With so many helpers, all of the weeds and sagebrush were pulled from the 12-acre site in less than 30 minutes.


Neighbor Open House

On March 1, 2019, renderings of the Pocatello Idaho Temple and site plan were on display at a neighbor open house held at the stake center west of the temple site. The previous evening, representatives from Church headquarters held a briefing with local Church leaders and conducted interviews with the media.


Construction Status

The Pocatello Idaho Temple plan have been approved by the local government for construction. Issuance of the building permit is pending. Okland Construction has been selected as the general contractor.


Construction Approval

On April 6, 2017, four days after the announcement of the temple, the property for the temple was annexed into the City of Pocatello as part of a larger land annexation.

On November 15, 2017, application for the subdivision where the temple will rise, known as Crestview Estates Division 2, was considered at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Applicants included the Church, the developer, and the engineering firm. The nearly 29-acre subdivision was presented including the 11-acre temple site and 31 surrounding residential lots. A proposal to rename Ray Street to Monson Street was also included in the application. The change would mean that the streets bordering the temple site would be named Monson Street, Legacy Drive, Clearwater Street, and Andrew Street. The Commission unanimously recommended approval of the subdivision to the City Council.

On February 1, 2018, the City Council approved both the subdivision and the street name change. Construction of the subdivision infrastructure began the following month and concluded in the fall of 2018.

On October 11, 2018, a Church representative presented two variance requests at a Hearing Examiner meeting to allow construction of the temple. The first request was a variance from the height restrictions, and the second variance was a variance from the lighting standards. The Hearing Examiner approved both the height variance and the lighting variance with the condition that the nighttime floodlighting be turned off by 10 p.m. each night.

On January 30, 2019, plans were submitted for review to the City of Pocatello Building Department, and application was made for a building permit. Final approval was granted on February 12, 2019.


Temple Rendering

On September 7, 2018, the official rendering of the Pocatello Idaho Temple was released to the public, revealing a white three-story building with a multi-tiered central spire.


Temple Design

The design of the Pocatello Idaho Temple complements the familiar architecture of the historic Idaho Falls Idaho Temple where Pocatello-area members have attended temple services for decades. It also appears to incorporate a floor plan similar to the recently dedicated Meridian Idaho Temple, which Elder Larry Y. Wilson, Executive Director of the Temple Department, alluded to in an interview with East Idaho News. He said that the Pocatello Idaho Temple was expected to be a larger temple, offering the Meridian Idaho Temple as a recent example of larger temple design.1


Temple Site

The site location for the Pocatello Idaho Temple was officially announced in a news release from Church headquarters on September 7, 2018. The temple will stand in northeast Pocatello on an 11-acre parcel adjoining the stake center for the Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake. The east bench property offers a beautiful hillside location visible to travelers coming from I-15 or I-86.

On June 22, 2017, state approval was granted for construction of a new I-15 interchange to be built north of the city, which will provide better access to the temple. Construction of the Northgate interchange began November 5, 2018, and is expected to be completed by October 2019. Construction of a master-planned development east of the interchange will follow shortly thereafter. The Northgate District will be built on 20,000 acres and feature new neighborhoods, parks, trails, shopping centers, entertainment venues, and a major technology park employing 6,000 people.2


Temple Announcement

Idaho's sixth temple was announced by President Thomas S. Monson on April 2, 2017, in his opening remarks at the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. There are five operating temples in the state including the Boise Idaho Temple, the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, the Meridian Idaho Temple, the Rexburg Idaho Temple, and the Twin Falls Idaho Temple. An extensive renovation project on the Idaho Falls temple, which reduced the temple's seating capacity from 140 to 88, was rededicated on June 4, 2017.3

There are approximately 450,000 members of the Church in Idaho—more than a fourth of the state's population of 1.7 million people—organized into 129 stakes. There are 11 stakes in the Pocatello-Chubbuck metro area with another 11 stakes located in the surrounding communities of American Falls, Arimo, Blackfoot, Grace, Malad, McCammon, and Soda Springs.


Temple History

In 1930, when President Heber J. Grant announced that the next temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be constructed in Idaho, leaders from various stakes throughout the state urged that their respective communities be considered for the honor. Ezra Taft Benson, who was a counselor in the Boise Stake presidency, presented a particularly stirring argument for the state capital to be considered.4 In time, however, a hillside site was seriously investigated in the booming railroad town of Pocatello. The community's surrounding mountains made a beautiful setting for a temple in a city with excellent interstate transportation and a growing population—the second highest in the state. However, a depression-era economy had left the local government so poor, it would not pay to extend water and utilities to the west-bench location.5 In the meantime, the Chamber of Commerce in Idaho Falls, located 50 miles north of Pocatello, donated a prime parcel of land on the banks of the Snake River, bordering an LDS hospital. And that became the site of Idaho's first temple.

As the years passed, Pocatello experienced a series of economic setbacks, producing a local joke among members that the city was "cursed" for passing on the temple. Nevertheless, the hope never died for a House of the Lord to be constructed there. Decades after Idaho's first temple was constructed, a second temple was announced in 1982 for the state capital, the Boise Idaho Temple. In 1998, land on Pocatello's east bench was secured by the Church for the anticipated purpose of building a temple. However, it was the Rexburg Idaho Temple that was announced in 2003, two years after the announcement that Ricks College would become Brigham Young University–Idaho. And months later, the Twin Falls Idaho Temple was announced to serve members in the South Central region of the state. Pocatello Saints patiently waited through the perennial speculations and rumors. In 2011, the Meridian Idaho Temple was announced as the fifth for the state to serve the rapidly growing Boise metro area. Other communities near Pocatello also received temples including the Brigham City Utah Temple and the Star Valley Wyoming Temple. The Saints of Pocatello rejoiced in each new temple, grateful that faithful Saints would be spared difficult travel.

In 2017, Pocatello's long-awaited dream took one step closer to reality. The city had been placed on a long list of potential temple locations produced by the Temple Department that was presented to the prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. When Pocatello was mentioned, he stopped the presenters and said: "Pocatello will get a temple. The Saints there are well prepared, and it's time for them to have a temple."6 On April 2, 2017, President Monson himself made the announcement during the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. Shouts of joy rang in living rooms throughout the valley, and tears of gratitude were shed. Pocatello would receive its temple.


Temple Facts

The Pocatello Idaho Temple will be the sixth temple built in Idaho, following the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (1945), the Boise Idaho Temple (1984), the Rexburg Idaho Temple (2008), the Twin Falls Idaho Temple (2008), and the Meridian Idaho Temple (2017).


  1. Nate Eaton, "EAST IDAHO NEWSMAKERS: Mormon Temple Dept. Executive Director Elder Larry Wilson," East Idaho News 30 Apr. 2017, 16 Jun. 2017 <https://www.eastidahonews.com/2017/04/east-idaho-newsmakers-mormon-temple-dept-executive-director-elder-larry-wilson/>.
  2. Matt Davenport, "Northgate Planned Community Announced for Bannock County," KPVI 6 Sept. 2017, 14 Sept. 2017 .
  3. "President Monson Announces Five New Temples," The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, 2 Apr. 2017.
  4. Richard O. Cowan, Temples to Dot the Earth (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Incorporated, 1997) 141–142.
  5. Paul Menser, "Idaho Falls, Pocatello - Tale of the tape: Longtime rivals learning to cooperate," Post Register 21 Jul. 2002.
  6. Chris Oswalt, "LDS church announced plans for Pocatello temple," Local News 8 2 Apr. 2017, 8 May 2017 .

Boise Idaho Temple
27th dedicated temple in operation
Brigham City Utah Temple
139th dedicated temple in operation
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
8th dedicated temple in operation
Meridian Idaho Temple
158th dedicated temple in operation
Rexburg Idaho Temple
125th dedicated temple in operation
Star Valley Wyoming Temple
154th dedicated temple in operation
Twin Falls Idaho Temple
128th dedicated temple in operation