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

Pocatello Idaho Temple

Government approval process; streets around temple site opened
Pocatello Idaho Temple

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Location

Monson Street
Pocatello, Idaho
United States

Announcement: 

2 April 2017

Construction Status

The Pocatello Idaho Temple is currently in the government approval phase. No groundbreaking date has been announced.


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.


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
8th operating temple
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
158th operating temple
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
158th operating temple
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 in October 2019. Construction of a master-planned development east of the interchange will follow shortly thereafter. The Northgate Development 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
27th operating temple
Boise Idaho Temple
, the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
8th operating temple
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
, the Meridian Idaho Temple
158th operating temple
Meridian Idaho Temple
, the Rexburg Idaho Temple
125th operating temple
Rexburg Idaho Temple
, and the Twin Falls Idaho Temple
128th operating temple
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—nearly a third 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 Latter-day Saint temple 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
27th operating temple
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
125th operating temple
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
128th operating temple
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
158th operating temple
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
139th operating temple
Brigham City Utah Temple
and the Star Valley Wyoming Temple
154th operating temple
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
8th operating temple
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
(1945), the Boise Idaho Temple
27th operating temple
Boise Idaho Temple
(1984), the Rexburg Idaho Temple
125th operating temple
Rexburg Idaho Temple
(2008), the Twin Falls Idaho Temple
128th operating temple
Twin Falls Idaho Temple
(2008), and the Meridian Idaho Temple
158th operating temple
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 .