The Twin Falls Idaho Temple is a temple located in Twin Falls, Idaho, just south of the Snake River Canyon.
Church membership grew throughout the 20th century until 1996, when the presidents of the 14 stakes (groups of congregations) in the valley wrote a letter to President Gordon B. Hinckley requesting that a temple be built in their area. Eight years later, in October 2004, they were thrilled to learn of the Church’s plans to build one.
Church president Gordon B. Hinckley announced the construction of a temple for the Magic Valley region of Idaho in his opening remarks of general conference held October 2, 2004, to serve the thousands of members who live in southern Idaho between the Boise and Idaho Falls temples.
Rumors of the temple started several weeks before general conference when the church’s negotiations to purchase the Candleridge Golf Course came to light. The financially unprofitable course had already announced its intention to close on December 31, 2004, yet over 300 residents near the golf course produced a petition protesting the loss of the golf course to the temple, upset that their investments into homes next to a golf course would become investments into homes bordering a busy church. In response, the church distributed printed materials, stating its intentions to work with neighbors with regard to traffic and parking when the time came to present plans to the city.
Planning and Approval
The Twin Falls Planning and Zoning Commission approved the necessary permits for the building of the temple on November 8, 2005. The commission approved a special-use permit for a temple and meetinghouse and also approved a variance for the temple to exceed the city’s 35-foot (11 m) maximum height limit. The commission’s approval allowed the church to move to the next stages of planning and to address parking concerns expressed by Commission members, who worried that the 300-space parking lot may be insufficient.
Plans for the temple, inspired by nearby Shoshone Falls, were unveiled on Thursday, October 6, 2005, at a press conference held in the former Candleridge Golf Course clubhouse. The model displayed the upcoming white two-story temple, which was capped with a gold-leafed angel Moroni atop a spire rising 159 feet (48 m) in the air on May 30, 2007—making it the highest point in the area. Also sharing the 9.1-acre (37,000 m2) complex is a new stake center, over 300 parking spaces, and charming tree-lined boulevards and gardens. The church, which went to great lengths to minimize the worries of neighbors, contracted with developer Ken Edmunds to subdivide the balance of the 36-acre (150,000 m2) plot to complement the existing neighborhood.
Stake presidents and their families comprised most of the audience at the invitation-only event. The temple serves approximately 50,000 area church members.
Ground was broken for the temple on Saturday, April 15, 2006—the day before Easter Sunday. Presiding at the ceremony was Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Presidency of the Seventy, who himself was reared in Southeast Idaho. He honored the late apostle Elder David B. Haight, a native of Oakley, and shared the story of Elder Haight’s parents’ trip by buggy to wed in the Logan Utah Temple. “Our children and our children’s children will not travel to the Twin Falls temple by buggy,” said Elder Andersen, “but they, too, will remember their days in the Twin Falls temple. The temple is our solemn testimony to the immortality of the soul. We walk into the house of the Lord to be endowed there as the scripture says to be endowed from on high with power. This work that we commence today is a holy work. It will bless the city. We honor our neighbors, our kind neighbors, who have allowed us to worship as we believe.”Ruth Day, “Idaho’s fourth temple,” Church News 22 Apr. 2006: 5.
Stake presidents and their families comprised most of the audience at the invitation-only event. The temple serves approximately 50,000 area church members. “News Story”, Newsroom, LDS Church, April 8, 2006, retrieved October 16, 2012
The Twin Falls Temple held an open house and conducted tours from July 11, 2008 until August 15, 2008, excluding Sundays. The church reported that visitors during the open house totaled 159,863, approximately 60 percent of whom were members of the church.“Temple tours exceed expectations”, Deseret News, August 18, 2008, retrieved October 16, 2012
Though 136,000 tickets had been reserved for tours, an additional 23,000 toured the temple.Sarah Jane Weaver, “159,863 tour new temple in Twin Falls, Idaho,” Church News 23 Aug. 2008: 5.
The Saturday evening before the dedication of the temple, 3,200 Idaho youth were delighted to present a cultural celebration for their prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. Entitled Living Water, the celebration, held at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds, opened with a flurry of blue and white ribbons that turned the fairgrounds in Filer, Idaho, into a flowing river. Steven Tuft, who produced the program with his wife Susan, opened by saying, “In Magic Valley our physical lives depend upon mountain streams, irrigation wells and the Snake River. Our spiritual lives depend upon the living water from the Savior.” The history of south-central Idaho was then told through music, voice, and dance, paying tribute to Native Americans, pioneers, European and Mexican immigrants, and even the Idaho potato. Alexandria Ackerman of the Filer Idaho Stake summarized her feelings this way: “Before living water was just a song we were singing.?Now it is like, wow, we have living water. You understand what it really means. It means more to you now that the temple is actually here.” Sarah Jane Weaver, “‘Living Water,'” Church News 30 Aug. 2008: 8.
A cornerstone session and four dedicatory sessions took place on Sunday August 24, 2008.Hildebrandt, Jay. Twin Falls Temple Preview. Localnews8.com, July 10, 2008. Last accessed 2008-07-12
Church president Thomas S. Monson (President Hinckley had passed away suddenly the month prior) presided at the dedication and was assisted by other church general authorities, including Henry B. Eyring, Quentin L. Cook and Claudio R. M. Costa. Due to overwhelming interest and limited seating in the temple, the final session was broadcast to various church buildings throughout Idaho.Ordinance work began the Monday following the dedication. Retired Burley dairy farmer and former member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, D. Rex Gerratt, served as the first president. Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church, dedicated the temple on August 24, 2008. In his dedicatory prayer, he emphasized the peace that can come as we partake of the living water: “May this House provide a spirit of peace to all who observe its majesty. … O, Holy Father, bless Thy children everywhere with the peace promised by Thy Son—even the peace which passeth understanding.”
Throughout the weekend of the dedication, members felt the very personal love of a prophet, who often paused to shake hands and converse in his warm and cheerful tones. “Let them feel of Thy divine love and mercy,” he asked in his dedicatory prayer. And indeed they did. Following the final dedicatory session, President Monson spent many minutes greeting the smiling Saints who lined the sidewalk from the temple entrance to his awaiting car. When he came upon Maria Eugenia Hernandez, he spoke to her in Spanish, even singing lines from a popular Spanish song with her. Maria was so deeply touched by the experience that for several minutes she could not speak because of her weeping and could not write because of her shaking hands. Pres. Monson’s love was returned during his drive to the airport where families lined the roads holding signs that expressed such sentiments as these: “We love the scriptures.” “We love the prophet.” “We love the temple.”Gerry Avant, “New temple is dedicated in Idaho,” Church News 30 Aug. 2008: 3.
At the time of its dedication there were 6 temples under construction, 6 temples awaiting groundbreaking, and 1 temple under renovation.
|Under Construction||Awaiting Groundbreaking||Under Renovation|
|Draper Utah||Tegucigalpa Honduras||Mexico City|
|Oquirrh Mountain Utah||Quetzaltenango Guatemala|
|Cebu City Phillipines||San Salvador El Salvador|
|Vancouver British Columbia||The Gila Valley|
|Manaus Brazil||Gilbert Arizona|
|Kyiv Ukraine||Phoenix Arisona|
|Temple President||Years Served|
|President Paul B. Young||2016–|
|President Brad R. Hobbs||2013–2016|
|President Karl E. Nelson||2010–2013|
|President D. Rex Gerratt||2008–2010|
The Twin Falls Idaho Temple stands less than a half-mile from the precipice of Snake River Canyon, a 500-foot-deep chasm stretching more than 50 miles. Not far from the temple, the impressive 1,500-foot Perrine Bridge spans Snake River Canyon, giving observers a view of the scenic landscape below. The central section of Idaho’s Snake River Plain is known as the Magic Valley, thus named because irrigation turned an arid region into surprisingly productive farmland. For Latter-day Saints living in this rural area of south central Idaho, the Twin Falls Idaho Temple stands as a beacon of hope.
A few miles from the temple, tourists flock to Shoshone Falls, a waterfall exceeding the height of Niagara Falls by 45 feet. The temple incorporates this breathtaking local attraction in its design, featuring a waterfall theme in its stained glass windows and exterior walls. Portions of the Temple design were influenced by a small generator house located at the base of the falls.
|Square Feet||Square Meters|
The 31,245-square-foot Twin Falls Idaho Temple is constructed in a contemporary style, With waterfalls painted and etched on its surface, the Twin Falls Idaho Temple stands as a reminder of waters that quench both physical and spiritual thirst.
The exterior is made of 282 precast concrete panels and a quartz rock finish.
A Syringa flower motif, created by Utah artist Tom Holdman, is used throughout the Twin Falls Idaho Temple including most of the 200 art-glass windowpanes with 12,000 pieces of glass. The Syringa is Idaho’s state flower.
There is one inscription on the Twin Falls Idaho Temple. It is on the east face, on the spire, above the entrance. The text of the inscription is engraved in the concrete and unadorned.
HOLINESS TO THE LORD
THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
The Cornerstone for the Twin Falls Idaho temple is on the south east corner of the temple facing east. Like the inscription the text is engraved into the precast panel, and is unadorned.
Spires and Moroni
Standing at approximately 159 feet (48 m) tall,Coltrain, Nick (May 31, 2007), “Moving Moroni: Twin Falls LDS temple gets famous statue; outside nearly complete”, Times-News (Lee Enterprises), retrieved October 16, 2012
as of 2009 the temple is the tallest building in Twin Falls. New Twin Falls LDS temple set for opening
On Wednesday, May 30, 2007, a 13½-foot gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni was set in place atop the single spire of the temple. Though efforts were made to keep news of the Moroni raising quiet, hundreds of spectators and cameras crowded the temple the day of the event eager to catch a glimpse of Moroni’s ascent. Once the statue was in place and the crane pulled away, a spontaneous eruption of cheers and whistles filled the air. Seventeen-year-old Kelsee Nebeker said the installation of Moroni marked a milestone for the temple and for Twin Falls: “It just represents everything we have been hoping and waiting for.”Coltrain, Nick (May 31, 2007), “Moving Moroni: Twin Falls LDS temple gets famous statue; outside nearly complete”, Times-News (Lee Enterprises), retrieved October 16, 2012
The statue is a fiberglass casting of a statue carved in 1985 by Karl Quilter. The statue is gilded and was placed on the spire facing east.
The interior of the temple features 2 instruction rooms in a 2 stage progressive style endowment. There are 3 sealing rooms in the temple.
Although African wood, Indian granite and other international building materials beautify the interior of the temple, the temple also reflects the native landscape.
Shoshone Falls also graces a mural within the temple, painted by Idaho artist Leon Parson. In a nod to Idaho’s state flower, the temple’s windows include images of the delicate white syringa. Outside, cascading fountains add to the serenity and beauty of the temple grounds.
Individuals and Contractors
|Architect||Bill Erickson of MHTN|
|Project Manager||Greg Rassmussen|
|Precast Concrete||Hanson Structural PRecast|
|Structural Engineers||ARW Engineers|
|Masonry Walls||IMS Masonry|
|Construction Assesment||Morrison Hershfield|
|Mechanical Install||KK Mechanical|
|Art Glass||Holdman Studios|
|Interior Stone||Global Stone|
|Water Feature||Water Design Inc|
Sources and Links
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Ruth Day, “Idaho’s fourth temple,” Church News 22 Apr. 2006: 5.|
|2.||↑||“News Story”, Newsroom, LDS Church, April 8, 2006, retrieved October 16, 2012|
|3.||↑||“Temple tours exceed expectations”, Deseret News, August 18, 2008, retrieved October 16, 2012|
|4.||↑||Sarah Jane Weaver, “159,863 tour new temple in Twin Falls, Idaho,” Church News 23 Aug. 2008: 5.|
|5.||↑||Sarah Jane Weaver, “‘Living Water,'” Church News 30 Aug. 2008: 8.|
|6.||↑||Hildebrandt, Jay. Twin Falls Temple Preview. Localnews8.com, July 10, 2008. Last accessed 2008-07-12|
|7.||↑||Gerry Avant, “New temple is dedicated in Idaho,” Church News 30 Aug. 2008: 3.|
|8, 10.||↑||Coltrain, Nick (May 31, 2007), “Moving Moroni: Twin Falls LDS temple gets famous statue; outside nearly complete”, Times-News (Lee Enterprises), retrieved October 16, 2012|
|9.||↑||New Twin Falls LDS temple set for opening|