After 80+ Years, The Pocatello Temple May Finally Break Ground
It’s incredible to see how many new temples are being built around the earth. And how many are already here. After all, we’ve got more than 80 temples on our website! And as of this post there are 187 temples either operating, under construction, or announced.
But despite having so many temples around the world, In some areas members have to wait years for a temple to be built near them so that they can enjoy the blessings of the temple without having to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to do so.
The blessings of having a temple nearby and the joy that it brings makes it well worth the wait. But can you imagine if the wait was more than 80 years? Such will be the case with the Pocatello Idaho Temple.
In the 1930s, Church leaders felt strongly that the next temple to be built should be in Idaho. President Ezra Taft Benson, who was at the time a counselor in the Boise Stake presidency, felt strongly that the temple should be built in the state capital of Boise. He was then promised by President Heber J. Grant that, “Someday you will have a temple in this valley.”
But the Pocatello area was also being seriously considered by the First Presidency as the city to become home to the first temple in Idaho, as Pocatello was a significant trade and transport hub with a growing population. But at the time, the Great Depression was in full swing, and it had left its mark on the city. The government didn’t have enough funds to supply water and utilities to the desired temple location in the west-bench area of Pocatello.
In the end, around this same time, the Chamber of Commerce in Idaho Falls had offered to donate a prime parcel of land 50 miles north of Pocatello. The Church accepted the donation and built the first temple in Idaho in Idaho Falls.
Locals started to call Pocatello “cursed” as the years went by without seeing a temple built in their city. But they still had hope, even after other Idaho temples were built in Boise, Rexburg, Twin Falls, and Meridian.
Finally, the day came for the members in the Pocatello area to rejoice, when more than 80 years later, President Monson announced at the April 2017 general conference that they would get their temple. As of this writing an official site for the temple has yet to be determined, but it looks like after more than 80 years, Pocatello will finally get a temple after all!
Note: Many of the above facts are according to www.ldschurchtemples.org and are not officially confirmed by the Church. Lead image from www.pocatello.us.