Here are some snippets from the headline news in Southeastern Idaho.
Sunday, December 23, 2007, Front page article of the Post Register (Idaho Falls, ID): “The temple effect, As LDS temples rise, home values do, too.”
After selling houses in this Mormon university town in eastern Idaho for two decades, Ted Whyte knows what some of his customers want: A home near the new Mormon temple. If only he could use that in his ads. “We’d love to, but we can’t use that phraseology,” said Whyte, who like 92 percent of Rexburg’s 31,000 residents is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “The Federal Fair Housing Act kicks in and calls it discriminatory.”
In Twin Falls,
Ken Edmunds, an LDS member and developer of a 49-unit subdivision near Twin Falls’ new temple, paid a premium for his land, figuring its location would make it easier to sell homes priced up to $900,000 even if the market slumps. Just to be sure, he named the neighborhood after a Mormon magazine, the “Ensign.”
Thursday, December 27, 2007, Front page article of Morning News (Blackfoot, ID): “House of the Lord, Public offered tours inside new temple.”
Once the temple is formally dedicated on Feb. 3, 2008 it will be closed to the public and devoted to sacred rights and ceremonies, referred to as ordinances. “It’s not a matter of secrecy. It’s a matter of sanctity,” Bednar said. “It will become a house of the Lord,” Bednar added. In fact, every one of the 125 Mormon temples has the words, “House of the Lord” and “Holiness to the Lord” over each entryway.
Thursday, December 27, 2007, Front page article of Standard Journal (Rexburg, ID): “Holiness to the Lord, LDS leader David Bednar talks about symbolism of the temple.”
The open house for the Rexburg LDS temple begins Saturday, and its president, Val Christensen, said he has never seen such a high level of interest in a temple during all of his travels. . . . Christensen said he has been told that only the temple in Nigeria was greeted with a similar level of enthusiasm.
There is another chandelier in the bride’s room. Bednar’s wife, Susan Bednar, said visiting the room in this temple reminded her of her own marriage on March 20, 1975. The room is part of making a marriage a memorable experience for women. “A bride-to-be is meant to feel special and beautiful,” said Susan Bednar. David Bednar shared some of his own memories in a sealing room. He pointed out more symbolism in the mirrors on each wall. He said he tells men and women he marries that the mirrors represent the couple as part of an unbroken chain going from the couple’s ancestors down to their descendants. He also gave a lesson for marriage. “If you look at yourself, you can’t see anything else in the mirror. If you look at your spouse, you can see forever,” he said. Looking at those in the room he said, “If you can’t learn anything from that lesson, I can’t help you.”
The Rexburg Temple did break from tradition in one way. For the first time since the Washington, D.C. Temple, the church hired an outside company, Architectural Nexus, to design the building.
Thursday, December 27, 2007, Front page of B section in Teton Valley News: “Temple time.” (In my estimation, best front page picture.)
It was back in 2003 that the news of a temple to be built in Rexburg was first heard. Two and a half years later a temple groundbreaking and site dedication was held. John Groberg, who was of the Presidency of the Seventy at the time, presided over that ceremony. There were over 8,000 people in attendance. Since the golden shovels turned dirt, construction on the temple has been ongoing. An event that drew thousands of onlookers was the placing of the gold-leaf statue of the angel Moroni on Sept. 21, 2006. According to the LDS Church, this date was the 183rd anniversary of the appearance of angel Moroni to the Church’s first latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith.
Within the first week all of the tickets were gone and the Temple Committee and Church had to decide how to offer more tickets. About a week later slots were opened from 7 to 8:50 a.m. to allow more people a chance to go through on a tour. . . . Over 10,000 volunteers from those within the temple district are needed to help run the open house.
Friday, December 28, 2007, Front page of the Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, ID): “New temple tours starting.”
Friday, December 28, 2007, Front page of the Post Register (Idaho Falls, ID): “A temple sneak peek.”
Height: 168 feet 9 inches (including angel statue). Size: 57,504 square feet. Exterior details: There are 637 panels surrounding the temple. The panels are made of precast concrete with a white-quartz rock finish and weigh a combined 2,600 tons. The golden angel Moroni atop the temple is 10 feet 8 inches tall and symbolizes the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. (Church members believe Moroni appeared to the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, in 1823 to tell him about ancient records that were later translated into the Book of Mormon). There are 700 art-glass window panes, most of which incorporate wheat stock symbolizing the agricultural economy in the area. Utah artist Tom Holdman created the wheat motif. . . . Interior features: The temple is made up of numerous rooms that include wood trim imported from Africa and stone and tile from Israel. Original works from artists such as Leon Parson are displayed throughout the temple. Parson painted eight panels, 10 feet high and 27 feet long, depicting local wildlife and landscapes, including the Teton Mountains.