The Meridian Idaho Temple (Open House)

We are lucky enough to live a half day’s drive from the Meridian Idaho Temple and were able to attend the open house last October. I had been anticipating the open house for a couple of years, excited to take my boys.Meridian Temple

We zipped over Friday night and got up for the 11:00 tour on Saturday. I am so impressed with how organized these events are. We’ve also been to the Provo City Center Temple and the new MTC open houses, and they are all run so well. I so appreciate all of those who volunteered their time to make this happen. Meridian Idaho Temple Sunrise

The Meridian temple is amazing. And even better than enjoying its beauty was walking through with my children.

The exterior of the temple reminds me a little bit of the Cardston temple– a little more squatty on top. Inside, the beautiful dark woodwork and murals are incredible. Every detail is divine. Meridian Temple Looking Up

But, the temple grounds are what stood out to me the most on this visit. Even with thousands of other people visiting the open house, I could still appreciate the incredible landscaping. One of my favorite for sure! The expansive ponds, the vast green lawn, an old tree that must be original to the sight. All of it stunning. I don’t have a lot of photos because of the crowds, but trust me, these grounds are like no other.The Meridian Idaho Temple 1

I look forward to returning now that the temple is dedicated. How blessed we are to have so many temples in our midst!

Meridian Temple Open HousDate Visited: October 28, 2017

Miles From Home: 424

Location: Meridian, Idaho

Dedication:  November 19, 2017 by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

From the Dedicatory Prayer: Dearest Father, forgive us our many shortcomings. Strengthen our faith and fortify us against weakness. Give us power to resist the deceits of the adversary. May love for Thee and Thy Son grow in our hearts, and may it be expressed in our kindness and love to one another as Thy covenant sons and daughters.

 

The Rexburg Idaho Temple

Rexburg Idaho Temple 1It’s funny how I still get so excited to see the temple. Even here in Portland, seeing the temple, usually multiple times a week, still brings me feelings awe and gratitude and reverence. It is a testimony to me of the importance of it. The temple the House of the Lord. There is power there. I think the feelings we get, even from walking the grounds, are a tiny glimpse of what it will be like to live and walk with God. Peace, hope, gratitude, wonder, and a feeling of home.

The Rexburg Idaho Temple 16x9It was no different when we were approaching Rexburg Idaho and I saw the temple in the distance up on the hill. White and shining amid the golden wheat field, it was breathtaking.

Sunburst behind Rexburg Idaho TempleWe saw the Rexburg Temple for a few minutes when we dropped our boys off at BYU-I for EFY. Then zipped up to Canada for the week. The following Saturday we picked them up and headed straight over to the temple to walk the grounds and hear all about their experiences at EFY.

The story of the Rexburg Temple’s dedication tugs at my heart. President Hinckley was scheduled to dedicate the temple on February 3, 2008. Instead, on that day, Thomas S. Monson was set apart as the new president and prophet of the church. President Hinckley had passed away a week earlier. Oh how I loved, and still love, President Hinckley. I remember hearing about his passing that night. Carey and I just hugged each other and cried. He was prophet through major growing times in our lives, and like millions of others, I respected and loved him, and eagerly looked forward to hearing anything he said. Can you even fathom that we have the possibility to end up in the same place as him? And how much more fun it will be because he is there.

Rexburg Idaho Temple - Back ViewSo President Monson’s first official duty as the new president of the church was dedicating the Rexburg Idaho Temple a week after he was set apart. He had just buried a dear friend, and literally had the weight of the world on him. But of course he was up to the task, he had been serving his whole life.

Rexburg Temple 1I read an amazing quote here that was said by Elder Ronald J. Hammond at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Rexburg Temple in 2005. He said, “As the ground opens and as the shovel breaks it and turns it, your spiritual senses will know immediately that something very, very significant is happening. Something that at once disturbs the devil and blesses God’s children on both sides of the veil.” I would like to believe that that same thing happens with every new temple that is built. They are oh, so important!Rexburg Temple - Looking Up

Date Visited: July 29, 2017

Miles From Home: 740

Location: Rexburg Idaho

Dedication:  February 10, 2008 by Thomas S. Monson

From the Dedicatory Prayer: We thank Thee that since the restoration Thou hast never left Thy Church alone. From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Thou hast chosen and appointed a prophet to this people who has held and exercised all the keys of the everlasting priesthood for Thy children in the earth. We are grateful to Thee that the magnificent promise made in the dedication of the Kirtland Temple has been fulfilled in our time that Thy Church has come out of obscurity and shines before the world, “fair as the moon, and clear as the sun.”

The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple

The Idaho Falls temple is set in such a beautiful area. The grounds are lush and peaceful. From the falls nearby you can see the spire rising up. It’s gorgeous.Photo - Drawing of Idaho Falls Temple

We stopped by on a Sunday evening, at the end of a very long road trip. Unfortunately the grounds were closed, so we had to enjoy it from the outside. But that was easy to do. Idaho Falls Temple - Front View

Just down the road are the falls that Idaho Falls is named for. We walked along the pathway, and at the end was this perfect view of the spire above the falls. We took it all in before heading to our hotel.Meerdink Boys in front of Idaho Falls Temple

Well, it wasn’t quite enough for me. Knowing our time was extremely limited in Idaho Falls (the next morning we would drop our boys off at BYU-I for EFY, and then zip on up to Canada), I decided to wake up before sunrise and get one last glimpse of the temple.Through the gate - Idaho Falls Temple

So early Monday morning, I quietly tip-toed out of our room while everyone else was sleeping. I made my way to a river, where the temple sat across from me.

As I approached the bank of the river, I was looking across at the temple. It was so peaceful and quiet. And then, I slipped. I hadn’t noticed the mud in the grass, and I was down on my bum before I knew what was happening. It was a lot of mud. And I was wearing my brand new white pants! I quickly looked around to see if anybody had witnessed my epic fall, but I was alone. Good. Because that would have been really embarrassing. Sunburst - Idaho Falls Temple 2

I decided that while I was down, I’d get a shot or two of the temple. Then I very ungracefully got up and surveyed the damage. Mud all over my pants, and on my arms. I thought about going back to the hotel and considered letting it ruin my day. But I couldn’t.  I was immediately reminded of how blessed I was- to be there in Idaho Falls, to be on the trip we were on, and so many other ways. A little mud couldn’t ruin that.

I walked over to a rock on the river bank and sat down. Putting my feet in the water, I cleaned them off, and then my arms. The mud on my pants stayed- there wasn’t really anything I could do about that.

Then I watched the sun rise over the temple. The Angel Moroni seem to be calling to it.Moroni facing sunrise - Idaho Falls LDS Temple

As I sat there, I thought about the trials and blessings that the previous eight months had held. When Carey lost his job in December, we were devastated and comforted at the same time. There were so many tender mercies and blessing that got us through those eight months. And then, at 3pm the day before we left on this trip, Carey signed the paperwork and was now employed full time. Not only that, but we had clear direction of a path we wanted to take- not an easy one, and not a certain one. But, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I felt all of my anxiety over the future melt away. Hope rose within me as the sun rose that morning over the Idaho Falls Temple. God is in control. All we have to do is stay close to Him, and he will direct our paths. Idaho Falls Temple Sunrise 6

I stayed till the sun was up in the sky, and then made my way back to the hotel. On our way out of town, we stopped by the temple’s Visitor’s Center.Idaho Falls Temple - Lower Right Corner Set

There aren’t many visitors centers, so when you get a chance to stop by one- take it. This one had a huge window looking out at the temple.

The Idaho Falls Temple was the first one built in Idaho (and eighth over all). It took several years longer to build than expected because of World War 2. Once it was finished, it was the only temple in Idaho for almost 40 years when Boise was built. Now there are six either built or announced. Back in 1884 Wilford Woodruff said of the area, “Be not discouraged; be not disheartened, because God’s blessing is upon this land….as I look into the future of this great valley I can see temples—I can see beautiful temples erected to the name of the Living God where holy labors may be carried on in his name through generations to come.” Angel Moroni - Idaho Falls Idaho Temple

Date Visited: July 23 & 24, 2017

Miles From Home: 689

Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho

Dedication:  September 23-25, 1945 by George Albert Smith;

Rededicated: June 4, 2017 by Henry B. Eyring

From the Dedicatory Prayer (1945): Father, wilt Thou preserve Thy saints in the unity of the faith, in the way of truth, in the bonds of peace, and holiness of life. We pray that the weak may be strengthened and Thy Holy Spirit be imparted to all.

The Boise Idaho Temple

Boise LDS TempleCould there be a more beautiful day than this? The day we visited the Boise Idaho Temple was one of those perfect spring days. You know the kind- with the sweet smell of the blossoms, a slight breeze in the warming air, and the sound of the bees buzzing. I admit, though, that we didn’t enjoy it as much as we could have because it was right in the middle of our thirteen hour drive from Orem Utah to Portland. But it was still oh so refreshing.

We visited this temple on a Sunday, so we just walked the grounds – which were bursting with so many beautiful flowers. Boise is another one of those landmark temples that we look for on our many drives. It usually marks the half-way point on our trip, and on the lucky drives means it’s time to stop for the night.

Boise Idaho Temple Entrance ViewIt is certainly a unique temple- not my favorite design, if I’m being honest. Nonetheless it is beautiful in it’s own way.  I love to see how the designs have changed through the years. Boise has the detached six spire design, and is the same as both the Chicago and Dallas temples. They made several of these in the 80’s, specifically overseas, in an effort to bring more temples to more countries where they were not able to before. My home temple- Portland – is also similar, though the spires are not detached.

Boise Temple SpiresAnyway- I sometimes think temples are a little like all of us. We all look different, and we all have our similarities. Sometimes the structure is the same, but the clothes (or grounds) are different. There is beauty in the differences.

Interesting fact- the Boise temple has been dedicated three times. First when it was built, and then three years later after a renovation to expand its capacity. The third time was in 2012 after a 15 month renovation that updated almost everything inside and outside of the temple.

Boise Temple_Angel Moroni and Blossoms 2Date Visited: April 30, 2017

Miles From Home: 434

Location: Boise, Idaho

Dedication: 25–30 May 25-30, 1984 by Gordon B. Hinckley; May 29, 1987 by James E. Faust;  November 18, 2012 by Thomas S. Monson

From the Dedicatory Prayer (2012): Father, we seek to be like Thee. We seek to pattern our lives after the life of Thy Son. We desire righteousness for ourselves and our children and our children’s children. We plead with Thee to make us worthy to inherit the fullness of those blessings found only in Thy holy temples—even those blessings which grow out of a continuation of the family unit forever…. Our Father, strengthen the youth who walk in a world saturated with the sophistries of Satan. Give them the courage to stand firm for truth. Bless them with a lengthened view of their eternal possibilities.

 

 

The Twin Falls Idaho Temple

Twin Falls Temple Side View 2It was a beautiful spring day when we stopped by the Twin Falls Idaho Temple. We dropped by on a road trip on our way to my brother’s wedding in Utah. As a family we had visited this temple once before, but it has been a landmark we’ve looked for and seen many times on drives to and from Utah on interstate 84.

Angel Moroni on Twin Falls TempleIt was several years ago when we were driving home to Oregon from Utah that I saw this temple for the first time off in the distance. At that point, I didn’t even know there was a temple in Twin Falls- I didn’t really keep track back then. So we were driving through the area, it was dark out, and I looked over and saw its glowing spire. “Is that a temple?!?!”

Twin Falls Idaho Temple It is interesting the feelings that the temple can stir up in us, those feelings of home. Even seeing it off in the distance brought a sense of peace.

In reading about the Twin Falls temple, you get this feeling of how important it was for the local members, and how excited they were to have a temple in their midst. Front Stained Glass of Twin Falls TempleBack in 1996 the presidents of 14 stakes in the area wrote a letter to President Hinckley, asking him to consider building a temple in Twin Falls. Eight years later, President Hinckley met with leadership and selected a site. Eight years. I’m an impatient person. After a year my natural tendency would have been to think it just wasn’t going to happen. Can you imagine how these people felt after eight years? Finally getting their temple. They really must have been so grateful. During the open house, the local stakes provided 650 volunteers per day to help. Elder Nielson is quoted in the Church News as saying, “The neatest part of the open house was watching the members come and take ownership of the temple each day. Our biggest problem was that more wanted to come to help than we could handle.” The youth were also excited and involved in the cultural celebration.

It is, of course, a beautiful temple. Its design was inspired by Shoshone Falls, which you can really see in the beautiful stained glass windows. The glass on the front, beneath the spire, is especially breathtaking. And when you think of it representing water, inspired not only by the falls, but by the idea of the Living Water, it becomes even more amazing.

Angel Moroni behind TreesDate Visited: April 27, 2017

Miles From Home: 560

Location: Twin Falls, Idaho

Dedication: August 24, 2008 by Thomas S. Monson

From the Dedicatory Prayer: In a time of departure from safe moorings, may youth of the noble birthright carry on in the traditions of their parents and grandparents. They are subjected to the sophistries of Satan. Help such youth to stand firm for truth. Open wide to their view the gates of learning, of understanding, of service in Thy kingdom. Bless them with a lengthened view of their eternal possibilities.