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Idaho Falls LDS Temple opens to local media

The open house for the Idaho Falls Temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gets underway Saturday, Apr. 22. Monday was media day. Area media outlets got the chance to walk through the Temple, and afterward, talked to some visitors about what they thought. Three people in attendance had been there in 1945, when the temple was originally dedicated.

A they posed for a photograph that had been years in the making, JoAn Wood, H. Ray Hart and Inga DaBell, spoke to others about that first dedication. Monday they got to go through again, 72 years later. DaBell is now 96-years-old and just renewed her driver’s license.

“Well, I think they’ve done a lot and a good job, but I think I could get lost in the Temple now with all the hallways and that, but the woodwork and the stonework and marble, it’s marvelous,” said DaBell.

“Of course, when I saw it before, it was all new then too. And so my comparison then, over the years that I’ve come here, is it’s aged and it’s nice to have it be brought back to even better than its original shape and form,” said Hart.

“It’s just magnificent. The change, I mean, I loved it before. So it’s really beautiful,” said Wood.

When you walk through the Temple, there seems to be a resounding common theme.

“So much more light,” said Wood.

“And the light,” said Hart.

Elder Larry Y. Wilson is the Executive Director of the LDS Church’s Temple Department. He attends many of these open houses. In fact, he just recently returned from the LDS Temple in Paris, France. KIDK Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz asked him what makes the Idaho Falls LDS Temple so unique.

“I think this Temple is special because it is one of the historic Temples of the Church. It’s been in operation for over seven decades. There are only eight Temples of the Church that have been around for that long. It was one of the first Temples built outside of Utah. It has a design that reflects the character of the late 1930s and early 1940s when it was built. During that time, the Church put these extensive murals throughout the Temple, which is not being done today. It adds an element of beauty that I think is unique and something that I particularly enjoy. It also has a nature where the instruction involves moving from room to room and rising as you move to each succeeding room, symbolizing our journey back to our Heavenly Father. I think those are just wonderful elements of the Idaho Falls Temple,” said Elder Wilson.

Doyle Batt is the chairman of the local open house committee. He said the extra months of renovation were well worth the wait and the surrounding community will agree.

“This is a gift to the community from the Church to allow those who have not been able to go into the Temple 72 years. It’s been a fixture of our community. And to have a chance to go in and view the beautiful artwork and feel of what’s in there,” said Batt.

“To the Temple by the river, that sacred holy shrine, we will go, sweetheart, together to seal our love divine,” sang Wood, from an old song that was written about the Idaho Falls Temple.

Sixty-thousand additional reservation tickets were released Monday morning. You can click here to reserve yours.

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