MONTPELIER, Idaho - (KXPI/KIFI) - It was a beautiful Saturday morning for a groundbreaking. If you happened to be in Montpelier, Idaho, that dirt is special for a lot of people. News anchor Todd Kunz made the trek to the site of the soon-to-be temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was a ticketed event, because of limited seating, but more than 600 people filed in to find their spot, and witness such an historic event for the Bear Lake Valley.
Speakers were chosen locally.
"This temple has already changed my life in ways I could have never imagined," said Lucy Long of the Paris Idaho Stake, as the first speaker.
"Those who serve in the temple regularly, both as ordinance workers and patrons, are greatly blessed. They are taught, enlightened and edified by the spirit. Connections are made with deceased ancestors and loved ones," said Nolan Phillips of the Montpelier Idaho Stake.
Music was provided by some of the Primary children from the Montpelier Idaho South Stake.
"Primary kids singing."
The Montpelier Idaho Temple will be built on 2.6-acres at the intersection of Washington Street and north 6th Street. It will be a two-story temple and about 27,000 square feet.
The overall tone from people Kunz talked with, is the spirit and unification the temple will bring to this valley. Some of the long-time residents knew this day would come. Ninety-two year old Ralph Bartschi lives in Georgetown and remembers what his mother told him when he was a young boy.
"Someday you will see, you will see a temple in Montpelier," he said.
Wife of former Apostle L. Tom Perry from Cokeville, Wyoming agrees, the temple will bring people together.
"I think it will build a greater faith and greater family unity," she said.
"I think it's going to make such a big difference to the valley. I hope so. The spirit is so strong today," said Toni Pugmire, who lives in nearby St. Charles.
Elder Ryan K. Olsen, General Authority Seventy of the Church presided and dedicated the temple site.
"It will also bring great prosperity to this community. As I mentioned to the mayor, there will be those who maybe have roots here who will come back because they want to see the temple. You'll see the neighborhoods and the surrounding areas. People unifies because of what happens here on the temple grounds. And so it will have a tremendous influence for good, not only for members of the Church, but also for our neighbors and for this community," said Olsen.
The Church has established a camera on top of the tabernacle right across the street from the temple site. It is 24 hours. That way they can monitor and watch the progress of the construction as it moves along. And now, with the official groundbreaking out of the way, construction can begin at any time.
Saturday's groundbreaking was livestreamed by the Church to the some 15-thousand members of the temple district that could not attend in person.
Right now six stakes makeup the temple district. They include Montpelier Stake, Montpelier South, Paris Stake, Grace, Soda Springs, and Kemmerer, Wyoming.