Construction crews making progress on Latter-day saint temple in Pocatello
Deanne Coffin, KPVI & Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
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POCATELLO (KPVI) — Nearly a year after its groundbreaking, construction on a local temple is making progress.
The framing of the structure outlines the shape of what the new temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Pocatello will look like.
Elder Roger Prewitt, who oversees the construction, says that since they broke ground last March, they are right on schedule for the two to three-year project.
“We’ve done a lot in a year. You can tell that now we have the temple up, so it actually looks like a temple and unfortunately, a lot of the things that have been done now are the things that get done quickly to make it look like a temple and some of the other processes take a lot longer. You won’t see as much change in the temple as you’re seeing right now,” Elder Prewitt says.
The site for the LDS church’s sixth temple in Idaho is located several miles off the Pocatello Creek Road exit at 2140 Satterfield Drive in a neighborhood overlooking the city.
The announcement for the Pocatello temple was made in April 2017 by then church president Thomas S. Monson. The 67,000-square-foot building will occupy a 12-acre site on the city’s east side and serve more than 64,000 members of the church in eastern Idaho.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. A temple, according to a news release from the church, is considered a “house of the Lord,” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism, and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellowman.
Around 80 construction workers are on-site daily. Some are from Idaho and others come from locations around the globe, like Brazil.
Construction workers are placing anywhere from 40 to 550-pound stones onto the temple. The stone they are using is called ‘Temple White Granite’ and comes here from China. Elder Prewitt says it can be a challenge placing it on the temple.
“When the pieces are cut in China, they are cut to fit, each of them are individually numbered and the pieces are put together like a puzzle and so you hope that everything that comes, fits in its place,” says Elder Prewitt. “It’s timeless. It’s just a beautiful stone that will look fresh for a long time.”
Right now, the temple is 189 feet high, but once the Angel Moroni statue arrives and is mounted on top, it will stand just under 200 feet in the air and will be visible from many locations around the area.
“The temple, as it’s complete, is going to really stand out on the hillside, especially during the day when it’s bright, or at night when the temple is all lit up. I think it’s going to be a beacon for people to see,” says Elder Prewitt.
Thousands of visitors have visited the construction site of the temple and leave with a small token to remember their visit: A small bag that contains some of the groundbreaking sand, a pebble that represents the foundation of the temple and a picture of the temple.
“It’s really helped us being far away from home to feel so welcome and the people are so enthusiastic about having a temple built here and we’re so excited to have them come up and see us. We’ve made so many friends here, just in this short time, and it makes us feel like we’re home,” says Roger’s wife, Glenda.
Elder Prewitt says you are going to see a continuation of the stonework. The next step will include installing windows on the exterior of the temple and then the roofing.
An exact date of completion has not been announced, but construction is expected to last up to three years. An open house will be held once the temple is built, where members of the community will be able to tour the inside prior to its dedication.
More information on the temple’s construction is available by clicking here.