Mormon temples: 1 opening in Guatemala, 1 closing in Idaho

Published: Friday, May 20 2011 12:23 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — One new Mormon temple in Guatemala is set to be dedicated for use later this year, while an existing temple in Idaho will be closing this summer for renovations.

November open house and December dedication dates for the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple newsroom.lds.org/article/open-house-dedication-date-announced-quetzaltenango-guatemala-temple and a July 11 closure date for the Boise Idaho Temple newsroom.lds.org/article/boise-temple-closed-renovation were announced Friday by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

First announced by then-President Gordon B. Hinckley at the December 2006 groundbreaking of Utah's Oquirrh Mountain Temple, the temple in Quetzaltenango will be the LDS Church's second in Guatemala. Groundbreaking and site dedication took place March 14, 2009.

A public open house is scheduled for the Quetzaltenango Temple from Nov. 11-26, excluding Sundays. The temple will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, Dec. 11, with sessions broadcast to church congregations within the temple district.

The first LDS Church missionaries arrived in Guatemala in 1947, with the first official church meeting held and the first convert baptized the following year. By 1956, church membership had reached 250 members over three congregations.

Membership grew to 10,000 by 1966 and 40,000 in 1984, when the nation's first LDS temple in Guatemala City was dedicated.

Today, membership is 226,027, with 415 congregations and five missions located in Guatemala.

The First Presidency also announced extensive renovations for the Boise Idaho Temple, with the structure to be closed beginning July 11. The temple will be rededicated after its renovation.

It marks the second such closure for the temple, which was announced in March 1982 and dedicated May 25, 1984. Due to a high level of use over the first two-plus years (it operated at 102 percent of capacity its first year), the temple was closed for renovation and expansion and reopened in 1987.

The Boise Temple was the state's second temple, after the Idaho Falls Temple. Since then, temples have been opened in Rexburg and Twin Falls, the latter to help accommodate Boise temple patrons during the closure.

In the April 2011 LDS general conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced Idaho's fifth temple — in Meridian, 11 miles west of Boise.

Different than typical Mormon meetinghouses used for Sunday worship services and midweek activities, Latter-day Saint temples are considered by members as "houses of the Lord," where Jesus Christ's teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other temple ordinances that are believed to unite families for eternity. Also in the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and strengthen their commitment to serve Jesus Christ and those around them.

EMAIL: taylor@desnews.com

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