SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church has announced that the groundbreaking ceremony for the Meridian Idaho Temple will be held on Aug. 23 at 10 a.m.
The groundbreaking is the first announced since the faith's April general conference, when no new temples were announced but church President Thomas S. Monson said the temple department would concentrate on completing previously announced temples.
President Monson announced plans for the Meridian Temple during the April 2011 general conference.
It will be the 15th temple under construction, leaving an additional 12 that have been announced but for which ground has not yet been broken.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 143 operating temples. That list includes the Ogden Utah Temple, which actually has been under renovation for several years. The renovation is nearing completion, and free tickets for a five-week open house became available online Monday morning.
The Meridian Temple will be the fifth LDS temple in Idaho. One is 12 miles away in Boise. The others are in Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Rexburg.
The Meridian temple site is located at 7345 North Linder Road. The website ldschurchtemples.com says Meridian is the fastest-growing city in Idaho with a 115 percent increase in population from 2000 to 2010.
The church grew, too, the site reported, adding seven stakes in Meridian and surrounding communities.
One in four Idahoans is LDS, according to the church website mormontemples.org.
The temple will be nearly 66,000 square feet on almost 16 acres of land. It will be nearly 70 feet tall, with a spire extending to 120 feet.
The building's design will differ from most LDS temples, with no steeples. It will have the traditional gold-leaf Moroni statue, but atop a golden dome, according to the rendering released by the church.
Ada County commissioners approved the temple project during a hearing in October, when one future neighbor said, according to the Idaho Statesman, “I am a huge private property advocate as well as someone who believes in sacred spaces. There is a reality, and the reality is if this land doesn’t have a temple on it, its is going to have something on it. I would rather look at a quiet, sacred space.”
Temples are reserved for the highest and most sacred ordinances, such as marriage. Latter-day Saints believe temple ordinances like marriages can join families together for eternity.