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The Temple That Has Taken More than 80 Years (and Counting) to Break Ground

It's exciting to see new temples dot the earth.

In some areas, members wait years for a temple to be built near them to enjoy the blessings of the temple without having to travel miles to do so. 

The joy of having a temple, however, makes the wait well worth it. But what if that wait was more than 80 years?

In the 1930s, Church leaders felt strongly the next temple to be built should be in Idaho, according to ldschurchtemples.org.

President Ezra Taft Benson, who was a counselor in the Boise Stake presidency at the time, felt very strongly that the temple should be built in Idaho's capital, Boise, and was promised by President Heber J. Grant that, "Someday you will have a temple in this valley," (Sheri Dew, Ezra Taft Benson). 

However, Pocatello, then a trade and transport hub with a growing population, was being seriously considered by the First Presidency as the city to house the first temple in Idaho. 

But the Great Depression, which was in full swing at the time, had left its mark on the city and left the local government without much funds to supply water and utilities to the desired temple location in the west-bench area of Pocatello, according to ldschurchtemples.com.

At about this time, the Chamber of Commerce in Idaho Falls had offered to donate a prime parcel of land 50 miles north of Pocatello. The decision was made to accept the donation, and the first temple in Idaho was built in Idaho Falls. 

Because of a few economic mishaps that happened in Pocatello in the years that followed, a local joke formed that Pocatello was "cursed" for not building a temple, according to ldschurchtemples.com. However, there was still hope that a temple would be built in the area, even after the announcements of the Boise, Rexburg, Twin Falls, and Meridian temples.

Finally, more than 80 years later, President Monson announced at the April 2017 general conference that the Church would build a temple in Pocatello. 

Though the ground has not yet been broken for the temple, and the official site has yet to be determined, it looks like after more than 80 years, Pocatello will get a temple after all. 

Lead image from www.pocatello.us
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