Latter-day Saint Life

The Temple That Has Taken More than 80 Years to Break Ground


As more and more temples dot the earth, it's exciting to see many blessings reach members who have waited for generations for a temple to be built nearby—as is the case for the members in Pocatello, Idaho, who have been waiting 80-plus years for a temple. 

► You'll also like: Temple Groundbreakings Announced for Pocatello and Guam

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

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: A Biography). 

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

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, 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.

More than 80 years after the Church announced it would build the first temple in Idaho, President Monson announced at the April 2017 general conference that the Church would build a temple in Pocatello. And on May 4, 2019, the Church will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited temple. 

It looks like after more than 80 years, Pocatello will get a temple after all. 

Lead image from

Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content