Mormons are celebrating the opening of the Meridian Temple in different ways, but Ryan Thompson’s is unique. The local software engineer built a scale replica of the temple out of more than 5,500 Lego pieces.
The end result is a model that measures 3 feet high, 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep, at a scale 1/60th of the real thing. It has an angel Moroni on top, just as the real temple does. Thompson took a Lego mini-figure and painted it gold. He made Moroni’s trumpet out of a tiny flagpole.
Thompson said the design process took about 80 hours with the aid of early artists’ renderings of the temple and a Lego CAD (computer-aided design) program that created a blueprint and helped him figure out the parts he would need. Construction took about 20 hours.
Thompson, 30, lives in Meridian with his wife, Amber, and their son, Russell, who will soon turn 1. Thompson started playing with Legos when he was a kid.
“I never grew out of it,” he said.
He hs set aside a room in his house as “a kind of Lego studio,” he said.
Building a model of something before it exists comes with thrills, like finally seeing the real thing on Linder Road. He has already reserved tickets to tour the temple twice once the public tours begin.
The task comes with challenges, too. Details changed in the course of the actual construction, so Thompson had to go back to his model and make small adjustments.
This is not Thompson’s first scale model of a temple built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He made a similar model of the Twin Falls Temple when he married Amber there in 2011.
“We displayed it at our reception and it was a big hit,” he said.
Bricks & Minifigs, a Lego store at 10150 W. Fairview Ave. in Boise, will display Thompson’s creation during the temple’s public open house from Saturday, Oct. 21 through Saturday, Nov. 11. The store is closed on Sundays.
Anna Webb: 208-377-6431, @Anna_Webb_Boise
Want to visit the Meridian Temple?
It is open to the public only until it is dedicated in November. Reserve tickets online for tours from Oct. 21 to Nov. 11 at templeopenhouse.lds.org
7355 N. Linder Road, Meridian.