The new temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Meridian hosted public tours of the building from Oct. 21 though last Saturday, Nov. 11. About 205,000 people toured the building, slightly above the 200,000 expected, a church spokeswoman said.
The tours were a rare chance for non-Mormons to see features like the temple’s baptismal font held on the back of massive carved oxen, its massive wall-sized murals, its sacred Celestial Room and its glittery chandelier.
Church leaders will dedicate the temple at 7345 N. Linder Road this Sunday, Nov. 19. After that, the temple will be open only to church members in good standing.
While the church doesn’t compile information about visitors, spokeswoman Lonni Leavitt-Barker said she had learned that visitors came from Washington, Utah, and California. Exchange students from Germany toured the temple, and so did about 150 refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Congo, Russia, Burma, and Nepal.
Between 5,000 and 6,000 church members served as ushers, tour guides, parking and security assistants and other volunteers during the public tours.
The dedication will be broadcast to members of the church in Idaho and the temple district.
The church expects about 6,000 young people to participate in the Meridian Idaho Temple Youth Cultural Celebration this Saturday, Nov. 18, at Taco Bell Arena.
The temple is the Treasure Valley’s second and Idaho’s fifth. A sixth Idaho temple is planned for Pocatello.
Anna Webb: 208-377-6431