“Boise Temple Dedicated,” Ensign, Aug. 1984, 76–77
“These days are days that will be remembered forever,” President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, told 1,120 Saints gathered in the Boise Idaho Temple May 25 for the first of twenty-four dedicatory services.
He assured them that the events of the day were being celebrated both on earth and in heavenly spheres.
As he offered the dedicatory prayer on the sacred edifice, President Hinckley said:
“We lift our voices in thanksgiving for thy marvelous blessings upon thy people. Surely thou hast favored us in a remarkable and wonderful way. We have been made partakers of thine ancient covenant and become heirs to the great, eternal promises given of old. Thou hast restored thy work and thine authority in this the dispensation of the fulness of times. Ours is a day of prophecy fulfilled.”
He expressed gratitude for Joseph Smith and other modern prophets, through whom knowledge has been added “line upon line and precept upon precept. We thank thee for thy prophet in this day, even thy chosen servant Spencer W. Kimball, and unite ourselves in prayer that he may be comforted and sustained and blessed of thee.”
Asking for blessings upon the faithful who are advancing the Kingdom of God, he continued, “Father, the little stone which thou didst cut from the mountain without hands is rolling forth to fill the earth. Guide and strengthen the messengers of truth. Touch the hearts of the leaders of nations that thy work may move forth over the earth, ever increasing in strength and vitality, touching for everlasting good the hearts of thy sons and daughters in many nations and principalities.”
He petitioned for a blessing of strength to help Church members “walk in faith” and “live above our weaknesses.” He asked that nonmembers who had visited the temple during its open house might feel reverence and appreciation for it, and that the efforts of the enemies of the gospel might “come to naught. Touch them by thy Spirit that they may see the error of their ways.”
Then he invoked the blessings of the Lord on the temple and its facilities, and asked that they be accepted as “the gift of thy thankful children. Wilt thou hallow it. Wilt thou and thy Son honor it with thy presence, and may the Holy Spirit be felt here at all times by all who enter its portals.
“We dedicate it for the sacred work thou hast revealed for the blessing of thy children, both the living and the dead. May the ordinances which will be performed herein be received with thankful and reverent hearts, and may those beyond the veil of death rejoice because of the work done here in their behalf.”
President Hinckley told the young Saints who attended dedicatory services “this temple has been built for you.” Many of them missed school for the event. “School will be there next week and next year, but there will never be another occasion quite like this for you.”
In public remarks before the dedication, he had spoken of the sanctity of temples for members of the Church.
“Each temple stands as a witness to the faith of the Latter-day Saints that life is eternal, that death is not the end, that the soul of man lives on, and that we shall continue to live and function as individuals when we pass through the veil of death. Each of these buildings bears witness to our conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of the living God, and that all are beneficiaries of his redeeming sacrifice, that his resurrection was a reality, and that all may partake of the resurrection made possible through him.”
In addition to President Hinckley, twenty-nine other General Authorities visited Boise during the temple dedication period.
President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve told Saints attending the first dedicatory session that since 1939 he has known there would eventually be a temple in Boise. He was in the presidency of the Boise Stake when the First Presidency announced plans to build the first temple in Idaho, more than four decades ago. He invited Church President Heber J. Grant to visit the Idaho capital. During that visit, fifteen prominent local businessmen met with President Grant and offered to give the Church any available site in Boise if a temple were built there. But more Church members were concentrated in southeastern Idaho at the time, and Idaho Falls was selected as the temple site. President Grant told the group of businessmen, however, that when the membership increased in the Boise Area there would be a temple there.
“Today, we are witnessing the fulfilling of that prophecy made forty-five years ago,” President Benson noted. He went on to explain that the temple will serve as a beacon to both members and nonmembers. “It will be an ever-present reminder that God intends families to be eternal.” Temples are a place where the Saints can get away from the wickedness of the world and learn the order of heaven, he said. “I testify to you today that temples are a place of revelation.”
The temple dedication was a time of unprecedented rejoicing among Boise-area Saints, many of whom told temple president Seth D. Redford that it was the highlight of their lives.
A maximum of 25,000 people was expected for the dedicatory services. The attendance totaled nearly 28,000. Attendance figures were equally gratifying for the nineteen-day public open house that preceded the dedication. About 70,000 visitors were expected to tour the temple. The actual response was 128,716.
Idaho Governor John Evans, Lieutenant Governor David Leroy, Secretary of State Pete Cenarusa, and many other state officials, along with civic and business leaders, took part in one special tour during the open house. Also among the group were 246 ministers of other faiths and members of their families.
Because of the open house, interest in the Church among nonmembers has soared. Thirty people—more than double the usual monthly figure—joined the Church in the Boise and Meridian areas in the month following the open house. “We’ve had people call us here at the office and ask how they could get their families baptized,” said Elder Adam Titus, a spokesman for the Idaho Boise Mission. “They were very impressed with the temple.”
Commenting on the numbers of Saints who will be served by the temple, Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve, a native of Boise, noted that he was present at the organization of the first stake there, in 1913. At that time, “There was no inkling that this valley would be blanketed by wards and stakes,” he said.
Members of many of those wards and stakes helped in volunteer capacities during the open house and dedicatory services. For the first dedicatory session, a special multiregion choir provided music. Stake choirs sang for the other sessions.
The temple will serve more than one hundred thousand members in thirty-three stakes and one mission. Some four hundred members have been called as temple workers. The temple district covers southwestern Idaho and part of eastern Oregon.