Rexburg, Idaho has always been a small college town with the Church-owned school Ricks College being the center point. The college began in 1888 as Bannock Stake Academy; changed to Fremont Stake Academy in 1898; and then to Ricks College in 1903 (named after Thomas E. Ricks, founder of Rexburg, Idaho).
Ricks College was a well-established two-year college and continued on as such until 2000, when the First Presidency of the Mormon Church announced that Ricks College would become four year Brigham Young University-Idaho. Consequently the enrollment at the university increased dramatically from 8,949 in 2000 to 12,000 in 2006.
Students who wanted to attend the temple have had to travel 30 miles to the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, and it became increasingly difficult to make the trip for many of the students attending Ricks College, due to funds and transportation. Needless to say, with the announcement of the Rexburg Temple, many were ecstatic and looked forward to a temple close by.
Groundbreaking for the Rexburg Idaho Temple took place July 30, 2005. Construction began and continues to progress at a steady pace (June 2006). The 57,000 square foot, five-story edifice will be the highest building on the BYU-I's campus. A single steeple will rise 168 feet and will be crowned with the gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni. Adorning the land between the temple and the Church building, which sits to the West, will be a garden plaza as well as a parking lot to the south.
As with all Mormon temples, the need to provide easy access for patrons is a concern. The city of Rexburg requested $1.2 million from the federal government in which to build a road that would provide a direct route to campus and to the Rexburg Temple. The request was approved and was also increased to nearly $3 million.
When the construction is complete, there will be an open house scheduled for all to attend. Following the open house, the Rexburg Temple will be officially dedicated and used only for worthy members of the Mormon Church to attend and perform marriages, baptisms, and sacred ordinances intended to provide eternal family relationships.
Other Temples in Idaho
- Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
- Boise Idaho Temple
- Rexburg Idaho Temple
- Twin Falls Idaho Temple (Under Construction)