News Release

Ground Broken for Two US Temples 

Ceremonies held in Cleveland, Ohio and Rexburg, Idaho

Ground has been broken in Cleveland, Ohio, and in Rexburg, Idaho, for two new temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Church President Russell M. Nelson announced the Cleveland Ohio Temple in April 2022 and the Teton River Idaho Temple in October 2021.

Cleveland Ohio Temple

Elder Vaiangina Sikahema, First Counselor in the North America Northeast Area Presidency, presided at the event on June 1, 2024.

“So many of you are pioneers in this area and have made this day possible, and we thank you,” Elder Sikahema said to gathered community leaders and Church members.

During the dedicatory prayer, Elder Sikahema expressed gratitude for the early Latter-day Saints who gathered in Kirtland, Ohio, when the Church of Jesus Christ was “in its fledgling infancy” and “not yet a year old.”

“Holy Father, we stand here now nearly two centuries from those difficult days, blessed because Thy people followed the Prophet Joseph to this great land of Ohio.”

Early Latter-day Saints gathered in Ohio and built the Kirtland Temple, which is now a State Historical Site that is open for public tours.

Referring to Ohio as “a special place in the history of Thy restored gospel,” Elder Sikahema prayed for members of the Cleveland Ohio Temple district, to be blessed and “endowed with power from on high.”

“We ask Thee to bless the rising generation of this great area,” he said, expressing gratitude for the participation of the youth in the program. “May they be equal to what is expected of them at Thy hands.”

Natalie Pavkov, a youth speaker from the Kirtland Ohio Stake, shared her insights about temple service. “Temples are sacred houses of the Lord where magnificent work is done,” she said. “Temples are especially important for sealing families together and many other covenants and ordinances.”

Christine Headrick, a member of the Akron Ohio Stake, talked about how vital covenants are in our everyday lives and how they bring joy. After serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ, she described what it was like to teach others. “I got to teach many wonderful friends about binding promises with God. I could see the light of Christ grow brighter and brighter in their lives every day. Having a temple here in Cleveland will allow more people to make covenants with God,” she said.

Thomas Rice of the Cleveland Ohio Stake talked about the promises we make to God in the temple that are covenants with Him.

“Our covenants will protect, inspire, and lead us back to our heavenly home,” he said.

During the program, the children’s Primary Choir sang “I Love to See the Temple.”

The Cleveland Ohio Temple will be built at Brecksville Road, south of Longano Drive, Independence, Cuyahoga County, Ohio 44131. Plans call for a single-story temple of approximately 9,900 square feet.

Other temples operating, announced or under construction in Ohio are the Cincinnati and Columbus Temples.

The location for this house of the Lord was released in December 2022.

An artist’s rendering was published in 2023.

Cleveland is on the southern shore of Lake Erie in the U.S. Great Lakes region, about 20 miles from the Kirtland Temple.

Ohio is home to nearly 65,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 125 congregations.

Teton River Idaho Temple

Elder Ricardo P. Giménez, Second Counselor in the North America Central Area Presidency, presided at the event on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

During the dedicatory prayer, Elder Giménez expressed gratitude for Jesus Christ. “Our hearts are filled with joy and reverence as we gather to commemorate the monumental occasion of a second temple being erected in the special land of Rexburg, Idaho,” he said. “Help us remember what we felt on this day and strive to become lifelong disciples of Thy Son, our Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus Christ.”

Elder Giménez recalled a recent reminder by President Nelson, that “whenever any kind of upheaval occurs in our life, the safest place to be spiritually is living inside our temple covenants!” May we “be able to stand strong and secure because our spiritual foundation is solid and immovable,” Elder Giménez added.

Trixie Smith, a youth speaker from the Terreton Idaho Stake, shared her insight about worship in the temple and the effect it has had on her life. “The temple lies at the center of strengthening our faith and spiritual fortitude because the Savior and His doctrine are the heart of the temple,” she said.

Rebekah Russell, a speaker from the Rexburg Idaho Young Single Adult 1st Stake, talked about the importance and permanency of a relationship with Jesus Christ. “There is nothing more important than our relationship with the Lord bound by covenant in the temple,” she said.

Brent Kinghorn, a longtime resident in the Rexburg area from the Sugar City Idaho Stake, talked about the joy he personally feels in the temple. “I truly know the joy of kneeling at the altar and being sealed for time and all eternity,” he said.

The Youth and Young Single Adult Choir from Driggs, Idaho, sang “Now Let Us Rejoice” before the symbolic turning of the shovels commemorating the beginning of construction.

The Teton River Idaho Temple will be constructed on a 16.6-acre site located northwest of Second East 2000 North in Rexburg, Idaho. Plans call for a three-story temple of approximately 100,000 square feet. This will be the city’s second temple after the Rexburg Idaho Temple. Rexburg is home to Brigham Young University–Idaho.

Idaho has eight other temples in operation, under construction or announced. These are the Boise, Burley, Idaho Falls, Meridian, Montpelier, Pocatello, Rexburg and Twin Falls Temples.

Idaho is home to more than 475,000 members of the Church in over 1,225 congregations.

Pioneers arrived in the Idaho Territory in 1855 when former Church President Brigham Young asked 26 Latter-day Saints to settle close to the nearby Salmon River.

Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ are different from meetinghouses or chapels where members gather for Sunday worship services. A temple is considered a house of the Lord, where the teachings of Jesus Christ are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism, and other ceremonies that unite families for eternity.

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