POCATELLO, Idaho - March 16, 2019 is a day that will be long remembered by members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pocatello – groundbreaking for the Pocatello Temple.
You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful March day for a groundbreaking. Hundreds of guests came out for the program including local and state leaders of government and several members of Pocatello's interfaith community -- a fact that was noted by church leaders from Salt Lake.
"I want to give a special expression of gratitude to the people here from other religions. I think it pleases God when we can support one another," Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the Seventy said.
The program also included some of the younger church members who expressed their feelings about a temple coming to Pocatello.
"It has been an amazing blessing to be around so many sacred temple,” Morgan McDonald said. “But what a miracle it will be for the people in Pocatello to be able to see a temple every day."
"It's a holy and sacred place. It's God's house and it can never be somebody else's house,” Braiden Wilde said.
One of the Church leaders said the entire community is blessed by the presence of a temple.
"We have seen this time and time again, wherever a temple is located you will see tremendous spiritual growth in a community and it just seems like hearts soften and miracles happen," Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Seventy said.
In a first for temple groundbreakings, leaders of the interfaith community turned the first shovels full of soil and later spoke about their experience here and the bond between members of different faiths.
"I thought it was awesome. I'm just so excited to be here," Pastor Jacqualine Thomas said.
"All these places like temples, synagogues, mosques are the source of educating the people,” Islamic Society’s Mohammad Safear said.
"I find that if I can be part of this interfaith body and and support the LDS faith as they're building their temple, I'm honored to be a part of that, honored to help," Jewish community member Dale Spencer said.
For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today brings them a stop closer to a long time dream.
"It'll be three blocks from my house. I've been waiting for it for 30 years," Karen Mead said.
"We love temples and having them near everybody is a special blessing," Kali Hathaway said.
"It's a miracle, but the greatest miracle of the day was to have all of our interfaith friends here," Bill McKee said.