A three-week-long public open house for the new LDS Church temple in Meridian, Idaho, begins Saturday.
Public tours of the 67,331-square-foot structure — made of structural steel, a precast white exterior and topped with a 13-foot statue of the faith’s iconic Angel Moroni — will be held through Nov. 11.
The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground on the temple Aug. 23, 2014. It will serve about 60,000 Mormons in greater Boise and eastern Oregon.
The Meridian Temple, located at 7345 N. Linder Road, will be the 158th LDS temple operating across the globe and the fifth to open in Idaho. Other Mormon temples are in Boise, Rexburg, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls, with a sixth planned for Pocatello.
Project manager Tom Lindhardt said the Meridian temple rests on a bluff overlooking the Boise River.
“It’s just a beautiful setting,” he said in a news release. “As you look to the views of the north and the east, you start to see the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains.”
The new temple will display more than 100 paintings, including 10 original works of art and two murals depicting Idaho mountains and wilderness. Stone for the structure was quarried in and shipped from Egypt, Italy and Spain, and the site is landscaped with native conifer trees and hundreds of rose bushes.
Reservations for free open house tickets are available online at templeopenhouse.lds.org.
On Nov. 18, a cultural celebration will be staged in the Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University, where 6,000 local youths are expected to perform.
Dedication services will take place Sunday, Nov. 19, with sessions scheduled for 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.
Once dedicated, the temple will be open only to Mormons in good standing as a place where they can participate in their faith’s highest ordinances, including eternal marriage.