Ten years ago, a temple became a monumental addition in Rexburg, forever adding to the spirit at BYU-Idaho.
On Feb. 10, 2008, the Rexburg, Idaho Temple dedication took place. The dedication had been postponed a week from the originally announced date due to the funeral services of President Gordon B. Hinckley.
This made the Rexburg Temple the first temple that President Thomas S. Monson dedicated as the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
According to the Church News, “Throughout the day of dedication, President Monson said, his thoughts turned to President Gordon B. Hinckley, who announced on Dec. 12, 2003, the plan to build the Rexburg Idaho Temple.”
In one comment, according to Church News, President Monson said he was “‘filling in’ for President Hinckley, who had planned to dedicate the temple on Feb. 3.”
This dedication took place in four sessions and was broadcasted so that over a 1,000 of members of the Church could experience it.
One difference this would make to the BYU-I campus is the temple became within walking distance of campus. This allowed more opportunities to both attend and serve in the temple.
“The temple was a great way to relax and be helped through school,” said Joseph Greene, a former Rexburg Temple worker and BYU-I alumnus.
Greene spoke of how working in the temple every week seemed like a big commitment at first, but that it was worth it.
“It became a habit and as I made it a priority, life flowed a little smoother,” Greene said. “Blessings definitely come from regular temple attendance. The biggest blessing for me is that I met my wife while serving in the temple.”
Today the temple stands across from campus, where it can be seen and visited by students and faculty.
“It helps me stay sane by helping me focus on the big picture instead of the day to day stuff,” said Annie Washburn, a sophomore studying public health.
Layne Walker, a BYU-I faculty member in the Department of Religion Education, said the temple has a positive impact on the community.
“For me, the biggest thing is the location of the temple, and the fact that every day we come to school we see the temple,” said Walker. “It’s just a constant reminder of what is important, and it puts things in perspective.”