Requests to participate in the open house of the new Rexburg Idaho Temple have been beyond expectations, said Merv Brown, director of public affairs for the upcoming temple open house and dedicatory events.
"The response has been marvelous," said Brother Brown, who is also manager of university relations for BYU-Idaho. "We had originally planned for 150,000, but we've extended the tour time and increased the size of groups, and we're expecting upwards of 185,000 to 200,000."
The majority of visitors to the new temple adjacent to the Church-owned university will be from southeastern Idaho, he added, "but we have received interest from Wyoming, Montana, up to the Wasatch Front, just really a large interest from many, many areas."
Although it is not possible to know the percentage of those of other faiths planning to visit the new temple, Brother Brown said, "we have made a special focus and effort to invite friends of other faiths here."
The temple will be open to the public from Dec. 29-Jan. 26, excluding Sundays. Times are 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; on Mondays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are required to attend the open house. To request the free tickets, go to www.lds.org/reservations.
The new temple will be dedicated in four sessions on Sunday, Feb. 3. A member meeting and cultural celebration will be held Saturday, Feb. 2. — Julie Dockstader Heaps