Rexburg owners honored to have their property become the site of a new temple

Shelley and John Hegsted’s 3,200 square foot home sits on a 100-acre plot of land across from Walmart in Rexburg, Idaho, and will become the site of a new temple. (Shelley Hegsted via EastIdahoNews)

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REXBURG, Idaho – Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were surprised over the weekend to learn of the announcement of a second temple being built in Rexburg. has learned that it will be built on a property in North Second East and Moody Drive across from Walmart.

Shelley Hegsted, who owns the property with her husband, John, and her three sisters and their spouses, Marcia and Don Heinz, Marilyn and Larry Evans, and Diane and Lewis Clements, said the church had purchased the plot of land from 100 acres in July. after several months of negotiations.

“We closed it on July 15,” Shelley said.

Shelley and John’s 3,200 square foot home occupies approximately one acre in the southeast corner of the property. The rest is farmland. She does not know the details of the project or the expected start date, but she says they have until July 2022 to relocate.

“Our family has lived in this house since 1914, when it was built,” says Shelley. “It’s a wonderful place to raise our family, but since the city moved that way and Walmart came along, it’s been so crowded. It’s not a fun place to live anymore.”

Still, Shelley says the idea of ​​giving up a piece of land that has been in her family for three generations is sad. They’ve been trying to sell it since 2005. Around 2008, Home Depot and Fred Meyer planned to build a store there, but then withdrew when the economy collapsed.

It’s a wonderful place to raise our family, but since the city moved this way and Walmart came along, it has been so crowded. It is no longer a fun place to live.

–Shelley Hegsted

Over the years, other deals never seemed to work, and the Hegsteds ultimately thought the sale of the land just wasn’t meant to be.

The couple eventually sold part of it to Kurt Harmon, a local business owner, this spring and soon after, a church representative contacted both parties expressing interest in buying the entire property. .

Knowing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is taking over makes lifelong Church member Shelley happy. She is convinced that he is in good hands.

“It humbled us a lot to think this is a place for a temple. We can’t even believe it,” she said. “Whatever they do, it will be well done and enjoyable. We just couldn’t be happier. It will be beautiful.”

An exciting prospect

Rexburg Mayor Jerry Merrill said the church is planning additional business development next to the temple. He is not aware of the details, but he is excited about the prospect of the additional income and the appeal the project will bring to the region.

“There are very few places in the world that have two temples within the same city limits, and we’re going to be one of them,” Merrill said. “Having a temple in town gives a nice impression of the area. It gives a certain sense of reverence and spirituality which helps reduce crime. Anything that helps in these aspects is always an exciting thing to us. “

There are very few places in the world that have two temples within the same city limits, and we’re going to be one of them.

–Jerry Merrill, Mayor of Rexburg

The current Rexburg Temple was dedicated in 2008.

Rexburg-area Chamber of Commerce president Chris Mann said he heard rumors about another temple arriving in Rexburg ahead of Sunday’s announcement, but didn’t never imagined that this would actually be true.

“It’s exciting for Rexburg. It’s always great to know that the LDS Church has great faith in the city of Rexburg. We have amazing students and citizens. I can’t wait to see how they develop the property that they bought, ”Mann said.

Once completed, the Rexburg Temple will be open to the public on an open house. Once consecrated, only members approved by their ecclesiastical leader will be allowed to enter.

The Rexburg Temple is one of 13 temples announced during the church’s semi-annual general conference. Other temples have been announced in Cody, Wyoming and Heber Valley, Utah. One of the most recently completed temples is in Pocatello. It will be dedicated on November 7.

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