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Mormons in Idaho

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The Book Of Mormon

Weighing in with a whopping 23% of the state’s population, Latter-Day Saints make up the biggest religious denomination in Idaho, beating both Evangelicals (22%) and Catholics (18%). This statistic came as a surprise to us; during our journey through Idaho, we didn’t notice much Mormon influence at all… that is, at least, until we reached the southeastern corner of the state.


After Utah, Idaho has the country’s second-highest percentage of Mormons. Their predominance in the eastern part of the state isn’t too surprising; Utah is just below the border, and Mormon missionaries began arriving in Idaho as far back as 1860. Cities such as Idaho Falls and Rexburg are almost entirely Mormon, with temples that dominate both religious and political life.

There’s no denying that some friction exists between the LDS and non-LDS factions of Idaho, whether it’s anti-Mormonism, or discrimination against non-Mormons. There has been a history of laws in the state targeting the LDS, including now-antiquated ones which barred Mormons from voting and holding public office. But the tyranny of the majority is a two-way street. Without thinking, I ordered a coffee in Rexburg. It was the worst coffee I’ve ever had in my life; cold and watery, at least three days old with a pile of grinds in the bottom. Coffee in a Mormon town: not recommended.

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December 7, 2012 at 8:00 am
  • December 7, 2012 at 8:47 pmDiane

    I’ve been to the Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It is very beautiful, but the “tour guides” that insisted on escorting us through the church museum seemed odd to us. I regret not having the time to go through the Family Search Center while there, since I do genealogical research. P.S. Don’t you know it against their beliefs to drink caffeinated beverages? Is it any wonder their coffee sucks? lol

    • January 20, 2013 at 7:38 pmAngela Ellis

      I find it interesting that they do not “drink” caffinated beverages, yet consume caffinated foods.  Number one on the list is chocolate.  Depending on the quality of the chocolate, the level of caffine.  There is a major flaw to their philosophy.

  • December 8, 2012 at 11:11 pmTatiana

    Calgary recently got a temple, our first, and they graciously opened it to the public for a month of tours before the official dedication. It was a really neat and somewhat weird experience. First, the crowds were HUGE. I had no idea that most lay Mormons rarely get to see their own temples, and many would take the tour multiple times. Them plus all the curious locals made for a 40 min wait before you even got there. The tour commenced with a quick video of the history of the church, the Mormon migration to Alberta, the meaning of the temples, etc. etc. Then children would slip little shoe protectors over your feet. Then there was a very organized but rushed tour through the temple, the pool on oxen, the dressing rooms, the wedding chapel thingie, the cheesy gold and crystal gilded room that allegedly resembles Heaven and all. However, there were TONS of rooms that were not open, unlike a church, a temple is more like a maze with hallways. The tour guide had tears in her eyes over the importance of the temple to the church. Overall it was a neat experience, it definitely helped to diffuse most negative feelings towards the large construction, and it was gracious of them to open it to the public, as well as a good PR move.

  • January 17, 2013 at 4:43 amzdv

    That picture of the geese on the waterfall is amazing!

  • July 28, 2013 at 2:36 pmnoelle

    angela-  they dont drink caffinated drinks (but eat caffinated foods) because of the provision against “strong drink”.  most interpret that as alcohol and caffinated drinks.  Theres nothing said about caffiene specifically and avoiding caffinated food.

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