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December 17, 2010 by Steven Pope from KIDK 3 Eyewitness News
More than 10,000 people attended the dedication of the new BYU-Idaho Center Friday morning. Three LDS Apostles from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke, including two former school presidents, David A. Bednar and Henry B. Eyring.
This was likely the largest gathering Rexburg has ever seen in one building to date.
Thursday, it was an empty building, but Friday it was in use for the first time. Former BYU-Idaho President David A. Bednar and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke first.
“As I look out at this large congregation and into your faces, it is clear to me that this facility has been constructed at this time and in this place for reasons we do not fully comprehend or understand,” said Bednar.
President Henry B. Eyring was also a former president of then two-year Ricks College and dedicated both the BYU-Idaho Center and the Manwaring Center.
“They are central to the mission of the university that has a vital role to play in the Lord’s kingdom on earth,” said Eyring.
Those that attended the ceremony also had uplifting comments.
“It’s great. The music was wonderful and it was great to have the Apostles share this with us,” said Miranda Randall.
“Blown away! We traveled here from Atlanta. I knew we were going to be dedicating an auditorium, but I had no idea it was going to be something like this,” said Erik Borg.
“It’s absolutely remarkable. I’m humbled by it. It’s overwhelming how big it is. There’s a purpose that we probably don’t know what it is for yet,” said Jerrod Guddat.
Now that the BYU-Idaho Center is finished, Eyring said the university is now finished.
President Eyring also spoke about the process of building the BYU-Idaho Center. Initial plans were to have a 12-thousand seat auditorium, but then Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley requested it be bigger and built faster. Not only did they finish six months early, it is 3,000 seats bigger.