Sunday, March 1, 2009

Potential New Temples

I recently developed a quantitative method for identifying cities which are likely to have a new temple announced. This method was developed by examining where current temples are located in the Church. There are four factors which contribute to the likelihood of a new temple announcement in a given location: Long distance from an existing temple, a large number of stakes and districts, stakes which have existed before 1981 in given location, and busy Saturday endowment schedule at the closest temple. I have developed a quantitative system for these four factors, which are summed to produce a temple likelihood value. If the score ascertained is greater than 20, a future temple in the given location is likely. If the score is over 40, a future temple is almost certain. It is important to remember that temples are announced by the First Presidency by revelation. The below maps provide possible locations for new temples based on the above criteria.

Below is a map of all the locations I think are most likely to sometime in the near future have a temple announced. Stakes and districts which could be served by a temple at locations provided are also included.


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Below is a map of all the locations I think are most likely to have temples announced in the year 2020. These locations are made based on current and past Church growth and assume that they will hold constant until 2020. Projected membership for some countries is also provided.


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The purpose for why I am so interested in where new temples will be announced in the future and why I make predictions is not so I can say "I told you so" if it happens. The purpose is to see what areas of the world are likely to see temples in the future, where the Church is growing enough and activity high enough to justify a temple and to have members prepare themselves in these locations for the possibility of a temple to be built.

22 comments:

Dustin said...

Matt
I love your blog! Fascinating stuff! I found this particular post extremely intriguing and fun to look over. Thanks for all the effort and great info. you provide.
DH
www.fromthedust.org

Gnesileah said...

What an excellent job you have done! I remember when Elder Haight spoke in General Conference in Oct 2000, just after the 100th temple was dedicated, and said that some people would live to see the time when there would be 200 temples, then 300 temples. It was hardly imaginable. With the 66 possible temples you have identified, there would be 212 temples. How exciting. I wonder, what sort of score would a location like Singapore or Malaysia get for a possible temple?

Matt said...

I have considered Singapore a possible site for a future temple which would also serve Malaysia and Indonesia. A temple here would only currently serve 8 districts and one stake in the above mentioned countries. The score with the method I have developed would be 45, but 40 of those points would come from the weight put on distance (which does not really mean much when none of the other factors are present). Considering the Hong Kong China Temple is not very busy on Saturdays and there are no stakes in the area created prior to the 1980s, then I would say that a temple here might be likely in 2020 or 2030. Much of this depends on whether the 1,000 or so baptisms a year in Malaysia continue to that time, the majority of which have been in East Malaysia. The growth of the Church in Singapore and Indonesia has been slow and steady, but neither country will likely be able to support a temple unless more converts join the Church in the coming years.

Becoming LDS said...

Very interesting. Fun to look at and ponder.

Brandon Plewe said...

Interesting approach. I did something similar years ago, predicting Manaus, Cebu, and others. It seems like you need to calibrate your model a bit, but a good start. The Church actually has a model of sorts for determining needs.

By the way, I have a pretty good idea where the Spanish Fork temple will be, and it's in Payson. To avoid confusion, I'd expect it to be called the Nebo temple or some such. Also, I expect the Layton and Spanish Fork temples to follow the long Utah tradition (back to the 1880's) of being built in pairs.

Gnesileah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

I like the work you have done here. I noticed that Tucson, AZ has a pretty high score. Does that score incorporate the 3 new temples that have been announced for Arizona? If not, how would that change Tucson's score?

Matt said...

The score for Tucson takes into account seven stakes likely to be served by the potential temple. Half of the score can be attributed to the old stakes in the area. The oldest stake was created in the 40s in St. David and the second oldest in Tucson in 1956. The two of the stakes in Tucson have over 11 wards each. Growth has been strong in the past couple years, with many new wards created in Tucson.

Bárbara said...

thanks Matt!!,

we read you all the time from latin america :)

l.chris.jones said...

I would like to see what kind of score Box Elder County UT are might get. I think it is possible to gai stakes from The Ogden Temple district plus a few from the Logan temple District.

Also where do you get your score for Price UT? I have not considered that area. Is the Manti Temple busy with patons from those stakes?

Matt said...

If all 11 stakes in Box Elder County, Utah were to be served by a temple in Brigham City, the score would be 21. Although many of the stakes in this county are quite old, they do not make the score higher because Brigham City is only 20 or so miles away from Ogden. The cut off I use to factor in older stakes is that the potential temple site must be at least 50 miles from an existing temple. Otherwise older stakes do not serve to predict new temples as well.

This is why a temple in Price, Utah would be more likely even though the Manti Utah Temple is not terribly busy (I have no idea how well the members in Price use the temple in Manti). The Ogden Utah Temple is much more accessible for members in Box Elder County than the Manti Utah Temple is for members in the Price and Huntington area (you usually have to drive around the mountains to go from Price to Manti).

A temple in Price would follow the pattern of temples in such places as Thatcher, Colonia Juarez and Reno.

Seagulljaap said...

Matt-

Why would Cambodia get a temple by this time rather than Thailand? Email me at jacob.newman@byu.net.

I just got my call to Thailand Bangkok so I am curious about your research about growth in Thailand!

Thanks!

chris jones said...

What would be the chance for another temple in northern Utah County? I have noticed you have several stakes in the MT. Timp. Temple district as possible soon to be spit. Is that temple busy enough to justify another temple close by such as in Lehi?
Also I wonder if the Salt Lake Temple is busy enough for a nother temple in its district such as Magna or Toole or maybe in Nevada?

Matt said...

Both the Salt Lake and Mount Timpanogos Utah Temples are busy. The First Presidency recently announced that the Salt Lake Temple would be open Monday mornings starting April 6th, likely to address the business of the temple. The Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple is also busy, having endowment sessions every 30 minutues from 6 AM to 8 PM Tuesday-Saturday. The Oquirrh Mountain Utah and Draper Utah Temples were announced to alieviate the high use of just the Jordan River Utah Temple.

A temple in Tooele might be more likely if more stakes are created in the area. If a temple were to be built there currently, it would only serve 13 stakes in Tooele County and Magna as well as 2 additional stakes in Elko, Nevada.

Another temple in northern Utah County is likely, but probably not until more stakes are created in the area. The temple district for the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple has 61 stakes, nearly all of which are within 10 miles of the temple. We would have to see this temple reach the business of the Jordan River Utah Temple in order for a temple announcement here to be more likely.

The most likely cities where we could see a new temple announced in Utah are Layton, Riverton (the land for which was announced by President Hinckley in 2005), Cedar City, Spanish Fork, and Price.

Stephen T said...

Your info about Paris, France is interesting. It will take a major change from the government before a temple will be built there. Currently, the government demands access to any building. It will be interesting to watch this country.

Grandma Labrum said...

A temple in the Price Region would be wonderful! I'm in the Castle Dale Stake and in order to get to Manti we have to drive 2 hours over the mountains. Price also has the same problem. In the winter it can be very difficult to get there because of the dangerous snowstorms. We had a Stake Temple night last Friday and the sessions there were so big many at the 5:30 had to wait until 6:30, making it a very big sessions. Remember, Manti is a live session so you must wait until the room ahead of you is empty. We were continuing the sessions prior to moving to the next room in order to keep the flow going. It is great to see the temple so full and busy. A local temple would help us get there more often. There aren't many people in Utah who have to plan for babysitters for 6 hours for a temple session. (4 hours travel and 2 hours at temple.) But, hey, we won't complain! It is worth it.

Matt said...

I am glad to hear that the Manti temple is so well used by the Saints in the Price area. I also appreciate the comment about the French government requiring access to all buildings. That makes a lot of sense why the Church has not announced a temple in France yet even after President Hinckley told the members there some 11 years ago that they were ready for one. A similar problem existed in the Netherlands, which was worked out by the Church.

Pleather Murse said...

I appreciate all the work you've done on this, even allowing that it is mostly speculative in nature. I've always just assumed that the largest cities will automatically require temples first but clearly that's not the case (Miami, for instance.)

I do wonder why Colorado has not merited a 2nd temple yet, even in your analysis (unless I missed it.) The current Denver temple is fairly small and the state has experienced huge growth since the '80s, one would think Colorado Springs would be a top candidate. Perhaps membership growth has not justified it.

I was expecting some temple-related information from this past weekend's Conference (the exact location of the Bluffdale/Herriman Temple, for instance) but I guess it wasn't the time.

Matt said...

Being a Colorado native, I have thought frequently about additional temples in the state. Colorado is the state with the most members with only one temple. To tell you the truth, I do not think that a new temple will be announced in the state for some time. The temple in Denver is located in an excellent location, within an hour's drive for most members in the temple district. Temple attendance has been increasing faster than membership has been increasing in the state according to the temple presidency. However the temple is only really busy on evenings and weekends.

The Church owns a rather large piece of property in northeastern Colorado Springs which could become a temple site if announced. I believe that Colorado Springs is the most likely city to get a temple, but keep in mind the Denver Colorado temple is located in south of Denver and less than an hour away. Colorado Springs would have a score of 27 if accounting the mission based in the city as well.

Other cities in Colorado which could see temples in the future include Grand Junction and Alamosa because of their distance from current temples. However both of these cities would have very small temple districts, making them unlikely to have a temple until more members are in the area.

Alberto Buruca said...

what about the New England Area? Do you expect any growth there?

Matt said...

I do not think we will see any new temples announced for New England until we see greater growth in membership. Currently the temples in the area serve membership well and a temple was just announced for Philadelphia. I think a temple in Maine is a possibility if it were one of the small, 10,700 square foot designs.

Matthew J. Bembridge said...

I think that a temple in Scotland is extremely likely in the next few years as the Church is well established there with five stakes and four independent branches. I spoke once to the Temple President of the Preston Temple who said that the attendance of the Scottish saints was always high and many of them had to travel three/four hours to get there, which is considered a long way in Britain!
If you ask me though I think a Temple in Glasgow is much more likely than Edinburgh. There is only one ward in Edinburgh whereas in the greater Glasgow area there are nine Church units. If I were making a prediction I would say Hamilton, South Lanarkshire would be a likely spot. And I would also bet that another temple in England would be announced around the same time for the Midlands, say Coventry, where Church membership density is also high.