Sunday, September 2, 2018

Potential New Temples - September 2018 Edition

I have updated my temple prediction map in preparation for General Conference in October. Data I use to identify likely locations for future temples include the number of stakes and districts, the number of wards and branches, age of the oldest stake, trends in church growth, distance to the nearest temple, number of endowment sessions scheduled at the nearest temple, and member and missionary reports regarding member activity, temple attendance, and convert retention. Fifteen new temple sites were added to the map of the most likely locations for new temples to be announced within the foreseeable future. Furthermore, I removed Culiacan, Mexico from the list due to concerns with violence in Sinaloa State and recent consolidations of LDS stakes and congregations in the area. Locations added to the map of likely new temple announcements include:
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Bacolod, Philippines
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
  • Iquitos, Peru
  • João Pessoa, Brazil
  • Kumasi, Ghana 
  • Legazpi, Philippines OR Naga, Philippines
  • Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Santa Cruz, Bolivia
  • Santiago, Philippines OR Tuguegarao, Philippines 
  • Tacloban City, Philippines
  • Uyo, Nigeria
So many are probably asking, why so many new locations added to your prediction map? Has the Church suddenly experienced a surge in growth? The short answer to that question is "no." LDS membership and congregational growth rates in the past couple years have ranked among the slowest reported in decades. However, there have been significant improvements in member activity and participation in areas such as temple work. Furthermore, steady membership and congregational growth in many areas of the world has, after many years or decades, appeared to finally warrant the construction of new temples in many areas of the world.

Recent information I have received from a variety of sources suggests that the Church may significantly accelerate temple construction within the near future. Moreover, Church President President Russell M. Nelson has recently placed a renewed emphasis on temple worship, temple construction, and family history work. There have been many positive developments regarding temple worship and member involvement in family history work. For example, the Church has been able use only family-file names for temple ordinances since 2016 based upon comments by Apostle Elder Dale G. Renlund at the 2018 Roots Tech Leadership Session earlier this year. Several of the new sites added to the temple prediction map have not had any significant changes in LDS growth trends in recent years, but appear good candidates for small temples if the Church were to recommence in the construction of Hinckley-era temples in the late 1990s and early 2000s (e.g. 15,000 square feet or less in size). Nevertheless, the Church has reported significant growth in many of these new locations, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, during the past 5-10 years to the point that a temple may be able to be supported by church membership.

It is unclear whether the Church will announce any new temples during the coming General Conference due to many recently announced temple which have yet to begin construction. There are 19 announced temples which have yet to have groundbreakings and there have not appeared to have been any groundbreakings scheduled for the foreseeable future (although site clearing has recently occurred for the Urdaneta Philippines Temple). Additionally, it is unclear whether the Church will announce additional new temples to be built during the October 2018 General Conference primarily due to the announcement of seven temples in the April 2018 General Conference. If any announcements are made, my top 10 picks for the most likely temple announcements are as follows:
  • Benin City, Nigeria 
  • Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Lagos, Nigeria 
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Praia, Cape Verde 
  • Puebla, Mexico
  • Rogers, Arkansas 
  • Salvador, Brazil 
  • Tacoma, Washington
  • Tarawa, Kiribati
Red squares on the map below are temples which are in operation, under construction, or officially announced. Yellow squares are potential new temples that may be announced in the near future. As part of the semi-annual tradition, your predictions for new temple announcements are appreciated and encouraged.


st2205 said...

I’m adding a new, very random, prediction of Kingston, Jamaica.

L. Chris Jones said...

San Juan Puerto Rico, Freetown Sierra Leone, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea,
Praia Cape Verde, Tarawa Kiribati, Pago Pago American Samoa are a partial list of mine.

Eric S. said...

Today I heard about a missionary from one of my previous wards who is currently in the Mexico MTC. He said that Elder Bednar recently came and spoke to the missionaries there. During his remarks, he mentioned how miraculous it is that there are almost 190 temples worldwide. According to the missionary, Elder Bednar then said, "If you think that's a lot... stay tuned."

I know it's good to keep realistic expectations, but I can't help but wonder if the coming accelerated temple construction may be bigger than what any of us are predicting. We may have to start thinking outside the box on potential temple locations if that is the case!

Looking forward to conference. Let us all continue to build our testimonies and reach out in love to all those around us, despite our differences.

L. Chris Jones said...
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Szeraax said...


Makes me mad, but there it is.

ScottS said...

I can't see Tacoma because of the low attendance at the Seattle Temple. I do think it would be nice to see one 8n Singapore.

L. Chris Jones said...

When I was young I heard people say that someday the BYU Jerusalem Center could be renovated into a temple. That was before other renovated temples such as Vernal were even considered. Other buildings have been renovated into temples imclude Copanhagen, Manhattan, and Provo City Center. Isn't it profecy that the temple in Jerusalem will one day be rebuilt? Does it have to be on the original site? Also I think we will all be in for a surprise with the gravity of temple growth. I feel that we will floored with where and how many temples there are going to be.

Christopher Nicholson said...

If they can build a temple in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with its whopping total of one stake spread over an entire province that probably forms between one third and one half of the neighboring temple's district, then apparently almost any city with a church presence could be in the cards. I didn't think a Bengaluru temple would be announced for at least a decade, and in fact President Nelson said it wasn't on his list until the Lord told him to add it the night before General Conference. I'm interested to see how either of these temple's will stay busy.

I once read an online comment lamenting that temples seem "less special" now that there are so many. Only someone comfortably situated in Utah could say something so stupid. (I can say that because I'm comfortably situated in Utah, though I remember taking three to four hours to get to our nearest temples once or twice a year as a kid in New York.)

James Anderson said...

One we may need to add, not this time per se, but in the near future is Knoxville. 3-4 hour drive to three temples. All three are in significant urban areas and two are from the Hinckley era so they are smaller, one you have to use back roads if you want to go straight to it vs. the freeway since the freeway to Nashville might require one to go south or north then west.

Anonymous said...

The Prosper 4th Ward was created yesterday (9/2/18) in the Frisco Texas Shawnee Trail Stake.

Also, I think Fort Worth TX should be on the list for possible temple as well.

John said...

The Winnipeg temple will likely include the Fort Frances Ontario District, which has branches in both Ontario and Minnesota and currently goes to St. Paul.

Two places to look out for are Charlotte, North Carolina and Missoula, Montana.

Eduardo said...

Ah, Missoula! I have not heard that temple prediction for a while. I like it.
Singapore or Malaysia makes a lot of sense.
What does anyone think of the rumours of a two hour block on Sundays?

Eric S. said...

L. Chris Jones, you might find this article interesting:

Yes, it is prophesied that the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt in the latter-days and it will be on the same site. Also, it will be built before the Savior returns. Prophecies of it can be found in Ezekiel and Haggai, in addition to various things said by prophets over the years. About a year or so before President Nelson became prophet, I heard him speak at a regional stake meeting/devotional and he briefly talked about the Jerusalem temple being built in accordance with the gathering of Israel in the last days (something that he has talked about a lot as an apostle and even a few times since becoming the prophet).

If you have a copy of it, the Old Testament Student Manual has some interesting information about that entire topic.

James Anderson said...

Charlotte just got another stake, how far to either Columbia or Raleigh-Durham?

Add traffic woes to the mix in Charlotte (major political row over currently under construction toll lanes on I-77) and other 'catch-up' work on other related infrastructure points to problems getting out of the metro regularly along with other pre-existing issues make it sometimes hard to make good time traveling away from there to either place

Eric S. said...

Getting back to the much near-term, here would be my prediction for temples that could be announced in October or in the near future. In no particular order:

- Lagos, Nigeria
- Freetown, Sierra Leone
- Antananarivo, Madagascar
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Singapore
- Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
- Praia, Cape Verde
- Santa Cruz, Bolivia
- Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- Puebla, Mexico
- Elko, Nevada
- Missoula, Montana
- Bentonville/Rogers, Arkansas
- Tooele, Utah
- Texas #5 (Not sure a specific city yet. I think there are four locations in the state that could all have temples one day: Fort Worth/Dallas area #2, Austin, McAllen, and El Paso)

Christopher Duerig said...

On a similar question regarding the Current and/or future temples list, since I have no access to the CDOL list, can anyone in this group tell me if the assigned temples listed on the Classic LDS Maps website, the official Temple District assigned by the Church? Before Ricks site went down due to server crash...i had copied his lists...and now comparing to the Classic LDS website assigned Temples for each Stake and District on the map...And I am finding some odd discrepancies on the Maps website...For ex., I have found some of the Stakes and Districts in the Western part of Argentina and the Argentine Patagonia that on my list where assigned either the Buenos Argentina or Cordoba Argentina Temple Districts...but on the Maps Site states they are assigned to the Santiago Chile Temple (possible due to distance, not taking into account cross border travel and customs checkin on both sides) instead. Also a district in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, assigned on website to the Montevideo Uruguay Temple (to get there by boat or plane maybe, accross the "Rio de la plata" or go around the Buenos Aires Temple by land all the way to the assigned Montevideo Uruguay temple). This doesn´t make sense logistically. Any opinions or are these examples of "system error"?

James said...

A few thoughts here, if I may. First, a general note on President Nelson's plans to expand the number of temples. Not only have several Church leaders recently commented on temples in general and President Nelson's plans for expanding the number of temples in particular, but additionally, the Church's Temple Department has had a hiring boom which may be to accommodate a large number of new temple announcements. In addition to hearing that President Nelson's legacy as the foremost temple-building Church president outpacing and overshadowing what we previously saw under President Hinckley's temple-building boom, I also have heard through a few sources I have found that, while the extent of those plans to expand the number of temples is not yet fully known (and may not be until next month during General Conference), the plans might possibly involve President Nelson initiating the process of doubling or tripling the number of temples over the next 5-10 years, in addition to accelerating the construction process of temples currently announced.

I also heard through some of those same resources to which I have access that the purpose of the Church taking time over the last several years to overhaul the design and layout of the Hinckley-era smaller temples announced between the late 1990s and early 2000s may be for the purpose of determining how to make such designs more effective, which would then be used to build a massive number of new temples. And I know from the research I have previously done that someone at some point observed that the newest style Church buildings that were being constructed have been designed in such a way that, if and when that is needed, each of them could be easily converted into a smaller, more local temple. But that would probably be done closer to the time of the Savior's Second Coming, which may be closer than many of us might realize but which may also be further away than any of us would prefer.

James said...

In addition to land being cleared in Urdaneta, I have also heard that site clearing continues at the Bangkok Thailand Temple. Additionally, while the Church has not yet confirmed an official site for the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple, designs and approvals are currently underway. So there is a high likelihood that, whatever President Nelson's plans might entail, we could at the same time hear him announce the dates of groundbreakings for at least these 3 temples before the end of this year, although I have 4-6 others which I am keeping my eyes on for word of additional developments.

I have previously also shared the latest link to the most recent list I have personally assembled of those locations I feel are most likely to have a temple announced in October. As Matt so capably observed in this post, with somewhat of a "backlog" of 19 announced temples for which a groundbreaking is pending, it is hard to know how many (if any) temples we might see announced in a month. I am of the opinion that the most likely candidates could be announced at that time, but a lot of that will depend on the extent to which President Nelson's plans move the currently-announced temples to a timely groundbreaking (and, by extension, the time-frame within which other yet-to-be announced temples do the same), the time-frame within which those plans will unfold to include a large number of new temples, and of course, how soon and within what kind of time-frame those plans might be set to occur.

With that said, I know that all of us have locations which we feel have a high likelihood of being announced. For me personally, the thoroughness of my own list depends a lot on the factors I mentioned above, so until we know more about all of these elements relating to President Nelson's plans, I have tried to confine my personal list to those that have the highest likelihood of being announced next month.

James said...

With my ongoing thanks to Matt for allowing me to share such things, and to all of you for your excellent feedback, I include the address of the most-recent list of those prospects I did on my blog recently. I would certainly be interested in any feedback from anyone, particularly regarding whether I have overlooked any prospects that may be more imminently likely than I might currently think, or if there are any prospects which do not seem to be as imminently-likely as I might have indicated.

Just a few additional comments, if I may, on the selections Matt specifically mentioned as being on his radar for next month. I agree fully with his choices of Freetown, Lagos, Port Moresby (where land has been held in reserve for a while), Praia, Puebla, Salvador and Tarawa (all of which are on my list).

That said, Lagos seems from my study to be a more imminent prospect than Benin City, but if Matt is correct that the Africa West Area could go from the 2 operating and 1 announced temple currently to 13 in operation by 2030, then both Nigerian cities could see that occur sooner rather than later.

I also recognize that, as noted in previous discussions, Rogers and Bentonville are close enough that a temple in either city would serve the other. That said, I have previously observed that a friend of mine served his mission in Bentonville, and has reported that land has been held in reserve in that city for the last several years at minimum. And, as far as I can tell from my own research, the land in question would not have been subject to a border dispute between the cities of Bentonville and Rogers. That said, I respect that Matt has done more research than I have, so if he sees a stronger case for Rogers, I don't doubt his conclusion in that regard.

I concur with what has been said in this discussion about Tacoma as a temple prospect. If the temples in Washington State do have an attendance problem (as so many US temples appear to have) then a temple in Tacoma may not be as imminent as some think. Again, though, if Matt has seen a strong reason to put it on his list, I don't doubt he has done his research.

I am anxious to see what will occur during the October General Conference regarding temples and several other developments which may be in the works. It will be another historic weekend. Of that I have no doubt. Thanks again to Matt and to all of you.

Eric said...

Here's my prediction.
The LDS Church will never build another temple in Japan. The church has been steadily shrinking there since 2000. Even though overall membership is still showing slight growth (about 0.5% annual over the last 15 years), Stakes, districts, wards, and branches, are all down, across the board (317 units in 2000, 261 in 2017). This means that activity rates are in free-fall in Japan.

So, why would the church build more temples in a place where there are fewer temple recommend holders?

BryanBaird said...

West Valley City, Utah
Henderson, Nevada
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Bakersfield, California
Lagos, Nigeria
2nd Temples in either Mexico City, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Edinburgh, Scotland
Jacksonville, Florida
San Jose, California

BryanBaird said...

I think it may be possible to build a temple in Tacoma, especially if the Seattle Temple is busy. The church has build temples in same areas and cities. The Provo Temple and Provo City Center Temple are only 2 miles apart. And then there's the Jordan River and Oquirrh Mountain Temples both in South Jordan, Utah. And during the past few years a 2nd tempme was announced for both Lima,Peru and Manila, Philippines.

Hal Bright said...

Nw ar,
San Juan,pr
Cape Verde

Outside chance
Somewhere in PRC.

Cory said...

I know that Brazil already has two temples under construction and two announced, but I think it is very possible to see more soon. Brazil and Mexico have been similar in the last couple of decades in terms of numbers. But recently, Brazil has began to pull ahead. Brazil has slightly less members, but more stakes and congregations. Until this year, they were tied with 34 missions each, but now Brazil has 35 compared to Mexico's 32. Brazil is slowly growing in terms of numbers, while Mexico has been contracting. However, Mexico was tremendously blessed with the small temples around the year 2000, While Brazil only got one. Brazil has a larger population, and is larger geographically. It is geographically less connected by roads, making travel more difficult. So, if a new push for small temples begins, I believe Brazil we be heavily supported by this.
Other sites worth considering:
Cities with 4-5 stakes: Maceio, Natal, Santos/or 2nd Sao Paulo
Cites with 3 stakes: Teresina, Vitoria
Cities with 2 stakes: Ciuaba, Florianopolis, Londrina, Foz do Iguacu (with Ciudad del Este, Paraguay).

I still think Mexico could support more temples in the North, like in Torreón and Culiacán. (I don't think the church is scared away from Violent cities, Managua is very on edge.)
Iquitos, Peru and Santa Cruz, Bolivia are also great choices.

James Anderson said...

There may also be areas outside of Sao Paulo that have stakes that are not named for the principal city, Salvador may be one. Belo Horizonte mey be another. Another list out there has Ribeirao Preto, a couple hundred miles north of Sao Paulo but still within that state as a possible site as there are stakes around and in that too.

GWA said...

I may be wrong, but I would be surprised if they start building a ton of new temples. I live in a stake in Colorado where we don't even have a stake center building within our stake boundaries. The actual Stake Center building is in another stake that was recently created by taking some of the wards from our stake. Two of our wards are assigned to use the stake center building from the other stake, so we share a stake center with the other stake (kind of a pain when the other stake has their stake conference). The church has been very hesitant to build more buildings in our area until the current chapels are at full capacity.
We were told by the stake presidency that a new stake center has been approved by the powers that be at SLC, but no one knows when exactly they will actually build the new building.
One of the GAs visting a member of our stake presidency told us that there are around 100 empty chapels world wide and this has made the church take a step back on building new chapels. I would think the same logic would apply to temples. I can't imagine the church is too keen on having an empty temple.
Last, I lived recently in Europe and went to the Hague Netherlands temple. There was only a few people in the session my wife and I went to, and we were told it's common that they have few or no people in their sessions. I think they only offered about 4-5 sessions a day. Not sure if that has changed, but it doesn't bode well for the church if they start building a ton of new temples.

James Anderson said...

Probably about 20 temples are said to account for half the work done in temples, the other about 140 or so do the other half. The small ones like the Hague usually only schedule a few sessions a week. Costa Rica only runs 11 sessions a week and you can see how many sessions a temple does on their individual pages on, no number but the times and frequency will allow you to add things up.

The Opinion said...

I can understand the logic of not building temples based on empty chapels however these men are prophets, SEERS, and revelators and I have a feeling they (Pres Nelson specifically) are being told by the Lord to build them now so they will come later (field of dreams shout out). Meaning the world is going to get crazy and people are going to need a temple closer so they can seek refuge.

I remember the 2008 recession caused unprecedented temple attendance in the Raleigh temple. I lived in Raleigh at the time and every session was filled every night and all day Friday and Saturday for over a year. The recession drove the members to be in the temple to seek revelation and comfort as everyone was losing their jobs, their businesses, and their security. Based on what several Apostles have said in the last two years in general conference, (you know those one liners that are missed while listening to it live until you re-read the talk) I believe times like this are fast approaching. The Roaring 20s will take on a new meaning compared to the roaring twenties of the previous century here in United States. The world will be dark and difficult. A temple close by will be able to provide the solace we will need as members. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands that will join the church as the seek refuge from an unpeaceful world.

Lastly I think Charlotte and Arkansas will have a temple announced soon. This is based on the Vision of the South letter that Vaughn J Featherstone wrote and placed in the cornerstone of the Atlanta Temple in 1980. It is a remarkable letter and really an addendum to what President Kimball saw as a future reality for the Southern United States. Not sure if any one is too familiar with it but is quite amazing.

Brian McConnell said...
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Brian McConnell said...

(Fixed some typos) Perhaps a restructuring of the block schedule on Sundays will allow more wards to meet in each building, and some Stake Centers or Chapels will be repurposed as temples. The number of temples would go up dramatically.


Beyond the many needs for worldwide temples, especially in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, and additional Polyneasian sites, here are my hopes for additional US Temples:

- Rapid City, SD (dangerous one-way 5+ hour trips in the winter)
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Virginia (perhaps Buena Vista-home of "BYU" east, Charlottesville, Winchester or Loudon County)
- Santa Clara/Saratoga/San Jose, California
- Far West, Adam Ondi Ahman, Independence... all in MO, of course

Eduardo said...

Winchester, VA makes more sense to me in Northern Virginia than Loudoun County for a few reasons:

1. Geographical proximity to West Virginia would be more helpful to the Saints of those parts.
2.West Virginians typically earn less, have less disposable income, and could use the closer temple more.
3. Economically it should be more affordable for the Church to purchase land and even local labor (possibly) for construction.
4. Loudoun County is relatively close to the DC Temple, which is so big it needs all the members from an hour or less away.
5. Winchestor Stake is having a special stake conference this Sunday, the 9th.

James said...

The one thing I go back and forth on is that, without knowing the extent to which President Nelson's plans go, or at what rate they might be introduced and implemented, it is hard to know (with a few obvious exceptions) how thorough any list of potential locations should be. One thing I know is that, with the exception of the temple-building boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s or in places such as the Philippines, South America (and Brazil in particular), Africa, or the so-called "Mormon corridor" where the Church is experiencing wide-spread and rapid growth, we have not seen recent cases where the Church announces a temple in a region where one is under construction or announced.

If the plans President Nelson has do involve doubling or tripling the number of temples in the period of 5-10 years, as was done previously 20 years ago, then no location may be off the table.

I would also just add here that I have heard that the newest chapels of the Church are being designed and built in such a way that they could, if and when that becomes necessary, be converted into temples. But I am not entirely sure that now is the time for that to happen. Could something like that be 10-20 years down the line? That remains to be seen.

I have already more thoroughly addressed my thoughts on the prospect that the Church will initiate a 2-hour Church block in a more recent post on my blog, so I will confine my comments on that subject to that discussion. But since, as Matt indicated in this post, he heard from a stake president who has talked to President Oaks that several additional employees continue to be hired on an ongoing basis to accommodate a large amount of new temple projects, I would be more inclined to believe that we have another temple-building boom coming rather than a conversion of chapels to temples, though that could be coming down the line for the areas I mentioned above.

Either way, I know the Brethren are thoroughly informed on all Church-related matters and are making the decisions that will be best for the Church, whether such decisions verify or contradict the preconceived ideas any or all of us might have. So until more is known, I prefer to trust what we have heard about President Nelson's enthusiasm for temples and what he and others have said about his plans to expand the number of temples. But I am prepared to embrace whatever might occur, because I know that the Brethren will never lead us astray.

James Anderson said...

Bews item about how missionaries generally will receive their calls after later this year

James said...

It is interesting that the Church will be issuing mission calls now by e-mail. But with a tech savvy Church president, that seems to be a logical next step in that it will eliminate many of the delays missionaries experience in being able to be prepared for and begin their service. I support and applaud the move. When I first heard of it, I was at a doctor's appointment this morning, and I heard a woman complaining on the phone that this will eliminate family gatherings to watch prospective missionaries open their call. What she failed to understand, as far as I could tell, was that missionaries would be notified by e-mail or text when their calls are available, and they can open those calls at their own discretion, which could easily accommodate family get-togethers as have been previously held.

Brian & Eduardo: I am wondering if you both may have forgotten that President Nelson announced a Virginia temple (to be built in Richmond) during the last General Conference. Or are you perhaps suggesting a second Virginia temple? I wouldn't count on a second temple for that state until the one in Richmond is built and dedicated, and the Church can then assess how busy that temple is.

As I observed above, except for South America, Africa, the Philippines, and the "Mormon Corridor", the Church has typically not announced another temple in any country or area in which one or more temples are either announced or under construction. Depending on the extent of President Nelson's plans, I could see that change, but with Virginia in particular, I don't see a second temple being announced until the Richmond temple is at least further along.

That said, depending on the extent of President Nelson's plans, particularly if those plans do involve doubling or tripling the number of temples over a 5-10 year period or so, then we may be entering an era when multiple temples are simultaneously under construction in the same states, regions, or areas. But until we know more about those plans, a second Virginia temple seems unlikely for the near future.

Eduardo said...

I was mostly hypothesizing in the spirit of "you ain't seen nothing yet" vane of apostolic conjecture.
If there were a tripling of current day temples I bet Charleston, WV would geographically help a great number of present day Saints and future growth.

James said...

Thank you for that clarification. I apologize if I misunderstood. Interesting thought about Charleston. As I have noted previously, without knowing the extent to which President Nelson's plans go (about which we will hopefully learn more in October), it may be difficult to ascertain the best and most likely imminent locations for the near future. If I had to venture a guess, I might suggest that a Charleston WV temple may not be announced until at least 2020, when the Washington DC Temple is finished with its' renovation process and rededicated. But I could also see an additional delay for a Charleston temple until the temple in Richmond is constructed and dedicated. It will be interesting to see what happens in October, particularly if the plans are then detailed, and if, in conjunction with those plans, a number of additional new smaller temples are announced as well. I can't wait to see what's ahead in that regard.

L. Chris Jones said...

Brazil may be an exception to multiple temples announced or building at once. But it is a large country geographically just like the USA. Peru and Philippines are exceptions too.

Eric S. said...

Artist rendering and location for the Pocatello Idaho temple has been announced:

Construction is expected to begin in 2019. It looks like by this time next year we should have at least 4 (probably more) new temples under construction: Urdaneta Philippines (ground clearing has already begun as Matt mentioned), Bangkok Thailand (artist rendering and location announced earlier this year), Pocatello Idaho, and Saratoga Springs Utah (church submitted plans a month or so ago for a development that includes a "Special Project Site").

R.J.Phillips said...
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James said...

L. Chris Jones, although it is true that the Church has made a distinction in splitting the nation of Brazil off into its' own area (or multiple areas) for the last 20 years or so, since the nation is geographically located in South America, I was including Brazil in my earlier comment about the exceptions to that rule. I apologize if I did not make that clear enough. But you are correct that Peru, Brazil, and the Philippines are exceptions as well.

Eric, thanks for that excellent summary of the big news. In addition to the four you mentioned, I wanted to mention here as well that there are other temples which could have a groundbreaking within the next year or so as well.

Those temples include (but may not be limited to) the following: Lima Peru Los Olivos (where the contractor assigned to the project indicated in March of last year that a year of pre-planning was needed for him to prepare a site, which period of time may or may not have already come and gone); Harare Zimbabwe (for which, as we know, President Nelson looked at potential sites during his time there earlier this year); Nairobi Kenya (where, according to Saints in that nation, a site has been selected (though not officially confirmed), and where a smaller temple is expected to be built and dedicated by sometime in 2021), Brasilia Brazil (where Church engineers first inspected the confirmed site location over a year ago), and the temple to be built in the greater Manila area (where a site has been confirmed, and for which an official announcement of its' design and name is anticipated anytime in the near future).

Other temples on which I am keeping my eye are the Layton Utah Temple (where land was reportedly acquired by the Church two days before President Nelson's announcement) and Richmond Virginia (where the Church reportedly has held land in reserve since 2015 or so). And based on the fact that the Abidjan Ivory Caost Temple will soon be the only temple announced in 2015 for which a groundbreaking has not been held, that might change in the next year or two as well.

Depending on what happens in the next year or so, the temples in Quito Ecuador and Belem Brazil could likewise move closer to a groundbreaking. I also know the Church has been holding land in reserve in Managua for years before that temple was announced last April by President Nelson. The remaining 3 announced temples (in Cagayan de Oro Philippines, Bengaluru India, and a major yet-to-be-determined city in Russia) may take a while longer to get underway.

But either way, the next two years and more will likely be filled with many temple events. As I have observed elsewhere, the Church has the 2 temples scheduled for dedication later this year, with 1 more scheduled already for next year, and 5 others that may also have a dedication announced in the next 9-12 months. There are also already 3 other temples which are anticipated to be dedicated in 2020.

And 5 or 6 of the temples currently closed for renovation are anticipated to have that process finished and be rededicated next year as well, with 3 or 4 others having an anticipated dedication in 2020. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple will, as previously noted, be rededicated at some point in 2021, but perhaps in the earlier part of the year.

All of this means that the next 3 years are anticipated to be full of temple events, and that could be even more true for the years beyond 2021, depending on what happens within the 3 years leading up to 2021. It will be exciting to see it all unfold.

Gnesileah said...

When I lived in South Carolina in 2002, local members who were present at the Columbia Temple dedication said the President Hinckley promised that when that temple was operating at 70% capacity, the Church would build another temple in the district. Charlotte would make the most sense, and with the recent growth there, I hope it happens soon (partly for personal reasons too as I have family there).

Regarding Missoula, my Mom had a roommate in college during the 1960s that had a boyfriend who had a been a drug dealer, but converted to the Church. He allegedly mailed the Church a check for a couple million dollars (his drug money) with a note that it be used to build a temple in Missoula one day. I understand the Church doesn't normally accept dirty money like that, so I am not sure what happened to it or what it was used for.

In 1921, during the public open house of the Cardston Alberta Temple, a woman named Sols Caurdisto, a non-member from Eastern Canada, was visiting family in Lethbridge and attended the temple open house. As she was escorted from room to room, she appeared to be seeing into another dimension, and would frequently stop and sit down and stare into space. After she returned home to Eastern Canada, she wrote a letter to the temple president, who had escorted her through the temple, and explained what she saw in vision during her visit to the temple. Her account is quite lengthy in its detail and description of the unfolding of events leading up to the Second Coming, and the role the Cardston Temple would play in those events, but I only share her closing paragraph, in which she states:

“I saw the inspired call sent forth to all the church, to gather to the refuges of
Zion. I saw the stream of your people quietly moving in the direction of their
refuge. I saw your people moving more quickly and in larger numbers until all
the stragglers were housed. I saw the wireless message flashed from Zion’s
refuge to Zion’s refuge in their several places that all was well with them, and
then the darkness of chaos closed around the boundaries of your people, and the
last days of tribulation had begun.”

Perhaps we really will see many, many more temples constructed....

James said...

Gnesileah, thank you for sharing all of that. Is there any way to know for certain how busy any of the temples are? I know that the Provo Utah Temple has always been quite busy, even with the dedications of the Mount Timpanogos Utah and Provo City Center Temples. I also know (from personal experience) that the Mount Timpanogos Temple is often filled to capacity (especially on the weekend), which may have been a factor in the announcement of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple 1.5 years ago. But to get to the point, do you have any information on the percentage of capacity at which the temple in Columbia is kept busy? That would be a clear indicator of how imminent a prospective temple in Charlotte might be.

While I don't know whether or not the Church would use a check provided in the scenario you described above, I do know that land has been held in reserve by the Church in Missoula for a temple when the right conditions are met to enable an official announcement. Hopefully it will soon be time for that to occur. I know a lot of people are anxiously awaiting that prospect.

I was also interested in the acccount from the Eastern Canadian woman which you shared above. It is amazing that the Spirit can move upon so many in the setting of temples, both before and after their dedications. And the idea that such visions unfold in temples is certainly not a new one. It is fitting and proper that the Lord would reveal details of His unfolding work in the latter days to people in such settings.

If what I have heard, and what others have said they have heard, is any indicator, then we may be in for a windfall of announcements. The only question is the extent to which those announcements might be made, and the time-frame within which such plans might begin to be implemented. If memory serves, President Hinckley referenced early on his desire to bring temples to the people, and it was within 2-4 years after he commenced his service as Church president that those plans began to unfold, including the announcement of 100 operating temples by the end of the year 2000. If, as already noted, President Nelson plans to double or triple the number of temples in 5-10 years, then the process of announcing, constructing, and dedicating temples will be accelerated and greatly expanded. It will be amazing to see it all unfold.

For those interested, the Church has announced the dates of 2019 Church-wide events, and has also shared more details about the Concepcion Chile Temple, which will have its' open house begin a week from tomorrow. You can find details on that via the Church website or through a post I published on my blog a short while ago. The web address to that post follows. Hope this information is helpful to you all.

John Pack Lambert said...

My predictions for new temples are Benin City, Nigeria; Freetown, Sierra Leone and Salvador, Brazil although Rogers, Arkansas is also a strong candidate (or somewhere in Northwest Arkansas, the exact name and city I am less sure of).

Benin City has seen more progress than Lagos, althoug they are both strong contenders. In fact I am somewhat tempted to predict Benin City, Lagos and Freetown. The fact that none of the temples announced last April were in Africa makes an all Africa slate a strong possiblity.

John Pack Lambert said...

Two hour block to me will never happen. Primary can only really work with a 3 hour block, and there are many important gains from Sunday School.

I think Singapore is a good candidate for a temple in the long run, but I have doubts in the short run. I will not expect an announcement there until we see a few stakes in Malaysia. The Singapore Stake being split would make it seem more likely.

Jakarta is actually more likely to me. It is a strong candidate for a 10,000 to 15,000 square foot temple based on the isolation of the members there. Kiribati and New Guinea are also high candidates if a new round of temples that size are built.

John Pack Lambert said...

Since both Colombia, South Carolina and Raleigh, North Carolina are temples of the 11,000 size, I would think Charlotte is a strong candidate for a temple with the new stake formed there. Even though Richmond is getting a temple, I think that will mainly take from DC and not effect Raleigh.

Still by stake numbers, 3 more temples in Nigeria are more needed than any new temple in the South-east US.

John Pack Lambert said...

The number of wards and branches in an area is not the same as the activity rate. In some cases attendance in a ward or branch can double or more without it being split.

John Pack Lambert said...

Actually my guess is the Church has been pursuing various policies that have lead to empty chapels for the exact reason of wanting to have more temples operating. The Church has a finite number of resources, and if it builds fewer new chapels that leaves more funds for building temples.

James said...

John Pack Lambert, thanks for your additional thoughts. I would not be surprised to see temples in both Benin City and Lagos at some point within the next 5 years or so. Lagos seems slightly more imminent to me, but I am sure that a temple in either location is likely to be announced next General Conference.

As for Freetown, Sierra Leone, that is my top African pick for this General Conference. If President Nelson's plans are as extensive as they appear to be, then perhaps temples will be at minimum announced in all three cities within the next 3-5 years. But I also know that my second top pick for Africa is Antananarivo Madagascar. Because that island is separated from the rest of the African continent, any temple to which the Saints in that nation are assigned may present an undue hardship for them.

From the discussions I have had with many people about future temple prospects, the main notion supporting the idea of a temple in Singapore is that President Hinckley publicly proposed one there sometime during the late 1990s and early 2000s. But he may have been taking a longer view of that prospect than many think.

The next Asian temple will likely be announced for Mongolia. The Saints in that nation have an excessively long journey to any temple to which they are assigned, and neither the Bangkok Thailand nor the Bengaluru India Temple will make that journey any shorter. As for Jakarta Indonesia, there is a strong case for a temple there as you mentioned, but I am personally prioritizing Mongolia.

The Southern portion of the US is hard to get a feel for. I know that with the natural disasters that have struck states in that region recently, the prospect of future temples there may be questionable at best for the immediate future. And when we add to that the fact that the entire US has been in a state of stagnated growth, that compounds the problem of determining how likely or feasible a temple in those states might be.

As for Arkansas, I have spoken before about how a friend who served his mission in Bentonville noted that land for a temple in that city has been held in reserve for a while. That said, I know that many people favor Rogers more for such a prospect. A temple in either city would be wonderful. Several have observed that such a temple could be named for the Ozark Mountain region in Arkansas, which seems likely.

I just want to conclude this comment with a thought about empty chapels. While the maintenance of such buildings would surely impact the amount of funds available for a temple, perhaps a better reason for emptying chapels would be to lend strength to other units in such areas that may be struggling. I know that with the stagnated growth occurring in the United States, I have heard several people commenting on the fact that their units have been struggling.

But I have also heard that the newest chapels of the Church are being built in such a way that they could easily be converted to temples during the time when temples will be operating around the clock. That said, I do not think that the Church is there yet. But since none of us here are privy to the conversations occurring at Church headquarters, the real reason behind empty chapels might be anyone's guess.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

I've been pondering all the growth in Africa for some time now.

When the saints in the US were apostasizing during the Kirtland era, thousands of conversions started happening in Europe and continued over the next few decades. Those converts moved to the US and helped revitalize the Church. We're seeing again a period of stagnation and or inactivity and loss of members in the US, but at the same time growth is exploding in Africa.

I've met several of these African saints over the last few years. They're some of the most valiant and stalwart members I've ever seen. I made friends with a man from Liberia in my singles' ward a few years back. One member from Nigeria just married my cousin. Another from Ghana just married my good friend and next door neighbor. Another from South Africa is my other next door neighbor.

Upon attending the sealing of my cousin to her Nigerian husband (in the Jordan River Temple), the marriage party right next to ours was an African/Hispanic wedding, with lots of friends and family from Africa. I went up and talked to them and met members from the DRC, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and others. Many of them are here in Utah as students.

I wonder if the Lord is bringing these African saints into the Church at this time to bolster our stagnating North American numbers. I also wonder if they are being brought in to provide righteous spouses for the many singles here in the US who are searching for one. Another reason I can see is to help end the stigma of the Utah Church as a strictly Caucasian culture. (That cousin of mine who married the Nigerian? She's from a family of 8 kids and half of them have married spouses from non-white ethnicities. For me, a white kid from a podunk white town in Montana, family gatherings have thankfully become increasingly multicultural.)

Perhaps another reason is to help the Church and the world move past the stigma from the ban on the priesthood that ended years ago. I'm interested to see if any of these conjectures turn out to be true.

What are all y'all's thoughts?

R.J.Phillips said...

I live in Rogers, Arkansas. Been tracking the church growth here for awhile. While I thought that 2 years ago was the earliest this area would even be eligible for a temple, I think the possibility went up significantly in the last year.

The OKC Temple is our assigned temple. Most members in this stake go to Kansas City Temple on non-ward or stake assigned days because it's slightly closer, usually not as cramped with people, and going to OKC and back costs about $10 in tolls. The OKC Temple has been closed for almost a year while they tore it all down because of black mold. The size of that temple is not being expanded with the rebuild. That surprised me. It seems that would be the simplest and cheapest way to add needed temple capacity to the area. Two stakes were created in OK in the last few months. It's been like 20 years since a stake has been created in OK. This area hires a lot of people out of byu provo and rexburg. Every summer the inflow is amazing to see. It's got to be one of the faster growing lds migration areas in the country. Our ward had become more than 50% transplants in just under 2 years.

In Bentonville/Rogers the non-outlier buildings are at full capacity. Our stake center is honestly a safety hazard; black mold, narrow hallways, poor emergency escapes. One of those old franken-buildings that were just added onto a dozen times. I've worked in almost every venue in the area with events and I don't know how this thing passes code. Anyway, I think it's a least slightly possible that the decision would be made in the near future to build a new stake center and temple on the same lot.

As for the "land held in reserve for temple" mentioned by James. It's just the 15 acres or so behind the Bentonville Stake Center. If a temple is issued for this area, that lot would surely be a primary contender. Having it attached to a new Rogers stake center would probably have a decent amount of pull as well.

In 2 weeks we have an apostle visiting our stake. No one knows why. Kind of a last minute announcement. If it's Elder Bednar that wouldn't be a huge surprise as he was once stake president here and has made surprise appearances before. but if it was another, maybe they have come to assess us for a temple. Do we truly want it like the people of Bangalore? They probably didn't check all the boxes, but their desire was enormous. We will see.

Nephi said...

James...In the early 1990's I was attending BYU. The rumor at that time was that the churches were being built to become temples! I don't believe it. It was a rumor then and most likely a rumor now. It would not make sense to convert hundreds of chapels to temples. If the church were to convert chapels where would we meet for sacrament? Would the church then build more chapels? The chapels get used a ton and are not built to the standards of temples so it would probably be fairly expense to convert chapels to temples and then build new chapels.

I have learned over the years to not listen to church rumors. I patiently wait for an announcement or to verify from a source with first hand knowledge.

Anyway, I am excited about conference and I am hopeful for many temple announcements. I am gunning for West Africa to get 2 or 3 more.

Bryan Dorman said...

Once again, I will try to predict temples with an indicator of 0 (very surprising) to 10 (a virtual certainty) to be announced within the next ten years.

United States/Canada:

Heber UT (7)
Austin TX (4)
Fort Worth TX (3)
McAllen TX OR Reynosa MX (5)
NW AR (8)
Knoxville TN (4)
Jacksonville FL (4)
Charlotte NC (3)
Charleston WV (3)
Pittsburgh PA (2)
Ottawa ON (2)

Puebla (7)
Querétaro (6)
Torreón (4)
Reynosa OR McAllen (5)
Cancún (3)
Culiacán (2) (only reason this stays on is distance constraints--12 hours from HMO and GDL, multiple stake loss would otherwise take it off completely)

Central America
Huehuetenango GT (6)
Coban GT (4)
Eastern GT OR San Pedro Sula HN (6)
Santa Ana ES (3)
San Miguel ES (3)
Liberia CR (4)--this one is overlooked by many, CRC has had nice growth lately.

Spanish South America
Medellin CO (3)
Cali CO (4)
Maracaibo VE (2)--only on the list because President Hinckley promised it...VEN is undergoing SEVERE inflation now.
Iquitos PE (6)--very isolated, much like Manaus.
Piura PE (3)--distant from Trujillo
Cuzco PE (4)--distant from Lima and Arequipa
Santa Cruz BO (9)--tied with Puebla Metro for most stakes without a temple announced.
La Paz BO (6)--probably will be announced after Santa Cruz
Sucre BO (3)
Antofagasta CL (2)--though Salta will be closer, northern CL needs a temple BADLY.
Comodoro Rivadavia AR (4)--distance from Bs As, would be convenient for Patagonian Saints in CL and AR.
Neuquen AR (3)
Mendoza AR (4)--treacherous trip to Santiago in the winter. Cordoba closer but still relatively far away.

Salvador (6) Area pretty far from existing temples, announced or under construction
Belo Horizonte (4) Many Saints, only problem is temples being built surrounding the zone
Sao Paulo State 3 (5) Favored spot due to distance Ribeirao Prato
Sao Paulo State 4 (3) favored spots due to distance Sorocaba

Freetown (6) Three stakes in the city, two more outside the city in Bo.
Monrovia (6) Four stakes in the city.
Bo (3) Could serve a fulcrum point between Freetown and Monrovia.
Daloa (2)
Kumasi (5) Without a doubt would be Ghana's second temple.
Benin City (8) Likely to be Nigeria's second temple (or maybe third)
Lagos (8) Likely to be Nigeria's third temple (or maybe second)
Abuja (4) Not to be underestimated, has "silently" been growing too.
Lumbubashi DRC (4) Congo's second temple
Kasai DRC (3) Proposed by Elder Andersen
Cape Town RSA (3) could become a choice due to distance
Kampala (3) with additional growth could warrant a temple.

Edinburgh UK (3)
Vienna AT or Budapest HU (4) mainly distance, would help also northern former Yugoslavian countries
Russian temple location revealed to be Moscow (60%) Saratov (25%) St Petersburg (<10%). Remaining 6 percent split evenly between Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk. (7)

Ullanbattar MO (6) Ultimate dark horse candidate, would cement Russian temple as being on Euro side, they travel a ridiculously far distance to the Temple in HK CHN.
Dubai UAE (2)
Jerusalem IL (2)

Port Moresby PNG (3)
Jakarta ID (4)
Pago Pago AS USA (4)

Bryan Dorman said...

While we are doing this Temple prediction, I also wanted to predict where in Russia the new Temple announced six months ago would end up being at.

My odds are:

Moscow: 60 percent.
Saratov: 25 percent.
St Petersburg: 8 percent.
Kazan: 4 percent.
Novosibirsk: 2 percent.
Yekaterinburg: 1 percent.

Moscow is in the lead due to it's status as the Capital City of Russia and where the trains and flights get too more often. The only reason why the percentage is not higher is the fact that getting a permit to build ANYTHING there is going to be a huge hassle. Also the ROC head is there and they would not be too keen of having a building within the city or even in the oblast' built by a dissident church.

Saratov is second on my list due to it being a bit more central to the bulk of the membership in Russia, and being the center of a stake. South of Saratov lies Rostov, Krasnodar, and Volgograd, the first and third cities in the group having districts. North of Saratov lies Samara where there is another district. Moscow isn't prohibitively far either from Saratov, where there is a stake and two districts.

St Petersburg is third, because it is still relatively close to Helsinki and rather decentralized from the rest of the membership in Russia. Baltic members can play a role but they and Russia are not good friends right now. Also its status as Russia's Imperial city could also play havoc with trying to get permits to build a temple from a religion many consider as dissident.

My wild cards are Kazan, Yekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk.

Kazan has only a branch, and it pertains to the Samara District. Kazan is on rail links from Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk (both districts) to the east), Moscow (one stake, two districts) to the west, and Samara and Saratov (one district, one stake) to the south. There is a greater tolerance for other religions here than in Moscow and St Petersburg which could work to the Church's advantage. There is even a "Temple for All Religions" there. Those factors raise Kazan's ranking to fourth on my list.

Yekaterinburg could theoretically bridge the gap between European and Asian Russia. But we start to get decentralized here (though there is a district in Yekat).

Novosibirsk would be an interesting place but is way decentralized from the rest of Russia, though it could be helped from Mongolia (one stake, multiple districts), Irkutsk, and Primorsky Krai, though the latter place is still ridiculously far and Korea is much closer).

L. Chris Jones said...

Mongolia has two stakes and at least one other district and several scattered more branches not part of a district or stake

James Anderson said...

Sorocaba not yet, as right now they have a good six-lane freeway between it and SP proper and another road from SP to it that is freeway from SP to Sao Roque, and the driving time is about an hour to SP from there either way. I have seen complete runs of both roads on Youtube, and Raposo Tavares is used if you don't want to get caught in the heavy traffic once Castelo Branco passes inside of Rodoanel Mario Covas. But it is a midterm one as several stakes are there now, right now another option is to take SP-075 to Campinas and take Dom Pedro I across to the east side where that temple is. It is a longer drive but generally less traffic.

Eduardo said...

Jonathan Whiting: Your conjecture about the Western African and ethnic influx of membership is noted, interesting to hear.
In the last twenty plus years I have read a couple of church magazines, Christianity Today and Christian Century. Both have observed the African growth phenomenom, while the Western wealthier world has stagnated both in church activity and real population growth. Some explain this as a demographic shift due to trends of economics. Could be.
However, in the history of God's children, there are ample examples of what are times of apostasy and dynamic growth.
It is great to see the tribes of Israel being gathered, and in this century so many in sub-Saharan Africa.
It does certainly remind me of Jacob 5. Domestic olive trees, allegorical to the Lord's chosen, use the grafted olive branches of the "wild" trees to reinvigorate.
President Hinckley himself said converts are the lifeblood of the Church (Zion). Our faith continues to rely on infusions of this new blood.
Exciting times. And, the spirit of Elijah among our deceased ancestors is ever growing as well.
Truly good news, evangelical happenings are hastening.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

Thanks, Eduardo.

James said...

Just wanted to clarify: I never meant to imply that all newer chapels would be converted into temples once the day arrives when temples will need to be open around the clock, merely that the newest chapels were being built so that each could be converted into temples, should the need arise. That to me is an important distinction. Of course the Saints need places to meet, and of course, we may be further away than many (myself included) might think from such a prospect. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

R. J. Phillips, thanks for confirming the details which I heard from my friend that served his mission in Bentonville. It is interesting that an apostle is going to be an unexpected guest at your stake conference. It has become somewhat common for the Brethren to be sent out to gauge the readiness of any area for a temple. Elder Rasband visited the Philippines a few weeks before the Cagayan de Oro Temple was announced in General Conference, and I cannot confirm this, but I would assume he spent some time in that city looking at prospective locations.

Bryan Dorman, thanks for sharing your rankings of the likely future prospects. I have had a third temple for Guatemala, along with one for San Pedro Sula Honduras for a while now. If it would be helpful for me to pass this along, one person who commented recently on my list of temple prospects (who lives and works in Central America) has said that the most likely prospect for a temple in that area of the Church will be a second for Guatemala City. So I trimmed down my list of prospects for that area for this conference to just that prospect.

Another temple in the southern or southeastern portion of the United States may be delayed until the devastation anticipated by the incoming tropical storms is swept away. I have not confirmed this, but it is also possible that the temple(s) undergoing renovation in that area may also have that process delayed by the incoming storms.

Puebla is the top priority on my list for the Mexico Area. For South America, Iquitos Peru has made my list, as has Santa Cruz Bolivia. But I believe all the locations you mentioned will one day get a temple. Apostles have recently made visits to Salvador and Belo Horizonte, so either is likely. But the question with Brazil is, with 2 temples under construction there, and 2 others announced (both of which may have a groundbreaking within the next 2-4 years).

In terms of Africa, the top picks on my list are Freetown Sierra Leone and Antananarivo Madagascar (where the nation is disconnected from the rest of the continent). But the others you mentioned are possible as well. I have also prioritized Maputo, Kumasi, Lagos, and Monrovia. With temples in South Africa and Kinshasa not anticipated to be dedicated until next year, the Church may hold off on announcing temples in the cities you mentioned until around a year from now. But that might depend on the extent of President Nelson's plans.

James said...

With Europe in a general state of stagnated growth, and with temples under construction in Rome Italy and Lisbon Portugal, and one other announced for Russia (more of my thoughts on that later), it may be a while before we know how soon other temples might be announced for that continent. But it would not surprise me at all if the next temples were built in Budapest Hungary (which comments on my blog concur is the next European temple location) and Praia Cape Verde (which technically falls under the Europe Area although it is closer to the African continent). Edinburgh and Vienna may be more distant prospects, but I would anticipate those will both get temples at some point.

Mongolia has become the top Asian pick on my list, mainly for the distance factor. The United Arab Emirates technically falls under the region the Church defines as the Middle East/Africa North Area. And I don't see a temple there in the near future. This is primarly because the Middle East is so messed up, and because the bulk of the Church's presence there is made up of military service people (which I know from having a brother-in-law and uncle who were both stationed there at different times). The Middle Eastern countries will need to make HUGE political and religious strides before a temple in those countries is even a remote possibility. And we are a long way from the time when the Church will build a temple in Jerusalem, unless there is something I am not aware of.

The Church has held land in reserve in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea and in Auckland New Zealand for some time, so those are likely both a lock at some point sooner rather than later. Pago Pago has made my list this time for a variety of reasons. Jakarta Indonesia technically falls under the Asia Area of the Church, and the odds of a temple there will almost certainly depend on how quickly work begins on the temple in Bangkok, and on how soon work can begin on the temple in Bengaluru.

As I mentioned elsewhere in relation to an inquiry about the probable location of the Russia temple, the Church's three stakes in Russia are located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Saratov. If there is not sufficient support (such as a stake) in the other cities mentioned, it is pretty near certain they will not be considered. If I had to eliminate one of the three, it would be Saratov. If I had to narrow it down, Moscow is at the top for me.

Jonathan and Eduardo, interesting thoughts as always. Thanks for your wonderful observations. I hope that the additional thoughts I have shared here are valuable to at least some of you who read them. Thanks again to you all.

Thomas Jay Kemp said...

Eduardo Clinch: Tell us more about this comment in your posting: "Exciting times. And, the spirit of Elijah among our deceased ancestors is ever growing as well."

Can you expand on what you are seeing?


Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

No problem, James.

Eduardo said...

Before Alex Haley and the advent of the computer and subsequent Internet, the temples of the 1970s might have been saving/exalting 100,000 souls a year? Maybe many less. Based on old fashioned standards of record keeping, the same family names were being duplicated, some multiple times. Now we have those multiply done deceased souls and we have ways of avoiding re-doing them unneccessarily.
We have going on 200 temples instead of a mere 12 or 16.
Familysearch and, not to mention new DNA records, allow millions of us, Gentile and non, to collect and assemble our family lines back across the centuries.
The visions and blessings of old ARE returning.
The Restored Gospel provides more good news than anything possible. All hidden will be revealed, and those are eternal prophecies and truthes.
Get on the bus, brother!
President Kimball said ,"Just do it."
That was before Nike.
A city in the Philipines thought all their records were destroyed and lost in a recent typhoon. The Church of Jesus Christ happened to have the back up histories preserved.
Robert Jeffress calls this a cult?
Reverend Jefress would have a hard time recognizing the true priesthood and the true Lord it they literally knocked on his door.
Jesus prophesied of wolves in sheep's clothing, and false prophets in the last days. Read and understand the Holy Bible, for those with ears to hear: Malachi is true. All of it.
Get aboard.

James Anderson said...

The Deseret News has an archive of old Church News papers going all the way back, and in the 1970s a couple of times they had a couple of issues that even said how many endowments were performed that year in that temple. Provo was always top, followed by Salt Lake and what I vaguely remember was that those two combined made for close to 1.3 million endowments. Even the outliers would put in tens of thousands, and they used to as part of the statistical report say how many ordinances were done total, that ended decades ago.

President Hinckley said in 2005 talking about the work that years later led to Family Tree, said that 32 million ordinances were done in a year near 2005. But since Family Tree, 'Find Our Cousins, and some other things, that may have gone up somewhat, not to mention more than 20-30 more temples.

James said...

Thomas, while Eduardo already addressed your question directed to him, if it's all right with you, I wanted to provide some additional context. As one who worked six years in the Mount Timpanogos Temple, I had the opportunity to chat informally with some regular patrons. Some of them reported times when they felt their ancestors move them towards finding their information and getting their work done. My mom's dad before he died had been concerned about his siblings who had not embraced the Gospel, and she obtained from him permission to do the work of two of his siblings who had been deceased, which consent was confirmed by the families of his two brothers. And as someone involved in extraction (which was the precursor to the current indexing program), I can also attest to the enthusiasm with which the deceased individuals whose records were being extracted placed within those working on the records.

But perhaps more importantly, shortly after April General Conference concluded, many popular sites for Church news stories shared the interesting (and somewhat unprecedented) statement offered by President Nelson in his closing address from that conference. Here is the relevant part:

"Our message to the world is simple and sincere: we invite all of God’s children on both sides of the veil to come unto their Savior, receive the blessings of the holy temple, have enduring joy, and qualify for eternal life." (emphasis added)

This statement caused somewhat of a stir since it was the first time in a long time (if not the very first time) that a Church president had extended such an invitation to those on both sides of the veil. Since that time, there has been both an increased report of invitations from Church leaders on all levels for members to attend the temple, and much more has been shared about President Nelson's extensive temple-building plans, which are anticipated to outpace and overshadow what we previously saw with President Hinckley.

This suggests to me that the expansion and accelerations of temple building that will surely happen is in direct relation to those beyond the veil hearing and responding to President Nelson's invitation to them, and moving upon their living relatives to get their work done.

I have also heard (but have not personally confirmed) that more of each of the Church's current 159 operating temples have seen an influx in the number of patrons on a day-to-day basis, which has in turn resulted in temples being more busy. There are a number here in Utah that are consistently operating at or above capacity for most of the 6 days or so such temples are open. And if that is also the case elsewhere in the world, then that will be a further demonstration that the spirits of those moved by President Nelson's invitation will continue to prompt their descendants to do their work, and that many more temples will thus be needed in the near future to accommodate the surge in activity.

These are just some additional personal thoughts, which I hope are helpful in answering your question. Hope no one minds my chipping in in that regard.

Eduardo said...

Spirit of Elijah. It's huge.
Arthur C. Clarke, my lifetime favorite sci-fi author (sorry Orson Scott Card), speculated in a 1980s non-fiction book that there had perhaps been 250 to 300 billion humans prior to that generation.
Of course, he was not basing his or others' calculations on Adam and Eve and the generations since.
I have always been awed and perplexed with the sheer number of God's children. Somehow, someway, we are all comnected to the family of God.
The fact that our faith has this much staked in the redemption of the dead is breathtaking.
It is part of the Restoration of All Things, which is much more impressive than the 16 million live members counted worlwide.
Those who put money and time into this work will be forever blessed. Saving the planet, too, according to the scriptures.

Thomas Jay Kemp said...

What are you seeing in family history work in your ward/stake?
Not anecdotally in other areas - but what are you seeing in your own personal family history work and the work accomplished by others in your ward?

I am very immersed in the work of the gathering - in family history - and have been for decades.
I can see the individual response of members in my Stake and neighboring Stakes - and am interested to know what you are seeing your own wards.

Are members attending the Temple more often - bringing cards that they themselves generated?
Is it the same individuals participating that you are accustomed to seeing doing FH/T work - or are you personally seeing more member involvement?

Have you personally generated and taken cards to the Temple - this month? last month? Constantly?
Even without bringing cards - do you - personally - find yourself attending the Temple more frequently?

Personally I have been seeing an avalanche of names pouring out of the computer - its like the fabled cornucopia - it just keeps on producing more.
I have found that to be true with every member who will 'look' - the names are there for them.
We've had 100% success in working with members here to generate names - and that's been non-stop for over 5 years now.
Our only limitation is time to harvest and print the name cards.

This has been our experience with old pioneer families as well as converts.
It makes no difference - the supply is endless. I have found many members who think that their work is all done - but in every case within minutes we've found and printed dozens of cards for every one of them. We're all amazed.

What are you seeing?

Eduardo said...

The two year closing of the DC Temple AND the North Carolina Temple has made it substantially harder to do work at the temples for many Eastern coasters. A friend from West Virginia got a 301 dollar ticket for parking on the street in what he thought was 4 hour free parking, because the temple garage lot was full. Not cool after a 3 hour drive and maybe 40 dollars in toll money. Plus gas.
Anyway, some of us are trying to compensate in less temple attendance by doing more family history. But we still will sacrifice to go there.
I plan to go with family before the month ends. But it requires a lot of planning and time alottment.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@Thomas Jay Kemp: What area are you in?

I'm in the Ogden area, and Temple work is exploding here (hence the need for the Layton Temple). The youth are just as much involved as the adults.

I've spent the last year or more completing a stack of names from an older lady in my ward, another stack from a lady in the care center ward next to our ward, and another stack from a young woman in our ward.

We were using those names, along with some from my brother in law and from the bishop, for our monthly youth baptism trips. We just completed the baptisms for all of them, and I was wondering if we would use temple names on our last trip, but 2 or 3 other members that I hadn't expected provided family names for us to do.

Additionally, my brother in law and I recently finished the initiatories for all those stacks of names. So now I have a stack of endowments to do. I've been farming some of them out to ward members over the last few months, but when I asked last week, several people are doing their own stacks of names.

So it does seem to me that more and more people are doing the work for their own families. Partly because of the ease of finding names on Family Search and printing them out, and partly because of more and more temples in close proximity.

James Anderson said...

The percentage of members doing family history work before about 2013 was around 2.3 percent, by 2015 it was 2.7 percent. After 'Find Our Cousins' and the broadcasting of Rootstech, as well as major work regarding Family Tree and other things on FamilySearch, including indexing, the work that gives us access to the big three commercial sites, and other things, it is now at or over 5 percent.

But there are pockets where it has become even bigger. Ivory Coast is one, that percentage was 12 percent, and that is what in part fueled them getting a temple. Until that is built though, they have to go to Ghana, and some of thatat times has been through a war zone, but they still did it.

I am also hearing that each month, 3.8 million new names are being added to Family Tree on average, 800k by nonmembers, every month. 1.5 million come from people finding them from records put up from indexing, using the linking tool provided to compare and attach the record, and sometimes the record for one ancestor will have more information and some of that is other family members that were not known about before that record appeared as a hint.

Eric S. said...

The first temple president and matron were called this week for the Lisbon Portugal Temple. This is now the fourth temple which is still under construction and has no dedication dates announced yet, but a temple president and matron have been called. The others are Kinshasa, Port-au-Prince, and Durban. This leaves Fortaleza and I imagine we will hear who the new temple president and matron will be for that one soon. I think the dedication dates for some of these temples will be announced before the end of this year.

James said...

Eric, thanks for passing that news along. I came across it not long after it was reported. With presidents announced for all but the Fortaleza Brazil Temple, the intent seems to be to give these new leaders time to prepare their staffs. When I blogged recently about the president for the Lisbon Portugal Temple, I also shared some thoughts to the effect that, unless there is something of which none of us are aware, the general estimates for the completion of new temples or the renovation of previously-operating ones has not changed. Anyone interested can find that post at the address below:

My point is that the general estimates I offered in that post for the completion of these temples have not, to my knowledge, changed at all. That said, for those two new temples and one temple being renovated that are anticipated to be completed in early-to-mid 2019, we may hear dedication dates announced within the next 2-4 months or less. Either way, 2019 is already shaping up to be a big year for dedications and rededications, and if what has been said about President Nelson's temple plans is any indication, we are almost certain to also hear of several new temples being announced, in addition to several quickly moving to a groundbreaking within the last few months of this year and the entirety of 2019 and beyond. Hope this information is helpful to you alll.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Church has a program going on in multiple nations on the continent of Africa to gather oral histories from the elderly to make sure that the geneologies are preseved. I believe the current preisdent of the Baltimore Mission was one of the coordinators of this program before he became mission president. Many people from Ghana to Congo to Zimbabwe have few ancestors mentioned in formal records, and tieing them together from the records that do exist can be even harder, but there are recollected village geneologies that at times go back many generations.

James Anderson said...

Last year was the real start of that although some work had gone on for years. This year they hope to get as many as 48 million names on FamilySearch. To find these, go to FamilySearch and click on Search at the top then Genealogies from the dropdown and that area is where the audio is housed along with the trees they gleaned from the interviews.

James said...

It is interesting to observe how much the Church's Family History program has evolved and expanded in recent years. I remember in 2004 or 2005 that, as a newly-ordained Elder, one of many assignments I was given was to oversee the Extraction program. At that time, the records from the Philippines which my Quorum had been given to work on were handwritten and hard to decipher. About the time we finished with those records, the Church was transitioning to doing all of that online. Since that time, FamilySearch has come a long way. And given that new FamilySearch news and developments have been reported around once every two weeks (if not more frequently) it appears that the process of finding ancestors is moving more fully into the age and towards greater utlization of the best modern technology. And that has been amazing to see. We are truly blessed to live at this time.

Matthew said...

I'm still holding out hope for one in Grand Junction, Colorado. We live in a very tiny town in Southwest Colorado and our nearest temple is in Monticello. Now, Monticello is a nice little town...but there is nothing there! Our monthly grocery runs already require an hour and a half drive. It would be nice if we could combine the monthly grocery run with a temple trip or vice versa. Now I know, I know, people around the world have it much worse, but a guy can still wish, right?

James said...

Depending on the extent of President Nelson's plans to expand the number of temples, we may see many announced in isolated or "tiny towns". Someone mentioned a while ago in the comments on my blog that Pueblo Colorado may be next Colorado city to get a temple, which seems reasonable. A temple in Grand Junction would similarly make sense, though I would anticipate that Pueblo will get a temple first.

But depending on if anything is said about those plans (which seems more likely than not), the extent to which they go, and time-frame within which they are anticipated to come to fruition, we may see all sorts of unexpected, isolated, remote, or tiny places get a temple. As was observed elsewhere, the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple is currently being built to serve one (or possibly two) stakes. So the Church could, depending on a lot of currently-unknown factors, build those kinds of "smaller temples" which would more easily serve such regions. It will be interesting to see.

James said...

Sorry, I had an additional thought. Much may hinge on whether or not President Nelson's plans involve decreasing the 200-mile radius within which previous Church presidents have wanted Church members to be. If that distance is halved, that opens a whole host of prospects, and if the distance is quartered (to a 50 mile radius), then even more prospects are feasible, likely, and very reasonable. As it is, from what I can see, the city of Grand Junction is close enough (if not exceeding) the 200-mile amount from Denver, Fort Collins, and a potential temple in Pueblo, which means a temple there makes sense according to the mileage metric. I know that a while ago (if memory serves me correctly), Matt had a temple for Grand Junction on one of his many previous lists of prospects. If we are entering another unprecedented era of temple construction, then I am sure we will see announcements for all sorts of unexpected places. I am excited to hear more about all this, which will hopefully be explained in General Conference in a couple of weeks.

Whizzbang said...

I live in the Winnipeg Temple area. The stake is all of Manitoba but numerically very small, around 600 recommend holders. There is the Fort Frances district, which has no more than 100 recommend holders. In January one of the high council spoke at stake priesthood mtg about how he thought Winnipeg getting a temple was a bad idea.

James said...

Interesting. Clearly the Lord and the leading Brethren of the Church feel differently, or that prospect would never have occurred. When the Church builds temples, as has already been eloquently expressed here, some of them may be more about allowing for the anticipated growth of the Church in an area after that temple is built and dedicated. Some have rightly adapted the old adage to say, if the Church builds a temple, the people will come. Maybe it's just me, but I find it somewhat disingenuous when I hear people say that anything coming from Church headquarters is a "stupid idea". Unless I am mistaken, not one of us commenting here ever has been privy to conversations occurring at Church headquarters that drive the crafting and announcement of any such decisions. That is why I am grateful for prophets, seers, and revelators, who discern and act on the Lord's will (which sometimes involves taking action that, to the world may look like a "bad" or "stupid" idea that is "out of touch with reality or reason." I believe in time that, anywhere a temple rises, people will be brought to admit what an asset such edifices are to their communities. It has happened before, and I have no doubt it will happen again. That's just my opinion, for what it may be worth to anyone who read it.

Whizzbang said...

Well, the Stake President, not the current one, told us in a meeting that prior to the Winnipeg Temple announcement in April 2011, that President Monson phoned him and asked him if the people there could support it and he said yes, so my take is the High Councillor was saying that he should have said no. I am not in charge of these decisions but we in Winnipeg are the recipients of decisions made by others that they don't have to live with-good or bad.

James said...

Again, with respect, any decision announced by the Church is not a scenario where the Brethren make them without forethought, prophetic vision, or taking time to discern the will of the Lord. They have both the right and the responsibility to see what the rest of us cannot. So it is not a question of any of us being the "recipients of decisions made by others that they don't have to live with--good or bad".

As those who have not studied Church procedure may not be aware, the Brethren have not been in the habit of making decisions willy-nilly. After deliberating options, and turning to outside experts for clarification on any thing about which they have limited or no experience, they form these decisions, take them to the Lord, and if they don't feel such actions are in harmony with the Lord's will, they either hold off making such decisions, policies, or announcements until more information can enable them to feel good about those actions, or they continue to discuss the options until there is a unanimity of feeling that the Lord has put His stamp of approval on such actions.

That is by no means a new concept. The Lord reminds us in Isaiah that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, and for that reason, He places in the highest councils of Church leadership those whom He knows will put aside personal preferences, thoughts, and feelings to bring themselves to a united decision that reflects the Lord's will. The idea that somehow the Brethren may be sticking any of us with "decisions made by others that they don't have to live with--good or bad" misses the mark because there is so much more going into such considerations than most people realize. The Lord has promised through President Wilford Woodruff, among others, that He will not allow anyone leading the Church to lead the Church astray, or contrary to His mind and will.

If anyone was to attempt putting their personal agenda or preconceived ideas, especially bad ones, ahead of discerning what is right for the Lord's kingdom, that individual would be instantly removed of of their place. The idea that the Brethren are somehow "out-of-touch" and therefore unqualified to make the best decisions for Church members not just on a worldwide scale, but also on an individual basis, is not a new one either.

So to me, implying that I know better about what's best for those within my little corner of the kingdom than the Lord or His servants do would be an unbelievably and unreasonably arrogant assumption on my part. And there have been literally hundreds of accounts, within the public record, about how members have felt stuck with a so-called "bad decision" from the Brethren only for them to wind up acknowledging years later that the Lord and His leaders knew better than they did. So if you still feel the same way about the Winnipeg Temple in around 5-10 years time, you might have a point. Until then, I prefer to have the good faith sufficient to assume that the Brethren are in total harmony with what the Lord, with His higher ways and thoughts, sees as being in the best interest of those whose lives are, as you say, affected by the decisions they make. Whether or not you believe the same thing is up to you, but don't be surprised if, within the next little while, you find out for yourself just how inspired with foresight the announcement of a temple in Winnipeg actually has turned out to be.

coachodeeps said...

I have thought about this for sometime with the renovations of various buildings into temples. There are many places in the fountain west that have tabernacles that largely go unused or used as are oversized meeting houses for wards. Why not convert these into temples? Even some large older stake centers could be converted.

James Anderson said...

They obviously, given that, could have chosen to do that with Star Valley, but they built a new temple instead. The Bloomfield Hills (Formerly Detroit) stake center was called on the program printed at the dedication the Detroit Stake Tabernacle. But they also built a small temple on three acres of land beside it that was part of the property bought on Woodward for that.

Like Provo's was, some of these are also used for community events and not everything done is for or from the church either.

Cory said...

President Hinkley originally floated the Idea of converting older tabernacles and church buildings into temples. The Vernal tabernacle was in disrepair for many years before it was converted. Because of the narrow design of the temple, the endowment rooms had to be constructed as two-stage progressive style, a design that has been used for the majority of temples built thereafter.
The Copenhagen Temple was constructed from the Priorvej Chapel and experienced several delays (and I assume huge cost overrun) because of unforeseen design issues. After such delays, I think president Hinkley was hesitant to convert more buildings into temples.
The size of a tabernacle also usually smaller than what a temple requires. The Vernal temple has a large first story annex. The Copenhagen Temple baptistery is located underneath adjacent plaza, outside the walls the structure. Of course, the Provo City Center Temple had to be excavated to add two basement floors underneath the tabernacle walls.

So in summery, the church doesn't convert more buildings into temples because:
1) It's more expensive and time consuming than building an original temple.
2) Size restrictions put constraint on design and efficiency.
3) Historical considerations would frown upon converting well up-kept tabernacles into temples.

For the tree examples described above, they was in a certain amount of disrepair that warranted conversion into a temple that could strike a balance between historical preservation, and practical use. The Provo Tabernacle was already gutted and located in a high density member area, so it was worth the cost to preserve and convert. I'm not sure if say, the Loa tabernacle had burned down, that it would have been converted into a temple.

Brian said...

4 Correct guesses, nicely done!

Doug the Ex-Fat Guy said...

Was surprised that there were temples announced at all at the Semi-Annual (Fall) General Conference, but pleasantly so. And was just as pleasantly surprised that Yuba City gets a (presumably small) temple, but the one her in Sac town (in Folsom, at Hwy 50 next to the Aerojet property) is quite busy. Would have guessed either Gridley (which has long had members, the Gridley Stake was organized at the same time as the original Sacramento Stake, in 1934) or Chico. A YC temple would likely get the Anderson, Chico, Yuba City, Auburn, Woodland, Lincoln, Rocklin, and Roseville stakes, and maybe Redding as well.

Most of the list, no great surprise: Mendoza, Argentina, would be fairly remote and if anyone remembers the story of Pedro the (cub) Airplane, getting across the Andes and braving Mt. Aconcagua to Santiago, Chile, is kinda scary. Brazil is a situation where if you can cut travel costs for the local members, you do it. Cape Verde, Guam, and Cambodia, all quite small, but likely enough local demand to justify a micro temple, expandable later to accommodate patronage. Auckland, NZ - as this is closer to the Maori members, don't be surprised if this temple has default sessions in the Maori tongue. IDK why not Wellington or Christchurch on the South Island, but their time may be soon. Lagos, Nigeria and Davao, PI, and Puebla, MX, all long overdue. San JUan, PR - better a small temple there than money spent on airline flights to Fort Lauderdale or Orlando, FL. Washington County, UT - if indeed local demand is overwhelming the St. George Temple, or it's in serious need of remodeling, then it makes sense.

Some other locations I'm surprised didn't make the "cut", like Ulan Bataar, Mongolia, Elko, NV, Bakersfield, CA, another Oregon temple in the Willamette Valley (probably Albany or Corvallis),second Puget Sound, WA temple (Tacoma or Bremerton), Mississippi Gulf Coast (Biloxi or Gulfport), NW Arkansas, Colorado Springs, Austin TX, second DFW-area temple, Maputo, Mozambique, and Maracaibo, Venezuela. But considering WHOSE house(s) they'd be, I figure He knows where and when He wants a House constructed and dedicated to Him.

One other thing should be kept in mind: Temples are LONG-TERM investments of the Church. The Lord knows of the "lead time" in getting one built; and perhaps like "Field of Dreams", IF YOU BUILD IT, 'THEY' WILL COME..."

Historia Familiar Valenzuela Escobar said...


Now that more baptized people are working with the family search platform, which has led them to have their own names, I know that the reverence is lost a little, since several want to advance with their names, and the temple workers are not always friendly. , at least here in Chile, the workers are not always an example of spirituality.

The Temples being closer should encourage the desire to work for their own ancestors, in Chile in the 90s when we only used the PAF and the family history centers did not open regularly, they worked little or nothing, instead, now with On the family search platform, there is a slight but important advance.