The temple gets closer and closer

For those of us outside Utah and Idaho, getting to the temple can often be an adventure. Right after I joined the Church, I moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the closest temple was a six-hour bus ride away. When I got my endowments at the Sao Paulo temple, I heard the story of Brazilians from Manaus, Brazil. There are no roads to Manaus. So, the members there would take a boat for three or four days, then catch a bus for a week to get to the Sao Paulo temple. They would stay for several days and then head back. That, my friends, is sacrifice: a 3-4 week temple trip. (There is now a temple in Manaus).

When I moved to Miami the closest temple was 4-5 hours away in Orlando. Our stake included Key West, which is a 6 or 7 hour drive from Orlando. The temple bus would leave Key West at 4 a.m. to get to the temple by 10:30 a.m. It would leave again at 3 p.m., and the hearty Key West residents would get home by 10 p.m. or so. That is one long day on a bus. (Yes, they watched a lot of Church movies on that bus).

But of course Florida members who had been around longer remembered that the closest temple before Orlando was built was in Atlanta, and that is a 12-hour drive from Miami. And before that, the closest temple was Washington, DC.

Now, the Church is building a temple in Fort Lauderdale, which is just 45 minutes from Miami.

We now live north of Denver. The temple is only an hour and 15 minutes away. Somehow that still seems pretty far. We try to get there once a month but with kids and babysitting and business travel it’s more like 9 or 10 times a year, and the trip seems like an all-day trek.

But — hallelujah — the Church will soon break ground on the Fort Collins temple, which is only a half-hour from our house. So, the temple gets closer and closer.

Zion does exist in our fallen world, and it is closer every day.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

8 thoughts on “The temple gets closer and closer

  1. I remember, as a child, in Mesa, AZ the temple excursions that would come up from Mexico to attend the temple. There was a dormitory in the Inter-stake center down the street from the temple. We’d sometimes go and help the sisters cook for these temple patrons. Then, as a missionary in Bulgaria, I was there when the first bus load of saints went to the Frieburg Germany temple. They drove strait for 2 days, thru several countries. They stayed and did temple work for 3 days, and would go from open to close, and then did a 2 day drive back. It was so amazing to witness the change in their lives after they came back. Now the Bulgarians go, by plane, to the Ukraine temple. It’s exciting.

  2. I remember members in Bolivia during my mission (78-80) doing the 3-4 week trip to the temple in Sao Paolo. They would save up everything they could, and sell everything that wasn’t nailed down, just so they could afford such a trip. Now there is a temple in the center of Bolivia.

    For us, Louisville Kentucky temple is almost 2-1/2 hours away. But the walls are now going up on the Indianapolis temple, which is 1/2 hour from my home. What a blessing it is!

  3. rameumpton–

    We also attended the Louisville Temple at one point. Just 90 minutes away, assuming traffic was good (it usually wasn’t, as we couldn’t go Saturdays for work reasons and so the only time we could go was during rush hour). I had a cousin in Indiana who had your same commute–definitely no fun–and I’m excited for you.

    With the new Indianapolis temple, my old big city now has three temples within about 100 minutes–and all are still at least 90 minutes away. Ouch. Definitely easier to get to the temple now that we’ve moved back West.

    At one point I figured out which large U.S. metropolitan areas were over an hour from the nearest temple. Miami was the furthest–3.5 hours to Orlando. Glad to see that’s changing.

  4. I have family members who joined the church in the early 1960’s in Miami, FL. They traveled by Greyhound bus (about a week one way) with 3 small children to Salt Lake City to be sealed in 1965. They were overjoyed when the Washington DC temple was built because that was only a 2-3 day drive.

  5. Working in Michigan at a small company, among the employees were myself, native of Las Vegas, and by strange coincidence a man of similar age from Kingman, Arizona. Once with a dozen of us at lunch, I had occasion to say “Long drives through the desert as a child leave one with a certain frame of mind.” The man from Kingman nodded. Hours, or even days, spent travellng feel oppresive to many, and to others they just don’t. Joseph Conrad wrote in his tribute to the Torrens, a sailing passenger vessel he served on between London and Australia as the world was turning to steam. “The world contains, or contained then, some people who could put up with a sense of peace for three months.” I suspect that many people in Manaus were familiar with that sense of peace and viewed a four-day boat trip and a week on a bus as a fairly normal thing, what a person does if he wants to go somewhere, and had lives ordered in a way that the world could get by without them for a month. Accounts of 19th Century temple trips from Arizona to St. George have that quality.

  6. Very patiently awaiting the day when the Winnipeg, Canada Temple will be approved. it’s been 2 years since it was announced and nothing yet as far as we know. Rumours abound as to what is taking so long. But in the meantime it’s a 6 hour drive to Regina Sask. to the Temple there. Appreciate what you have!

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