A temple for Gilbert, Ariz.

Saturday afternoon, M*’s webmaster Scott Barber emailed me a link to a Mormon Times article announcing a temple for Gilbert, Arizona.

My first reaction to the news was, “Wow!!”

Even today, I am still stunned and excited that another temple is to be built in Arizona. What excites me even more is that I will likely be in the new temple district. While an official site has not been announced, I spoke with someone who mentioned a location where the new temple is likely to be built: vacant land near Pecos and Greenfield.

Here is the link to the Mormon Times article announcing the new temple in Gilbert, Arizona.

“It is my personal priority to make sure members of the Church have access to the blessings of the temple,” said President Monson. “It is here where members learn of their divine origin and destiny; where they are strengthened spiritually as individuals and as families. Temples are sanctuaries from the storms of life.”

24 thoughts on “A temple for Gilbert, Ariz.

  1. Today in elders quorum, a member of my bishopric said that the temple will be at Pecos & Greenfield.

    Pecos & Greenfield also seems to be the consensus on the Internet.

  2. Also, a member of my elder’s quorum presidency said that it will likely be a smaller temple.

    Hopefully it will be “smaller” as in Rexburg temple small or Draper temple small.

  3. That’s awfully close to the Mesa Temple. Does Utah even have two temples that close to each other?

  4. My Bishop mentioned the Pecos/Lindsay location, but I have also heard the Pecos/Greenfield location, too. I suppose we will find out the actual location soon enough.

    Eric:. The Salt Lake valley has two temples that are fairly close together- Jordan River and Salt Lake Temple. I am not sure of the distance, but probably not as close as the Mesa Temple will be to the Gilbert Temple.

  5. Eric Russell,

    The distance between the Bountiful & SLC temples is shorter.

    The distance between the Draper and South Jordan temples will probably also be shorter.

  6. The distance from the Mesa Temple to the Pecos/Greenfield site is just over 13 miles.

    Even though the distance is relatively small, those who go to the temple frequently will note the scarcity of parking spots at the temple and adjoining ward building. Moreover, the evening and weekend sessions are packed with faithful saints.

    A new temple for the Phoenix area is a needful thing and I wouldn’t be surprised if a temple was announced in the near future for the west side of Phoenix, or a temple for Tucson.

  7. Also short distances between temples in UT:
    Provo to American Fork
    Draper to DayBreak
    DayBreak to Jordan
    Jordan to SLC

    It often takes me 45 min from my home two miles south of Pecos and Greenfield to the Mesa Temple. Then I circle the temple looking for parking, then I get to the session 30 minutes early and still get bumped from the session. There are lines at the cash register, the locker, the couches and everywhere else.

    I’m pleased as punch (and not a bit surprised) with this temple location! And very happy for the Gila Valley, as well.

  8. From the comments about parking, it sounds like capacity and not distance is the reason a new temple is needed. This is a great problem to have.

    When I lived a couple miles from the Los Angeles temple, I was impressed by how increasing traffic congestion makes places further apart and less accessible then they may have been previously. A couple examples: When our UCLA-Cal Tech joint project met, we made a point of finishing up by 3PM so that those who travelled from Pasadena or West LA wouldn’t need a couple hours to get back. My bishop was a self-employed manufacturer of dental prothestics. Around 4AM, he delivered his products to dental offices all over LA because at that pre-dawn hour he could go wherever he wanted quickly. I imagine that for Saints in Pasadena, attending the LA Temple in the evening after work is harder now than it was thirty years ago.

    So, has development made Gilbert farther from Mesa than it used to be?

    As one who lives in the Washington, D.C. Temple district, I pity the Saints who will remain in the Mesa Temple district; for some time they will bear chastisement for the reduced productivity of their temple. But it’s not all bad. Like the LA Temple after temples in Fresno, Redlands, and Newport Beach were built, perhaps the Mesa Temple may be allowed a return to some of its older, less efficient charm. In the LA Temple, a progression through the rooms was returned to the endowment.

  9. I’m curious if the Mesa temple is busy on days besides Friday night and Saturday.

    There are a variety of factors that go into deciding where and when to build another temple. One of the factors is proximity and the amount of activity in other existing temples — another is full or partial tithe payers in the area.

    People in South Florida have a horrible hike to the temple. From Key West, which is in my stake, it’s at best a seven-hour drive to the Orlando temple. From where I live in Miami it’s four hectic hours in dreadful traffic. There are lots of people who are hoping that a temple will be announced in South Florida, but unfortunately I don’t think the trends in tithe paying are in our favor. In addition, the temple is only busy on Friday nights and Saturdays.

  10. Brian, I’m wondering if you could clear something up: the KSL story in “worth reading” says two new temples announced, one in the Gila Valley and the other in Gilbert. Does that sound right, or is it the same temple? Sorry, my Arizona geography is a bit off. :0

  11. Geoff, the temple is fairly busy during the day, too. I have attended a few daytime sessions and although not packed, the temple is busy.

    I recently attended a 5:30 a.m. session and was pleasantly surprised to see that the endowment room was nearly full.

    As I drove in to work this morning and passed close to the rumored location of the Gilbert Temple, I couldn’t help getting excited for the events that will unfold with a new temple.

  12. You know, there are two new temples for Arizona, and I really should be excited for both new locations, but I’m most excited for the Gilbert Temple.

    The temple for Gila Valley will serve Thatcher and Safford, the area where President Kimball was born and raised.

  13. John,

    It’s interesting that you would bring up the charm of the older temples. Mesa is truly a wonderful temple in terms of its architecture and history.

    When the temple was undergoing the latest rennovation in the mid 90s, I was privileged to work in the temple and witness the work. I got to see the old black and white floor tiles now covered by carpet and watched in wonder as the old murals were hung in the endowment rooms.

    The Arizona temple could easily be returned to the room-to-room progression. For those who have been to the temple in Mesa, the rooms were originally laid out for such a presentation of the endowment.

  14. John, I am going to pass on the warning about the burden of decreased productivity of the temple to my parents, who are temple workers at the Mesa Temple.

    As far as the question about development making Gilbert farther away, yes, traffic lights and traffic are part of it but also the fact that a goodly portion of the development is at the south end of Gilbert. The South Gilbert area did not really exist until 4-5 years ago and now is practically its own city. Downtown Gilbert is still where it always was, about 10 miles north. The rumors about location of the Gilbert temple put it in the South Gilbert area, nearer to Queen Creek and Johnson Ranch.

    The Gila Valley (Thatcher/Safford) is about three hours away. I would compare it to Manti or something in Utah. It was settled by LDS possibly before Mesa and has a college and a dense LDS population. When talking to LDS people in the East Phoenix Valley, many people either were raised there or have a connection to the area.

    I agree with other commenters: the Mesa Temple has charm to spare. It has always been a lovely temple.

  15. Geoff, if your stake members in Key West wanted to be close to anything, I’m guessing they probably wouldn’t live in Key West.

    President Monson’s explanation for the new temples (“to make sure members of the Church have access to the blessings of the temple”) brings to mind a phenomenon that I’ve mentioned before. We’ve experienced a huge shift in our concept of how much access it takes to fully experience the blessings of the temple.

  16. Utah does indeed have two temples that close. The Jordan River temple and the New Oquirra Mountain Temple also being built in South Jordan. The only city in the world with two Temples. Nice trivia to know.

  17. John Mansfield,

    Gilbert borders Mesa so it’s still just as close, but as someone mentioned, a lot of new development has occurred in south Gilbert, far away from Mesa. Also, a lot of Mormons have moved to a town called Queen Creek, which is southeast of Gilbert.

    Brian Duffin,

    Did you notice that the New Cool Thang blog links to an East Valley Tribune article confirming that the location will be at Pecos & Greenfield? (Never doubt California Condor!)

  18. Jerry, in your blog post you were perfectly clear. I read it earlier in the week. Sorry that mixup happened. People are pretty hasty sometimes.

  19. Jerry Ferguson,

    I suggest you take down the picture of the Panama City temple. You’re causing some confusion.

  20. I thought the text I added to the picture explaining that the Gilbert Temple would look like the Panama City Temple would display, but apparently it did not.

    I have removed the picture from the blog post.

    I have been told the Gilbert Temple will be of the same architectural style as the Panama City Temple. As soon as I have a picture of the artists rendering of the Gilbert Temple, I will add it to the post.

    Thanks for the heads-up!

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