How many new temples?

I continue to be astounded at the new temples being announced at General Conference.

As a reminder, in April 2021 the Church announced new temples in 20 locations:

  • Oslo, Norway 
  • Brussels, Belgium 
  • Vienna, Austria 
  • Kumasi, Ghana 
  • Beira, Mozambique 
  • Cape Town, South Africa 
  • Singapore, Republic of Singapore 
  • Belo Horizonte, Brazil 
  • Cali, Colombia 
  • Querétaro, Mexico 
  • Torreón, Mexico 
  • Helena, Montana 
  • Casper, Wyoming 
  • Grand Junction, Colorado 
  • Farmington, New Mexico 
  • Burley, Idaho 
  • Eugene, Oregon 
  • Elko, Nevada 
  • Yorba Linda, California 
  • Smithfield, Utah 

On Sunday, President Nelson announced new temples in:

  • Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Tacloban City, Philippines
  • Monrovia, Liberia
  • Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Culiacán, México
  • Vitória, Brazil
  • La Paz, Bolivia
  • Santiago West, Chile
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Cody, Wyoming
  • Rexburg North, Idaho
  • Heber Valley, Utah

Who knew there was a need for a temple in Cody AND in Casper? (I say this as somebody who lives near the Wyoming border and goes there all the time).

It seems only one of two things can be possible: Church membership is expected to grow, or the existing members are paying more in tithing. Or perhaps both are happening at the same time?

What do you make of this massive temple building project announced during the pandemic?

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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.

16 thoughts on “How many new temples?

  1. I think it shows a shift in focus and the importance of the temple. We need to make those covenants and also get our kids into the habit of going to the temple. I think the Wyoming temple, also another in Rexburg — no surprise they need another temple with the university right there. It’s a good thing to know that people won’t have to travel too far to go to the temple. I’m also happy about the Taiwan temple. They will need it with the threat of China hanging over their heads. Although, I knew they would come for the Provo Temple one day. I love that temple more than I can say. And I’m probably one of the few that love it’s mid-century-modern weirdness. They’ll probably over haul it like they did to the Ogden temple — which is nice, but does not stand out in modern temple design.

  2. Didn’t President Hinckley say something about Wyoming being a refuge in the last days?

  3. Something to think about: Wyoming will soon have three temples, and there is only one temple each in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia and only two temples in all of Florida. I count no temples in Arkansas. West Virginia or Mississippi (Please correct me if I have missed something). Meanwhile, new temples are being announced all around the western US states. Is there something going on there?

  4. A temple was announced about a year ago in AR. It has been relocated to Bentonville (HQ of Walmart); it was announced for Rogers (nearby).

    I’m surprised by Vienna and Brussels. Membership in Europe is falling, and attendance even more. Austria shares a mission with Switzerland and Bavaria. Rome and Paris are more for tourists than members, so I suppose Vienna was inevitable, and a nicer city (IMO) than either Rome or Paris.

  5. Or, before these difficult days that are a head of us (as the Prophet made mention of today in conference) we need to use the money the church has while we can- while it’s of any worth and at our disposal. Also, we need to get this done quickly as we prepare for the millennium and the work that will be required. Lastly, I thought of the L10T coming soon and they will need their work done. Much to unfold.

  6. My end-of-the-world theory would be that it will be difficult for people to travel long distances in the last days. Therefore it would be important to have temples nearby in order for the Saints to attend and receive strength and blessings that come from it.

  7. Two thoughts on the importance of the Vienna temple.

    First, geographically it is important. Other than the announced temple in Budapest, there is no temple to the east of Vienna until you get all the way to Kiev, and nothing to the southeast until you get through the Middle East to the Strait of Hormuz. Historically, Vienna has been the cross roads of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. It is very much a destination for much of the world. This is not completely unlike the reason why Switzerland was the first continental European temple. It will remain a place where people can go throughout many political climates and from many destinations even in troubled times.

    Second, yes there has been some contraction in missions in Europe. But I think that there are political reasons as much as other reasons. The Swiss mission basically had to close with the change in governmental policies. In their efforts to mitigate the growth of Islam, Switzerland basically said that if you are not an EU citizen, you cannot proselyte there. We were collateral damage and that forced the missions to consolidate.

    But if you look at how much open space without temples there is to the southeast of Vienna and realize that it is a very large destination for Eastern Europe and the Middle East (much more so than Budapest), it really makes a lot of sense.

  8. The temples in construction or contemplated for Wyoming involve a new “modular” building design. This aspect makes it much cheaper and easier to build. If all goes well with Wyoming, the expectation is to then push it out to other states. Instead of a temple taking three or four years, it brings it down to one or two years with no sacrifice in quality (a problem with some of the Hinckley era temples).

    So if this modular thing works out, we can expect to see a ten-fold increase in temples. So places like Georgia, where I live, can reasonably expect three or four temples in the next decade.

    Also, side note: President Nelson has essentially eliminated angel Moroni statues from these new temples. You can confirm this by looking at released renderings of temples he has personally announced. We’re moving away from anything and everything not Christ.

  9. I also wanted to follow up on Kara’s comment. I think there was some good insight there.

    I think that there is a good chance that in 10-15 years we will look back on this time (much like we look back now on when the Proclamation of the Family was released) and say, wow they sure knew what they were doing.

    I am not sure that there will be restrictions on the church’s money specifically or how they use it. But I can see a time when many governments around the world could at some point start blocking land purchases or building permits for institutions that are not “politically correct” enough to be palatable to them. It may be that the church is getting in while the getting is good, even if there is not a hard need in that location yet. Hope I am wrong.

  10. One thing to keep in mind is that temples don’t seem (like anyone else, I can only speculate) to be announced necessarily where the Church seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, as much as where members are, particularly members going to the temple. For instance, yes, many members have been moving out of California in the last few decades (including some of my relatives who had no previous Utah ties) but there are still plenty of members there. I used to track Church statistics more diligently (back when the Church Almanac came out every year or two) . In the 1990s and 2000s, California was actually playing catch-up in terms of temples per member compared to the Church as a whole, even if you consider the size of the Los Angeles and Oakland temples.

    And I am noticing a pattern of climate and traffic being taken more into consideration. And borders (especially in Europe) are open now that may not be in the future. I’ve been wrong with so many of my predictions lately that I really don’t speculate that much anymore.

  11. I recently attended a trading session with Elder Cook. He said that with the pandemic, there was less pressure to build new meeting houses. He said that we are transitioning from being a church-going people to a temple-going people.

  12. With Vienna, Austria, 30 years ago when the Berlin Wall fell, the Austria, Vienna East mission was the jumping off point for most of the Eastern European missions that were opened. Elder Dennis B. Neunschwander of the 70s (later a traveling patriarch for the church in Eastern Europe) was the mission president for the AVE mission. Perhaps, this is just the next phase in “jumping off points”. If members don’t have to travel as far, they will be more inclined to attend the temple and then take that strength back to their home countries — like Bulgaria, where I served my full time mission, and the church can grow a bit more. I hope one day we can hear an announcement for temples in places like Sofia, or Belgrade, Sarajevo and Bucharest.

  13. Joyce-I wanted to say I too love our unique Provo temple & was a tad bit sad to hear it will be renovated.

  14. Thrilled to hear about the Provo temple renovation. Ogden looks so much better than that old 1960’s design, I hope they do something similar.

    And I see nothing in the new announcements other than a continued emphasis on temple worship.

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