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When President Russell M. Nelson announced 13 temples on Sunday, it marked a new era in the history of temple construction for Latter-day Saint Church of Jesus Christ.
After less than four years in office, President Nelson has now announced that he will build 83 new temples. This is noteworthy for several reasons:
- President Gordon B. Hinckley announced 78 temples during his tenure, which lasted nearly 13 years. As of Sunday, this was the majority of temples announced during a church president’s tenure.
- The 83 temples announced by President Nelson are more than half of the 159 temples the Church operated when he became President of the Church in January 2018.
- The church now has a fabulous 97 temples under construction (44) or announced (53).
The goal of all of these temple buildings, President Nelson said, is to bring the ordinances, covenants, and blessings of the temple closer to each of the 16.5 million members of the Church.
One way to measure this is by the number of temples per ward member. The lowest membership per temple was reached in 1893 when the Salt Lake Temple opened. At the time, the Church had four temples and 53,500 members per temple, said Brandon Plewe, editor-in-chief of Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History, published in 2012.
“That’s amazing, four temples covered us well back then,” he said. The Church continued to grow, but did not complete another temple until 1919 in Laie, Hawaii.
Today the Church has 98,601 members per temple, but this building boom could bring that number as low as it was before 1900, Plewe said.
Based on church membership growth rates, Plewe estimated that if all of the announced temples were completed in three and a half years and the total church number rose to 265, there would be about 66,000 members per temple.
“The last time the Church had 66,000 members per temple was in 1898,” he said.
Where are most of the temples announced by President Nelson being built?
Most of the temples announced by President Nelson will be built outside of the United States.
He announced 54 temples outside the United States and its territories, including four each for Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines, three in Argentina, and two each in Bolivia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria.
He announced 10 new temples in Utah and 19 in other states and the US Territory of Puerto Rico.
How many temples did each Latter-day Saint prophet announce?
- President Russell M. Nelson – 83.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley – 78.
- President Thomas S. Monson
- President Spencer W. Kimball.
- President Ezra Taft Benson – Sept.
- President David O. McKay – Jan.
- President Joseph Smith – 5 (Two were built as a result of persecution).
- President Brigham Young – Aug.
- President Howard W. Hunter – Nov.
- President Heber J. Grant – Sept.
- President Joseph F. Smith – Sept.
Presidents John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, George Albert Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, and Harold B. Lee did not announce any new temples during their tenures.
The full list of all 83 temples announced by President Nelson can be found at the end of this newsletter.
My last stories
Strengthening the Spiritual Foundations Required to Withstand the Storms to Come, Church Leaders Say (Oct. 3 – Full Recap of Sunday Sessions)
The Temple and Spiritual Foundations Need Strengthening, Says President Nelson (October 3 – Sunday Morning Summary)
A Day of Pure Teaching to Build the Faith That Heals the World (October 2 – Full Summary of Saturday Sessions)
Living the gospel brings security and comfort in times of grief, Saturday afternoon leaders say (October 2 – Saturday afternoon session summary)
Familiar Venue, Voices Return for October General Conference (October 2 – Saturday Morning Session Summary)
This is what Latter-day Saint missionary work looks like during a pandemic (September 29)
What I read
The Church completed a new redevelopment project around the Mesa Arizona Temple, similar to City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City.
The director of the National Marriage Project tweeted Monday, two days after President Dallin H. Oaks’ lecture on church attendance, that a study found that people who attend church have a longer life expectancy.
Church Education Commissioner Elder Clark G. Gilbert recently spoke about how BYU sports help connect people with the faith.
Here is a story about the flagship cattle farm of AgReserves, a for-profit investment company for the Church.
A BYU Idaho student died after collapsing near the finish line of a Utah marathon.
A Latter-day Saint scholar published a new book on promoting peace.
It was strange taking the Utah FrontRunner train from my house in Provo to Salt Lake City on Saturday to attend general conference at the Conference Center because of the lack of normal crowds.
This is what the FrontRunner platforms looked like two years ago and on Saturday:
All 83 temples announced by President Russell M. Nelson
April 2018 general conference – 7th
- Salta Argentina Temple – currently under construction.
- Bengaluru India Temple – currently under construction.
- Managua Nicaragua.
- Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.
- Layton Utah Temple – currently under construction.
- Richmond Virginia Temple – currently under construction.
- A major city to be determined in Russia.
October 2018 general conference – 12
- Mendoza Argentina Temple – currently under construction
- Salvador Brazil Temple – currently under construction.
- Yuba City, California – called Feather River California Temple, currently under construction.
- Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple – currently under construction.
- Praia Cape Verde Temple – currently under construction.
- Yigo Guam Temple – currently under construction.
- Puebla Mexico Temple – currently under construction.
- Auckland New Zealand Temple – currently under construction.
- Lagos, Nigeria.
- Davao Philippines Temple – currently under construction.
- San Juan Puerto Rico Temple – currently under construction.
- Red Cliffs Utah Temple in St. George – currently under construction.
April 2019 general conference – 8th
- Pago Pago Temple in American Samoa – Breakthrough Set for October 30th.
- Okinawa City Japan Temple – currently under construction.
- Neiafu Tonga Temple – currently under construction.
- Tooele Valley, Utah – called Deseret Peak Utah Temple, currently under construction.
- Moses Lake Washington Temple – currently under construction.
- San Pedro Sula Temple Honduras – currently under construction.
- Antofagasta Chile Temple – currently under construction.
- Budapest, Hungary.
October 2019 general conference – 8th
- Freetown, Sierra Leone.
- Orem Utah Temple – currently under construction.
- Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Temple – Website announced and public image published.
- Bentonville Arkansas Temple – currently under construction.
- Bacolod, Philippines – Groundbreaking scheduled for December.
- McAllen Texas Temple – currently under construction.
- Cobán Guatemala Temple – currently under construction.
- Taylorsville Utah Temple – currently under construction.
April 2020 general conference – 8th
- Bahía Blanca, Argentina.
- Tallahassee Florida Temple – currently under construction.
- Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple – currently under construction.
- Benin City, Nigeria.
- Syracuse Utah Temple – currently under construction.
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
October 2020 general conference – 6
- Tarawa Kiribati Temple – Website announced and public image published.
- Port Vila Vanuatu Temple – Website announced and public image published.
- Lindon Utah Temple – Location announced and external presentation published.
- Temple in Guatemala City in Greater Guatemala – Website announced and public image published.
- Sao Paulo East, Brazil.
- Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
General Conference April 2021 – 20th
- 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 – Groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday.
- Grand Junction, Colorado.
- Farmington, New Mexico.
- Burley, Idaho.
- Eugen, Oregon.
- Elko, Nevada.
- Yorba Linda, California.
- Smithfield, Utah.
May 1, 2021 – 1
October 2021 general conference – 13
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
- Tacloban City, Philippines.
- Monrovia, Liberia.
- Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Antananarivo, Madagascar.
- Culiacan, Mexico.
- Vitoria, Brazil.
- La Paz, Bolivia.
- Santiago West, Chile.
- Fort Worth, Texas.
- Cody, Wyoming.
- Rexburg North, Idaho.
- Heber Valley, Utah.