The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans to build a new temple in Eugene, one of 20 new Mormon temple locations designated for cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, Mexico and America.
Eugene’s Temple will be the third in Oregon, joining the existing ones in Portland and Medford. There are also temples in Seattle and Richland, Washington.
For the church, widely known as the Mormon Church, temples are the holiest places of worship, usually open to members only and reserved for special ceremonies such as weddings. Meeting houses, also called chapels, are used for regular Sunday services and community activities.
The news came from Church President Russell M. Nelson at general conference of the Church last Sunday.
“We want to bring our members closer to the house of the Lord so that they may have the sacred privilege to visit the temple as often as their circumstances allow,” Nelson said at the conference in Salt Lake City.
After reading the list of new places, Nelson said that “the ordinances of the temple fill our lives with power and strength that are not available in any other way.”
Few details available
Doug Andersen, the Church’s national media director, declined to speak about why Eugene was chosen or where it would be built. He said there was “very little we can offer” beyond the Church press release.
The press release did not contain any information about the location or time of construction.
Several members of the Church in Eugene and Springfield also refused to comment on the announcement.
According to Lindsay Selser, communications and engagement manager of the department, Eugene’s planning and development department has not yet received any building permits or further information from the church.
Church History in Oregon
There are nearly 154,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Oregon, as well as approximately 300 wards, according to the news release.
The first church settlements in Oregon began with the arrival of Latter-day Saint businessmen in 1887, according to the Church’s website. They then built a sawmill on the North Powder River before convincing hundreds of families to move to Oregon.
Latter-day Saint migration continued with the purchase of land for sugar beet farms, and by 1901 enough members had moved to establish a diocese in Oregon.
More temples planned
This was the second highest number of new temples announced in Church history at one time, according to the press release.
The other US cities mentioned are:
- Helena, Montana
- Casper, Wyoming
- Grand Junction, Colorado
- Farmington, New Mexico
- Burley, Idaho
- Elko, Nevada
- Yorba Linda, California
- Smithfield, Utah
The international cities mentioned include:
- 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
Louis Krauss reports breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at [email protected] or 541-521-2498 and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.