Joseph: Valdivia, Chile. Or in other words, Joseph’s latest random guess in Chile that isn’t Valparaiso. And sure, I had success last round with a second temple in Santiago, but there may still be other locations in Chile that I think make a stronger case for a new temple (pssst, check our honorable mentions). Nonetheless! Valdivia is an extremely good guess and I shall tell you why.
Nestled entirely within the Concepcion temple district, Valdivia presents a good middle point for taking in the southern parts of that district starting with Tamuco, and sweeping up all points south to the very southern ends of the earth, including a couple of western Argentinian stakes along the way Others have ventured Osorno to be the better option for this region, but I disagree. I think those who say Osorno may not be including Tamuco with its two stakes, because if the temple were in Osorno, that would be too far from Concepcion to change districts over. What I’m looking at is a more equitable divide of the 23 stakes and 9 districts that are currently assigned to Concepcion temple, and as it stands, I think the better location is Valdivia. A temple there would be a full hour closer to the stakes in Temuco anyway than they currently are to Concepcion.
And Concepcion’s temple is not that large either for a district of that many stakes. Just 23,000 square feet puts it barely in the medium-sized category. As striking as it is, I’d venture to guess that Concepcion’s temple was meant to be a temple for Concepcion and its immediate environs. I think another edifice of similar size and room number (2 instruction rooms, 2 sealing rooms) would be able to be sustained by the cities that orbit Valdivia, and sure a couple far flung outposts. As for Valdivia itself, while not a large city, it has two stakes in its immediate vicinity. I know that isn’t a lot, but as the center point of that southern cluster reaching down from Tamuco, it’s fairly distanced to all the other medium-sized cities that would feed into it. So it solves the question of distance needed to travel better than any of the other viable locations.
Geoff: You are obsessed with southern Chile. Obsessed, like at a Mariah level!
I get where you are going with this, but I still think a temple farther south would be in Osorno or maybe even Puerto Montt, the latter a much larger city. Osorno could get the win only because it also has two stakes and the longstanding Osorno mission is headquartered there. It’s not the Valdivia mission, sir.
It’ll be interesting to watch Chile in the next few years. It is heavily LDS, but has needed work to boost activity rates, hence why its second temple only showed up a few years ago. Since then, we’ve started work on a temple in what is rightfully Bolivian Antofagasta and announced the second temple in Santiago. Maybe someday there will be a temple in La Serena, as well as others in your beloved Valparaiso and the little tease you mentioned in the honorable mentions.
Cory: Yeah, there are a number of cities in Chile with two stakes (Valdiva, Osorno, Temuco, Los Angeles, Chillán, Rancagua, La Serena, Arica). Any of them could support this new generation of mini-temples; it’s going to be increasingly difficult to pinpoint future temples in Chile. Six months ago I argued for Punta Arenas and its one stake, so can’t argue that Valdiva is too small. I like the idea that Valdiva is more central than Osorno. Valdiva also has 10 wards in its city proper versus Osorno’s 8 wards. But Geoff points out that the mission is headquartered in Osorno, likely due to its central location. Thinking in the long run, a temple in Osorno AND a temple in Temuco or Los Angeles may provide greater accessibility to more people.