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LDS Church announces 5th, 6th temple dedications for 2015

LDS Church announces 5th, 6th temple dedications for 2015

(LDS.org)



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SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church now has six scheduled temple openings in 2015, after a new announcement Friday. In October, church President Thomas S. Monson said he anticipated the faith would dedicate or rededicate at least five temples in 2015.

On Friday, the church announced the dates for the rededication of the Mexico City Mexico Temple in September and dedication of the Tijuana Mexico Temple in December.

Five of the openings now scheduled this year are new temples, but all six represent progress on a backlog of construction work and planning. That backlog led President Monson to say last April that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would concentrate efforts on completing previously announced temples for a time before announcing any more new ones.

At the time, the church had 142 completed temples and 28 previously announced temples that hadn't been started or finished. Two were completed and opened during the remainder of 2014 — Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Phoenix.

With the five new temples scheduled to open this year, the number on the backlog will drop to 21.

"The church seems to be on track," said Brandon Plewe, who follows temple building as part of his statistical work as editor in chief of "Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History." "With the temples where work is actually under way, things are happening."

The temples scheduled to open this year, with relevant dates (open houses held every day of the week except Sundays), are:

Córdoba, Argentina — Open house, April 17-May 2. Cultural celebration, May 16. Dedication, May 17.

Payson, Utah — Open house, April 24-May 23. Cultural celebration, June 6. Dedication, June 7.

Trujillo Peru — Open house, May 8-30. Cultural celebration, June 20. Dedication, June 21.

Indianapolis Indiana — Open house, July 17-Aug. 8. Cultural celebration, Aug. 22. Dedication, Aug. 23.

Mexico City Mexico — Open house, Aug. 14-Sept. 5. Celebration, Sept. 12. Rededication, Sept. 13.

Tijuana Mexico — Open house, Nov. 13-28. Cultural celebration, Dec. 12. Dedication, Dec. 13.

The opening of the five new temples in 2015 would give the church 149 completed temples with nine more under construction — Provo City Center; Rome; Philadelphia; Hartford, Connecticut; Sapporo, Japan; Paris; Fort Collins, Colorado; Meridian, Idaho; and, beginning with the groundbreaking scheduled on April 25, Star Valley, Wyoming.


It's positive to see these temples in all stages of construction, moving along at a good pace. Having 158 temples by the end of 2017 is probably reasonable.

–Brandon Plewe, editor-in-chief, "Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History."


Renderings and construction images of those temples, except for Star Valley, were included in an infographic released by the church in September.

Plewe said he could see the church completing five of these in 2016 — Provo City Center, Rome, Philadelphia, Hartford and Fort Collins — and another four in 2017 — Paris, Sapporo, Meridian and Star Valley.

"It's positive to see these temples in all stages of construction, moving along at a good pace," Plewe said. "Having 158 temples by the end of 2017 is probably reasonable."

That would reduce the number of announced temples in the backlog to 12. It's unclear when the final dozen will move into the construction pipeline.

Construction has not begun in earnest in Fortaleza, Brazil, but ground has been broken.

Ground has not been broken on the other 11 — Concepción, Chile; Lisbon, Portugal; Urdaneta, Philippines; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Barranquilla, Colombia; Durban, South Africa; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Tucson, Arizona; Arequipa, Peru; Cedar City, Utah; and Rio de Janeiro.

President Monson has not announced a new temple since April 2013, when he revealed plans for Cedar City and Rio.

He has been clear that new temples will be announced in the future, calling Latter-day Saints a temple-building and temple-attending people.

He has been a temple-building leader. When he joined the Quorum of the Twelve in 1963, the church had 12 temples in operation. It has opened 132 new temples since then, including 20 since he became church president in 2008.

Today the church has 144 completed temples, including four under renovation — Montreal which possibly could be rededicated this year; Idaho Falls; Fiji; and Freiberg, Germany.

LDS temples are closed on Sundays. They are used for sacred ordinances separate from Sunday worship services, such as marriage.

In the late 1970s, the average Mormon lived 450 miles from a temple. That dropped to 220 miles as LDS temple-building accelerated through the mid-1990s. Today, the average distance is about 90 miles, Plewe said.

"That data can be misleading," he added, referring to one of the new temples that will open this year. "Tijuana is not far from San Diego, but for Mexican Latter-day Saints, having a temple in Tijuana will make a big difference in terms of accessibility because of border issues." Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

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Tad Walch

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