SALT LAKE CITY — On the eve of a global general conference, the First Presidency announced historic groundbreakings for the first temples in India and Zimbabwe for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The groundbreakings for the Bengaluru India Temple and Harare Zimbabwe Temple will take place in December, the First Presidency announced Friday, according to a news release.
The church leaders also announced groundbreakings in November for three other new temples — the Davao Philippines Temple, the Antofagasta Chile Temple and the Mendoza Argentina Temple.
The announcement means the church will break ground on a dozen more new temples by the end of 2020. (See list below)
It also signals an energetic era of temple construction. By year’s end, the church, which has 168 temples, will have 34 new temples under construction.
Construction of one of those temples actually is complete, but the dedication of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple, which had been set for May 17, has been postponed due to the pandemic.
The First Presidency also has postponed the dedication of the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, which was scheduled in November, and has delayed the rededication of the Washington D.C. Temple, which had been set for December.
The last temple dedicated was the Durban South Africa Temple on Feb. 16.
The Bengaluru Temple, announced in April 2018, will be the first in India, home to nearly 15,000 Latter-day Saints who now travel overseas to attend a temple.
The Harare Temple will be Zimbabwe’s first. Announced in April 2016, it will serve 34,000 church members.
The Davao temple was announced in October 2018 and will be the sixth temple in the Philippines, which has 800,000 Latter-day Saints.
The Antofagasta temple will be the third in Chile. More than 600,000 Latter-day Saints live in the country.
The Mendoza temple will become the fourth temple in Argentina, where 470,000 church members live.
Attendance at the groundbreaking ceremonies for each temple will be by invitation only due to local government guidelines during the pandemic.
So far this year, church leaders have broken ground on eight temples: the Alabang Philippines Temple, Richmond Virginia Temple, Layton Utah Temple, Auckland New Zealand Temple, Feather River California Temple, San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple, Orem Utah Temple and Brasília Brazil Temple.
Here is a list of the 12 temple groundbreakings remaining this year:
• Moses Lake Washington Temple.
• Taylorsville Utah Temple.
• Davao Philippines Temple.
• Salta Argentina Temple has been announced for November 2020 by Benjamín De Hoyos.
• Red Cliffs Utah Temple in St. George.
• Antofagasta Chile Temple.
• Bentonville Arkansas Temple.
• McAllen Texas Temple.
• Cobán Guatemala Temple.
• Harare Zimbabwe Temple.
• Bengaluru India Temple.
• Okinawa Japan Temple.
New temples announced in 2020
At the church’s April general conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced plans for eight temples, in Bahía Blanca, Argentina; Tallahassee, Florida; Lubumbashi; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Benin City, Nigeria; Syracuse, Utah; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
President Nelson has announced new temples during each of the five general conferences over which he has presided since becoming the church’s president and prophet in January 2018.