The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the locations and exterior renderings for two new small temples in the Pacific Area on Wednesday.
The Port Vila Vanuatu and Tarawa Kiribati Temples were both announced by President Russell M. Nelson at the end of the 190th Semiannual General Conference on Oct. 4, 2020.
Both temples will be the first in their respective countries and follow a pattern for the church building smaller temples in remote locations.
The church has not yet set groundbreaking dates for the two temples and detailed design plans are still in the development stage. Project leaders will soon begin working with city officials on preliminary plans for the temples and begin filing public documents, according to a church statement.
What will the temples look like?
The renderings show similar architectural designs for both temples. Each temple will include a single-story of approximately 10,000 square feet with an end-spire.
For the Port Vila Vanuatu Temple, an ancillary building will also be constructed and include an arrival center, patron housing and a distribution center.
Additional ancillary facilities for the Tarawa Kiribati Temple will be located 450 meters west of the temple site. Plans for a meetinghouse and patron housing facility are also in development.
The respective size of each temples is comparable to plans for the 10,000-square-foot Helena Montana Temple.
There are three temples with less than 10,000 square feet. The Taipei Taiwan Temple is 9,945 square feet, the Lima Peru Temple has 9,600 square feet and the Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple is the smallest at 6,800 square feet.
Where the temples be located?
The Port Vila Vanuatu Temple will be built on a 1.62-acre site located at Blacksands Crossroads, on the site of the Blacksands meetinghouse in Port Vila.
The Tarawa Kiribati Temple will be constructed on a 0.80-acre site located at Ambo, South Tarawa, Kiribati.
Who will use these temples?
There are nearly 21,000 Latter-day Saints in Kiribati who worship in more than 35 congregations. The late Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles created the country’s first stake in 1996.
There are more than 10,000 Latter-day Saints in Vanuatu who worship in about 35 congregations. The late President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Vanuatu and spoke to more than 2,200 members in June 2003.
Saints in both Vanuatu and Kiribati are currently in the Suva Fiji Temple district. The trip to The Suva Fiji Temple is over 1,000 miles away.