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Pop quiz about this new era of Latter-day Saint temple expansion. Just two quick questions. One relatively easy. One more difficult.


First, the easier one, if you readily recall numbers and read stories about the latest temple plans announced earlier this month at the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

How many temples has President Russell M. Nelson announced in his tenure as the prophet-president?

Answer: 118. (One way to remember this number: The church had 182 temples in operation or announced when President Nelson’s administration began. The 118 he has announced bring the total to a round 300.)

Second, the more difficult question:

How many of the temples President Nelson has announced are already built, dedicated and open for temple work?

The answer — two — illustrates how much work is underway and ahead.

Before we get to the largest takeaway about recent temple construction, here’s some perspective about the larger process.

President Nelson announced plans for those 118 new temples in 412 years. Few temples go from announcement through construction to dedication and opening in that short a span.

Since 2008, church leaders have announced 163 temples. Nine of those have gone from announcement to dedication inside a 412 -year time frame:

  • Gila Valley Arizona Temple: 2 years, 1 month.
  • Calgary Albert Temple: 4 years.
  • Kansas City Missouri Temple: 3 years, 7 months.
  • Brigham City Utah Temple: 2 years, 11 months.
  • Provo City Center Temple: 4 years, 5 months.
  • Cedar City Utah Temple: 4 years, 6 months.
  • Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: 4 years, 5 months.
  • Praia Cape Verde Temple: 3 years, 8 months.
  • Yigo Guam Temple: 3 years, 7 months.

Another, the San Juan Puerto Rico Temple, will be dedicated in January, going from announcement to completion in four years, three months.

But here’s what really stands out about temple construction during President Nelson’s administration. Temples are going from announcement to groundbreaking faster than before.

Since President Nelson began announcing temples in April 2018, the average time from announcement to groundbreaking is 1.62 years.

That speed has been evident both in North America — ground was broken for the Grand Junction Colorado Temple just two months after it was announced — and elsewhere. The announcement-to-groundbreaking time was seven months in both Cape Verde and Guam.

The speed of the process so far is even more noteworthy because much of it took place during a pandemic marked by supply chain issues.

My recent stories

Locations announced for 6 new Latter-day Saint temples in North and South America (Nov. 1)

About the church

The church announced specific locations for six new temples and broke ground for the Willamette Valley Oregon Temple. See details here.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf completed a ministry tour through southeast Asia. See where he went and what he said.

For the second time in three months, Elder David A. Bednar taught Latter-day Saint college and Institute students that “it is unreasonable to claim that faith in Jesus Christ is unreasonable.” He delivered what he said was part one of a series he titled “That Ye May Believe” at the University of Utah. Last week he delivered part two at BYU-Idaho.

The Church Historian’s Press announced the free online publication of two major projects, “The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow” and “The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells.” Read a story about the publication here.

Merrill Osmond’s next gig: A Latter-day Saint mission.

What I’m reading

In a long profile about Ken Jennings, he talked about how his Latter-day Saint upbringing helped him amid his rise to “Jeopardy!” fame.

What’s the truth about rumors that the FBI and CIA have a special interest in recruiting Latter-day Saints?

As a Red Sox fan, it is rare that I come to like a Yankee player so much. This profile of Aaron Judge is terrific. It’s well-written and full of great stories about Judge, who is shown to have a great personal touch and to be intentionally humble. It also lays out just how amazing his phenomenal season was on his way to 62 home runs. The framework is about how this humble player who is a free agent for the first time now must put his own desires first.