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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 41⁄2 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 41⁄2 -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.
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