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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Temple Site Possibilities: North America Northwest Area

Hello again, everyone! Between dealing with personal health issues and significant Church News developments that, to me, warranted focus on this blog, it has been 5 days (just short of a full week) since my last post in the series I am doing on the temple prospects I see for the near future. It is time for the next post in that series. This post will be devoted to discussing the current temple districts the Church has within the boundaries of the North America Northwest Area and the possibilities I see for future temples within this area. Since I am putting in the research on all of this as I post it here, other sites could come up. I also have one potential location which I felt could have another temple announced, but which I subsequently removed from my list. There is a lot of ground to cover for this post, so let's jump right into it.

First, I need to reiterate what I have previously said about the boundaries of the North America areas of the Church: the way the boundaries are drawn means that some states, provinces, and territories fall within two or more areas of the Church. While that does make it difficult at times to determine which parts of such states, provinces, or territories are in any given area, I have found it simpler for my purposes to talk about temple possibilities within North America based on the one area of the Church in which  most of any given state, province, or territory is covered.

Those regions are as follows: Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and Yukon. A small portion of the northern part of California is included in that area as well. But since that is only a very small portion of that state, and since none of California's 7 temples fall within that small portion, the discussion about this area will be focused on the other 3 states, and the province and territory from Canada.

Within the North America Northwest Area, there are 7 temples in operation that serve the congregations within this area. There is 1 temple in Canada (Vancouver British Columbia), 3 in Washington state (Columbia River, Seattle, and Spokane), 2 in Oregon (Medford and Portland) and 1 in Anchorage that serves the Saints in Alaska. I will be discussing the current districts in that order.

The Vancouver temple district serves 7 stakes and 1 district within British Columbia, and the Bellingham Washington Stake from Northwest Washington. Because it is so small, the likelihood that a second temple will be needed to divide the district is not very strong.

The three temples in Washington state serve the remaining 61 stakes within Washington. The newest of those three is the Columbia River Washington Temple (which is actually located in Richland), and its district comprises 13 stakes in Eastern Washington and the Hermiston Oregon stake from the northeastern region of Oregon.

We next turn to the oldest of the three temples, which is the Seattle Washington Temple. That temple has the largest district in Washington State, which is made up of the 35 stakes found in Washington's western region. The Seattle Washington Temple has been built in the city of Bellevue.

That brings me to my next point, which is that, while it is not currently on my list, I at one point had a potential temple for Tacoma Washington. The city of Tacoma is 36.6 miles from Seattle,  A temple there could break up the Seattle district a bit. I welcome thoughts on whether or not I should include that on my list again.

The Spokane Washington Temple is the only one located in the city for which it was named. Currently, that district is comprised of 15 stakes, 7 of which are located in Eastern Washington, with 5 others in Northern Idaho, and 3 from Northwestern Montana.

If, as I conjectured in my discussion of the North America Central Area, a temple is built in Missoula Montana, those three stakes covered currently by the Spokane Temple would fall within that temple district, which would leave this district with just 10 stakes.

Next, we turn to the two temples in Oregon. The Medford Temple was dedicated in 2000 under President Hinckley's smaller temple plan, and its district covers 6 stakes in Southern Oregon and 2 other stakes in Northern California.

The Portland Temple district is comprised of 25 stakes in Western Oregon and 6 stakes from Southwestern Washington.  It is my feeling that this temple district could possibly be split, and that this would best be done by building a third Oregon temple based in the city of Salem. I welcome feedback on the likelihood of that prospect.

We round out the discussion of this area by talking about the Anchorage Alaska Temple district, which serves the 8 stakes in that state/ I could see the reason for other temples in Alaska to be built in Fairbanks, which is 359.1 miles from Anchorage, and Juneau, which is 848.5 miles from Anchorage and 732.5 miles from Fairbanks. With only 8 stakes in that temple district, splitting it might not make sense immediately. But both cities could get temples within the next 30-50 years or so.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.