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Monday, May 25, 2020

BREAKING TEMPLE NEWS: Church Releases Exterior Renderings for Two More Temples; 14 More Temples to Reopen Under Phase 1 Next Week

Hello again, everyone! Although today is Memorial Day here in the United States, as a result of which, I had not antiipated any major Church updates to be provided therein, breaking news on two fronts has been reported. First, the major announcement. As some of you are no doubt aware, the Church has concentrated temple announcements in the last several months on locations in the United States, where approvals are more easily granted. As some of you may also recall, I have previously stated that, per my Church member contact in Central America, sites had been procured and plans been submitted for the 3 temples most recently announced in that area. My contact additional has noted that the likely groundbreaking sequence for these temples would be San Pedro Sula Honduras, Coban Guatemala, and Managua Nicaragua. Fast forward to this afternoon. Two temples outside the United States have unexpectedly had site locations confirmed and renderings released, and they are two for which I did not anticipate that occurring this soon.

The two temples in question are Cobán Guatemala and Okinawa Japan. The site locations for both have been confirmed as well. For the Cobán Guatemala Temple, it will be located adjacent to 4a. Avenida 4-48 Zona 8, Barrio Bella Vista, on a 5.4 acre site. It is anticipated to be roughly 8,800 square feet, and a single-story temple, with temple patron housing and a meetinghouse also featured on the site. The Cobán Guatemala Temple was announced in October 2019, marking another of the temples announced during that time which had official information released within less than a year following its' original announcement.

For the Okinawa Japan Temple (renamed from Okinawa City Okinawa, which was the original location mentioned when it was announced in April 2019), it will be based in Okinawa-ken, Japan, on a half-acre site at 7-11, Matsumoto, Okinawa Shi.  That temple is anticipated to be a two-story temple of approximately 10,000 square feet, another example of an Asian temple being built up rather than out. And since a meetinghouse already exists on that site, part of the construction process for that temple will involve adding on to that meeting house a temple patron waiting area, which may in turn be connected to the temple directly somehow.

Some other thoughts on this major announcement: I had been reasonably certain thart I knew which 13 other temples for which a groundbreaking has not yet been announced this year would have that occur. Although the Coban temple had been on that list, Okinawa Japan had not. As a result, I will have to totally reevaluate that list. I still anticipate that all of the United States temples on that list will see groundbreakings, but this may mean that perhaps the Church will focus on the more easy approvals for international temples (in such locations as Africa, Brazil, Central and South America, the Philippines, and the Pacific regions of the Church). If that happens, the groundbreakings for both the Phnom Pehn Cambodia and Bengaluru India Temples might possibly be deferred until next year.

Additionally, however, I wanted to report that the Church News has announced this morning that 14 more temples will reopen under phase 1 one week from today (Monday June 1). When those temples reopen, 66 of the total 168 currently dedicated will then be open, which will be equivalent to roughly 40% of all operating temples. The First Presidency continues to carefully evaluate conditions and respond accordingly. Temples which will reopen under phase 1 on Monday June 1: Adelaide Australia, Albuquerque New Mexico, Baton Rouge Louisiana, Calgary Alberta, Fukuoka Japan, Melbourne Australia, Nauvoo Illinois, Perth Australia, Raleigh North Carolina, San Antonio Texas, St. Louis Missouri,  Sydney Australia, The Hague Netherlands, and Vernal Utah.

I appreciate that the Church is carefully and cautiously reopening the temples. Although there are some locations in the United States in general (and for my home state of Utah in particular) where the conditions of COVID-19 have sufficiently cleared in such a way that it might make sense to transition a few temples here and elsewhere in the United States to the phase 2 where the risk is likewise lowering, I am sure that Church leaders are in a far better position than I myself might be to make that call. So, the best I can promise to do is to let you all know once I hear anything more about these phased reopenings, in addition to any other breaking Church news or temple developments. Stay tuned for all such updates.

That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.