Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
Geoff: After actually getting our prediction for a temple in India the last time around, I’m feeling exceptionally bullish! A temple in a Muslim country, you say? Yes, sir, but only because the United Arab Emirates is unique.
There are two stakes in the Middle East. Most Latter-day Saints aren’t aware of this. Sure, there are only four wards in the UAE, and the Abu Dhabi stake covers the UAE, Qatar, and Oman, but these wards are primarily filled with expats, especially Filipinos. And we know Filipinos have been all over new temples of late.
In addition, the Manama Bahrain stake has a number of units not officially on the books because they are located within the borders of our partner in peace and human rights, Saudi Arabia. Also, Kuwait.
Lastly, Jordan has its own district. Israel also has a few branches, but Israelis don’t exactly have the easiest time traveling to any Middle Eastern country not named Jordan or Egypt.
I said last time around that a temple here only makes sense if Bengaluru doesn’t happen. I suppose I’m defying my own logic, then. I say we build a regional hub. Take the David O. McKay approach to temples: if you build it, they will come. Make it rain!
Joe: And you say Jamaica is a stretch? Is the line between 3 wards and 4 that different, dear Geoff? The expat argument is fair but not convincing because we could then suppose that the ARAMCO towns in Saudi Arabia would be a reasonable prediction. No, this isn’t going to happen. I think a visitors center, or some kind of academic center owned by BYU could open up here if only to have a place to send senior missionaries and the like. Call it the Jordan strategy. But a temple? I’ll risk eating crow and say no way.
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