[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or some reason, it seems like it’s been an eternity since we last visited temple predictions. Maybe it’s because we are still exhausted from the bevy of temple announcements last October, as well as subsequent groundbreakings that are already planned for a few of them. Maybe two-hour church meetings have left us more exhausted than we would have thought. Maybe it’s because temple ceremonies actually changed this year and we’re still digesting that. Maybe the nonagenarian calling the shots here on earth has too much zip for any of us. Regardless, we’re excited to be here to predict which, if any, temples will be announced in the forthcoming April 2019 General Conference.
We did pretty dang well the last time around, having talked about temples in Puebla, Mexico; Auckland, New Zealand; Praia, Cape Verde (finally); somewhere in Melanesia (we’d long called Kiribati, but it went to Guam); San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Lagos, Nigeria. There were some great surprises, too, including the Yuba City California Temple, a temple in Cambodia merely a year after one in Thailand was announced, and the showstopper, a temple somewhere in Washington County, Utah, which is the St. George metropolitan area.
If you’ve read this column before, you know that we love to defer to former Church president Thomas S. Monson’s remarks about 85% of Church membership being within 200 miles of a temple. He said that in 2011. A lot has changed in eight years, but we’ll stick with his metric for the sake of visuals and decide down the road whether it’s worth reducing that radius to 150 or 100 miles. So below, you can see a map of every temple operating, under construction, or announced and the 200-mile radius around each one, thus showing us some “temple deserts,” if you will. It’s not hard science, but we geek out about maps, so deal with it.
Bear in mind, we do this for fun. Prognostication is limited by our assessment of growth trends, temple activity, etc. The Lord could literally tell President Nelson to put a third temple in Provo, shocking the world! The point is, we’re not prophets, nor seers, nor revelators. But like all things, a certain amount of study goes into revelation; we’re just not privy to the prayer part that follows.
Our biggest question is whether we’ll have so many announcements, or any at all. We’ve only had two conference with President Nelson, and thus far he’s appeared to buck the precedent set by President Monson to ease up on temple announcements while we build the the others. After all, there are currently 27 announced and 11 more under construction or coming close to dedication. The market, as it were, might be saturated. But given the trend toward much smaller buildings that serve maybe five stakes, anything is possible. Likewise, we hear rumors of 500 temples within the next 5 years. So there’s that! Mormon rumors!
Now hit those buttons and get viewing as Geoff Openshaw, the editor-in-chief of This Week in Mormons, and Joe Peterson, social media manager, hash out their predictions.