Joseph: Technically, we had Singapore on our official predictions list a mere 6 months ago, but if you recall, I squashed it by insisting our previous arguments for a temple here still stood unanswered! And while that’s still the case, I suppose we should update our argument now since a real case hasn’t been made on our predictions since 2016 and, Geoff, I think we both have more to say about it.
True there are still just 3 stakes and 7 districts up for grabs for this temple district, but there are a few aspects to consider.
First and foremost, a temple in Singapore wouldn’t really just be a temple for Saints in Singapore. That may seem obvious, but this tiny island city-state would be a sort of neutral ground to host a temple for the Muslim-majority countries of Malaysia and Indonesia where the Church is comfortably thriving, if not dramatically growing. The Singapore mission, at least when my parents served there, was a regionally administrative hub, and managed missionaries from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brunei, and even Diego Garcia.
A globally strategic location that would be a way to have a temple for countries that don’t have as many religious liberties for the open establishment of Christian denominations is a strong case for a temple here.
Arguments for: Malay and Indonesian districts are big and fast growing. The capital is being relocated to Borneo (sorry orangutans), bringing it even closer. Cons: Temples in Thailand and Cambodia are already carving out a significant chunk of the Hong Kong China Temple’s district.
Geoff: I appreciate the Singapore love, and I could see a temple there for the reasons you outlined. If not Singapore, then my vote goes to Jakarta, even though it’s sinking and the government wants to move the capital. A study of robust Church growth in Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia is an effort for another time, but it’s truly amazing to watch the gospel spread in these countries. Why not build a regional hub, as you say?
Singapore is a melting pot and reasonably tolerant of many religions and culture (but not litter). I could see this being a smaller facility despite its regional status. Of course, with that said, I could see Salt Lake eschewing the “hub” model and just announcing temples in both Singapore and Jakarta (and Port Moresby while we’re at it), so who knows! God as channeled through one Russell M. Nelson is a tough one to track!
I do worry about the Thailand and Cambodia temples, however. Too much too soon?