North Cache Valley Utah Temple
Geoff: I like this one even if I am tired of Utah having more temples than Cafe Rios. Look it up. You know I’m right. (Don’t look it up.)
Cache Valley is home to the Logan Utah Temple, one of the oldest temples in the Church. The Logan temple is famously among the busiest in our faith, largely due in no small part to the 42—soon to be 43—stakes that feed it. That’s an enormous number and represents one of the largest collections of stakes assigned to a single temple. The Ogden Temple has more, but it’s also going to lose a large portion of its stakes once the Layton Utah Temple is completed. The same logic applies to the Bountiful Temple. And the Brigham City Utah Temple takes in 13 stakes. That’s it!
Moreover, the Church is also renovating major pioneer-era temples, as President Nelson announced a few years ago. It has already started with the St. George and Salt Lake Temples, but Logan and Manti have so far stayed out of the conversation. We’d guess those two might stay out of the mix until St. George and Salt Lake are done in an effort to balance things out. If so, that would mean Logan won’t close for three years. You know what can be done in three years? Building a new temple, especially in a Church-friendly municipal environment like the communities of Cache Valley. Announce the temple in April 2020. Renderings and groundbreaking happen by the fall. BOOM. New temple in 2023, easily. Logan closes for some much-needed TLC.
But how far north do we go when the stakes are centered around Logan proper? Smithfield might make some sense with its four stakes, but it’s also not incredibly far removed from Logan (seven whopping miles) and, therefore, wouldn’t represent a major travel benefit for the Saints in southeastern Idaho currently assigned to Logan. So maybe Richmond? Do we mix things up and actually put it on the Idaho side, in Preston?
All toast the Bear Lake Utah/Idaho Interstate Friendship Temple.
Joe: I really like this pick, Geoff. I’m with you, another temple in Utah is kind of agonizing in a way, which is why I’d lean more in favor of Preston or even Franklin, both in Idaho. A temple here feels similar to the Star Valley temple in Wyoming, and maybe that’s a subset of temple categories we should look more closely at in our predictions: farming/ranching communities near the border of Utah. Maybe it’s time Ely, Nevada gets a closer look.
But the argument for a temple somewhere north of Logan is absolutely solid. I just think Napoleon Dynamite’s town should get it instead of the Goldfish at the Pepperidge Farm bakery in Richmond. Downside? Imagine the traffic jams on the road between it and the Pickleville Playhouse with all those Bear Lake vacationers!