Rendering Released for Cobán Guatemala Temple

Intellectual Reserve
Geoff Openshaw

Geoff Openshaw

Guatemala's third temple will follow a template put forth by a few other temples already under construction.

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e predicted a third temple for Guatemala back in our October 2019 temple predictions. Of course, our argument was that following a recent trend, Guatemala City, already home to a temple since the 1980s, would receive a second temple in its metropolitan area. Instead, the temple was announced in Cobán, a city in the highlands region of Guatemala at the center of a metropolitan area of 200,000 people. Now we get our first glimpse at the projected design of this exciting new building on the same day we get to see Japan’s latest.

Intellectual Reserve

You may feel that you’ve seen this building before, and you wouldn’t be far off! The temple, expected to be a single-story structure of approximately 8,800 square feet, closely follows the design of temples under construction in Guam, Cape Verde, and Puerto Rico. Notably, all of these temples lack a statue of the angel Moroni, whose relationship appears to be on the outs with President Nelson.

Overall, I like this more than the Guam building, which looks a little too faux classical for my tastes. The temples in Puerto Rico and Cape Verde look nearly identical (and seem so share square footage, unlike Guam, which actually under 7,000 square feet – one of the smallest temples in the Church). By every measure, this temple in Guatemala is a visual upgrade with better defined lines and a bronze cupola.

While new temples tend to draw from a handful of predefined templates, these four most clearly follow one and are the closest thing to a predictable design language since the Hinckley-era mini temples. Hopefully these ones will be built better than those.

Interestingly, all of these temples have just one ordinance room, unlike even the “mini” temples, which had two progressive-style ordinance rooms. The latter has become the norm in almost every temple of the modern era, but now we’re bucking the trend. All this means is that patrons stay in the same room for the entire endowment ceremony, typically with some lighting changes at certain points to indicate a metaphorical advancement. Other temples in the Church do this, such as Washington, DC, Jordan River Utah, and Provo Utah. It’s efficient!

A groundbreaking date has not been announced. Look for one in a few months.

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