The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the groundbreaking for three temples in Burley, Idaho; Smithfield, Utah; and Yorba Linda, California.
But as you dear readers know, the Yorba Linda California Temple is something special to me, your beloved writer, as it will be built in what was the stake where I grew up, so we’ll be focusing most of our attention on that temple before discussing the others.
Elder Mark A. Bragg, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s North America West Area, will preside over a dedication of the Yorba Linda temple on Saturday, June 18. Construction of these temples typically takes about three years, but some newer temples have done it in just over two, and new approaches to temple construction, such as the use of prefabricated modules, are intended to shorten the time even further.
Although there has been no official announcement, a demolition permit for the City of Yorba Linda would indicate the existing meetinghouse and baseball field will be demolished. The ward that previously met in the building was asked to vacate last fall.
The temple in Yorba Linda will be approximately 30,000 square feet in size over a single story – larger than the Newport Beach Temple a few minutes down the freeway. This might also be the first time the Church released the size of the temple district, or at least the number of members in it – over 21,000. With a typical stake size of roughly 3,000 Latter-day Saints, we can expect the temple to pull in members from 6-7 stakes when all is said and done.
California is home to 750,000 Latter-day Saints who President Nelson hopes will stay put. The Yorba Linda California Temple will be the ninth in the state and the fifth in the Southern California region.
Cache Valley, Utah was long overdue for a second temple; the Logan Utah Temple is among the busiest in the Church. The Smithfield Utah Temple will break ground on June 18, 2022. Per Utah tradition, it will be huge—81,000 square feet. The Church has not announced whether the temple will have two baptistries. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will preside over the groundbreaking, accompanied by Elder Gary E. Stevenson, also of the Twelve.
Not to be outdone, Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy will preside over the groundbreaking of the Burley Idaho Temple on June 4. Plans call for a two-story building of 38,600 square feet. Burley will be Idaho’s seventh temple and will serve members in southern central Idaho, surprisingly not far from Twin Falls, which already has a temple.
The cynic would also read this news and wonder why two apostles will show up to break ground on a Utah temple and a member of the Presidency of the Seventy will carry out proceedings in Idaho, but a lowly “regular” Seventy will preside in Yorba Linda. Is this just Utah centrism from Salt Lake? Ah, but it’s not! There is reason for all things. We know President Nelson likes letting Church leaders take part in temple-related business in areas of relevance to them. While Elder Cook spent a significant portion of his career in California, he was born and raised in Logan, Utah and attended Utah State University. Elder Stevenson was likewise raised in Cache Valley. Elder Nielson is from Burley, Idaho. Elder Bragg was born in Los Angeles. See? It’s meaningful for everyone, even if the appropriate person to dedicate a temple in Yorba Linda would be a reanimated (and converted?) Richard Nixon.
We will wager the domain rights to this website that Elder David A. Bednar will dedicate the Bentonville Arkansas Temple.