Joe: Now Geoff, this isn’t just a gimme for you. I present a Scotland temple prediction as a bonafide, real, and genuine guess for an area where I think it’s high(lands) time for a House of the Lord to find a rocky view and a sure foundation. Sorry about that terrible pun, here we go.
A temple in Scotland—and I’d venture that Glasgow would make the most sense as a centralized location—wouldn’t just be a temple for the saints in kilt country. Going all the way back to 2010, when the Ireland and Scotland missions combined, I’d reckon that a Scottish temple would also be a lucky charm for the Irish, from Dublin to Belfast and every pub in between. All told, that would be 7 stakes. When you have temples announced in places with one, I’d say that’s not a bad showing. I think the Irish and the Scottish would agree that a temple here would be a most welcome announcement, even if they disagree on how to cut their oats.
Geoff: I need to remove my tam o’ shanter on this one and try to be objective. I understand very little about betting, given my piousness, but I give this maybe a 1 in 30 chance of happening. Europe isn’t exactly a hotbed of missionary activity, and the seemingly constant closure and consolidation of missions pre-coronavirus indicates that. However, we did finally get our temple in Budapest last go around, so faith is not dead!
Scotland has five stakes and does not seem lined up to organize a sixth anytime soon. It’s all steady as she goes in Caledonia. Members do, however, have to make a somewhat lengthy trip down to Chorley to attend the Preston England Temple, the second and most recent temple in the British Isles, dedicated in the late 1990s.
So rather than fight you on the merits of even getting a temple, I’ll pontificate on the ideal location for one. The Glasgow area, Scotland’s largest, has two stakes, representing by far the largest concentration of Latter-day Saints in the country. (Yes, Scotland is a country and the Acts of Union were illegal. Fight me.) However, Glasgow is actually not quite as central as it may seem. The other three stakes – Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen – are located along the east coast, which would make Edinburgh, the capital, more directly accessible to the rest of Scotland. Plus, it’s Edinburgh, the capital, awash in Enlightenment history, which would be a great symbolic gesture. But the downside is that Edinburgh only has one ward in the city; the stake it supports is far more spread out geographically compared to those in Glasgow.
The perfect geographic location for the temple might be in Stirling, which has a ward and is part of the Edinburgh Stake, along with being steeped in Scottish lore. It would be a fair distance for saints from Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as make things a tad easier for those coming from the northeast. However, I’d only place a temple in Stirling if the assumption is that it will be the only temple in Scotland until the Second Coming, i.e. this would be the One True Scottish Temple™ as opposed to one focused on a particular metropolitan area within it. The membership case goes to Glasgow. The public relations case goes to Edinburgh. The compromise case goes to Stirling.
Watch them build it in Inverness just to mess with everyone.
Joe: Well, then, I’ll take the high road and you’ll take the low road, and I’ll guess a temple in Scotland before ye…