On Saturday, Jan. 26, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground for its first temple in Thailand.
Local community leaders participated in the ceremony joined by 700 members of the Church. Elder Robert C. Gay of the Presidency of the Seventy presided at the groundbreaking. The temple will be located in the business area of Bangkok.
“My heart is filled with joy and gratitude to be here today,” Elder Gay said in the Newsroom release. “Because of the faithfulness of the saints in Thailand, a house of the Lord will soon be built in this country and many will have the opportunity to participate in temple worship with their family and partake of the eternal blessings that come with it.”
One Thai member, Sister Wipharat Uanphoklang, spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony on what building a temple in Thailand means to her family.
“We have long prayed for a temple in Thailand,” Sister Uanphoklang said. “We are grateful that each of our children will have the blessing of receiving their temple ordinances and being sealed when they go on missions and marry. The temple gives us joy and hope as we seek to teach our children and help them feel of God’s love for them.”
According to Newsroom, the Church will build a 44,405-square-foot, six-story temple with multiple spires. Additionally, a 91,370-square-foot building will feature two religious meetinghouses, seminary and institute facilities, Church offices and housing.
Known as the “Land of Smiles,” Thailand today is home to more than 20,000 Church members in four stakes and two districts. The Bangkok temple will serve Latter-day Saints in Thailand and in nearby countries.
President Thomas S. Monson announced the Bangkok Thailand Temple during general conference on April 5, 2015. President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Bangkok, including the future temple site, last April as part of President Nelson's worldwide ministry tour.
President Nelson said the Saints of Thailand will not be passive.
“These people are energized. They are inspired. They want to do something about their faith,” he said. “They are going to get ready for their temple.”