Groundbreakings announced for Cobán Guatemala, Okinawa Japan temples

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced groundbreaking dates for the Cobán Guatemala Temple and the Okinawa Japan Temple.

The Cobán temple groundbreaking will be in November 2020 and the Okinawa temple groundbreaking in December 2020.

Similar to other groundbreakings announced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the invitation-only events are without a specific date and will adhere to local government’s social-distancing guidelines, according to Sept. 22 report on Newsroom.

Similar to the same-day announcement of their groundbreakings, the two temples had their exterior renderings and site locations announced on the same day four months earlier, on May 25.

Detailed design plans for both temples are being developed, with more information to be made public later.

Cobán Guatemala Temple

Elder Brian K. Taylor, president of the Church’s Central America Area, will preside at the Cobán temple groundbreaking in November. The temple was announced during October 2019 general conference, one of eight new temple locations then identified by President Russell M. Nelson.

Planned for a 5.4-acre site adjacent to 4a. Avenida 4-48 Zona 8, Barrio Bella Vista, in Cobán, the Cobán Guatemala Temple will be a single-story edifice of approximately 8,800 square feet. A meetinghouse and temple patron housing will also be built on the site.

The temple will be the third in Guatemala, with operating temples in Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango. Missionaries first arrived in 1947 to the Central American country, which today is home to more than 281,000 Latter-day Saints comprising 51 stakes and nearly 438 congregations.

Okinawa Japan Temple

Presiding at the December groundbreaking of the Okinawa temple will be Elder Takashi Wada, president of the Asia North Area. The temple was announced by President Nelson during the April 2019 general conference, also one of eight new temple locations at that time.

A rendering of the Okinawa Japan Temple.
A rendering of the Okinawa Japan Temple. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Projected as a two-story building of approximately 10,000 square feet, the Okinawa Japan Temple will sit on a half-acre site at 7-11, Matsumoto, Okinawa Shi, in Okinawa-ken, Japan. A temple patron waiting area will be added on to an existing meetinghouse adjacent to the site.

The Okinawa Japan Temple will be the fourth in Japan, joining operating temples in Tokyo (currently under renovation), Fukuoka and Sapporo. In Japan since 1901, the Church counts more than 130,000 Latter-day Saints, 28 stakes and 261 congregations in the Asian island nation.