In April 2020 general conference, the projection was made that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would break ground for and begin construction on 18 new temples by the end of the year. In the recent October 2020 general conference, that number was increased to 20.
However, if all goes as scheduled, the actual total of temples getting started in 2020 will be 21. That’s the Church’s second-highest total of temple groundbreakings in a single year, topped only by the 32 done in 1999 as part of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s late 20th-century push to have 100 temples by the end of the year 2000.
While the 21 temples counts for the entire calendar year, all those groundbreakings will have happened in a period of less than nine months, since the first groundbreaking of 2020 didn’t happen until well into April — the April 11 groundbreaking for the Richmond Virginia Temple.
And more than half of that 21 total for 2020 — 12 temples, to be exact — are still scheduled for groundbreaking in the final two-plus months of the year.
The recent Moses Lake Washington Temple groundbreaking is the year’s ninth. Beginning with the Taylorsville Utah Temple groundbreaking later this month, the Church is scheduled to break ground for 12 temples in three states in the United States and seven other countries, which would bring the 2020 groundbreakings to the 21 total.
The list of temples with 2020 groundbreakings — either already realized or scheduled to happen through the end of 2020 — include:
- Richmond Virginia – April 11
- Layton Utah – May 23
- Alabang Philippines – June 4
- Auckland New Zealand – June 13
- Feather River California – July 18
- Orem Utah – Sept. 5
- San Pedro Sula Honduras – Sept. 5
- Brasília Brazil – Sept. 26
- Moses Lake Washington — Oct. 10
- Taylorsville Utah — October 2020
- Bentonville Arkansas — November 2020
- Salta Argentina — November 2020
- Red Cliffs Utah — November 2020
- McAllen Texas — November 2020
- Cobán Guatemala — November 2020
- Mendoza Argentina — November 2020
- Davao Philippines — November 2020
- Antofagasta Chile — November 2020
- Okinawa Japan — December 2020
- Bengaluru India — December 2020
- Harare Zimbabwe — December 2020
Similar to other groundbreakings announced during the COVID-19 pandemic, upcoming groundbreaking ceremonies are invitation-only events without a specific date and will adhere to local government social-distancing guidelines.
While pandemic precautions and social-distancing restrictions have put temple open houses and dedications on hold — along with the total closure of all temples and their deliberate and phased reopenings — temple construction and renovation efforts continue worldwide.
All but three of the 21 — the Alabang Philippines, Brasília Brazil and Harare Zimbabwe temples — were announced by President Russell M. Nelson in one of the past six general conferences during his three-year tenure as President of the Church.
Groundbreakings in 2020 will have occurred in six states of the United States and in 10 other nations across five continents. That includes two each in the Philippines and Argentina and four in the state of Utah.
Currently, the Church has 168 dedicated temples — with eight of them closed for major renovations. If one adds in the 23 under construction or the 40 announced and in various planning and design stages, the Church’s total is 231 temples overall.
The 23 temples under construction include the Winnipeg Manitoba and Rio de Janeiro Brazil temples — a pair that are all but completed and have had scheduled open houses and dedications postponed because of the global COVID-19 pandemic — and the Moses Lake Washington Temple, with its Oct. 10 groundbreaking the most recent.