Announced in April 2021 general conference, the Helena Montana Temple had its groundbreaking before the end of June — just 84 days later. That has to be among the fastest turnarounds for a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, doesn’t it?
In reality, that span of less than three months barely breaks into an unofficial Top 20 of such timelines. But it is the fastest since 2002.
President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Helena, Montana, on April 4 — one of 20 temple locations he identified in the most recent general conference.
Elder Vern P. Stanfill, a General Authority Seventy, presided over the Helena Montana Temple groundbreaking on June 26, the 84th day after the temple’s announcement.
The shortest duration between announcement and groundbreaking is 18 days, for the Oaxaca Mexico Temple in 1999.
Of the 20 temples where groundbreakings occurred less than three months after their initial announcements, all but three came during the late 1990s, during President Gordon B. Hinckley’s push to have 100 Church temples worldwide by the end of the 20th century.
Besides the Helena temple, the other two outside the late 1990s were the Washington D.C. and Manhattan New York temples — the former in just 22 days in late 1968, and the latter in one month and 16 days in 2002.
The three where groundbreakings came less than a month after their announcements:
- Oaxaca Mexico Temple — 18 days; 1999
- Washington D.C. Temple — 22 days; 1968
- Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico Temple — 23 days; 1999
Eight other temples had groundbreakings less than two months after their announcements:
- San José Costa Rica Temple — 1 month, 7 days; 1999
- Copenhagen Denmark Temple — 1 month, 7 days; 1999
- Monticello Utah Temple — 1 month, 13 days; 1997
- Veracruz Mexico Temple — 1 month, 15 days; 1999
- Manhattan New York Temple — 1 month, 16 days; 2002
- Spokane Washington Temple — 1 month, 28 days; 1998
- Guadalajara Mexico Temple — 1 month, 28 days; 1999
- St. Paul Minnesota Temple — 1 month, 28 days; 1998
And the remaining nine where the announcement-to-groundbreaking span was less than three months:
- Detroit Michigan Temple — 2 months; 1998
- Medford Oregon Temple — 2 months, 5 days; 1999
- Villahermosa Mexico Temple — 2 months, 10 days; 1998-1999
- Fresno California Temple — 2 months, 12 days; 1999
- Louisville Kentucky Temple — 2 months, 12 days; 1999
- Adelaide Australia Temple — 2 months, 12 days; 1999
- Bismarck North Dakota Temple — 2 months, 19 days; 1998
- Helena Montana Temple — 2 months, 23 days; 2021
- Columbia South Carolina Temple — 2 months, 24 days, 1998
The Helena Montana Temple’s 84 days from announcement to groundbreaking can be considered “the fastest” in some aspects — it is the shortest such turnaround among the 70 temples announced to date by President Nelson in his three-and-a-half-year tenure as President of the Church.
Of those 70 temples, 24 are under construction, and the Helena temple is one of four where the groundbreaking happened less than a year after the initial announcement.
The other three, incidentally, were all announced on the same day and had their groundbreakings on the same day 210 days later. President Nelson announced the Praia Cabo Verde, San Juan Puerto Rico and Yigo Guam temples on Oct. 7, 2018, in general conference; groundbreaking ceremonies were held at each of the three temple sites on May 4, 2019, six months and 28 days later.