First Presidency announces groundbreaking date for Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a Sept. 18 groundbreaking date for the the Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple.

Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission President Veasna Kuonno Neang will preside at the event, with attendance at the site being by invitation only because of current local COVID-19 guidelines.

Location of the Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple
Location of the Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The groundbreaking announcement was made at 6 a.m. local time in Cambodia on Thursday, Aug. 19 — 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

The Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple will be the Church’s first in the Southeast Asia country.

The single-story temple of approximately 10,000 square feet will be built on a 3.16-acre site located on Russian Confederation Street, between the Cambodia Institute of Technology and the Institute of Foreign Languages near the Royal University of Phnom Penh. An ancillary building will also be constructed on the site.

President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Cambodia’s capital city on Oct. 7, 2018, one of 12 temple locations he identified during October 2018 general conference.

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows an artist rendering of the Phnom Penh Cambodia temple during a devotional in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Nov. 19, 2019.
President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows an artist rendering of the Phnom Penh Cambodia temple during a devotional in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Nov. 19, 2019. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Thirteen months later, he unveiled the Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple’s exterior rendering during a ministering visit on Nov. 19, 2019, with the location announced at the same time.

Thousands of Latter-day Saints grew silent as the Church president displayed the rendering. The stillness, however, was quickly replaced with a wave of delight that rippled across The Premier Centre Sen Sok, a Phnom Penh exhibition hall and reception center.

“That is what it will look like — isn’t that beautiful?” asked President Nelson, acknowledging the sacred work done in a temple before adding, “Preparing for the temple is sacred work.”

Cambodia is home to more than 15,000 Latter-day Saints and approximately 30 congregations.