Kcee Udonsi was streaming general conference on his mobile device in his Nigerian apartment when he heard President Russell M. Nelson announce a new temple for Eket, Nigeria.
Udonsi had anticipated a possible temple for Abuja, but not Eket, which is only an hour’s drive from where he lives in Uyo. Many Latter-day Saints can’t afford to travel the long distance to the Aba Nigeria Temple.
“I was shocked and super excited. I never expected it,” Udonsi wrote in a message to Church News. “Having a temple in Eket will be a great blessing for the Saints in that area. It will help strengthen testimonies and faith in Jesus Christ and strengthen family bonds. ... The Lord indeed remembers His people wherever they are.”
The forthcoming Eket Nigeria Temple was one of 18 announced by President Nelson at the conclusion of October 2022 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will build the new temples in the following locations:
- Busan, Korea
- Naga, Philippines
- Santiago, Philippines
- Eket, Nigeria
- Chiclayo, Peru
- Buenos Aires City Center, Argentina
- Londrina, Brazil
- Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
- Huehuetenango, Guatemala
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Prosper, Texas
- Lone Mountain, Nevada
- Tacoma, Washington
- Cuernavaca, Mexico
- Pachuca, Mexico
- Toluca, Mexico
- Tula, Mexico
Here is information on each new temple location, as reported at ChurchofJesusChrist.org, along with some reaction from members who live or have ties to these homes of future Houses of the Lord.
This will be the second temple in South Korea. The first was completed in Seoul in 1985. Nearly 90,000 Latter-day Saints attending 100 wards and branches live in the country. The southeastern city of Busan is Korea’s busiest port. Latter-day Saint service members brought the Church’s teachings to Korea in the 1940s. In 1973 the Seoul Korea Stake, the first stake in mainland Asia, was organized.
The Naga City Philippines Temple will be the ninth announced temple in the Philippines. Naga City is located about 250 miles southeast of Manila. The first temple in Manila was dedicated in 1984. There are more than 833,000 Latter-day Saints, in more than 1,250 wards and branches in the Philippines.
Brian Passey, of Phoenix, Arizona, reflected on the growth of temples in the Philippines since his days there as a missionary.
“When I served as a missionary in Naga in the late 1990s, the only temple in the Philippines was in Manila,” he said. “Though Manila and Naga were on the same island, the cost of traveling to Manila was prohibitive for many. Having a temple in the Bicol Region will be a great blessing for the residents of that beautiful area of the Philippines.”
Located about 225 miles northeast of Manila, the Santiago Philippines Temple will be the 10th announced temple in the Philippines. The other nine temples announced, under construction or in operation in the country include those in Alabang, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu City, Davao, Manila, Naga (announced today), Tacloban City and Urdaneta.
Kendrick Navarro, who lives in North Salt Lake, was thrilled to hear the news about the Naga City and Santiago Philippines temples.
“These locations have a special meaning to me,” he wrote. “My dad grew up in Legaspi City, which is almost 60 miles away from Naga City, way closer than the Manila temple. His family is one of the pioneers in Legaspi City, and seeing the temple being built close to home is such an amazing blessing.”
Navarro was born in Laoag City, Philippines, and the closest operating temple now is the Manila temple. Ward temple trips constituted a 12-hour bus ride or an expensive flight.
“Having the Santiago temple and the Urdaneta temple (currently being constructed) will cut the travel time to almost half. I’m so excited for my people who will have the opportunity to go to the temple more often,” he said. “I can’t wait for the day for these temples to be dedicated and do ordinances in Ilokano in Ilokano regions. Truly, the Lord is mindful of all of His children wherever they are.”
Domingo C. Navarro Jr., of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, was also delighted by the news.
“Indeed, a marvelous work and wonder in this part of our country and in the world,” he said. “A very wonderful blessing to the faithfulness of the members all over Luzon. We are very grateful to our Heavenly Father and to our Savior Jesus Christ for all these! ... Many more will receive the blessings of temple ordinances in this life and beyond.”
Eket is an industrial city in southeastern Nigeria. The Eket Nigeria Temple will be the fourth temple built in the country. One temple is currently in operation, the Aba Nigeria Temple. Two other temples are also yet to be built, the Benin City Nigeria Temple and the Lagos Nigeria Temple. There are more than 211,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 750 wards and branches in Nigeria.
Udoka Udoka posted his reaction on Twitter.
“My hometown getting a temple was something I never dreamt of in 100 years,” he wrote. “Truly the Heavenly Father is hastening His work.”
Eket Nigeria Temple. My home town getting a temple was something I never dreamt of in 100 years. Truly the Heavenly Father is hastening His Work— Udoka Udoka™ (@Inyang_udoka) October 2, 2022
This will be the sixth temple in Peru. The country is home to nearly 625,000 Latter-day Saints spread throughout 780 wards and branches. Chiclayo is located in northern Peru, just a few miles inland from the Pacific coast. The first missionaries arrived in the country in 1956. Other temples in operation or under construction include the Arequipa Peru Temple, Cusco Peru Temple, Lima Peru Temple, Trujillo Peru Temple and Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple.
The Delgado family wasn’t expecting to hear a temple announced in their hometown of Chiclayo, Peru. Kendra Delgado, 29, her brother Aaron Delgado, 25, and aunt Margarita Delgado Cumpa, along with cousin Sinthia Delgado, 31, and her son, Sebastian Delgado, 8, as well as other family members, were in the Conference Center Sunday afternoon when the temples were announced.
Several members of the family, who now live in Orem, Utah, cried when they heard the announcement. They still have many Latter-day Saint relatives in Peru, including many who were pioneers in the area, Kendra said.
Kendra said it never seemed that Chiclayo — some 200 kilometers, or about 125 milies, from the nearest temple in Trujillo and not a “big, big city” — would be sacred space for a temple.
“It’s so beautiful,” she said of the announcement.
“We’re very grateful,” Aaron Delgado said. “It feels like we’re being noticed in a way.”
“It’s a miracle for Chiclayo,” Sinthia Delgado said.
Doug Gibson, of Ogden, Utah, served in the Peru Lima North Mission in 1983-84. He worked in Iquitos, Lima and Chimbote, but spent most of his time in Chiclayo.
“It must be a wonderful dream-come-true for them,” Gibson wrote.
Buenos Aires City Center, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city in Argentina. The Buenos Aires City Center Temple will be Argentina’s sixth temple. The Buenos Aires Argentina Temple was dedicated in 1986, while the Córdoba Argentina Temple was dedicated in 2015. Ground was broken for the Salta Argentina Temple and the Mendoza Argentina Temple in late 2020 and for the Bahía Blanca Argentina Temple earlier this year. Argentina is home to about 475,000 Latter-day Saints and 725 wards and branches in a country of more than 45 million residents.
Londrina, Brazil is a city located in the state of Paraná in southeastern Brazil. The state is home to Iguaçu Falls, with hundreds of cascades straddling the border with Argentina and Paraguay. This will be the second temple in the state of Paraná with the first temple in Curitiba. There are 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in Brazil in more than 2,100 wards branches. The temple in Londrina will be the 17th announced temple for Brazil, with dedicated temples located in Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo; three are under construction in Belém, Brasília and Salvador; and others have been announced in Belo Horizonte, East São Paulo, Maceió, Ribeirão Preto (announced today), Santos and Vitória.
Jacob Yospe, of Farmington, Utah, served his mission in Londrina.
“I felt overjoyed for the people in Londrina and the surrounding areas,” he said. “Before they had to make a very long bus trip to São Paulo, which was very expensive and a huge sacrifice.”
Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
The Ribeirão Preto Temple will be located in the São Paulo state of southeast Brazil. There are 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in Brazil in more than 2,100 wards and branches. The temple in Ribeirão Preto will be the 18th announced temple for Brazil, with dedicated temples located in Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo; three are under construction in Belém, Brasília and Salvador; and others have been announced in Belo Horizonte, East São Paulo, Londrina (announced today), Maceió, Santos and Vitória.
The Huehuetenango Guatemala Temple will be the fifth house of the Lord in the highlands of western Guatemala. The other four temples are the Cobán Guatemala Temple (under construction), Guatemala City Guatemala Temple, Miraflores Guatemala City Guatemala Temple (announced), and Quetzeltenango Guatemala Temple. Guatemala is home to more than 284,000 Latter-day Saints in 436 wards and branches.
The Jacksonville Florida Temple will be the state’s fifth temple. There are more than 160,000 Latter-day Saints and more than 280 wards and branches in the state. Jacksonville is in the northern part of Florida in the United States. Other temples in the state include the Orlando Florida Temple, Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple, Tallahassee Florida Temple (under construction) and the Tampa Florida Temple (announced).
A thrilling feeling shot through Gail Pannell when she heard Jacksonville, Florida, the first U.S. city on the list.
“We never thought we would be lucky enough,” she said.
The Orlando temple is about a two-hour drive from where she lives, so she mostly goes there on Saturdays. Once a temple is built in Jacksonville, Pannell will be able to go much more often — especially because her stake has been focusing on family history and preparing their own names to take to the temple.
“I definitely think that it will bring a closer spirit to our area. If you are in the temple, preparing for the temple and thinking about temple things, then you are more in tune with the Spirit,” she said.
Matthew Checketts, of Bear River City, Utah, served his mission in Jacksonville.
“It’s amazing what temples do for the soul,” he wrote.
Amanda Weaver of the Whitehouse Ward, Jacksonville Florida West Stake, screamed with excitement when Jacksonville was announced. Her sister who lives right next door “has called me a million times,” she said. She told the Church News, “I never thought Jacksonville would get a temple in my lifetime.”
Weaver can’t wait for her children to watch the temple be built.
“This will be their temple,” she said. “I hope having this temple will help my children’s testimony strengthen and their love for our Savior grow immeasurably.”
Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Grand Rapids Michigan Temple will be the second house of the Lord in Michigan, which is part of the United States Midwest. The Detroit Michigan Temple was dedicated in 1999 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. The Church’s first building in Detroit was completed in 1928. Michigan is home to more than 45,000 Latter-day Saints in 96 wards and branches. Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in Michigan and the seat of Kent County.
Havelah Allen lives in the Grand Rapids Michigan Stake.
“We have been praying and fasting as a stake to prepare ourselves for a temple in western Michigan,” she said. “We just started crying when it was announced.”
Allen said it has been sweet to hear the children and youth pray for a temple.
“I really hope that they understand that the Lord heard them.”
When Darren Jex and his family lived in St. Joseph, Michigan, the closest temple was in Chicago. Going to the temple was an all-day experience. The new temple in Grand Rapids will be just over an hours’ drive away.
“This is something we prayed for years would happen,” he wrote. “I’m so excited for our ward and stake family still there.”
Carrie McIntyre tweeted this reaction on Twitter:
“Our area has been working and praying for a temple. Some of you already know how much it means to my family, with two special-needs kids and no temple closer than three hours away,” she wrote. “Lots of sobbing in West Michigan today. Thank you, Lord.”
Our area has been working & praying for a temple. Some of you already know how much it means to my family, with two special-needs kids and no temple closer than 3 hrs away. Lots of sobbing in West Michigan today. Thank you, Lord. #GeneralConference— Carrie McIntyre - The Relevant Questions (@RelevantQuest) October 2, 2022
The city of Prosper is located within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in North Texas. Texas is home to more than 370,000 Latter-day Saints in 737 wards and branches. Missionary work in Texas began in 1843 during the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prosper Texas Temple will be the state’s eighth temple. The other seven temples in Texas include the Austin Texas Temple, Dallas Texas Temple, Fort Worth Texas Temple, Houston Texas Temple, Lubbock Texas Temple, San Antonio Texas Temple and McAllen Texas Temple.
The news caused tears to flow for John Livingstone.
“I am in tears,” he wrote in a tweet. “I spent almost eight months serving my mission in Prosper, Texas. What a wonderful place for a temple.”
Lone Mountain, Nevada
Lone Mountain is on the northwest side of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Nearly 6% of Nevada’s population are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are about 180,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 360 wards and branches in this U.S. state. The Lone Mountain Nevada Temple will be the state’s fourth temple. The Las Vegas Nevada Temple was dedicated in 1989, and the Reno Nevada Temple was dedicated in 2000. Ground was broken for the Elko Nevada Temple in 2022. Shortly after Latter-day Saint pioneers arrived in the Western United States in the 1840s, they established a trading post near Carson City (now the state’s capital).
Kassie Stephens said the new temple will be a great blessing for the Las Vegas Valley.
“When I worked as an ordinance worker at the Las Vegas temple, I remember being impressed that if the work in the temple continued we would be getting another temple in the valley,” she said. “I’m so excited to see what the temple will look like and I feel like the Lone Mountain temple will bless the members and bring others to the gospel.”
Donna Sera, another member in the area, felt “overwhelmingly blessed” to know there will be two temples in the area, especially for how it will provide more opportunities for youth to participate in temple work.
“As southern Nevada continues to grow and membership increases, the new temple will make temple attendance more feasible for so many,” she said. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to visit the temple more often to perform temple work for our ancestors and enjoy the peace the temple brings us.”
This will be the fifth temple announced in the state of Washington, which is situated in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Missionaries first arrived in Washington in 1854. Today, the state is home to more than 280,000 Latter-day Saints in nearly 525 wards and branches. Other temples under construction or in operation are the Columbia River Washington Temple, Moses Lake Washington Temple, Seattle Washington Temple and Spokane Washington Temple.
Alex McCain from Bothell, Washington, was in the Conference Center when the announcement was made about a new temple in Tacoma. He said he is excited for people who live south of Seattle to able to avoid a lot of the traffic congestion to get to the Seattle Washington Temple right now.
“It makes going to the temple a whole lot easier,” he said. “More temples, more blessings.”
The Chamberlain family in the Maple Valley Washington Stake — watching at home — threw their arms in the air and cheered.
“This is exciting for every Church member in Washington,” Monica Chamberlain said.
Matt Fry, of Garland, Utah, grew up in Bremerton, Washington, about 30 minutes from Tacoma.
“I was so excited to hear about one being built there,” he wrote. “It will cut the drive by almost an hour for all of my family and friends where I grew up. They are all so very excited. Many were brought to tears. It will be a great blessing for that area and for its surrounding members.”
George Slaughter, of Layton, Utah, recalled growing up and attending school in Tacoma.
“I remember attending the open house and dedication of the Seattle temple as a kid,” he wrote. “Never did I imagine there would be a temple in Tacoma. I was so surprised by the news I actually teared up a bit. So exciting!”
Four in Mexico
Cuernavaca is about 50 miles south of Mexico City. It is the capital and largest city in the state of Morelos. In the 19th century, the city was nicknamed the city of eternal spring by German scientist and explorer Alexander Von Humboldt. About 350,000 people live in the historical city. It is a favorite vacation spot of many residents of Mexico City due to its closeness and mild climate. Nearly 1.5 million church members live in Mexico.
Pachuca is located about 75 miles northeast of Mexico City. The temple will be the first in the state of Hidalgo. Pachuca, formally known as Pachuca de Soto, is the capital and largest city in Hidalgo with a population of about 277,000.
Toluca, formally known as Toluca de Lerdo, is the capital of Mexico’s central state of Mexico. It is located about 40 miles west of Mexico City. With a population of about 900,000 residents, Toluca is the fifth most populous city in the country.
Tula, formally known as Tula de Allende, is an ancient city in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. It is located about 60 miles north of Mexico City with about 100,000 residents. The new temple in Tula will be the second in the state of Hidalgo. The area was once known as the capital of the Toltec empire.
With these four temples announced near Mexico City, that will bring the total number of temples in Mexico to 23. The country is home to 1.5 million Latter-day Saints with more than 1,800 wards and branches. Missionary work began in Mexico in 1875.
Christine Rappleye, Nadia Gavarret, Rachel Gibson, Valerie Walton and Mary Richards contributed to this report.