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Temple milestones in 2022, Part 2: Little pandemic impact as temple groundbreakings, construction continue to surge

Church logs 16 groundbreakings in 2022 and 49 total to start the 2020s, with 56 temples overall under construction

President Nelson and a line of others dressed in formal clothing shoveling dirt with golden shovels.

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Sister Wendy W. Nelson and Elder Kevin R. Duncan and his wife Nancy, are joined by residents in turning over the soil at the groundbreaking of the Heber Valley Utah Temple ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News


Temple milestones in 2022, Part 2: Little pandemic impact as temple groundbreakings, construction continue to surge

Church logs 16 groundbreakings in 2022 and 49 total to start the 2020s, with 56 temples overall under construction

President Nelson and a line of others dressed in formal clothing shoveling dirt with golden shovels.

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Sister Wendy W. Nelson and Elder Kevin R. Duncan and his wife Nancy, are joined by residents in turning over the soil at the groundbreaking of the Heber Valley Utah Temple ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a three-part series on temple milestones in 2022.

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down many events, activities and efforts, what didn’t slow down in recent years was the ongoing construction of new temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In fact, the 16 temple groundbreaking services this past year was about an average annual effort during the three pandemic years of 2020, 2021 and 2022. Add the 16 to the 21 groundbreakings in 2020 — the most in more than two decades — and the 12 in 2021, and the three-year total of 49 works out to more than 18 per year.

That makes for the most temple construction starts over a three-year period in more than 20 years, since the 49 total groundbreakings in 1998 (17) and 1999 (32), when the Church was answering the charge of then-President Gordon B. Hinckley to have 100 dedicated temples by the end of the year 2000, or the end of the 20th century.

Tack on the two temple groundbreakings in 1997 or the three in 2000 to the 49 in 1998 and 1999, and you get either 51 or 54 — just a couple more than the 49 of 2020-2022.

With construction labeled as “critical trade” and “essential work,” temple building continued throughout the pandemic — ongoing construction, renovations and new builds.

This second part of a three-part series on 2022’s temple milestones looks specifically at temple groundbreakings as well as temples under construction or closed for major renovations.

Part 1 focused on temple dedications and rededications in 2022; Part 3 will treat temple announcements in 2022 as well as previously announced temples still in planning and design.

Construction on the Red Cliffs Utah Temple continues.

Construction on the Red Cliffs Utah Temple continues in St. George on Friday, June 10, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

At the end of 2022, the Church currently has 300 total temples, including:

  • 175 dedicated temples, including four under renovation
  • 56 under construction
  • 69 announced that are still in planning and design.

Temple groundbreakings in 2022

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Residents take their turns turning over the soil after President Russell M. Nelson gave the dedicatory prayer for the groundbreaking of the Heber Valley Temple ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Of the 16 temple groundbreakings in 2022, three groundbreakings were held in Central American countries, two in African nations, one on the South American continent and 10 in the United States — six of those in the state of Utah.

Presiding over most groundbreakings were General Authority Seventies — members of the corresponding area presidency for each temple. However, President Russell M. Nelson led two of the Utah groundbreakings, with Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Gary E. Stevenson, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, at a third. Also, Elder Brent H. Neilson of the Presidency of the Seventy presided at the groundbreaking in his hometown of Burley, Idaho.

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Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Gary E. Stevenson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their wives Sister Lesa Stevenson and Sister Mary Cook attend the groundbreaking for the Smithfield Utah Temple in Smithfield on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The following groundbreakings were held:

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Attendees at the Dec. 10, 2022, groundbreaking services for the Torreón Mexico Temple pause for a photo while at the shovel.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The 16 temples that had groundbreakings in 2022 are among the Church’s 56 temples under construction. That number also includes the three that have been scheduled for dedication in 2023 — the San Juan Puerto Rico, Richmond Virginia and Saratoga Springs Utah temples. 

The 37 other temples currently under construction, with pre-2022 groundbreakings, are:

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Presiding Bishopric Gérald Caussé, W. Christopher Waddell and L. Todd Budge tour the Layton Utah Temple in Layton on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Utah: Deseret Peak, Layton, Orem, Red Cliffs, Syracuse and Taylorsville temples.

Elsewhere in the United States: Bentonville Arkansas, Casper Wyoming, Feather River California, Helena Montana, McAllen Texas, Moses Lake Washington, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Tallahassee Florida temples

Central America: Cobán Guatemala, Puebla Mexico and San Pedro Sula Honduras temples.

South America: Antofagasta Chile, Brasília Brazil, Lima Peru Los Olivos, Mendoza Argentina, Salta Argentina and Salvador Brazil temples.

Africa: Abidjan Ivory Coast, Harare Zimbabwe and Nairobi Kenya temples.

Asia: Alabang Philippines, Bacalod Philippines, Bangkok Thailand, Bengaluru India, Davao Philippines, Okinawa Japan, Phnom Penh Cambodia and Urdaneta Philippines temples.

Oceania: Auckland New Zealand, Neiafu Tonga and Pago Pago American Samoa temples.

The construction site of the Auckland New Zealand Temple is next to the New Zealand Missionary Training Center.

The construction site of the Auckland New Zealand Temple is pictured next to the New Zealand Missionary Training Center in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Groundbreakings scheduled for 2023

One temple groundbreaking service has been scheduled for the coming year — the Querétaro Mexico Temple, on Jan. 7, 2023, with Elder Adrián Ochoa, General Authority Seventy, presiding.

Temples currently under renovation

Besides the Columbus Ohio Temple, which is scheduled for rededication on June 4, 2023, three pioneer-era temples are currently closed for extensive renovations. The three are:

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Renovation continues on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Temples scheduled for renovation

An additional three dedicated and operating temples have been scheduled for closure and extensive renovations. The three are:

Rendering of the reconstructed Provo Utah Temple

An exterior rendering of the redesigned and renovated Provo Utah Temple, which will close for those efforts after the dedication of the still-under-construction Orem Utah Temple.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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