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Temples in 2023, Part 1: President Nelson announces 35 temple locations for 2nd straight year

With 35 each in 2023 and 2022 and 34 in 2021, the President of the Church has announced 104 temple locations in just three years and 153 so far in his 6-year tenure.

Editor’s note: This is the first article of a three-part series on temple milestones during 2023. Part 2 looks at dedications and rededications; Part 3 deals with groundbreakings, construction and renovations.

For the second straight year, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced during 2023 locations for 35 new temples — equaling the most ever in one calendar year. And that came the year before, when President Nelson announced 35 new temple locations for the first time.

Add the 35 each in 2022 and 2023 to the 34 he announced a year earlier, in 2021, and that totals 104 houses of the Lord in a three-year stretch — the second half of the six years that he has led the Church.

In those six years as President of the Church, he has announced 153 new temples — nearly 46% of the Church’s 335 total number of temples that are dedicated, under construction or in planning.

The breakdown of status of those 335 temples, as of the end of 2023, is:

  • 186 dedicated temples.
  • 6 temples scheduled for dedication.
  • 47 temples under construction.
  • 1 temple scheduled for groundbreaking.
  • 47 temples with published site locations.
  • 48 temples announced but without sites.

The 186 dedicated temples include one renovated temple scheduled for rededication, four temples under renovation and four more temples scheduled to begin renovations in 2024.

“Jesus Christ is the reason we build temples,” President Nelson said just before listing 15 new temple locations at the end of the April 2023 general conference. “Each is His holy house.”

President Russell M. Nelson greets conferencegoers in the Conference Center.
President Russell M. Nelson greets conferencegoers in the Conference Center before the Sunday afternoon session of the 193rd Annual General Conference on April 2, 2023. In the session, he announced 15 new temple locations. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple locations announced in 2023

On that day — April 2, 2023 — he announced temples for:

Similar to what he had done in previous general conferences, the Prophet then offered an invitation with promised blessings about temple participation. “Making covenants and receiving essential ordinances in the temple, as well as seeking to draw closer to [Christ] there, will bless your life in ways no other kind of worship can.”

For that reason, he added, the Church and its leaders “are doing all within our power to make the blessings of the temple more accessible to our members around the world.”

Six months later, on Oct. 1, at the conclusion of the October 2023 general conference, he announced 20 more new locations for houses of the Lord. That marked the second time President Nelson had announced the most temple locations in one setting — he had 20 during the April 2021 general conference two and a half years earlier.

President Russell M. Nelson speaks through video message during the 193rd Semiannual General Conference.
President Russell M. Nelson speaks through video message during the 193rd Semiannual General Conference, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in the Conference Center. He announced 20 new temple locations during his address. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

At the April 1998 general conference, late Church President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans to construct as many as 32 new temples, but he did not list specific locations at that time. His announcement came as he set a goal for the Church to have 100 dedicated temples by the end of 2000, or the end of the 20th century.

The 20 locations President Nelson identified in October 2023 general conference are:

Of the 35 new temple locations identified in 2023, 12 are in 10 different states, including two each in California and Virginia. The other 23 planned houses of the Lord are spread across 16 countries, including four in Brazil and three each in Peru and the Philippines.

Announced temples are made by location, with the temple usually adopting the name of the city and state or country. However, names can be amended or changed — sometimes because of multiple temples in the same city, other times because of an adjustment in the actual site location.

The latter was the case with the Dec. 4 name change for the house of the Lord announced for Prosper, Texas, in October 2022 to the McKinney Texas Temple.

Related Stories
Temples in 2023, Part 2: This year’s 11 dedications the most in more than 20 years
Temples in 2023, Part 3: Just 8 groundbreakings, but dozens under construction and scores in planning
Site location map for the McKinney Texas Temple.
Site location map for the McKinney Texas Temple, which originally was announced in October 2022 as a house of the Lord for the North Dallas city of Prosper, Texas. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple sites released in 2023

When the Church announces actual temple site locations, it does so with a site map, a rough projection of the size in stories or levels and approximate size in square feet. Size and appearance can be changed as the planning and design continue and into the construction phase. Also announced is the acreage of the projected temple grounds and sometimes mention of planned auxiliary buildings, such as meetinghouses, patron housing, distribution centers or welcome centers.

In 2023, the Church released the sites for 28 new houses of the Lord — eight in the United States and 20 elsewhere around the globe. Of the 28, 10 were for temples announced earlier in the year.

The eight U.S. temple sites are spread across seven states, with two in California. And the 20 temple sites outside of the U.S. are in 15 countries, with five in Brazil and two in Nigeria.

Below are the 28 temple sites announced in 2023 (asterisks identify the 10 temples that were announced by President Nelson earlier in the year).

Site location map for the Vienna Austria Temple.
Site location map for the Vienna Austria Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Exterior rendering of the Barcelona Spain Temple.
Exterior rendering of the Barcelona Spain Temple | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Exterior renderings released in 2023

Exterior renderings of new temples provide a visual representation of a planned house of the Lord. The renderings come before the start of construction, and a temple’s final appearance may be modified with the addition or removal of certain features or changes in architectural design.

The Church has no set timetable for the release of the exterior renderings for its new temples. Sometimes renderings accompany the release of the temple’s site location, sometimes not until the Church announces the groundbreaking services prior to construction, and sometimes in between those two milestone announcements.

Grand Rapids Michigan Temple rendering includes a single-story house of the Lord, a single central spire and arched entryway.
Exterior rendering of the Grand Rapids Michigan Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Exterior renderings were released in 2023 for the following temples:

Exterior rendering of the Oslo Norway Temple
Exterior rendering of the Oslo Norway Temple | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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A by-the-numbers look at all 153 new temple locations announced by President Nelson since he became President of the Church
President Nelson announces 20 new temple locations, increasing Church’s total to 335 worldwide
See the 15 new temple locations announced by President Nelson
A mid-2023 look at temple milestones — dedications, rededications, groundbreakings and announcements
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