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Temples in 2023, Part 2: This year’s 11 dedications the most in more than 20 years

Temple dedications this year included a first-ever 3 in a single day and 2 more on 1 day a month later

Editor’s note: This is the second article of a three-part series on temple milestones during 2023. Part 1 looked at announcement of new temples and site locations; Part 3 deals with groundbreakings, construction and renovations.

In 2023, 11 temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were dedicated by members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

That is the most in a calendar year since 27 houses of the Lord were dedicated in 2000, the year the Church was rushing to meet the late President Gordon B. Hinckley’s charge to have 100 total dedicated temples by the end of the 20th century.

In the 22 years between 2000 and 2023, the most temples dedicated in a year were six — both in 2016 and 2019.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson, meet with youth outside the Okinawa Japan Temple.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson, meet with youth in Okinawa outside the new Okinawa Japan Temple on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The most recently dedicated house of the Lord — the Okinawa Japan Temple — is the Church’s 186th temple overall. Sometime in the next year, the Church could reach — and surpass — the benchmark of 200 dedicated temples.

Already, six temple dedications have been scheduled over the first five and a half months of 2024. By comparison, the Church had only three houses of the Lord dedicated over a similar stretch in the first half of 2023.

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Members arrive at the Bangkok Thailand Temple prior to the dedication.
Members arrive at the Bangkok Thailand Temple prior to its dedication service on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The Church today has 335 total temples dedicated, under construction, or announced and in planning. The breakdown by status, 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.

The McAllen Texas temple on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.
The McAllen Texas temple on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Temple worship helps one ‘think celestial’

Spending more time in the temple builds faith, and service and worship in the temple will help one to “think celestial,” said President Russell M. Nelson at the conclusion of the October 2023 general conference, underscoring the “think celestial” theme of his message.

In the temple Latter-day Saints are “shown how to progress toward a celestial life,” he said. “There you are drawn closer to the Savior and given greater access to His power. There you are guided in solving the problems in your life — even your most perplexing problems.”

The ordinances and covenants of the temple “are of eternal significance,” he added. “We continue to build more temples to make these sacred possibilities become a reality in each of your lives.”

Elder Ulisses Soares, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. pauses at the Feather River California Temple
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles pauses outside the Feather River California Temple in Yuba City, California, on Sunday October 8, 2023 | Caleb Brown, for the Deseret News

Multiple dedications in a single day

For the first time ever, three temples were dedicated on the same day, in 2023, each by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. On Sunday, Sept. 17, Elder Neil L. Andersen dedicated the Brasília Brazil Temple, followed two hours later by Elder David A. Bednar dedicating the Bentonville Arkansas Temple. Two hours after that, Elder Quentin L. Cook dedicated the Moses Lake Washington Temple.

Three weeks later came another multiple-dedication day involving Apostles, with Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf dedicating the McAllen Texas Temple on Sunday, Oct. 8, followed by Elder Ulisses Soares dedicating the Feather River California Temple.

Rodrigo Ceja takes a photo of Gregg and Maida Jones and their son Liam, 9, of Moses Lake, Washington, following the first of two dedication sessions of the Moses Lake Washington Temple, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.
Rodrigo Ceja takes a photo of Gregg Jones; his wife, Maida; and son Liam, 9, of Moses Lake, Washington, following first of two dedication ceremonies of the Moses Lake Washington Temple, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. | Brian Nicholson, for the Deseret News

Of the 11 temples dedicated in 2023, seven are in the United States. They include the Helena Montana Temple, the Church’s first temple built using a faster method of modular construction, and the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple, the first of a coming slate of dedications in the state of Utah.

The four temples outside of the United States are in three countries and one U.S. territory.

Elder David A. Bednar and Sister Susan Bednar greet friends outside the Bentonville Arkansas Temple.
Elder David A. Bednar of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, greet Sam and Mary Dunn outside the Bentonville Arkansas Temple on the day of its dedication — Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023 — in Bentonville, Arkansas. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In addition to the dedications of new temples, two previously dedicated temples that underwent extensive renovations were rededicated in 2023, including the St. George Utah Temple — the Church’s oldest operating temple and the first completed from President Russell M. Nelson’s April 2019 charge to renovate the Church’s pioneer-era temples.

A second such temple — the Manti Utah Temple — is scheduled for rededication in 2024, with the iconic Salt Lake Temple still under renovations. Its projected completion date was adjusted this year from 2025 to 2026.

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Temples in 2023, Part 3: Just 8 groundbreakings, but dozens under construction and scores in planning
The Brasília Brazil Temple at dusk.
The Brasília Brazil Temple, July 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple dedications in 2023

The following temples were dedicated in 2023, withthe date, the presiding officer and its rank in chronological order of all dedicated temples:

President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, waves to a crowd gathered outside the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple.
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, waves to a crowd gathered outside the temple following the second session of the dedication of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple in Saratoga Springs, Utah, on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Latter-day Saints depart the Helena Montana Temple between dedication sessions on Sunday, June 18, 2023, in Helena, Montana.
Latter-day Saints depart the Helena Montana Temple between dedication sessions on Sunday, June 18, 2023, in Helena, Montana. | Colter Peterson, for the Deseret News

Temple rededications in 2023

And the two rededications in 2023 of renovated houses of the Lord:

President M. Russell Ballard greets two children at the Columbus Ohio Temple
President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, greets Russel Boss, 12, and Elizabeth “Eliza” Boss, 10, after attending the Columbus Ohio Temple dedication on Sunday, June 4, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
President Jeffrey R. Holland, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles middle, stands outside the St. George Utah Temple with other Church leaders.
President Jeffrey R. Holland, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, middle, stands outside the St. George Utah Temple on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, with, from left, Elder Brian K. Taylor, a General Authority Seventy; Elder Matthew S. Holland, a General Authority Seventy; Elder Kevin R. Duncan, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department; and Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé. | Nick Adams, for the Deseret News

Looking ahead to 2024

The six dedications already scheduled for 2024 are:

People walk around the San Juan Puerto Rico Temple between dedication sessions.
People walk around the San Juan Puerto Rico Temple between dedication sessions in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Also scheduled is the April 21 rededication of the Manti Utah Temple.

Related Stories
A first for the Church of Jesus Christ: 3 temples to be dedicated on same day — Sunday, Sept. 17
Church is dedicating 6 temples in just 36 days — but as many have been dedicated in shorter times before
President Dallin H. Oaks dedicates the Richmond Virginia Temple, saying ‘Jesus Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone’
How the Saratoga Springs temple dedication begins a wave of temple growth in Utah over the next several years
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