Temple Update
January 1999

“Temple Update,” Ensign, Jan. 1999, 77–78

Temple Update

More Small Temples Announced

Plans to build five more small temples have been announced by the First Presidency. New temples will be constructed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Melbourne, Australia; Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. As of 13 November 1998, temples announced but not yet started numbered 25, temples for which ground had been broken numbered 20, and temples in operation numbered 53, for a total of 98 temples worldwide.

Bismarck North Dakota Temple Groundbreaking

“I believe this is more significant than any one of us can conceive,” said Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy, First Counselor in the North America Central Area Presidency, at groundbreaking services held 17 October for the Bismarck North Dakota Temple. “I don’t think we fully comprehend the majesty of this occasion.”

Elder Johnson presided over and conducted the groundbreaking, which was attended by Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Thomas A. Holt, an Area Authority Seventy. Nearly 1,000 people attended despite overcast skies and a cold wind. Prior to the shovel ceremony, music, talks, and the dedicatory prayer were held inside the Bismarck North Dakota Stake center.

When the temple is completed near the stake center, it will serve members living in the Winnipeg Manitoba Stake, Pierre South Dakota District, and Bismarck North Dakota and Fargo North Dakota Stakes, which include parts of Minnesota and South Dakota.

“As the walls of the temple go up, let your faithfulness go up,” said Bishop McMullin. Elder Holt suggested that while the acronym CTR means “Choose the Right” to Primary children, perhaps for adults it can also mean “Current Temple Recommend.” “Prepare yourselves,” he said. “Be ready. Be worthy to serve in the house of the Lord.”

Detroit Michigan Temple Groundbreaking

“Families can be forever and are ordained by God,” said Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy, North America Northeast Area President, at the groundbreaking held on 10 October for the Detroit Michigan Temple. Prior to offering the dedicatory prayer, Elder Jensen gave four suggestions for families living within the temple district: Pray that temple construction will progress on time and without injuries or undue delays; hang a picture of a temple in the home where children will see it and think, Someday I will go there; gather family histories, perhaps starting simply by asking family members questions and writing down the answers; and obtain a temple recommend and always carry it worthily.

Also in attendance was Elder David E. Sorensen of the Presidency of the Seventy, Executive Director of the Temple Department. Speaking of temple attendance, Elder Sorensen said, “It isn’t only what you see. It isn’t only what you hear. It is what you feel when you come.”

The temple will be built on the grounds of the Bloomfield Hills Michigan Stake center near Woodward Avenue, a road originally built in about 1815 by the Prophet Joseph Smith’s uncle and probably traveled by Joseph Smith on his way to Pontiac, Michigan, some 165 years ago.

Halifax Nova Scotia Temple Groundbreaking

“Don’t think of it as a small temple,” said Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy, North America Northeast Area President, at groundbreaking ceremonies held 12 October—Canada’s Thanksgiving Day—for the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple. “Make it big in your hearts.”

Despite autumn rains and cold temperatures, about 800 people gathered from Canada’s Maritime Provinces for the groundbreaking service, most of which was held inside the adjacent Dartmouth Nova Scotia Stake center. Speaking of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s recent challenge to local members to share the gospel, Elder Jensen said: “Pray to be led and have others led to you, and then open your mouth. The Lord will create a divine rendezvous.”

Reg Hilchie, a counselor in the New Brunswick stake presidency, said: “I have seen a lot of growth in the Church in the Maritimes. I remember meeting in hotels and school buildings. Now we have beautiful chapels everywhere and soon will have a beautiful temple.”

Spokane Washington Temple Groundbreaking

“Everyone in this city will be blessed by the establishment of this glorious edifice, member and nonmember alike,” said Elder F. Melvin Hammond of the Seventy, North America Northwest Area President, at groundbreaking ceremonies held 10 October for the Spokane Washington Temple.

About 1,000 people attended the groundbreaking, including Spokane mayor John Talbott, county commissioner Phil Harris, and county prosecutor Jim Sweetser. Elder Lowell Barber, an Area Authority Seventy, spoke during the meeting. When completed adjacent to the Spokane East stake center, the new temple will serve about 32,000 members living in 91 wards and branches in nine stakes: Coeur d’Alene Idaho, Colville Washington, Lewiston Idaho, Pullman Washington, Sandpoint Idaho, Spokane Washington, Spokane Washington East, Spokane Washington North, and Spokane Washington West.

“Workers are poised, waiting to start their labors,” said Elder Hammond at the groundbreaking. “The physical preparation is nearly completed for the building. Now we come to the spiritual readiness of those who will come to this holy place. If thoughtful preparation is not started in your own personal life, then I suggest to you that now is the time to begin such preparation.”

Temple Presidents Called

Sione Moala Fineanganofo of the Nuku‘alofa Eighth Ward, Nuku‘alofa Tonga North Stake, has been called as president of the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple; his wife, Telusila Falaetau Mahu’inga Fineanganofo, will serve as temple matron.

J. Clifford Wallace of the Felicita Ward, Escondido California South Stake, has been called as president of the San Diego California Temple; his wife, Elaine Jensen Wallace, will serve as temple matron.

Despite cold weather, about 1,000 people attended groundbreaking ceremonies for the Bismarck North Dakota Temple. (Photo by Janet Kruckenberg.)

In Detroit, children took turns with a shovel at the temple groundbreaking. (Photo by Denise Clegg.)

At its completion, the Spokane Washington Temple will serve about 32,000 members. (Photo courtesy of Pat Montgomery.)