Small groundbreaking services have recently been held for two temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Alabang Philippines Temple
In the Philippines, a service was held on June 4, 2020, for the Alabang Philippines Temple. Construction may begin when the area falls under “a modified general community quarantine,” Newsroom reported.
“We recognize that we are a small gathering because of the conditions that are still present in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world that limit our ability to gather in larger groups, and so we’re spaced from one another in what we refer to as 'social distancing,'” said Elder Evan Schmutz, Philippines Area President.
Currently, there are three temples in the Philippines—the Manila temple, the Cebu City temple, and the Urdaneta temple. Twenty-five years passed between the Manila temple groundbreaking, which was held in 1982, and the Cebu City temple groundbreaking, which was held in 2007. But in the years since, temples have been announced and built in the Philippines with increasing frequency.
“The decrease in the number of years in each of the four temple groundbreaking dates and the increase in the number of temples announced are clear evidence that the Lord is hastening His work in the Philippines,” said Elder Taniela Wakolo, a counselor in the Area Presidency.
During the ceremony, Elder Evan Schmutz, Philippines Area President, dedicated the ground as a place where the temple would be built and “the important work of salvation may be done.”
Watch a video of the groundbreaking below.
Read more about the groundbreaking at Church Newsroom.
► You may also like: The number of temples without an angel Moroni statue will soon double
Auckland New Zealand Temple
On Saturday, June 13, 2020, a groundbreaking was held for the Auckland New Zealand Temple. Guests included members of government, people of other faiths, and leaders of the community.
“This is an historic day as we dedicate the ground for the Auckland New Zealand Temple,” said Elder Ian S. Ardern, Pacific Area President. “For members of the Church, temples are the most holy of our places of worship.”
Mayor Phil Goff, mayor of Auckland, stated that it was “good to come together.” The mayor quoted a scripture from Doctrine and Covenants and stated that “we are free to worship as we choose. Together, we must defeat prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry. We stand together against these things.”
Elder Kazuhiko Yamasita, a General Authority Seventy, said that the temple would be a blessing not only for citizens of the New Zealand area but for the entire area.
"Having a temple here in Auckland is a great blessing for New Zealanders and also for everyone in the Pacific Area. It will be a center of spiritual strength,” he said.
Read the full story on Church Newsroom.
View the groundbreaking at Pacific.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.