From the Church

3 new temple groundbreakings—‘The work [is] growing and prospering here in a marvelous and wonderful way’

Temple groundbreakings have been held over the last two months in American Samoa, Cambodia, and Wyoming. These three temples will join the almost 50 other temples that are currently under construction all over the world. Read more about each of the groundbreaking ceremonies and heartfelt reactions from local Latter-day Saints below.

► You may also like: Temples around the world: See photos of the most recent construction progress

Pago Pago American Samoa Temple Groundbreaking

Elder Brett Nattress is joined by special guests including Governor and Mrs. Mauga and others at the groundbreaking for the Pago Pago temple. American Samoa, October 2021
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On Saturday, October 31, 2021, the Church broken ground for the Pago Pago American Samoa Temple. This will serve as the second temple for Latter-day Saints in the Samoan Islands; the first was dedicated in 1983 in Apia.

Fun fact: according to Newsroom, the temple in Apia was originally announced for Pago Pago in 1977, but the location was moved in 1980 to Apia where it would be accessible for more Latter-day Saints in the region. When it was dedicated in 1983, it became the 22nd operating temple of the Church.

Elder K. Brett Nattress, a member of the Pacific Area Presidency, presided at the ceremony and was joined by Elder Faa’ipito Auapa’au, Area Seventy for American Samoa, Elder O. Vincent Haleck, emeritus General Authority Seventy as well as the American Samoa Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House.

As reported by Newsroom, Bishop Peter Brown of the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago was touched when he saw audience members in tears. He said, “This is a fulfillment of God's wishes and the hope of the people to get a temple in American Samoa.”

Jonalin Young, a local 15-year-old Latter-day Saint, told Newsroom, “God knew the right time to build a temple in American Samoa. A time when everyone is in despair due to the pandemic, a time when the temple is needed most by many, and the time when He knew of my aching heart, longing for a family of seven to be sealed. His timing is the perfect time.”

The groundbreaking can now be rewatched in both English and Samoan at

Read the full release on Newsroom here.

Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple Groundbreaking

Less than two months before, on September 18, 2021, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground for the Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple. President Veasna Kuonno Neang of the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission presided at the event and offered the dedicatory prayer.

President Neang said, “Today, a holy temple of God will begin its foundation representing the faithfulness, love, and joy of the saints in Cambodia. We know that when we come to the temple, we can feel closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be such a blessing to come to the temple as often as we can.”

Church members living in Cambodia have had to travel to Hong Kong or the Philippines for temple worship, making it a once-in-a-lifetime event for many members.

President Bunhouch Eng bore testimony at the groundbreaking as well. “I'm so excited,” he said. “I know that it’s not only us that are excited, but many of our ancestors are watching, rejoicing and excited with us concerning this sacred work, because they are hungry for the salvation of their souls.”

Read the full release from Newsroom here.

Casper Wyoming Temple Groundbreaking

And over 8000 miles away on October 9, 2021, ground was broken for the Casper Wyoming Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Quorum of the Seventy presided at the groundbreaking ceremony, Newsroom said. During the dedicatory prayer, Elder Nielsen said, “Our hearts are full of gratitude as we contemplate the magnitude of what is about to happen. This gathering is an answer to many prayers. We can only imagine the celebration on the other side of the veil among those whose sacrifices prepared the way for the blessings we enjoy today. Our hearts rejoice with them.”

Read the full release from Newsroom here.

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