Feature Stories

The number of temples in Africa is about to quadruple + 15 other temple stats

60743.jpg
Durban South Africa Temple
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Editor's note: This article originally ran on LDS Living in April 2021. It has now been updated to reflect recent temple announcments and the status of temple construction around the world.

During the Sunday afternoon session of general conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced 17 temples to be built in locations around the world. President Nelson said these new temples will bless countless lives on both sides of the veil.

Here are 15 facts and stats about temple announcements, locations, and construction you might not know.

1. President Nelson’s announcement in October 2022 will bring the total number of temples worldwide to 300.

Right now, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 168 operating temples, 52 new temples under construction, 4 temples undergoing renovation projects, 4 temples awaiting dedication, and 73 more temples announced where construction has yet to start.

2. The October 2022 announcement of 18 temples was the third-highest number of temples announced at one time.

The highest number of temples announced at once was 30 (see #3 below), and the second-highest was in April 2021, when President Nelson announced 20 new temples.

3. The April 1998 announcement was the highest number of temples announced at one time.

60744.jpg
ChurchofJesusChrist.org screenshot

In the April 1998 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans to construct 30 smaller temples immediately. He did not give specific cities at the time, but announced temples would be constructed in Europe, Asia, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, the United States, and Canada.

“This will make a total of 47 new temples in addition to the 51 now in operation,” President Hinckley said. “I think we had better add 2 more to make it an even 100 by the end of this century, being 2,000 years ‘since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh’ (Doctrine & Covenants 20:1).”

4. President Nelson has now announced 118 temples in four and a half years.

President Nelson has announced temples in every general conference since he became the 17th President of the Church in January 2018:

5. Of the 118 temples announced by President Nelson, 77 temples have been announced outside of the United States.

More than half of the temples announced by President Nelson have been announced in locations outside of the United States. Overall, he has announced temples in 45 countries.

6. In Utah alone, President Nelson has announced ten new temples and one temple to be renovated.

Just over a quarter of the temples President Nelson has announced in the United States have been in Utah. Temples announced in Utah have been spread across eight counties:

  • Cache County: Smithfield
  • Davis County: Syracuse and Layton
  • Tooele County: Deseret Peak (located in Tooele) 
  • Salt Lake County: Taylorsville
  • Sanpete County: Ephraim
  • Utah County: Orem, Lindon, and renovation of the Provo temple
  • Washington County: Red Cliffs (located in St. George)
  • Wasatch County: Heber Valley

7. The number of temples in Africa will more than quadruple.

60745.jpg
Top row from left to right: Aba Nigeria Temple, Accra Ghana Temple, Durban South Africa Temple. Bottom row from left to right: Johannesburg South Africa Temple, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple. Images from Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Africa currently has five operating temples:

  • Aba Nigeria Temple
  • Accra Ghana Temple
  • Durban South Africa Temple
  • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
  • Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple

Five new temples are under construction:

  • Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple
  • Harare Zimbabwe Temple
  • Praia Cape Verde Temple
  • Freetown Sierra Leone Temple
  • Nairobi Kenya Temple

12 new temple locations have been announced:

  • Beira, Mozambique
  • Benin City, Nigeria
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Kumasi, Ghana
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
  • Monrovia, Liberia
  • Eket, Nigeria

This will bring the total number of temples in Africa to 23, more than quadrupling the current number of five operating temples.

8. President Nelson has announced the first temple in eight countries.

Since his first temple announcement in April 2018 general conference, President Nelson has announced the first temple for the following countries:

  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Mozambique
  • Republic of Singapore
  • Madagascar
  • Liberia
  • Republic of the Congo

9. Soon 27 countries will have more than one temple. 

Of the eighteen new temples announced by President Nelson in October 2022, all eighteen locations are in countries that already have temples:

  • Chiclayo—Peru will have 6 temples.
  • Buenos Aires City Center—Argentina will have 6 temples.
  • Londrina and Ribeirão Prêto—Brazil will have 18 temples.
  • Huehuetenango—Guatemala will have 5 temples.
  • Naga and Santiago—Philippines will have 10 temples.
  • Eket—Nigeria will have 4 temples.
  • Pachuca, Toluca, Tula, and Cuernavaca—Mexico will have 23 temples.
  • Seoul and Busan—Korea will have 2 temples.
  • Jacksonville, Florida; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Prosper, Texas; Lone Mountain, Nevada; Tacoma, Washington—The United States will have 124 temples.

The countries that have or will have multiple temples are:

  • 124 temples: United States
  • 23 temples: Mexico
  • 18 temples: Brazil
  • 10 temples: Philippines
  • 9 temples: Canada
  • 6 temples: Argentina, Peru
  • 5 temples: Australia, Guatemala
  • 4 temples: Nigeria, Japan, Chile
  • 3 temples: Bolivia, Colombia, Nigeria, South Africa, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 2 temples: Ecuador, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, Tonga, Spain, Taiwan, Korea

10. In the United States, 21 states will have more than one temple.

The states that have or will have multiple temples are:

  • 28 temples: Utah
  • 10 temples: California
  • 9 temples: Idaho
  • 8 temples: Texas
  • 6 temples: Arizona
  • 5 temples: Washington, Florida
  • 4 temples: Nevada
  • 3 temples: Colorado, Oregon, Montana, Tennessee, Wyoming
  • 2 temples: Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan

11. In the United States, 11 states do not have a temple.

States without a temple (announced, under construction, or dedicated) are Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

12. A growing number of temples will not feature an angel Moroni statue.

Increasingly, new temple renderings show temples without the iconic angel Moroni statue. Of the 62 new temple renderings released by the Church, 51 do not feature an angel Moroni statue. The statue currently sits atop 157 of the 170 operating temples of the Church, though a rendering of the Hong Kong China Temple shows this temple losing its statue during its current extensive renovation.

► You may also like: How many Latter-day Saint temples are without an angel Moroni statue?

11. The quickest time between a temple announcement and temple dedication was 9 months and 22 days.

ChurchofJesusChristTemples.org notes the Monticello Utah Temple was dedicated just 9 months and 22 days after its announcement. The temple was announced on October 4, 1997, and ground was broken shortly thereafter on November 17, 1997. The temple was dedicated on July 26, 1998.

13. The number of temples has grown exponentially during President Nelson’s lifetime.

In April 2020, Elder David A. Bednar shared the following in general conference:

“When President Nelson was born on September 9, 1924, the Church had six operating temples. When he was ordained an Apostle on April 7, 1984, 60 years later, 26 temples were operating, an increase of 20 temples in 60 years. When President Nelson was sustained as President of the Church, 159 temples were operating, an increase of 133 temples in the 34 years during which he served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. …Ninety-six percent of the existing temples have been dedicated during President Nelson’s lifetime; 84% have been dedicated since he was ordained an Apostle.”

14. The number of temples announced during President Nelson’s tenure as prophet is unprecedented.

As reported by the Deseret News, after his April 2022 temple announcement, President Nelson increased the total number of the church’s temples by 55%. As of October 2022, he has now announced 39% of all temples worldwide.

15. 11 temple groundbreakings have already been held in 2022, two more groundbreakings have been announced for later this year.

The Freetown Sierra Leone, Bahía Blanca Argentina, Grand Junction Colorado, Lindon Utah, Farmington New Mexico, Elko Nevada, Burley Idaho, Yorba Linda California, Smithfield Utah, Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ephraim Utah temple groundbreaking ceremonies have already taken place in 2022. Ground will be broken for temples in Heber Valley Utah and Willamette Valley Oregon temples later this year.

16. President Nelson has announced the most temples during his time as President of the Church. 

60748.jpg

As stated earlier, since becoming President of the Church, President Nelson has announced 118 temples. His April 2022 announcement put him just past President Gordon B. Hinckley, who announced 78 temples during his time as prophet.

“Temples are a vital part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness,” President Nelson said in his concluding remarks during April 2021 conference. “Ordinances of the temple fill our lives with power and strength—available in no other way. We thank God for those blessings.”

Share
Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content