Local and world temple updates have many people excited

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Utah County is experiencing many changes to temples over the next few years.

The Provo Utah Temple will close on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in preparation for planned renovations. These renovations, announced in October 2021, will include an expansive architectural redesign.

Provo Utah Temple worker Eliza Young volunteers at the temple to escape the daily “hustle and bustle.”

“I love that it’s like my time away from the world … just being able to focus on ordinances for a long period of time,” Young said.

Young mentioned some plans for current workers at the Provo Utah Temple to continue their work in the Orem or Provo City Center temples while the Provo Utah Temple undergoes construction, once the Orem Utah Temple opens.

The dedication of the Orem Utah Temple is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2024. The open house, scheduled from Oct. 27 to Dec. 16, will precede the dedication.

The completion of that temple will bring the total number of operational temples in Utah County to six, with a seventh to be completed in Lindon in 2025.

In total, the Church has 178 fully constructed and dedicated temples.

Since his Presidency began, President Russell M. Nelson has announced plans to build an additional 133 temples. Of those announced temples, five have been dedicated, six are scheduled for dedication, 43 are under construction, two groundbreakings are scheduled, eight renderings have been released and 22 sites have been announced.

Latter-day Saints are looking forward to the temple growth, with returned missionary Andrew Fisher especially excited about the Philippines temples that have been announced or are under construction.

Fisher, who served a mission in the Philippines, said these temples are needed. Right now, the island has two operational temples across its 2,000 inhabited islands. For Fisher, building temples makes the promises of eternal families “a little more real.”

“The thing I felt like drove the most amount of people to actually be open to the church and wanting to see what it was all about,” Fisher said.

Sarah Wilson, who served a mission in Peru, is looking forward to the construction of several temples in addition to the seven already in the country. She said it is often difficult for members to reach the nearest temples.

In one particular area Wilson served, Iquitos, she said it was “rare” for any new members to make the trip.

“People would maybe go once in their lifetime, because the closest temple to them at that time was Lima, the capital city and there’s a lot of poverty,” Wilson said.

She said some members would have to save money for years to be able to take their families to the temple, often taking a boat or bus, which could take several days.

The expansion in the worldwide network of temples, especially in areas with limited access like Iquitos, can make temple service attainable for thousands of members.

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