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News / Churches & Religion

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build temple in Vancouver

Location, date for construction not yet announced

By Chrissy Booker, Columbian staff writer
Published: October 4, 2023, 6:03am

Local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have responded with joy to news that the church will build a new temple in Vancouver.

Mitch Taylor, a member of the Battle Ground First Ward in Ridgefield, told a reporter with thechurchnews.com in Salt Lake City that his phone blew up with excited messages from other members after the decision was announced Sunday.

“One sister in the ward said, ‘So excited! I am dancing in excitement!!’ Another said, ‘WOW!! Conference. Temple! Oh, the joy!!’” Taylor told the reporter. “A third message read, ‘What even is happening?’”

Temples differ from regular church buildings in their role of hosting marriages, baptisms and other religious instructional services. The church has 177 temples in operation, 59 under construction and 99 in planning and design.

The nearest temple to Vancouver is in Portland. While that temple is close enough for member participation, Taylor told thechurchnews.com that a temple in Vancouver means the ability to attend more frequently.

“Truly a blessing,” he said. “This will help me become a temple worker again.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Russell M. Nelson announced plans for 20 new temples worldwide during a semi-annual general conference. An announcement said the new temples are in the early planning stages, but said church leaders hope to build them over the next couple of years.

Washington is home to more than 280,000 members of the faith across 489 congregations, according to the church. This temple will be the first of its kind in Vancouver, and the sixth in Washington.

A specific location for the temple was not included in the announcement.

In recent years, the Latter-day Saints community has grown alongside Clark County’s population. In 2016, the church created a new stake, a collection of congregations, in addition to its five stakes that are part of the Portland temple. At the time, Steve McAllister, a spokesman for the stakes, said the Vancouver Mission had about 20,000 church members and membership was growing by 200 members annually.

Nelson also announced the following locations for other temples: Savai’i, Samoa; Kahului, Hawaii; Fairbanks, Alaska; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Tulsa, Okla.; Roanoke, Va; Cancún, Mexico; Piura, Peru; Huancayo, Peru; Viña del Mar, Chile; Goiânia, Brazil; João Pessoa, Brazil; Cape Coast, Ghana; Calabar, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Laoag, Philippines; Osaka, Japan and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.