As is tradition here at This Week in Mormons, it is time for our twice-yearly exercise in predicting the announcement of new temples. Mormon temples are different from everyday meetinghouses in purpose and scope, and the construction of a temple in an area typically speaks to the strength and size of Latter-day Saint congregations in that area.
In 2011 President Monson stated that 85 percent of Church membership was within 200 miles of a temple. That’s pretty cool. It’s also an imperfect measurement, since traveling 200 miles represents less time and difficulty in developed countries compared to developing ones, but it’s still a great jumping-off point for some data visualization.
As such, we’ve embedded an interactive map below that displays temples currently in operation, those under construction, those under construction with dedication dates announced, and those announced but not yet under construction. Each data point is then represented by a 200-mile-radius circle. Lastly, in keeping with the purpose of this article, we’ve also added radius circles for our predictions. If some circles look bigger than others as you go north, that’s just the result of map projections distorting scale.
Now that you have the map, we’ll provide some analysis. Our very own Joe Peterson and Geoff Openshaw have kindly offered up their services to make this article, and they shall discuss each selection in turn.
Please bear in mind that this is an exercise in demography and prediction. We completely recognize that we lack that vital extra component—revelation for the entire Church—in speculating about these things. All we can do is study it out in our minds and then make educated guesses.
That said, we’ve been correct many times in the past. If this were baseball we’d easily win the batting title. Just sayin’.
So hit that Next Page link and let’s get started in no particular order.