Templegeddon continues. What started last year with the announcement of the long-term closures of two temples—Washington DC and Oakland California—continued months later with the announcement of four other temples closing, including the inconvenient closure of the Tokyo Japan Temple. All of these closures are related to the need to give the temples some much-needed love in the form of renovations, but it doesn’t make their closures any less of a bummer for regular patrons.
We hadn’t received word of further temple closures for many months, but now that 2018 is upon us, it appears the onslaught has recommenced. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the closure of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple in July 2018 for renovations and a “seismology upgrade,” that latter of which is probably a good idea for a temple that was dedicated in 1955. The renovations will last until 2021, after which the temple will be rededicated.
That brings the total number of temples currently closed for renovations to seven, with four slated to close, and one awaiting rededication following a lengthy closure.
The Hamilton New Zealand Temple is the first temple in the southern hemisphere and something of a sister to the Bern Switzerland Temple. With its closure, Church members will have to travel to (presumably) Australia or Fiji to take part in temple work.
President Monson’s old refrain that 85 percent of Church membership was within 200 miles of a temple is taking a bit of a temporary ding. A necessary ding, but a ding, nonetheless.