Bengaluru India Temple
Geoff: OK, we’ve mentioned India a few times on here, usually as a bit of a lark even if the data supports building a temple there as a preemptive move. And since we were correct about a temple in Bangkok (which now has a fantastic artist’s rendering), I say ye must listen to us, dear readers! However, you’ll notice one big change: previously we have called for a temple in Hyderabad, the center of the Church in India. That might still happen, but now we’re moving to Bengaluru, better known as Bangalore to most of us. And why is that?
Because President Nelson is stopping there on his Global Ministry Tour ’18 (get a t-shirt!).
This may seem like a strange reason to predict a temple announcement. After all, General Authorities travel abroad regularly without temple announcements involved. However, check out the stops on President Nelson’s itinerary:
- London, England
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Harare, Zimbabwe
- Bengaluru, India
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Hong Kong
- Honolulu, Hawaii
Out of those, how many have a temple or are building a temple? All of them except Bengaluru and Jerusalem. For political reasons, we know there won’t be a temple in Jerusalem, and a visit to the Holy Land is for entirely different reasons.
That leaves India as the odd one out. It’s no guarantee, but President Nelson has stressed temple attendance in his initial remarks to the saints. So why not preempt the India visit by announcing a temple? It makes perfect sense. And God makes sense (except when he doesn’t).
As far as numbers, the Church has 58 units in India, up from 49 the last time we did this. That’s growth! There are stakes! There are people hungry for the gospel.
Ironically, I’m not sure why we aren’t sending more missionaries to Nagaland and Mizoram, which are more Christian than Alabama. They aren’t huge population centers, but what could go wrong by sending missionaries into an isolated part of Northeast India on the border with Myanmar?!
I say the last part in jest, but in all seriousness, the growth center for the Church has been in southern India, which is more Christian than northern India.
Neighboring Pakistan has seen tremendous Church growth, but a difficult political situation between the neighboring states might make a temple even as close as New Delhi unattainable for those across the border. For that reason I almost gave the edge to Abu Dhabi once more, but for now, I’m sitting with India.
Joe: Indeed the political dicey-ness in this part of the world that is nonetheless seeing membership gains and church growth make India the stable destination on deck to get a House of the Lord. But let this be an additional motivator for world peace and religious freedom (the global kind, not the overly politicized American kind). There are people, many people, waiting for the blessings of the restored gospel, including temple blessings in this vast and vastly populated region of the world.
*steps off soapbox. OK, back to the prediction at hand, consider this: a temple in India, regardless of where, is a temple for all of India. At this point, given the size of the country, and the promising-but-fledgling growth of membership there, any city with a stake is as good a pick as another. This is why, I think, President Nelson’s trip is perhaps a tell, all other things being equal. Well, that and my nephew just left on his mission bound to Bengaluru. So it’s Bengaluru or bust for me when it comes to this ace of a guess.