Geoff: It’s got tons of members in a comparatively small area, and we haven’t built a temple in the Pacific isles for some time. Kiribati only has 100,000 people, yet there are two stakes on the island of Tarawa alone. Meetinghouses all over the atolls! Seriously, how is there not a temple here?
There’s not much else I can say that I haven’t said before on this one, so I’ll quote myself, as all good scholars do:
The scale is cropped out, but the atoll is 190 sq. miles with 50,000 people. There are 17 units on the atoll. That’s under 3,000 people—not members—per Church unit. Not bad. And this doesn’t speak to the Church’s presence throughout the rest of the country, which is strong.
The neighboring Marshall Islands has two stakes. The Federated States of Micronesia has one stake and two districts. Heck, there’s even a stake in Guam.
We have no temple in Micronesia or Melanesia. Kiribati and the Marshall Islands are currently assigned to the Laie Hawaii Temple, and Guam and the Fed. States of Micronesia are assigned to the Manila Philippines Temple. So yeah, We kinda need a temple in this neck of the woods.
Joe: What can I say, you’ve convinced me this go-around dear boy. After all, six stakes and two districts in a region that’s isolated and far from any other temples? That meets and exceeds the apparent bar for other locales. This one is a solid pick. The temple of the atolls. That has a very Indiana Jones ring to it, don’t you think?