Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joseph: My premise here is basically this: If The TabCATS can be America’s Choir then certainly, America’s Mountain can be a landmark for a temple. And since that’s what they call Pike’s Peak, that drivable Fourteener in Colorado Springs’ backyard, it stands to reason that a Mountain of the Lord could also be erected somewhere in the general vicinity. How’s that for the patriotic-religious complex Eisenhower warned us all about? Let’s also not forget the municipal park Garden of the Gods (pictured above). So. Much. Symbolism! Plus, the Springs is home to all sorts of evangelical megachurches. Point is, God is doing well in Colorado Springs.
Joking aside, this southern anchor (sorry, Pueblo) of the I-25 population corridor—basically the Colorado/Wyoming equivalent of the Wasatch Front—would be a great spot for a temple, particularly for the southern environs that would significantly cut down on travel time to Denver in order attend a session.
It looks like as many as 6 or 7 stakes would adhere to a temple in Colorado Springs as well. This depends on the Garden City Kansas stake, which is basically the western third of the state of Kansas and includes wards from as far away as Dodge City, or Olney. For them, it would just depend on how easier and faster it would be to get out of Dodge, so to speak, and into Colorado Springs instead.
Geoff: Having once spent an entire week at the Broadmoor, I have a certain partiality toward Colorado Springs. Aside from the obvious inclusion of the wonderful Pike’s Peak, as well as the beauty of Manitou Springs and Woodland Park, you hinted at some solid numbers to support the area. The Denver Colorado Temple, dedicated in 1984 , has 19 stakes feeding into it. You could easily make an argument for gobbling up the five stakes of Colorado Springs, the aforementioned Garden City Kansas Stake, as well as stakes in Pueblo, Alamosa, and Manassa. That’s a pretty justifiable temple district.
If there’s a small argument against, it’s that the Fort Collins Colorado Temple, which was only dedicated in 2016, pulls in members from 13 stakes, all of which used to service Denver. Do we chop off the five stakes of the Colorado Springs area plus Pueblo and that Kansas one, leaving the Denver temple with only 12? On the upside, Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, and there’s good reason to assume the immediate Denver area will see continued Church growth. And while the Springs has grown, there’s only been one new stake organized in the area since 1999.
Sometimes our honorable mentions wind up being the actual picks! Who knows what will transpire, but here they are:
- Vientiane, Laos
- Havana, Cuba
- Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
- Pyongyang, North Korea
- Asmara, Eritrea
- Plumridge Lakes, Australia
- Springville, Utah