General Authorities have often prophecied or proposed the future construction of temples to members in areas of the world where a temple was not conveniently located. Following are some temples that have been publicly proposed but not yet announced or constructed.
Kasai Region Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple
In February 2016, Elder Neil L. Andersen became the first member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to visit the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During the historic visit, Elder Andersen addressed a congregation of approximately 2,000 people who had gathered to hear the apostle and his wife, Kathy, both of whom speak French, at a special Sunday meeting for the members of Mbuji Mayi.
Although loud music coming from an adjoining church proved a distraction as the meeting began and as the speakers delivered their messages, members offered silent prayers. Remarkably, when Elder Andersen stood to speak, the music quieted through his entire address, resuming just before the closing prayer. "Is it not wonderful to be in a land where so many gather to worship in their own way, such as our neighbors?" he said with a smile.
In his remarks, Elder Andersen encouraged members to teach their children to work and to receive education. He taught the principles of tithing and asked parents to teach their children likewise. He spoke of the importance of temple worship and shared experiences from the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple, where he presided two days earlier. He invited members to prepare for a temple in the Kasai. The congregation was visibly moved and filled with hope by his comments.
In closing, Elder Andersen remarked on the spirituality of the members in the Kasai region, expressing gratitude for their faith and devotion. He blessed them to receive blessings sufficient to meet their needs.1
Maracaibo Venezuela Temple
At a special fireside held August 3, 1999, President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed approximately 5,000 Venezuelan members who had gathered in the city of Maracaibo to hear the prophet of the Lord. He encouraged members in their missionary work, noting that as membership increases, so does the possibility of new temples in the land. He foresaw the growth of the Church in South America declaring, "Where there are now hundreds of thousands, there will be millions and our people will be recognized for the goodness of their lives and they will be respected and honored and upheld. We shall build meetinghouses, more and more of them to accommodate their needs, and we shall build temples in which they may receive their sacred ordinances and extend those blessings to those who have gone beyond the veil of death."
President Hinckley pointed out the construction of the temple in Caracas, an eight-hour drive from Maracaibo. "You really need a temple over here," he said. "I am not making any promises, but I feel satisfied the time will come when we will have a temple in this part of Venezuela. Make your plans to drive that eight hours to Caracas and eight hours back and then look forward to the time when you won't have to drive so far."2
New Delhi India Temple
In June 1992, Elder Neal A. Maxwell visited the Saints of New Delhi where "prophecies were given (conditional upon member sharing [the term used by Elder Maxwell to mean fellowshipping and teaching friends about the gospel]) that Delhi would have a [Latter-day Saint] temple and great expansion of the work." At the time, there were fewer than a thousand members in India. But despite the great cost in time and money to travel to the closest temples in Hong Kong, China and Manila, Philippines, the Indian Saints began to go.
President Gurcharan Singh Gill, a native Indian and professor of mathematics at BYU who had been called to serve as the first president of the India Bangalore Mission, made it his goal to assist more members to become worthy to attend the temple. He reported, "We had thirty-seven people go to the temple, and fifteen families were sealed together with their parents and children….That has really been a spark. Now the people know what being married forever means, what we have that other people don't have, how our temple marriages are so sacred and different than their marriages from the other churches, and so forth….Those people have come back and really stirred the members into doing family history work, genealogy work, and beginning to pay tithes so they can go to the temple someday. It has really spurred a lot of enthusiasm."3
At a member meeting in Singapore held January 30, 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley said in his remarks: "I said to one of the brethren tonight, 'How much does it cost you to go to Hong Kong to go to the temple?' He said, 'Oh, between 500 and 800 Singaporean dollars.' That's a lot of money, isn't it? Bless you for what you have done. The Lord bless you for the fact that you have made that sacrifice and taken advantage of that great and marvelous opportunity of going to the temple in Hong Kong.
"I want to throw out to you the challenge of promoting the growth of the Church in this area to a point where someday we can have a Singapore Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You live among those for whom a great work needs to be done in the house of the Lord, a great vicarious work. If it gets done, you're going to have to do it. I believe with all my heart that within this great city somewhere we could locate a temple. I don't know how the design will be; land is terribly expensive. But we built a temple on very expensive land in Hong Kong, and you're familiar with that. We could do the same here.
"Hurry along. Bring people into the Church. Bring them in with love. Bring them in with kindness. Bring them in with the example of your lives. So live the gospel that they will see in you something of wonder and beauty and be encouraged to inquire, study the gospel, and join the Church and thus build the membership here so that the time could come in the not-too-distant future when we might have a sacred house of the Lord in this part of the earth."4
Vilnius Lithuania Temple
On a beautiful spring morning in May 1993 from atop Gedimino Hill, overlooking the Old Town of Vilnius, Elder M. Russell Ballard dedicated the land of Lithuania for the preaching of the gospel. Standing near a partially renovated castle at the top of the hill, he was joined by 27 others including his wife, Barbara; Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Seventy and first counselor in the Europe Area presidency and his wife, LeAnn; and Pres. Charles Creel of the Russia St. Petersburg Mission and his wife, Susann.
Before uttering his prayer of dedication, Elder Ballard addressed the humble gathering: "From this small beginning, you will see the Church grow and prosper here. There will be many branches and then a district and, in the Lord's due time, there will be stakes. Who knows, if we could look out 50 years, perhaps a small temple. That all depends on us, really, and how diligent we are willing to be, and how wise and prudent we are willing to be as we proceed to establish the kingdom of God in Lithuania."
In his prayer, Elder Ballard asked that people of Lithuania be granted peace and prosperity. "Help them, Heavenly Father," he asked, "as they make this great transition to freedom, which freedom has brought to the people the privilege of missionaries of thy Church to be here to teach the gospel of thy Son Jesus Christ to the people." He prayed that "they may put aside tradition and forget the past repression. Give them the vision of the blessing of freedom so in the future they may prosper in this land. Lift this people so they can receive all of the blessings that thou wouldst have them receive." He further stated: "The people of this land have a goodness and many of them have righteousness in their hearts. Let that be touched by the missionaries so thy work may move forward."5
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "First Visit By An Apostle to Central Congo," 17 Feb. 2016.
- "Pres. Hinckley urges more missionary effort in Venezuela," Church News 14 Aug. 1999, 27 Aug. 2010 <https://www.thechurchnews.com/archive/1999-08-14/pres-hinckley-urges-more-missionary-effort-in-venezuela-16135>.
- R. Lanier Britsch, "South Asia 1982–1996," From the East: The History of the Latter-day Saints in Asia, 1851-1996 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1998) 553–554.
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Singapore Member Meeting," Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Volume 2: 2000–2004 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 2005).
- "4 European lands dedicated," Church News, 12 Jun. 1993, 16 Feb. 2016 <http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/23051/4-European-lands-dedicated.html>.