17 new temples?

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Hagoth
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17 new temples?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Apr 04, 2022 6:25 am

A spokesman for the church said on the news that they are accelerating the rate of temple building to keep up with the church's rapid growth.

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How many announced temples have not even broken ground yet?

I feel bad for the next guy who has to actually deal with the fallout of Nelson's fantasy world. I expect them to continue to ramp up the Last Days talk to put a sense of urgency on these kinds of things. And not one red cent for building these will come out of the Ensign Peak fund; more pressure on local members to feed the beast.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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stealthbishop
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Apr 04, 2022 6:42 am

REAL ESTATE!!!! Just another investment. They also of course generate tithing revenue.

Not saying that they don't give people meaningful spiritual experiences. They do (for some). Just not my thing. I can get my spiritual experiences and meaning, purpose and awe and community in different ways. Thanks but no thanks.
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Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

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lostinmiddlemormonism
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Mon Apr 04, 2022 8:00 am

Temple building has 4 major drivers:
1. Proximity
2. Capacity
3. Investment
4. Perception

Let's deal with each in its turn.

1. Proximity. It is a reasonable presumption to make that temples are and should be built in close proximity to the saints and to ease their travel requirements to attend the temple. For example the Washington D.C. Temple was the first temple built east of the Mississippi River since the abandonment to Nauvoo. Prior to this, members of the church east of the river faced an extensive drive to Salt Lake or equivalent. While the construction of the D.C. temple did little to ease the plight of Saints in Iowa for example (since it didn't substantially shorten the drive), it did significantly shorten the drive for Saints on the eastern seaboard, throughout the classic south, and the rust belt. Proximity would seem to be a rational reason for temple building and location.

2. Capacity. 81 temples are currently in the US with 27 or 33% of those being in Utah. This seems an extravagance in this area until you realize that of the approximately 6.5 million members of the church inside the United States that over 2 million (or 33%) of them live in Utah. It would stand to reason that the more usage a temple gets the greater the likelihood that another temple will be built in near proximity to handle the work load required. This can justify why it is possible to see one temple from another in parts of the Wasatch front.

So far, this seems too track. Proximity makes sense as to why you might choose to build a temple in Washington D.C.; London, England, and Sydney, Australia. Capacity can explain why Ogden and Provo temples were dedicated within 2 weeks of each other even though both are relatively proximate to Salt Lake and both were dedicated BEFORE Washington D.C. which wasn't proximate to any other temples at all.

So how do we explain a temple like Cleveland OH, or example or Birmingham England? The can't really be explained by proximity. Cleveland for example splits the geographic distance between Pittsburg, Detroit, and Columbus. At the absolute extreme (someone who lives right next-door to the newly announced Cleveland temple) this person would save 75 miles of drive time. The further from the newly selected temple site that the member lives or works the lesser the impact of this decision. For the Birmingham, England temple this is only 58 miles. Proximity doesn't seem to explain these selections when, for example, Saints in other parts of the world may have 1000's of miles of travel to the nearest temple.

What about Capacity? We have shown that several temple announcements may have been made due to unmet demand. However of the 5 nearest temples to the announced Cleveland temple they are only open an average of 10 days a month. The two England temples are by appointment only so one would would think capacity is not an issue.

If these choices can't be explained by proximity or capacity issues then what about...

3. Investment. There are some (mostly disaffected members) who have claimed that the temple building is all about real estate holdings, investment, and tax free development. While temples are a tax free way to hold land, many of these are likely to be smaller temples built on existing real estate holdings. For example, when the Detroit temple was announced and built it was sited on a vacant parcel attached to an existing stake center. Columbus, OH was built in the same manner and it is presumed that the announced Cleveland temple will follow a similar pattern. This doesn't really support the theory that these are being announced to secure real estate holdings. While there are clearly a few that might meet this pattern (Rome, Italy), and the recently announced Modesto, CA or Wellington NZ temples...I doubt that there is much need to secure tax free land in Missoula MO, or Montpelier ID. Which brings us to:

4. Perception. There is little doubt that ever since Gordon Hinkley began announcing temple construction at an accelerated pace that it is an anticipated event of General Coference. (Sidebar: there were 61 temples announced prior to the beginning of Hinkley's time as President of the Church in 1995 and 223 announced after. That means that during the first 165 years of the church we averaged a temple announcement every 2.7 years and during the most recent 27 years of the church we have averaged more than 8 temples announced per year. In 1918 there were 4 temples or one for every 125,000 members.. In 1950 there were 8 temples or one for every 125,000 members. By 1974 there were 14 temples, one for every 250,000 members and in 1987 there were 37 temples or one for every 162,000 Latter-day Saints. A fairly consistent trend. Yet by 2022 there were 282 temples for a total membership of 16.8 million people or 1 temple for every 59,000 claimed Latter-day Saints. End Sidebar.). So we can see that while the growth of church membership is slowing the rate of temple building is accelerating. For a people that have been conditioned to think that the stone cut without hands is rolling forth to fill the earth, and that growth is indicative of global acceptance, the plan of God, and righteousness, temple building may be one of the only significant ways to continue that illusion for the believing members. What is certain is that those temples are being used less than any in the history of the church, while contributing to a greater demand of time and energy on the part of local saints to staff and maintain them which can only enhance the drag.

Of the 4 factors we have considered only perception seems to be a viable answer for this round of temple building. There is one other that is possible/viable, but difficult to assess without inside knowledge and that is the driving factor of Ego in a corporation sole. How much of this is being pushed to fulfill the Ego and cement the legacy of Russel M Nelson who wants to be knows as the Temple Building Prophet and to supplant his arch Nemesis Thomas S. Monson and Gordon B. Hinkley? That is a difficult factor to judge effectively.

-lost

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Hagoth
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Apr 04, 2022 8:33 am

Lost,

Thank you so much for the careful evaluation. Fascinating. I was going to add a 5th driver, Legacy, but you hit it in the last paragraph. I suspect that Nelson has a specific goal in mind, like being the first prophet to announce 100 temples, and he's adding them to his list as fast as he can rush them through the initial paperwork process, racing the grip reaper to the finish line.

Concerning driver 4. I once read that one of the signs of a cult is an overly showy outward appearance. Perfectly pristine buildings and grounds are a warning sign. I am reminded of all of the very impressive, but mostly empty, buildings owned by the Church of Scientology.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by jfro18 » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:05 am

This definitely feels like a standard marketing technique to show members that the church is growing fast.

Think of all of the companies that have collapsed in a public way and how they were constantly doing elaborate, flashy things in public as they knew the business was starting to fail internally.

I'm not saying the Mormon church is failing - clearly they have enough money to last forever, but they do have both a retention and convert problem and need to project success to keep that from continuing to fall.

Add to that a very narcissistic leader who wants to cement his legacy and you get a turbocharged campaign to build temples to show that they are leading the church in a strong time. Not only do the announcements at conference create buzz, but they will string out the church news release for every temple when the select the location, break ground, hold open houses, and then finally open which creates a steady stream of stories that imply strength in the church.

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Just This Guy
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Just This Guy » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:17 am

I would be interested in the completion rate with this mass of temples.

Some things I would be interested to read, but don't have the time or effort to research myself. Under GBH's push for 100 temple, how long did it take to go from announced to completion for the average temple? Now compare that to today. We have a massive number of announced temples but a VERY low completion rate.

I think someone elsewhere mentioned that only 2 temples have been opened under RMN out of the dozens that have been announced. So the question is is it just the modern world where construction projects can take a lot longer than normal due to various supply chain issues, or are all these temples really vapor ware and will go the way of Half Life 3?
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Advocate
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Advocate » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:28 am

I think proximity combined with the idea that "if you build it, they will come" is a major factor as the average age of church membership increases. Or in other words, it gives older members a responsibility which keeps them engaged with the church and paying tithing.

Finding a calling for older members is challenging. Many older people don't want to serve in primary because they feel like they did their time. Older people don't typically connect with youth very well, and often can't keep up with some of the physical activities that youth (especially young men) like to do. People typically have less energy and more health problems as they age. So what is the perfect calling for all the retiring baby boomers? Temple worker, of course!

The challenge with calling someone to be a temple worker is proximity. You can reasonably expect someone to drive a couple hours each way once a week (say 4 hours of driving, plus a 2 to 4 hour shift in the temple), but more than that becomes too far for most and would require an overnight stay (an expense that some members can't or won't pay). So the solution is to build more temples so we can have more temple workers so the retiring baby boomers stay engaged and keep paying tithing. Who cares how much it costs up front, the church has more money than it can spend and the steady tithing revenues will likely make up for much of the cost.

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2bizE
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by 2bizE » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:29 am

I read somewhere that 56 of the announced 100 temples under Nelson have not been planned out or have not received approval to build yet.
~2bizE

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Red Ryder
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:33 am

Here’s the graphic from that one guys site.

Image
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Red Ryder
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:42 am

“lostinmiddlemormonism” wrote:For a people that have been conditioned to think that the stone cut without hands is rolling forth to fill the earth, and that growth is indicative of global acceptance, the plan of God, and righteousness, temple building may be one of the only significant ways to continue that illusion for the believing members.
Nailed it.

Everyone sees temple growth as the cats meow.

My in laws are temple workers and are constantly complaining about the difficulty in keeping the schedule filled with workers who always no show. Or asked to sit in on a session to add numbers to the participation count.

So not only are they using temple builds as a growth illusion, they’re also using temple workers to foster the illusion that people are attending the temple often.

If the session looks full, there’s a high probability that over half of the participants are temple workers filling seats.
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nibbler
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by nibbler » Mon Apr 04, 2022 2:05 pm

lostinmiddlemormonism wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 8:00 am
What about Capacity? We have shown that several temple announcements may have been made due to unmet demand. However of the 5 nearest temples to the announced Cleveland temple they are only open an average of 10 days a month. The two England temples are by appointment only so one would would think capacity is not an issue.
Whenever I bring up mostly empty temples in certain circles people say, "Try going on a Saturday."

I hadn't considered it before but maybe being open 10 days a month is a part of the plan (assuming there is a plan). The people in charge could be perfectly content with temples having similar utilization levels as our chapels; heavily used one day a week, used a few hours one or two days during the week, and completely dormant at all other times. Maybe they're building these things with the foreknowledge that they won't be staffed up very much and they're fine with them being very under-utilized.

That the SP whose area includes the temple will get regularly beat up for his under-utilized temple and that the SP will take it out on the members of the stake is a feature, not a bug. Build a temple members have no chance of supporting, blame the members when the temple under-performs. That's the base seasoning that's baked into most church programs.
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nibbler
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by nibbler » Mon Apr 04, 2022 2:20 pm

Here's the other graph doing the rounds

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blazerb
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by blazerb » Mon Apr 04, 2022 2:30 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 8:33 am
I am reminded of all of the very impressive, but mostly empty, buildings owned by the Church of Scientology.
I was about to describe what I see as the difference between the church and Scientology, but I'm not sure there is a big one. The church is building the "ideal org" then blaming the members for not utilizing it. The church is using the temple as a reason to give more money, although the exact reasons and mechanisms are a little different.

Lost did an incredible job of explaining why the only possible reason for the temple announcements is PR. As noted below, it appears that RMN has hit the 100 temples announced mark. I wonder if he'll back off. I doubt it.

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Hagoth
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Apr 04, 2022 2:37 pm

Wow, Hinkley was a get-it-done guy. Nelson is pie in the sky.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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nibbler
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by nibbler » Mon Apr 04, 2022 2:49 pm

intervention.jpg
intervention.jpg (100.14 KiB) Viewed 800 times
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
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Tangent
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Tangent » Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:57 pm

Regarding the real estate aspect, I have to wonder how much value added a temple gives to a property. I mean, it's such a specific structure type, I'm not sure what a 3rd party would do with it in the situation where they bought it from the church.

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Red Ryder
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Apr 04, 2022 7:32 pm

Tangent wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:57 pm
Regarding the real estate aspect, I have to wonder how much value added a temple gives to a property. I mean, it's such a specific structure type, I'm not sure what a 3rd party would do with it in the situation where they bought it from the church.
I think the real estate aspect really locks in the construction of the temple. Who owns (or is a silent investor) in the construction companies that build the temples. The subcontractors that do the work?

Perhaps Nelson is setting up the children of the church’s leadership to be financially set through a transfer of wealth one temple construction project at a time?

Follow the money and you’ll see why so many temples are getting built.
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jfro18
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by jfro18 » Mon Apr 04, 2022 9:07 pm

Tangent wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:57 pm
Regarding the real estate aspect, I have to wonder how much value added a temple gives to a property. I mean, it's such a specific structure type, I'm not sure what a 3rd party would do with it in the situation where they bought it from the church.
In some areas doesn't the church build up stuff around the temple as well? I thought they had some big parcels of land where they build around the temple itself to create more value for the surrounding area, but I could be way off on that.

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2bizE
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by 2bizE » Mon Apr 04, 2022 9:31 pm

Tangent wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:57 pm
Regarding the real estate aspect, I have to wonder how much value added a temple gives to a property. I mean, it's such a specific structure type, I'm not sure what a 3rd party would do with it in the situation where they bought it from the church.
In the future when temples go up for sale, what would you do with one if you were to purchase it? Bed and Breakfast? Fancy reception center for all religions? Fancy mall or retail store center? Mega restaurant center with several different restaurants inside? Bass Pro Shop with a restaurant in the celestial room?
~2bizE

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moksha
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Re: 17 new temples?

Post by moksha » Tue Apr 05, 2022 12:39 am

There is money to be made for the Authorities' families in Temple building contracting. Plus the announcement authorizes Deseret Properties Management to buy up properties for future building or land speculation on a tax-free basis.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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