The New Face of the Homeless; Five New LDS Temples; And More!


Five New LDS Temples

During the opening remarks of the Saturday morning session of the LDS Church’s 187th Annual General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced the plans for five new LDS temples. The temples are to be constructed in Brasília, Brazil; the greater Manila area, Philippines; Nairobi, Kenya; Pocatello, Idaho; and Saratoga Springs, Utah.

The new temples will bring the total number of operating and announced/under construction temples worldwide to 182.

Brasilia Brazil Temple

The Brasilia Brazil Temple was among those predicted by Joe Peterson and Geoff Openshaw of This Week in Mormons.

Peterson wrote, “Frankly it’s surprising with the number of stakes they have in the region (roughly 15 stakes and 3 districts) for Brazil’s architecturally amazing capital city to be without a temple.”

With the third highest LDS population of any country (more than 1.3 million members), it’s no surprise that Brazil’s capital city will be graced with the presence of a temple. The Brasília Brazil Temple is the 10th temple announced for Brazil, and one of four announced or under construction.

The Greater Manila Philippines Area

Peterson and Openshaw also correctly predicted the announcement of a temple in the greater Manila, Philippines. With the operating Manila Temple struggling to accommodate the huge number of members in the area, another temple in the area would be a godsend.

“Not only are there a whopping 62 stakes feeding into the Manila Temple, but there are 46 districts as well, ” according to Peterson.

Sadly, Joe and Geoff failed to predict the announcement of the other three temples: Nairobi, Kenya; Pocatello, Idaho; and Saratoga Springs, Utah.

Nairobi Kenya Temple

The Nairobi Kenya Temple will serve over 30,000 members in East Africa. There are currently three operating temples in Africa, and five more announced or under construction.

Pocatello Idaho Temple

450,000 Latter-day Saints reside in Idaho. Upon completion, the newly announced Pocatello Idaho Temple will be the sixth operating temple to serve the Latter-day Saints of Idaho.

Saratoga Springs Temple

Utah is home to 2.1 million members of the Church, with a total state population of 3.1 million. The Saratoga Springs Temple will be the 18th operating temple in Utah upon completion.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Jim Miller made the following comment after the temple’s announcement:

“On behalf of myself, the City Council and many of our residents, we are thrilled to have this sacred building added to our community. There are many faithful members of the LDS Church in Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area who will benefit from having this new temple located in our city. Saratoga Springs looks forward to working with the LDS Church in making this new temple a beautiful part of our community.”

Five temples are to be dedicated this year: Paris France Temple (May 21), Tucson Arizona Temple (August 13), Meridian Idaho Temple (November 19) and Cedar City Utah Temple (December 10).

Read more at Mormon Newsroom.

LDS Woman Shares What It Means To Be Homeless

Dawn Armstrong via

Since her appearance on Meet the Mormons, Dawn Armstrong has taken to sharing her experiences through her blog, Love Dawn. In her most recent post, Armstrong seeks to shed light on the topic of homelessness using her own first-hand experience:

“Vagrants are ones who have accepted homelessness as their way of life. They come to shelters for a meal and a bed. They have no interests in rehabilitation or getting off the streets. Something in their way of thinking shifted in life. Homelessness grants them anonymity. They are able to escape expectations, responsibilities and heart break. In my experience, most have some mental illness. They seek refuge in friends who need that escape too. A high percentage are riddled with addiction because that’s the way they truly get to “disappear.” When the generosity of others or the drugs runs out…they aren’t above committing crimes, or hurting you to steal what you’ve got.

“The homeless are the rest of us. I spent four years in that world and I can tell you first hand who these people are. They were people who were in similar situations to mine, either teen pregnancy or escaping abuse at home. Some were battered women who took their kids and ran. Some had lost jobs, or medical bills were the cause of their financial demise. Some were people that had been shunned by the world for one reason or another and had just shut down. Back in my time, there were a lot of LGTBQ people or girls who had gotten pregnant and had been kicked out of their homes for disappointing their families. They had nowhere to go.”


Mormon Attorney Nationally Recognized As Pro-Israel Advocate

Grace Beahm The Post and Courier

58-year-old Latter-day Saint and South Carolina attorney, Alan Clemmons, has journeyed to Israel four times and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Over the years, he has made South Carolina a guinea pig for pro-Israel legislation, and he helped draft the 2016 national Republican Party platform on Israel.

On Wednesday, March 29th, Clemmons visited the United Nations in New York as a special guest of the World Jewish Congress.

Clemmons has made a name for himself nationally as a pro-Isreal advocate. He was the first to draft an anit-boycott bill banning South Carolina from doing business with companies who publicly campaign against products from Israel.

Seventeen other states have now adopted this legislation.

“There is a great deal of anti-Semitism in the world today,” Clemmons said. “It’s reflected no greater in any venue other than the United Nations, in my opinion.”

Clemmons says his faith as a Latter-day Saint has drawn him closer to Israel’s cause:

“My faith in modern times started in the 1830s,” Clemmons said, referring to Mormonism. “So we don’t have the tenure that the Jewish faith does, but there are a lot of similarities of struggle. So, certainly, that draws me close.”

Read more at The Post and Courier.

Gabriella is a psychology major, Westfalia-dweller, and expert bean-eater. Having spent the majority of her life living in the great Latin-American metropoles of Guatemala and Mexico, Gabriella continues to grapple with the eccentricities of suburban living.