Mayor, church leader react to new temple in Farmington

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – Since 2000, the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple has been the only temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the state. The religious site currently serves all of New Mexico and part of Colorado, but with several thousands of church members now in the Farmington area, church leaders announced the construction of a second temple back in 2021.

“Knowing the population of our Latter-day Saints here in the City of Farmington and how they have to travel to go to a temple, it was pretty exciting,” Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett said.

A KOB 4 crew recently traveled to the construction site at College Boulevard and Windsor Drive and spoke with some teen church members who said they are excited about not having to drive three hours to visit the nearest temple.

“We get to have a temple here, where we can just go whenever we have the time to,” Connor Pickering said.

“I want to go every day to the temple,” added Israel Zahne.

When the build is complete, the Farmington temple will serve as far as Gallup, New Mexico, Chinle, Arizona, and Durango, Colorado.

“Knowing that in the Four Corners area—where we already have 300,000 people who use Farmington as kind of their business hub and retail hub—to now have an additional amenity, a spiritual amenity, a component that’s faith-based, that really is providing quality family value to this area is really, really important to us,” Mayor Duckett said.

He said he hopes the temple encourages people to either stay in Farmington or move to the area. He also said the project has brought more jobs to the area, with more than a dozen local subcontractors working on the build.

Other faith local faith leaders told KOB they are excited about the development as well, including Angelina Santana, the Senior Pastor at Iglesia Libertad En Cristo across the street.

“We have not witnessed anything negative that we can say,” she said. “Not with traffic, not with any trash or anything. Everything’s been great.”

Santana said the size of the project was intimidating at first, but construction crews have maintained strong communication with and respect for nearby community members.

“What I appreciate about this particular project is the willingness of the developers to work with the neighborhood that this is sitting in because it’s a big building,” Mayor Duckett said. “So, making sure that those who are living around it were also engaged with it—which they were, we’ve had no pushback on it—tells me they’re doing a good job as a good neighbor and a partner with the city here.”

Santana said before crews demolished the older Latter-day Saint church building that was on the temple property, the church donated everything inside to other Farmington churches. She was grateful to take several religious art pieces and benches for her congregation to use.

“It was just really nice to see how different churches of different faiths were opening doors for us,” she said. “So that was pretty amazing and a huge blessing for us.”

“I just look forward to seeing it complete,” she added as she looked toward the ongoing project across the street. “I mean, it looks gorgeous, as you see it now, but it’s going to be so much more beautiful, and we’re just really excited to see it finished and just celebrate with another community of believers in Jesus.”

There is no timeline for when construction will be complete, but when the temple is finished, it will temporarily be open to the public and officials invite everyone to check it out.

Read more about the Farmington temple’s construction process here.