The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to open temple in Farmington

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – For more than 20 years, New Mexico has only been home to one temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But with the faith rapidly growing in the Four Corners area, church leaders announced in 2021 they would build a second sacred worship site in Farmington, so members of the faith there would not have to travel all the way to Albuquerque to pay a visit.

Right now, there are 178 operating temples for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across the world. 79 newly-announced and 58 under construction — Farmington is one of them.

“The fact that the church is willing to put this kind of investment into the community is a big deal,” said Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett. 

He says he first learned about the temple two years ago when church leaders made the announcement from Salt Lake City.

“Certainly understanding what is taking place in the temple, that’s been really interesting to learn about,” said Duckett. 

A temple is not where members go to church every Sunday, but where those 12 and older can perform special and more sacred ceremonies. They are often built in areas with a strong member presence.

“When I go into temple, it makes me feel closer to God,” said Leah Lewis, a church member.

Because of the spiritual nature of the work done inside the temple, church officials have ordered some of the finest building materials. For example, granite glass and wood, from overseas.

The entire project is funded by church member tithes.

“We have stonemasons that are working here. They’re installing the stone cladding, which comes from actually is imported from Portugal,” said Chance Porter, superintendent of Porter Brothers Construction. “We’ve got materials coming from Italy, from all over the world. They put unique details that make it very distinct for the location.”

Like linked pine needles and pinon roses carved into the outside of the temple.

“Whether it’s the interior decorating, the stone, all the intricate details, everything is very unique in nature. It’s one of a kind,” said Porter. 

More than a dozen local subcontractors are working on this project without a set deadline.

Crews say it could take years before it’s complete. But when the work is done, the Farmington temple will almost be the same size as the 34,000 square-foot temple in Albuquerque.

“From the base, the very bottom to the top of the spires, we’re at 126 feet,” said Porter. “Overall, it’s been, we’ve really been a good progress.”

Church reps say they’re excited to have multiple temples in one state.

The mayor and a representative of another faith talked about the impact they think this development will have on the community.