The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground for the Kaohsiung Taiwan Temple on November 25, 2023. Elder Benjamin M. Z. Tai, Asia Area President of the Church, presided and offered the dedicatory prayer. Approximately 500 members and friends of the Church, including Niaosong District Mayor Hsueh-Hung Lu, along with other community and interfaith leaders, attended the ceremony physically, while others viewed the proceedings via an online broadcast.
This was the second temple groundbreaking ceremony for the Church on the island of Taiwan. The first one took place in Taipei in 1982.
“As a young boy, I never would have imagined that one day, a temple will be built here, because temples always seemed so distant and few in number,” recalled Elder Tai who spent a few years of his childhood in Kaohsiung.
For nearly 40 years, Latter-day Saints in southern part of the island would organize temple trips once a month and travel all day to Taipei by bus for temple worship. Elder Tai said this added temple on the island is due to the “remarkable legacy of faith and dedication” of Church pioneers who “at great personal sacrifice, helped to establish the Church here in southern Taiwan.”
“The announcement came as a nice surprise,” said Brother Ting-Tsung Chang who is the communication subcommittee chair for the groundbreaking ceremony, and a former Area Seventy in Asia. Being from southern Taiwan himself, he is among those who had been praying for a temple in the region. “This blessing made us feel God’s love even more.”
The Kaohsiung Taiwan Temple was announced by President Russell M. Nelson at the October 2021 General Conference. This second temple will allow more members on the island to participate in temple ordinances more frequently.
The Church has always valued the importance of family relationships and champions personal and family connections with ancestors. The primary purpose of temples is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies that unite families forever.
Sister Shen Huang Mei-Hui who has lost her husband said, “I’m more grateful now that God grants us temples…Although death has separated [me and my husband] briefly, I always recall our eternal connection. I want to be with my husband forever. This love gives me the courage to keep going. I know if I endure to the end, we will be an eternal family.”
In the temple, members of the Church can also perform sacred ceremonies on behalf of their ancestors.
Sister Shen Huang Mei-Hui and Brother Tseng Yu-Chieh both shared their testimony of the Savior and the blessing of temples.
He shared his experiences as a youth of anticipating and preparing himself well to attend the temple monthly with his family, in the hopes of feeling the promised joy in the Bible of “the heart of the children [turning] to their fathers.”
Quoting from President Nelson, President Lee Chun-Chia of the Kaohsiung North Stake emphasized, “The ordinances and covenants of the temple hold eternal importance. We keep building more temples so we each can more easily gain spiritual refinement.”
Elder Tai added, “Temple groundbreakings remind us of the need to dedicate ourselves to the purpose for which we are here on earth and to our important role in the Lord’s work of salvation.”
He drew parallels to how the groundbreaking process was similar to members’ need to break down barriers of misunderstanding and conflict to choose peace; to turn their hearts as with the soil towards God, righteousness and their relationships; as well as to rise to greater spirituality and charity on a firm foundation of testimony as the temple would rise out of the land.
The Kaohsiung Taiwan Temple will mainly serve members in southern Taiwan. The single-story structure of approximately 10,900 square feet will be built on a 1.26-acre site located near Dachang Road and Dehua Street in Niaosong District, Kaohsiung City.
Today, there are 335 total Latter-day Saint temples that have either been announced, are under construction or renovation, or are open and operating.
Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members and friends of the Church meet for Sunday worship services. Each temple is considered a “house of the Lord” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed, so that families can be united for eternity. In the temple, Church members can seek peace and guidance, learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellowmen.