Bengaluru India Temple
The country of India is home to a staggering 1.3 billion people. That population is comprised of approximately 14,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The members are organized into 45 congregations (21 wards, 24 branches), four stakes, and three districts.
On 1 April 2018, at the closing session of the 188th annual general conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced plans for seven new temples including the first temple to be constructed in the nation of India. Less then three weeks later, President Nelson stood before a large congregation of Church members in Bengaluru, India, as the fifth stop on his global ministry tour. He said: "Our plans were to announce six new temples at conference time. The Lord told me on the eve of the conference: 'Announce a temple in India.'" He emphasized, "That was the Lord's doing." Accompanied by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Randy D. Funk, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Robert K. William, an Area Seventy, President Nelson toured possible locations for the temple during his time in India.
On 19 May 2019, Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric and his wife met with members at the stake center for the Bengaluru India Stake where he assured them that plans for the Bengaluru India Temple were well underway. He said, "We hope to share details of the design and location before the end of the year," and encouraged members to prepare themselves to attend the temple after it is dedicated.
The Bengaluru India Temple will be constructed on a four-lane road in the Whitefield neighborhood of Bengaluru on the site of the existing India Service Centre (Church office building) and stake center for the Bengaluru India Stake. Located at 2-B, Garudachar Palya, Mahadevapura, Bengaluru, Karnataka, in India, the temple will be built on a 1.62-acre lot.
On Wednesday evening, 15 January 2020, an official exterior rendering of the Bengaluru India Temple was released to the public, featuring a 38,670 square-foot temple with a skyscraping central spire surrounded by four smaller spires. Behind the temple, a multipurpose Church facility will be constructed housing a two-level meetinghouse, administrative offices, a distribution center, and a patron housing facility. The site will also include new residences for the temple president, temple and service missionaries, and the mission president. A groundbreaking date has not been set for the future temple at this time and further details regarding plans for the temple will be made available to the public at a later date.
History of the Church in India
Joseph Richards first introduced the faith to India in 1851, when he arrived in Calcutta. There was a small branch organized in Calcutta, but most of the members migrated to the USA. As per the Church's policy, all members were invited to gather in one place. The main reason was to build the Church and strengthen the priesthood leadership. Though many members of the branch migrated to the USA, a small group of members continued to have meetings in Calcutta. The branch still exists in Calcutta today.
In the Church's history in India, there were early missionaries who visited Madras (now known as Chennai), Bombay (now known as Mumbai), and other places in India who taught the gospel. In fact, there were missionaries visiting Tajmahal in Agra, India, and teaching the tourists. This was seen in a Church video called "Ancient America Speaks" produced by the Church in 1974. There were also many events in Church history in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. The golden history started in 1963 at Coimbatore. This was revealed by John Aki, then temple president of the Hong Kong China Temple during the year 2011. Some of the first families were sealed in the Hong Kong China Temple by Anthony D. Perkins, a general authority who was the president of the Church's Asia Area at that time. Perkins anticipated that Church membership in that part of India would grow. The movement increased in India by 1993, when Latter-day Saint missionaries began proselytizing in Bangalore.
By the beginning of 2000, there were 2,435 members in four districts and eighteen branches, and in 2005 there were 5,951.By 2013, there were about 10,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in India.
Although the first Church missionaries to India arrived in 1851, the first Indian mission, headquartered in Bengaluru, was not organized until 1993. Almost twenty years later, the first stake in India was organized in the city of Hyderabad on 27 May 2012, by President Dallin H. Oaks.