Yigo Guam Temple
The Yigo Guam Temple will be the first temple in Guam, an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. The temple will be located at the corner of Marine Corp Drive and Melalak Drive in the village of Yigo on the north end of Guam. Construction on the temple with an adjacent meetinghouse is expected to begin in 2019 and is anticipated to take about two years to complete.
History of the Church in Guam
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been in Guam since the 1940s. The first Church members on Guam probably came as members of the armed forces during World War II. Guam branches of from 50 to 300 servicemen began functioning in 1944, acting under the Far East Mission. In 1945, four groups were organized on the island. On one occasion, they dedicated the graves of fallen Church servicemen.
In 1951, fund-raising events by the members raised enough money to purchase land and two Quonset huts, which they used for a chapel and classrooms. The facilities were dedicated in 1953 and Guam became a dependent branch of the Oahu Hawaii Stake.
The first missionaries arrived in August 1957. As members increased, land for another meetinghouse was purchased. A new meetinghouse in Barrigada was dedicated 10 March 1970, and the Guam Branch became a ward Open houses were frequently held, but few joined the Church. In May 1976, the Guam Ward was divided. The first Chamorro couple to join, Don Calvo and his wife, Maria, were baptized in May 1977. The Agat Branch was created in 1978. And in 1979, Herbert J. Leddy, the first missionary of Chamorro lineage, was called to the Tennessee Nashville Mission.
The Micronesia Guam Mission was created on 1 April 1980. In June, the Guam District was created with four branches.
In 1989, selections of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ were translated into Chamorro, and in the same year, Herbert J. Leddy became the first Chamorro member to be called as district president. Membership in 1995 was 1,400. Today there are 2,516 members, 4 wards, 1 mission, 1 stake, and 1 family history center in Guam.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for Yigo Guam Temple
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Yigo Guam Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was conducted on Saturday, 4 May 2019. Elder Yoon Hwan Choi, president of the Asia North Area for the Church, presided over the groundbreaking and dedicated the temple site.
The Yigo Guam Temple, located at the corner of Marine Corps Drive and Melalak Drive in the village of Yigo on the north end of Guam, will be the first such "house of the Lord" in this part of the world. Construction will last approximately two years, and once completed, the temple will serve more than 5,000 Latter-day Saints on Guam and other islands of Micronesia.
During his remarks, Elder Choi said, "Temples are not just buildings. A temple is a university for us to learn how to return to Heavenly Father." Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita asked the audience, "What will you engrave in your heart today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Yigo Temple?" He continued, "I engrave in my heart my commitment to serve the Lord."
The Japan Newsroom website will have additional details of the groundbreaking ceremony.