Bangkok Thailand Temple
During his opening remarks at the Sunday morning session of the 185th Annual General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of the Bangkok Thailand Temple. The Church was formally organized in Thailand in 1966 and there are now approximately 18,000 Church members in 38 congregations. The Bangkok Thailand Temple will be the first Latter-day Saint temple in the country, serving members of the Church throughout Southeast Asia. Members currently attend temple worship services in the Hong Kong China Temple, over 1,000 miles away.
Almost 20 years after the first stake was organized in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1995, the city’s second stake was organized on 15 June 2014, and its third on 27 November 2016. The first stake in Thailand outside of Bangkok was organized in Ubon in 14 June 2015. Two other districts operate in the country, headquartered in Chiang Mai and Udorn, which are expected to be reorganized as stakes in the coming years. In neighboring Cambodia, the country's first two stakes were both organized on 25 May 2014. Stakes have also been organized in the surrounding nations of India, Indonesia, and Singapore, and several districts operate in nearby Malaysia.
The Bangkok Thailand Temple will stand in a redeveloping residential and business district of Bangkok on the site of the current Church office building on Petchaburi Road. The property, acquired by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2008, sits directly in front of the Makkasen Station on Bangkok's Airport Rail Link, making for rapid and dependable transportation from Suvarnabhumi Airport, which opened in 2006. The current Church office building houses most of the country's Church offices including the Thailand Bangkok Mission, the Bangkok Thailand Service Center, the Bangkok Thailand PEF Self Reliance Center, and LDS Charities.
The 44,405-square-foot, six-story Bangkok Thailand Temple will feature a grand central spire surrounded by eight smaller spires. A separate 91,370-square-foot multipurpose building will stand behind the temple, housing two church meetinghouses, an area service center, seminary and institute classrooms, and mission offices and living quarters. An extensive underground parking facility will also be available.
The Bangkok Thailand Temple will be the first temple built in Mainland Southeast Asia. The Bangkok Thailand Temple is the only temple with nine spires—a central spire surrounded by eight smaller spires.
On 12 June 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley became the first president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to visit Thailand where he enjoyed a "pre-birthday" celebration hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Bhichai Rattakul. The next morning, he met with Bangkok Governor Bhichit Rattakul and Thailand Prime Minister Chuan Leepkai who thanked him for all the work that Latter-day Saint volunteers had done for Thailand, noting in particular the 100 volunteers who had taught more than 300,000 English teachers and students over the previous three years. Bangkok was the second stop in a tour of Asia and the South Pacific to dedicate four temples in Fukuoka, Japan; Adelaide, Australia; Melbourne, Australia; and Suva, Fiji. Before leaving Bangkok, President Hinckley addressed a congregation of over 2,600 members at the Thailand Air Force Convention Center. Some members had traveled 18 hours by bus to be in attendance. In his remarks, President Hinckley recalled his first visit to the country in 1961 when there was just a half-dozen members of the Church. By 1966, President Keith E. Garner of the Southern Far East Mission had organized the Thailand District. President Hinckley returned in November of that year to dedicate modern Thailand for the preaching of the gospel. He said, "We went quietly in the morning into Lumpini Park, a small group of us, including Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Seventy, and there we lifted our voices in prayer. We prayed that the Lord would smile upon this land, that He would touch it by the power of His Holy Spirit, that the way would be opened for missionaries to come here, that the faithful would accept the truth, and that the Lord would do a great and good work here." He continued, "Now it's been a long time since I was here, and I have seen a miracle, a very real miracle." He told the members that they were pioneers of the Lord's work in their country and promised that if they were faithful, the time would come when a temple would be constructed in Thailand. "The Lord expects so very, very much of you. He expects you to be the best people in all of Thailand, and you ought to be because you have a knowledge of His everlasting truth."