“Members Celebrate Temple Dedications and a Groundbreaking,” Liahona, Dec. 2005, N2–N3
Apia Samoa Temple
After fire destroyed the original Apia Samoa Temple, members waited two years for a new temple to be built. Their wait ended on September 4, 2005, when a new temple was dedicated on the same ground where the original temple had stood.
The Apia Samoa Temple today has more than 16,000 square feet (1,486 sq m), slightly larger than the former temple built in 1983.
After two decades of attending a temple close to their homes, members in and around Samoa said they have learned gratitude from traveling to a temple farther away for two years. While the temple was being built in Samoa, members had to travel 475 miles (760 km) to the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple.
“I believe members now have learned to be more appreciative of having the new temple,” said Uele Va’aulu, Church public affairs representative in Samoa. “They are now more eager to do their family history and are filled with the Spirit of Elijah.”
Newport Beach California Temple
The Newport Beach California Temple was dedicated on August 28, 2005, becoming the Church’s 122nd operating temple. Before the dedication more than 150,000 people attended the temple open house. Newport Beach stake president Weatherford Clayton said many visitors commented on the beauty of the temple. “I believe they can appreciate why it is an incredibly sacred building for us,” said President Clayton.
With more than 770,000 Church members California has the largest population of Latter-day Saints in one of the United States—except for Utah. The Newport Beach California Temple is the seventh operating temple in California, serving 50,000 members.
Aba Nigeria Temple
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Aba Nigeria Temple on August 7, 2005. The temple is located near the Ogbor River. As part of the temple construction, the Church built a bridge over the river and a road leading to the temple.
During the dedication ceremonies, President Hinckley said the temple would be a blessing to the people just as the Accra Ghana Temple has been to African Saints since being dedicated in 2004.
Rexburg Idaho Temple
After waiting 19 months since President Hinckley announced that a temple would be built in Rexburg, Idaho, more than 8,000 members attended the temple’s groundbreaking services held on July 30.
“Members and even some nonmembers are excited the day has arrived, and they are looking forward to watching the temple go up,” said Farrell Young, a Church member in Rexburg.
The Rexburg Idaho Temple will join operating temples in Boise and Idaho Falls and become the third temple in Idaho. A fourth Idaho temple was announced for Twin Falls in October 2004. The Rexburg Idaho Temple will serve 17 stakes in the area. Rexburg’s temple will also serve the almost 12,000 students attending Brigham Young University–Idaho.