Urdeneta City Philippines LDS Temple Announced

This isn’t space related, but I wanted to mention this anyway. After all, the “boondocks” in Selenian Boondocks is a reference to my time I spent in the Philippines as an LDS missionary (boondocks is an Americanized version of the Tagolog word “bundok” which means “mountain”).

Last weekend, during General Conference, the LDS Church announced it was going to be building a new temple in Urdaneta City, Philippines. To me this is huge news, as Urdaneta City is only about a dozen miles from three towns in Pangasinan (a province near the Lingayen Gulf) where I spent most of my mission–Calasiao, Bayambang, and Binmaley, and only about a two hour drive from Bolinao. Here’s a google map of the area, for those of you who are curious:


View Larger Map

It’s kind of hard to explain to someone who isn’t a member of the Church what this means to me, but it’s pretty exciting to me. Temples are special places for LDS church members, where we perform weddings (“sealings” in LDS jargon) for “time and all eternity” and not just “till death do you part”, and where church members perform proxy ordinances for ancestors who died without a chance to make those decisions in this life. Tiffany and I were sealed in a temple in Portland, Oregon and my parents were sealed in the temple in Salt Lake City. It’s an important part of who we are and who we want to be. It’s also a place of quiet meditation. For instance, it was in the Los Angeles temple that I got the inspiration to turn down the job offer I had gotten at SpaceX and stick with Masten for another two years (a decision I’m really glad I made!).

While there are a lot of temples in the US, there aren’t as many overseas. Previously, for members in Pangasinan, it was a 10-12hr drive to make it to the only temple in their country, located down in Quezon City, down by Manilla. Now they’ll have a temple right in their neighborhood.

Anyhow, I guess I usually don’t talk much about things like this on my blog, but this is a temple I’ve been hoping for and praying for for almost a decade now, and I thought I’d share my excitement. I’m hoping I can make it back to the Philippines for the dedication ceremony, whenever that will be.

Anyhow, I now return you to your normal Selenian Boondocks-y space nerdlichkeit.

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11 Responses to Urdeneta City Philippines LDS Temple Announced

  1. Neil H. says:

    Neat! My mom’s side of my family originates from La Union, a province neighboring the one Urdeneta City is in.

  2. Jonathan Goff says:

    Neil,
    Cool! I knew a lot of people either from or who worked in La Union. Small world, no?

    ~Jon

  3. Zach says:

    What a cool thing. I remember on my mission (in New Jersey) joking about getting a temple closer than the one in DC. Well, that was right when Pres. Hinckley started talking about bringing the temples to the people. It’s a really happy thing for those good members there. I didn’t realize the connection to you, and I totally empathize with the emotion.

  4. Pingback: Oh, Crap, Mormons In Space!! « Absolute Moral Authority

  5. That’s fantastic news Jon. I am very excited to hear about it.

  6. PrairieKirk says:

    Congrats on the growing institutions in the area of your former mission!

    On the space front, I’m curious of your opinion on something. Does the political economy of the Philippines offer any hope for growth and development of a NewSpace or commercial space sector? Is foreign investment allowed? Encouraged? Would such development be likely to be supported by a robust rule of law and property rights? I know this is not Singapore but am curious as to your view on the broader institutional environment for private enterprise ventures in space technology in the Philippines.

    PK (not to be confused with Kirk Sorenson)

  7. Tom D says:

    Congrats! I’ve been wishing for a temple in Ireland ever since my mission, but the church is still pretty small there.

  8. Remy Zadach(Jallorina) says:

    I am so glad! My whole family was baptized in Urdaneta Stake January 20, 1980 at Bonuan beach Dagupan City.We are one of the pioneers mormons in Urdaneta! I am thrilled! we have a LDS Temple now there. Now I have a reason to go and visit Philippines again! Thanks for the info! God bless the world!

  9. Jonathan Goff says:

    That’s neat Remy. I think I’ve been up to Bonuan beach once. I spent three months in Bayambang, six months in Calasiao, and five months in Binmaley. I hope I can find the time and money to make it out there for when the temple is dedicated. ~Jon

  10. Clark Miles says:

    Look what pops up on Google with “Lingayen LDS”.

    In 1971 I dragged my companion out to track Binmaley and Tonton, I think for the first time any LDS missionaries went there.

  11. my name is Uele Brown from mildura branch mildura District. says:

    its g myreat to hear,is build another temple in philippine Urdeneta area,is pretty handy to the members in that area,when i look how many stakes serve in manila temple to me is just too many,when i look a church stastistices philippine is more members than Austrila,but austrlia is more temple then philippine but only two,The question comes in my mind why.Manila Temple is served more than twenty stakes but in Adelaide Temple served only two stake and one district.I find Philipino people are very humble people.ME and my wife married in Cebu temple 11 September 2014.We both return missionaries my wife was served in Sanbalo mission,and i was served Apia Samoa mission,im thinking to move up in Urdeneta area.

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