Repurposing Temples

Maybe others have thought about this before and I’m late to the game, or maybe mind is just weird, but I saw this press release from LDS Inc. about their new temple in Fort Lauderdale and a thought struck me.  Already in some areas, churches are being repurposed as more and more people are leaving religion and “demand” for religious services is declining.  I presume that will eventually result in LDS church buildings being closed for services and sold (hasn’t this already happened in Chile?).  The regular church buildings could probably be fairly easily repurposed into the headquarters for a corporation or nonprofit, though not necessarily all that cheaply given the internal remodeling that would have to be done on the chapel and “cultural hall.”

But what about Mormon temples?  If/When the LDS Church begins losing members and tithing revenue starts to dry up (hypothetically, of course), how long could they afford to maintain all of their temples?  And when they can no longer afford to maintain their temples, what are they going to do with them?  I have a hard time imagining how you could repurpose these easily:

Fort Lauderdale temple

Fort Lauderdale temple


Madrid Spain temple

Madrid Spain temple


Nashville temple

Nashville temple

Oakland temple

Oakland temple

Of course, I’m sure the leaders of the LDS Church are not factoring this possibility into their projections for the future of the Church.  For them, the Church is true and it will only continue to grow, forever.  Er, until the millennium, when, I guess, Jesus can just move into these.  But would Jesus really need more homes than Mitt Romney?  I mean, he’s a resurrected being; why does he even need a home?  He doesn’t have to eat or sleep, and that would also mean he doesn’t have to mictorate or defecate.  Does he just need a place to change his clothes?  Store his clothes?  And where do resurrected god’s shop for clothes?  And why would a god be worried about nakedness and privacy, since those are social constructs?  Or would he use these for, um, making more spiritual offspring?  Ahh – Celestial Nurseries!  It all makes sense now!  Sorry, I think I mentioned my mind is a bit weird sometimes…

Anyway, I really can’t envision what you could do with a Mormon temple.  The lack of windows means these wouldn’t work very well for palatial estates for the super wealthy.  They wouldn’t even work all that well as corporate headquarters without windows.  The landscaping would be a nightmare to keep up (except in NYC and Tokyo, I guess).

So, MSP readers, suggestions for what to do with Mormon temples when the time comes for the LDS Church to start selling them off?  And anyone want to guess when that will be?


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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3 Responses

  1. A.J. says:


  2. profxm says:

    A.J., I love it!

    Makes perfect sense – another building with no windows.

    I guess another one would be strip joints or topless clubs. No windows there, either.

  3. Holly says:

    The church has already repurposed quite a few temples. the AZ temple, for instance, was built with a separate telestial, terrestrial and celestial room, and people got up and walked from room to room, with live actors performing all the various roles instead of a movie presenting it. At some point they repurposed it to accommodate a whole bunch of movie screens.

    The church also frequently razes its old meeting houses and tabernacles, over the objections of historical societies, local members, and even people who raised the money and did the work to build a building or are descending from those who did. See the story of the Coalville Tabernacle, photos of which can be seen here.

    I’ve been told that one reason the church now buildings such ugly, featureless, uninteresting buildings is that no one will care in the slightest if they are sold or torn down.

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