Members in Indiana have cause for excitement as the expectation of a temple draws one step closer to fruition. The First Presidency announced on Jan. 24 the site of the temple to be built in the Indianapolis, Ind., area. The temple will be located in the city of Carmel, in the suburbs of Indianapolis, on the southwest corner of the intersection of W116th and Spring Mill Road.
Temple recommend holders among the approximately 42,000 members in Indiana currently need to commute to the Columbus Ohio Temple, the Chicago Illinois Temple or the Louisville Kentucky Temple. The new temple site, now on undeveloped 50 acres of farmland, is located in the heart of where these members are and is within easy access to a main thoroughfare, said Kent H. Collins, president of the Indiana Indianapolis Mission.
The site is "beautiful," he said. "If you were to pick a spot where a temple ought to go … that would be it."
The Indianapolis temple was one of five that President Thomas S. Monson announced in the October 2010 general conference. The announcement brings the total number of temples to 134 in operation, 16 in various stages of planning and seven under construction, according to the 2011 Church Almanac.
President Collins said the temple is already becoming a missionary tool. "It was on the front page of the local paper. The missionaries are being asked about it."
The local members are "humbled and grateful" to have a temple so close, said Randall J. Roper, bishop of the Carmel Ward whose ward boundaries encompass the temple lot.
Neil S. Hill, president of the Indianapolis Indiana Stake, said that for the members of his stake and the surrounding stakes the process of preparation has included increasing temple attendance, continuing to focus on family history work and increasing the number of ordinance workers.
Last year, Bishop Randall said, the members of his stake were given the challenge to index one million names. They met their goal two days before President Monson announced plans to build a temple in Indianapolis. "Members have been working hard for a long time to prepare for a temple."
President Hill remembers when, as a boy growing up in the area, the Salt Lake Temple was the closest temple. He experienced the building of the Washington D.C. Temple in the 1970s, the Chicago Illinois Temple in the 1980s where he was sealed to his wife, the Louisville Kentucky Temple in 2000 and now the Indianapolis Indiana Temple.
"Personally, as a stake president, I think that the building and dedication of the temple ultimately represents the dedication of the members of the Church to keep their covenants and to live the gospel and receive the blessings that our Father in Heaven wants to bless us with," he said.