The Church's announcement of a temple in Shanghai, People's Republic of China (PRC) was a major surprise given that the Church operates under significant legal restrictions in the PRC, and there remains no stakes in the PRC at present. As noted by President Nelson's comments, difficulties with travel for PRC to the Hong Kong China Temple, combined with its current closure amid major renovations, appeared to in part prompt this announcement.

The Church organized its first branches for PRC members in 2004 and today has a presence in most of the major cities. There appear to be at least 10,000 Latter-day Saints in the PRC, the vast majority of whom are likely PRC citizens. Shanghai is one of the three major Church centers in the PRC for both foreign and PRC citizens, the others being Beijing and Guangzhou. There are eight member districts in the PRC for PRC citizens, and four member districts in the PRC for foreign members.[1][2]

It will be a different temple, at least in its immediate setting and operations, helping to fill a void left by renovation work at the Hong Kong Temple.

“In Shanghai, a modest, multipurpose meeting place will provide a way for Chinese members to continue to participate in ordinances of the temple,” Nelson said. The church’s legal status in the People’s Republic of China “remains unchanged,” and it will not send missionaries to that country. “In an initial phase of facility use, entry will be by appointment only,” he said. “The Shanghai Temple will not be a temple for tourists from other countries.”

Nelson, a former cardiac surgeon, has a warm spot in his heart for China. In 1980, he trained heart surgeons in China, and it was there, in 1985, that he performed his last open-heart surgery. In 2015, he was honored by doctors he trained at the Shandong University School of Medicine. In January, the church sent two planeloads of protective medical equipment to the Children’s Medical Center in Shanghai to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak. [3][4]

  • More Obstacles for Shanghai Temple - This story in the Salt Lake Tribune came out less than a month after the temple announcement. It highlights the extreme challenges the church will face to open and operate a temple there.

Temple District[]

Temple presidents[]

Notable temple presidents have included:


Template:Main article Temple access is available to church members who hold a current temple recommend, as is the case with all operating Latter-day Saints temples. An adjacent visitors center is open to the public. An LDS Church meetinghouse is across the street on the East, which is also open to the public.

See Also[]