BURMA— Crowning the nation’s recent strides in faith and socioeconomic development, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently—and finally—announced plans for a new temple to be built in The Valley of 10,000 Temples in The Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
At its height, the Kingdom of Pagan (pronounced “buh-gan”) constructed as many as ten thousand temples, pagodas and monasteries in the area, spring-boarding Theravada Buddhism’s rise as the dominant form of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. The number of ancient structures still foresting the valley is no widow’s mite. Unfortunately, however, up until now none of these temples have the imprimatur of God, a designation reserved only for temples built by the Mormon Church.
“Yep,” said Kingsley Q. Gibbons, director of LDS Land Acquisitions. “We’ve been sitting on this little piece of real estate next to this 900-year-old Pagan [pronouncing it ‘pay-gan’] gazebo for quite a while. Quite a while indeed. We’re excited to finally bring an actual, God-approved temple where the people of Myanmar can practice rituals based on strange Masonic rituals developed in 18th-century America, rather than the godless Buddhism that has sustained their culture for the past 2,500 years.”
In Myanmar, members of the church will no longer be forced to make costly or illegal trips to other countries just to find a quiet place to think and have a ceremony or two in one of their own temples.
Hayma, a Burmese Mormon, was emotional when she heard the news. “This is a tender mercy for a people who have endured too much. We need sacred places like a temple that can heal us. My uncle has malaria and HIV.” She added, “These are tears of joy.”
A fledgling petition for the country to change its name once again—this time to Myanmormonurmamar—seems to have gained very little ground, but the group behind it seems insistent on portmanteau-ing the line until further notice.
Meanwhile, the news shocked churchgoers in the U.S.
Heber Heberson of Nevada said, “Every summer growing up I was a lifeguard at Mandalay [Bay Resort, Las Vegas]. I never thought they would get a temple in my lifetime.”
Heberson added he could hardly wait for the Lord’s House to be completed so he’d have a solid reason to finally make the trip to the real Myanmar.
“I’ve been meaning to go for decades,” he said. “But now that Myanmar at long last has a Mormon temple, there is finally a reason to visit the Valley of 10,000 Temples.”