News Release

Church Breaks Ground for Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple

“A beacon of light and hope”

On September 18, 2021, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground for the Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple. President Veasna Kuonno Neang of the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission presided and offered the dedicatory prayer.

“This is a day heaven is smiling on us,” President Neang said. “This is a day of light and gladness. The light of Christ will shine here as temple construction is completed.”

He continued, “Today, a holy temple of God will begin its foundation representing the faithfulness, love and joy of the saints in Cambodia. We know that when we come to the temple, we can feel closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be such a blessing to come to the temple as often as we can.”

While COVID-19 gathering restrictions limited the physical attendance of the groundbreaking ceremony, members and friends of the Church across Cambodia and neighboring countries viewed the proceedings via an online broadcast.

Downloadable B-roll

Phnom Penh North Stake (group of congregations) President Bunhouch Eng (local leader) also spoke at the ceremony. He recalled his feelings when the late Church President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated Cambodia for missionary work in 1996:

“I remember him speaking of the work growing and prospering here in a marvelous and wonderful way,” President Eng said. “I feel that the building of a temple on this site is another example of blessings from the Lord that President Hinckley prayed for.”

Less than 450 people attended President Hinckley’s fireside that year; half of whom were not Church members. Today, the Church has two stakes and four districts in Cambodia with both stakes headquartered in the capital city, Phnom Penh.

For years, Church members from Cambodia have traveled to either Hong Kong or the Philippines for temple worship. For many, because of the cost and sacrifice required, a visit to a temple was a once in a lifetime event. So, when Church President Russell M. Nelson announced the temple at the October 2018 General Conference, and then later personally unveiled the rendering of the temple during his ministry tour to the country in November 2019, the excitement of the saints was beyond expression.


President Eng was one of those who never thought that having a temple in their land would be possible in his lifetime.

“I'm so excited,” he said. “I know that it’s not only us that are excited, but many of our ancestors are watching, rejoicing and excited with us concerning this sacred work, because they are hungry for the salvation of their souls.”

His words were echoed by Sister Hong Channy and Sister Yos Srey Nouch who bore their testimony at the groundbreaking. Both expressed gratitude for the restoration of the gospel, which includes restoration of ordinances that allow family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. They, too, want to participate in temple work that gives their ancestors a chance to partake of the eternal blessings.


President Neang encouraged all members of the Church in Cambodia to obtain a temple recommend and, more importantly, live a worthy life that qualifies them to enter the house of the Lord.

In the dedicatory prayer, he prayed that God would sanctify the site that it "may be protected and blessed to be on a fully suitable setting and foundation for a sacred house of the Lord.”

He also said this temple would be “a beacon of light and hope,” and also prayed that all those who pass by the site would feel peace and love.


The single-story structure of approximately 10,000 square feet will be built on a 3.16-acre site located on Russian Confederation Street, between the Cambodia Institute of Technology and the Institute of Foreign Languages near the Royal University of Phnom Penh. The temple site will be shared with an ancillary building.

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Each temple is considered a “house of the Lord” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man.

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