Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced plans to build new temples in Bangkok, Thailand; Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Port-au-Prince, Haiti today during the Sunday morning session of the faith’s 185th Annual General Conference. Exact locations of the temples will be announced at a later date.
Abidjan Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) Temple
Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) is home to approximately 20 million people, including over 22,000 members of the Church. The Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple will be the first in the country, where missionary work officially began in 1988. Church members in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s second most populous city, currently attend temple services in Accra, Ghana, which is a 12-hour drive.
Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple
Haiti is home to approximately 10 million people, including more than 19,000 members of the Church. The Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple will be the first in the country, where missionary work officially began in 1980. Church members in Haiti currently attend temple services in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which is almost a day’s journey away.
Bangkok Thailand Temple
The Bangkok Thailand Temple will be the first in this Asian nation. The Church was formally organized in Thailand in 1966. There are now approximately 18,000 Church members in 38 congregations in Thailand. The Bangkok Thailand Temple will serve Latter-day Saints in Thailand as well as all of Southeast Asia. Before today’s announcement, the nearest temple was in Hong Kong, over 1,000 miles away.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred places on earth. Unlike meetinghouses, where Sabbath worship and weekly activities take place, temples are open throughout the week and closed on Sundays.
There are currently 144 operating temples worldwide and, with today’s announcement, 29 temples announced or under construction.