Plans to build five new temples were announced today by President Thomas S. Monson, worldwide leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, during the Church’s 179th Semiannual General Conference in Salt Lake City. With 130 temples currently operating and with another 16 in some phase of planning or construction, these five temples bring the worldwide total to 151.
The locations of the new temples will be Brigham City, Utah; Concepción, Chile; Fortaleza, Brazil; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Sapporo, Japan. The exact temple sites will be made known at a later date.
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righam City will be home to Utah’s 14th temple. Two Utah temples were dedicated earlier this year: the Draper Utah Temple, dedicated in March, and the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, dedicated in August.
The Concepción, Chile, temple will be the second temple in Chile. The first, the Santiago Chile Temple, was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor in the First Presidency, in September 1983. There are currently 14 temples operating in South America, with another three announced and in some phase of construction.
There are currently five operating temples in Brazil. In May 2007 the Church announced plans to build a temple in Manaus, Brazil, making a temple in Fortaleza, Brazil, the seventh in that country. There are now over 1,060,000 members of the Church in Brazil.
The temple in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, will serve members living throughout South Florida, as well as in the Bahamas. There are currently eight temples in the southeastern part of the United States.
The Sapporo temple will become the third in Japan and the sixth in Asia. Dedicated in October 1980, the Tokyo Japan Temple was the first temple in Asia. The Fukuoka Temple was dedicated in June 2000 and became the eighty-eighth Temple worldwide.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from ordinary church buildings where members typically meet for Sunday worship services, midweek classes and activities. There are thousands of such chapels throughout the world, all open to visitors.
For members of the Church, temples are the most sacred places on earth. They are used solely for the performance of sacred ceremonies such as marriage and for religious instruction aimed at strengthening members’ relationships with God and their fellow man. Temples provide a place of holiness and peace, separate from the preoccupations of the world, where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God.
Construction of temples has been a part of Latter-day Saint history since the earliest days of the Church. Church founder Joseph Smith built temples in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois.
Within days of the Mormon pioneers’ arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, Joseph Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, announced the location for the Salt Lake Temple and construction began shortly thereafter. While the Salt Lake Temple, took 40 years to complete, most temples today are finished within three to five years.