SALT LAKE CITY (KSL.com) — During the final session of the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced 20 new temples to be built around the world, the second-most number of temples announced at one time in the history of the church.
New temples will be built in the following locations:
- Savai’i, Samoa
- Kahului, Hawaii
- Fairbanks, Alaska
- Vancouver, Washington
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Roanoke, Virginia
- Cancún, Mexico
- Piura, Peru
- Huancayo, Peru
- Viña del Mar, Chile
- Goiânia, Brazil
- João Pessoa, Brazil
- Cape Coast, Ghana
- Calabar, Nigeria
- Luanda, Angola
- Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Laoag, Philippines
- Osaka, Japan
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Nelson delivered the announcement during a pre-recorded video message played to wrap up the final session of conference, sitting in a chair after suffering a back injury from a fall shortly after celebrating his 99th birthday.
“Spending more time in the temple builds faith. And your service and worship in the temple will help you to think celestial,” said Nelson, who has announced 153 new temples since 2018. “The temple is a place of revelation. There you are shown how to progress toward a celestial life. There you are drawn closer to the Savior and given greater access to His power. There you are guided in solving the problems in your life, even your most perplexing problems. The ordinances and covenants of the temple are of eternal significance. … The Lord is directing us to build these temples to help us think celestial.”
With these temples, there are now 335 temples announced, under construction or renovation, or dedicated around the world. There are 177 temples currently operating, 59 under construction or renovation and 99 in planning and design.
Earlier in the conference, Elder Dale G. Renlund, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, praised the church’s rapid expansion of temple-building around the world. But the church leader added, as temples become “more accessible,” it can be easy for members’ temple attendance to “become more casual,” as well.
“Living close to a temple does bring greater flexibility in scheduling time in the temple,” Elder Renlund said, “but that very flexibility can make it easier to take the temple for granted. When we do, we ‘miss the mark,’ undervaluing the opportunity to draw closer to the Savior in his holy house.”
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be houses of God, different from regular weekly meetinghouses, a place of holiness and peace. They provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God, according to churchofjesuschrist.org. Church members perform a variety of acts and sacraments in these temples, including marriage between a man and a woman and the “sealing” of families for eternity.
“Through the temple, our Heavenly Father binds individuals and families to the savior and to each other,” Elder J. Kimo Esplin, of the Seventy, said.