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LDS Church announces two new temples in Arizona
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday announced plans to build two new temples in Arizona, doubling the number in the Grand Canyon state.

One will serve the communities of Thatcher and Safford in the Gila Valley, 150 miles east of Phoenix. The other will serve Gilbert, a fast-growing suburb of Phoenix.

The temple in Gilbert will relieve demands of a temple nine miles away in Mesa, according to an LDS Church news release. And the one in Gila Valley will save the 150-mile drive people currently make.

The temple in the Gila Valley will pay tribute to Spencer W. Kimball, 12th president of the Church, according to http://www.ldschurchtemples.com. Kimball grew up in Thatcher and went on to lead a worldwide temple-building effort in the 1980s, the site says.

Church President Thomas S. Monson, called temples "sanctuaries from the storms of life" in a statement announcing the plans.

The other Arizona temple is in Snowflake. There are 134 other temples in operation or under construction worldwide, including 13 in Utah, according to the Church.

- Russ Rizzo

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