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