General Conference is more than a month away, but LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson already is teasing the semiannual event, revealing that more temples and other news will be announced at the October gathering.
“There are exciting things ahead,” the 94-year-old leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Friday in Brazil, according to a news release. “This work is moving forward at an accelerated pace. I can hardly wait to bounce out of bed each morning and see what the day will bring.”
He led a devotional Friday in the capital of Brasilia for young men and women serving full-time church missions in Brazil. The meeting was broadcast to the faith’s 35 missions in the South American country, which has 5,300 Latter-day Saint missionaries, more than any nation outside the United States, the release noted. Brazil itself has nearly 1.4 million church members, behind only the U.S. and Mexico, and boasts seven Latter-day Saint temples, with plans for four more.
“We invite all people to come unto Christ,” said Nelson, who turns 95 on Sept. 9, ”to become more like him, to experience the joyous blessings of the holy temple and to have eternal life.”
New temples are frequently, though not always, announced at the Utah-based faith’s twice-yearly General Conferences. Since taking the church’s reins nearly 20 months ago, Nelson has announced 27 additional temples.
There are more than 200 in operation or planned around the world, serving the church’s 16.3 million members. Utah has 17 temples, with plans for four more — in Saratoga Springs, Washington County, Layton and Tooele County. Unlike meetinghouses — where Sunday worship services are held — temples are viewed by Latter-day Saints as houses of God, places where devout members participate in their faith’s most sacred ordinances, including eternal marriage.
Nelson is traveling in Latin America with his wife, Wendy, along with apostle Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Mary.
The delegation will end its journey Sunday in São Paulo, where a devotional will be held Sunday at Anhembi Convention Center that will be broadcast to all congregations in Brazil.