President Russell M. Nelson capped the April 2021 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by announcing 20 new temples, including a 26th in Utah and five nations that will be getting their first.
The new Latter-day Saint temple locations are:
• Oslo, Norway (first temple in the country).
• Brussels, Belgium (first temple).
• Vienna, Austria (first temple).
• Beira, Mozambique (first temple).
• Singapore (first temple).
• Kumasi, Ghana.
• Cape Town, South Africa.
• Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
• Cali, Colombia.
• Querétaro, México.
• Torreón, México.
• Helena, Mont.
• Casper, Wyo.
• Grand Junction, Colo.
• Farmington, N.M.
• Burley, Idaho.
• Eugene, Ore.
• Elko, Nev.
• Yorba Linda, Calif.
• The Smithfield Temple will be the 26th in Utah. Fifteen are currently operating in the state, and two more — the historic Salt Lake and St. George structures — are undergoing renovations. Temples also are planned or under construction in Layton, Orem, Saratoga Springs, St. George (a second one), Taylorsville, Tooele, Lindon and Syracuse.
Nelson did not announce a specific location for the Smithfield Temple, which will join the pioneer-era Logan Temple as the second in Cache County.
The 96-year-old leader has announced 69 new temples in the three years he has been church president. Including the 20 announced Sunday, the church will have more than 250 temples operating, under construction, under renovation or announced.
According to a church news release, this is the second-most temples any church president has announced at one time. In April 1998, then-President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans to construct as many as 32, but he did not list specific locations.
Religious rites at Latter-day Saint temples, which members view as Houses of the Lord, have been severely limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been coming back on line under a phased reopening plan. None is yet operating at full capacity.
“You may be wondering when you will be able to return to the temple,” Nelson told members Sunday in his closing remarks. “Answer: Your temple will be open when local government regulations allow it.”
He then pleaded with Latter-day Saints to “do all you can to bring COVID numbers down in your area so that your temple opportunities can increase.”
In the five countries that do not currently have temples, the release stated, there are about 5,000 Latter-day Saints in Norway, about 7,000 in Belgium, about 5,000 in Austria, about 3,000 in Singapore and more than 15,000 in Mozambique.
Independent researcher Matt Martinich has noted the tremendous Latter-day Saint growth taking place in Mozambique. Before fall 2017, Nampula, in the north, had one branch, or small congregation. Earlier this year, it became the center of the fifth stake — a regional cluster of congregations — in the Southeast African nation.
This evolution, he noted on his ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com website, represents “some of the most rapid growth ever reported by the church” in the modern era.
Before conference, Martinich successfully predicted the Smithfield Temple would be announced this weekend. He also anticipated additional temples in Colorado and Montana, though he had them pegged for different cities.