In Sunday’s closing session of General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced 20 new temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, equaling the most specific locales announced at any one time.
He also announced 20 new temples in April 2021. (In April 1998, then-church President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans for as many as 32 new temples, but he did not cite specific cities.)
The global faith of 17 million members now has 335 existing or planned temples. Nelson has announced 153, or nearly 46%, of them — the most of any church president.
None of the newly named temples will be built in Utah — the fourth General Conference in a row that he has announced no additions to the list of 28 existing or planned temples in the Beehive State, where the global faith is headquartered.
Two will be built in countries that don’t already have Latter-day Saint temples — Angola and Mongolia. According to the church, there are about 5,000 members in about 20 congregations in Angola, and more than 12,000 members in about 25 congregations in Mongolia.
In recorded remarks — the 99-year-old church leader was watching conference from home after injuring his back earlier this month — Nelson said, “The ordinances and covenants of the temple are of eternal significance. We continue to build more temples to make these sacred possibilities become a reality in each of your lives.”
The newly announced temples will be built in:
• Savai’i, Samoa.
• Kahului, Hawaii, the first to be built on Maui’s shores.
• Fairbanks, Alaska.
• Vancouver, Wash.
• Colorado Springs.
• Tulsa, Okla.
• Roanoke, Va.
• 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 Congo, where the Utah-based faith is booming with more than 100,000 members, about 270 congregations and three other existing or planned temples.
• Laoag, Philippines.
• Osaka, Japan.
• Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
“The Lord is directing us to build these temples,” Nelson stated. “..,Spending more time in the temple builds faith. … 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.”
Sunday’s announcement further accelerated the temple-building frenzy under Nelson, who took the faith’s helm in January 2018. The church reported 177 temples in operation, 59 under construction or renovation, and 99 in planning and design.
There are 15 temples currently operating in Utah — Bountiful, Brigham City, Cedar City, Draper, Jordan River (South Jordan), Logan, Monticello, Mount Timpanogos (American Fork), Ogden, Oquirrh Mountain (South Jordan), Payson, Provo (set to close in February 2024 to undergo a massive makeover), Provo City Center (converted from the former Provo Tabernacle), Saratoga Springs (dedicated in August) and Vernal.
The iconic Salt Lake and Manti temples are undergoing renovation, and the St. George temple is holding open houses through Nov. 11 after a massive renovation of its own. It’s scheduled to be rededicated on Dec. 10.
Ten more temples are either under construction or have been announced in Utah: Deseret Peak (Tooele), Ephraim, Heber Valley, Layton, Lindon, Orem (scheduled to be dedicated in January), Red Cliffs (St. George), Smithfield, Syracuse and Taylorsville.
Latter-day Saints view a temple as a House of the Lord, a place where the faithful participate in their religion’s highest ordinances, including eternal marriage.