SALT LAKE CITY — Before announcing plans to build six new temples on four continents, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson told listeners to the church's semiannual general conference last October that "no church-built facility is more important than a temple."
"Temples are places where relationships are sealed together to last through the eternities," President Monson said. "We are grateful for all the many temples across the world and for the blessing they are in the lives of our members."
During the year that has elapsed since that conference, the church has been busily extending that blessing to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in many parts of the world. In addition to the six new Mormon temples announced by President Monson last October — in Barranquilla, Colombia; Durban, South Africa; Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Star Valley, Wyo.; Paris, France; and Provo, Utah — LDS leaders have dedicated four new temples, rededicated the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple following extensive renovation and broken ground in preparation for the construction of six new temples.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, traveled to Central America last December to dedicate the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple, the fifth LDS temple in Central America. As with all temple dedications and rededications, the opening of the new temple was preceded by several weeks of public open-house tours and a cultural celebration featuring young people from the temple district.
President Monson dedicated the Kansas City Missouri Temple on May 5, calling it a "stately and magnificent" structure that "will shine as a beacon of righteousness to all who will follow its light — the light of the gospel, the light of the Savior." The new temple is the second to be built in Missouri, an area rich with church history and prophetic promise.
In June, President Uchtdorf dedicated the Manaus Brazil Temple, which he referred to as "a beautiful temple in the heart of the Amazon." The completion of the Manaus Temple, Brazil's sixth, will save local church members a 15- to eight-day journey to worship and do ordinance work in temples in Sao Paulo, Brazil, or Caracas, Venezuela.
On Sept. 23, President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a Brigham City native, dedicated the new Brigham City Utah Temple, the 139th temple of the church and the 14th in the state of Utah. More than 400,000 visitors participated in the monthlong open house for a temple that features state-of-the-art technology and historic pioneer aesthetics.
The church's 140th temple, the Calgary Alberta Temple, will be dedicated Oct. 28, with a cultural celebration scheduled for Oct. 27. Free reservations for the temple open house, which will be held from Sept. 29 through Oct. 20, can be obtained online at www.calgarymormontemple.org.
President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, presided at the rededication of the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple on Sept. 9. The renovation of the temple, the church's 39th and the fourth in South America, added two new wings to the facility; new landscaping, including an entryway fountain; new decorative painting and gold leafing; and enhanced decorative wood trim. An additional building was constructed adjacent to the temple to provide housing for temple leaders.
Another temple rededication will take place in November when the Boise Idaho Temple is rededicated following extensive renovation of the grounds and interior, as well as the full replacement of the temple's variegated marble exterior with white granite. The temple — the 27th LDS temple in operation and one of four in Idaho — will be rededicated on Nov. 18, with a cultural celebration on Nov. 17. Free reservations for the temple open house Oct. 13 through Nov. 20 can be obtained at www.boisemormontemple.org.
Groundbreaking ceremonies heralding the start of temple construction have been held during the past year for new temples being built in Payson, Utah; Sapporo, Japan; Fortaleza, Brazil; Tijuana, Mexico; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Provo, Utah, where that city's second temple — the Provo City Center Temple — will be built on the site of the historic Provo Tabernacle, which was destroyed by fire in late 2010.
"The building of temples continues uninterrupted," President Monson said during last October's general conference, adding that the church is making progress in placing temples closer to church members.
There are 139 temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in operation around the world, with 14 more temples under construction and 13 in various stages of planning and preparation.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company