ST. GEORGE — Five new temples spanning four different continents – including another temple in Utah and the first of its kind in Kenya – were announced to begin construction at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 187th annual General Conference Sunday morning session.
The announcement was made by LDS church President Thomas S. Monson for new temples located in Brasília, Brazil; Manila, Philippines; Nairobi, Kenya; Pocatello, Idaho; and Saratoga Springs, Utah.
The church currently operates 155 temples worldwide. The buildings are used to conduct ceremonies for devout members of the church and, unlike the faith’s chapels or meetinghouses, are not open to the public.
The announcement brings the total number of new temples planned or under construction to 27.
Saratoga Springs, Utah
The Saratoga Springs temple will be the 18th of its kind in the state.
On the Saratoga Springs website, Mayor Jim Miller released the following statement:
On behalf of myself, the City Council and many of our residents, we are thrilled to have this sacred building added to our community. There are many faithful members of the LDS Church in Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area who will benefit from having this new temple located in our city. Saratoga Springs looks forward to working with the LDS Church in making this new temple a beautiful part of our community.
The LDS church claims over two-thirds of the Utah’s 3 million residents as members.
Southern Utah residents will get a chance to see the interior of a temple – regardless of church membership – when the church holds an open house for its forthcoming Cedar City temple in December.
The announcement for a temple in Kenya is notable as the first Mormon temple to be constructed in the East African country of 48 million people, including 13,000 church members.
The temple will become the eighth of its kind in Africa, joining three operating temples in Aba, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; and Johannesburg, South Africa; two under construction in Kinshasha, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Durban, South Africa; and two more announced in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Harare, Zimbabwe.
Brasília, Brazil temple
Aside from the United States and Mexico, more Mormons live in Brazil than any other country, with the church claiming 1.3 million members in its population of approximately 211 million people.
The Brasília, Brazil temple is the 10th announced temple in Brazil, including six operating temples in Campinas, Curitiba, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife and São Paulo. Three other temples are announced or under construction, including Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro and Belém.
The temple to be built in the greater Manila, Philippines, area will mark the second temple in Manila for a total of four temples in the island nation of 104 million people, home to nearly 750,000 Mormons.
The Pocatello Idaho temple will be the sixth operating temple in Idaho, joining Boise, Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Twin Falls and the nearly completed Meridian temple. The church claims approximately 450,000 of the state’s 1.7 million people as members.