SALT LAKE CITY — Speaking in the final time slot of the women’s session of 189th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced plans for eight more temples around the world — including two in Utah.
The spry 95-year-old worldwide church leader announced the church’s intention to build temples in Taylorsville and Orem, in addition to Freetown, Sierra Leone; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Bentonville, Arkansas; Bacolod, Philippines; McAllen, Texas; and Coban, Guatemala.
The Taylorsville and Orem temples will be the 22nd and 23rd temples in Utah, while Orem and Saratoga Springs will be the first new temples in Utah County since the Provo City Center Temple was completed in 2016. The locations of temples in Saratoga Springs, Tooele and Layton were also announced earlier this year, with the groundbreaking for Saratoga Springs set for October at a site in the current Beacon Point subdivision, west of Redwood Road. There is also a forthcoming temple in Washington County; its location has not yet been announced.
"As the church grows, more temples will be built so that more families can have access to that greatest of all blessings, that of eternal life," President Nelson said. "We regard a temple as the most sacred structure of the church. Whenever plans are announced to construct a new temple, it becomes an important part of our history."
Taylorsville will be the first temple built in the Salt Lake Valley since the Draper and Oquirrh Mountain temples opened in 2009. Though, the temple in the Tooele Valley, recently revealed to be constructed in Erda, is close to Salt Lake.
The Salt Lake Temple is scheduled to close for extensive renovations at the end of December, with additional construction around the plaza at Temple Square and church office building in downtown Salt Lake City.
Other temples that are currently being renovated include Raleigh, North Carolina; Frankfurt, Germany; Asuncion, Paraguay; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Hamilton, New Zealand; Hong Kong, China; Mesa, Arizona; Tokyo, Japan; and Washington, D.C. The temple in St. George is also scheduled to undergo major renovations.
Since being named president of the church in January 2018, President Nelson has announced 35 new temples — the second-most in church history behind former president Gordon B. Hinckley, who announced 30 smaller temples in 1998. Under President Hinckley, the construction of smaller temples was announced in 1997. There were 51 temples in operation at the time, and 47 planned. Before Saturday’s session, there were 166 temples dedicated, 14 being built and 29 announced.