RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

President Nelson announces 8 new temples, including Utah, Dubai and Shanghai

Apr 5, 2020, 3:57 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm
President Nelson addresses racism and violence on social media...
President Nelson addresses The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the faith's 190th Annual General Conference on April 5, 2020. Photo: KSL NewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — Speaking at the conclusion of the 190th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced the construction of eight new temples.

The new temples will be constructed in the following locations:

  1. Bahia Blanca, Argentina
  2. Tallahassee, Florida
  3. Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  5. Benin City, Nigeria
  6. Syracuse, Utah
  7. Dubai, UAE
  8. Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Details on the new temples

Syracuse, Utah

The church’s website notes the new temple in Syracuse, located about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City, will be Utah’s 23rd temple.

Dubai, UAE

“The plan for a temple in Dubai comes in response to their gracious invitation, which we gratefully acknowledge,” President Nelson said.

The faith’s website noted the temple in Dubai will “serve thousands of Latter-day Saints living in two stakes in the Gulf States and a number of member districts in the Middle East, northern Africa, eastern Europe, and western Asia.”

“The Dubai temple will be the first to be built by the Church in the Middle East. It will serve thousands of Latter-day Saints living in two stakes in the Gulf States and a number of member districts in the Middle East, northern Africa, eastern Europe, and western Asia.”

Shanghai, China

“Context for the plan for Shanghai is very important,” President Nelson said. “For more than two decades, temple-worthy members in the People’s Republic of China have attended the Hong Kong China Temple. But in July 2019, that temple was closed for long-planned and much-needed renovation.

“In Shanghai, a modest multipurpose meeting place will provide a way for Chinese members to continue to participate in ordinances of the temple — in the People’s Republic of China — for them and their ancestors.

“Expatriate and Chinese congregations will continue to meet separately. The church’s legal status there remains unchanged. In an initial phase of facility use, entry will be by appointment only. The Shanghai Temple will not be a temple for tourists from other countries.”

Bahia Blanca, Argentina

The Bahía Blanca temple represents the fifth announced temple in Argentina. Membership numbers account for more than 450,000 Latter-day Saints in that country, comprising approximately 750 congregations. Bahía Blanca is a port city in the southwest of Argentina’s Buenos Aires province.

Benin City, Nigeria

Nigeria hosts nearly 650 congregations, boasting more than 175,000 members of the church altogether. The Benin City temple is the third temple to be announced in the country. The church baptized its first members in Nigeria in 1978.

Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The church counts nearly 63,000 Latter-day Saints in about 200 congregations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lubumbashi is located on the southern tip of the country and is the country’s mining capital. , is in the southern tip of the country. The Lubumbashi temple will be the second temple in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Tallahassee, Florida

More than 150,000 Latter-day Saints live in the state of Florida, spread between approximately 275 congregations. The church’s website notes the state’s first official church congregation was created in Jefferson County in 1897. By the early 1900s, there were more than 1,200 church members in Florida. The Tallahassee Florida Temple will be the state’s third temple.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania is currently home to one temple, the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple. Pennsylvania’s residents include more than 100,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with more than 50 congregations.

The church counts Pennsylvania as important to its history. Its website states: “Two years prior to the organization of the Church in 1830 in New York, Church president Joseph Smith moved to Harmony, Pennsylvania where he translated most of the Book of Mormon.”

New temples to come in spite of current closures

President Nelson noted the current closure of temples on March 13, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but did not hesitate in making the announcement of new temples. The temple closures last month came in the form of a letter drafted by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“We look forward with great anticipation to the time when temples can again operate at full capacity and extend the blessings of temple work to members and their ancestors,” the letter stated.

At the conclusion of his remarks on Sunday, President Nelson expressed his concern for members at this time.

“Should there be illness among you or your loved ones, I leave a blessing of healing, consistent with the will of the Lord,” he said. “I so bless you, adding once more my expression of love for each of you, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

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President Nelson announces 8 new temples, including Utah, Dubai and Shanghai