SALT LAKE CITY 24 May 2008
President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced today that the Church plans to build a new temple in Phoenix, Arizona. This will bring the worldwide total number of temples built or under construction to 140, including five in Arizona.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the tens of thousands of local meetinghouses where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities, and where visitors are always welcome. Temples are used solely for the performance of sacred ordinances and religious instruction aimed at strengthening members’ relationships with God and their fellowman.
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are houses of the Lord, the most sacred places on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God’s plan of salvation. Temple attendance strengthens Latter-day Saints’ commitment to living Christian principles, emphasizes personal spiritual growth and increases devotion to family.
“The blessings of the temple are eternal,” said President Monson. “Those who come to this holy house will feel of God’s love for His children and come to a greater understanding of their own divine origin and potential as His sons and daughters.”
There are currently two temples in Arizona, in Mesa and Snowflake. Two additional temples were announced last month for Gila Valley and Gilbert, Arizona.
The Church’s Temple Department reports that the Mesa Arizona Temple, close to the city of Phoenix, is attended by more worshippers than any other Latter-day Saint temple in the world outside of Utah.
The announcement of eight new temples in Arizona, Idaho, Utah and British Columbia over the last two years reflects the Church’s steady growth in North America.
After Latter-day Saint temples are built they are opened to interested members of the public and the media for open house tours before being dedicated as places of worship. The Church’s last temple to be completed is in Curitiba, Brazil. Over 40,000 guests have visited that temple this month in open house tours for the media, dignitaries and the public.