Somewhere in the LDS blogosphere, some nameless wag asked if we could expect an "October Surprise" from the LDS Church leadership during the 179th Semiannual General Conference. While the conference has just started, the Church immediately attracted enhanced mainstream media attention when President Thomas S. Monson, in his opening address, announced the decision to build five more temples at various locations around the world. Read the full text of President Monson's address HERE. Primary stories from the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and KSL Channel 5. The official press release is posted at LDS Newsroom. KSL news video embedded below:
Click on the city name to view a map of the location:
(1). Brigham City, Utah: This will be the 14th temple in Utah. LDS members in the area will no longer need to choose between attending the Logan Temple to the east, or the Ogden Temple to the south.
(2). Concepcion, Chile: This will be the second temple in Chile, the first being the Santiago Chile Temple.
(3). Fortaleza, Brazil: This will be the seventh temple in Brazil. Five are currently in operation — Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Recife, Campinas, and Curitiba - with a sixth, in Manaus, announced in 2007.
(4). Fort Lauderdale, Florida: This will be the second temple in Florida, the other being in Orlando. The Ft. Lauderdale temple will serve members living throughout south Florida as well as the Bahamas.
(5). Sapporo, Japan: This will be the third temple in Japan and the first on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The others are the Tokyo Japan Temple and the Fukuoka Japan Temple.
The LDS Church currently has 130 temples in operation worldwide, although operations at the Aba Nigeria Temple are temporarily suspended because of civil strife in the area. President Monson's announcement brings the total of additional temples either announced or under construction to 21. At present, 83 percent of LDS members worldwide live within 200 miles of a temple. Jeff Lindsay, a devout Mormon, provides a comprehensive description of the purpose of temples, which includes multiple links to official LDS pronouncements, HERE.
A new video circulating throughout the Web provides a short and concise orientation on temples. It is geared primarily towards younger people and those who speak English as a second language, but is well-crafted and I've embedded it below:
Additional media coverage of the conference will be posted on the Deseret News, the Mormon Times, and LDS Church News. Video and audio archives and written transcripts now available via the LDS 2009 Conference Page.