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Mormon president announces 5 new temples

October 04, 2009|Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Mormon Church President Thomas S. Monson on Saturday announced plans to build five new temples in the United States and abroad.

Temples will be built in Brigham City, Utah; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Concepcion, Chile; Fortaleza, Brazil; and Sapporo, Japan, Monson said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints already has 130 temples operating worldwide, most in the U.S.

An additional 16 are either planned or already under construction.

Monson has announced plans for at least 10 new temples since he became the church's 16th president in February 2008.

His announcement came during the opening session of the church's two-day semiannual general conference in Salt Lake City.

The locations selected for new temples reflect the growth of the church, which according to statistics released in April has 13.8 million members.

"We desire that as many members as possible have an opportunity to attend the temple without having to travel inordinate distances," Monson said. "Worldwide, 83% of our members live within 200 miles of a temple."

The two-day general conference draws an international audience. More than 100,000 will pack a 20,000-seat conference center on the church's downtown Salt Lake City campus in five two-hour sessions.

Millions more watch the proceedings -- translated this year into 92 languages -- via broadcasts over the Internet, and by satellite and closed-circuit television.

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