The First Presidency has announced six more temples, to be constructed in Louisville, Ky.; Medford, Ore.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Adelaide, Australia; Copenhagen, Denmark; and San Jose, Costa Rica.
The announcement brings to 108 the total of temples in operation, announced or under construction. With the dedication of the Madrid Spain Temple, the Church now has 56 operating temples and 52 announced or under construction.The new temples were announced by letter from the First Presidency to local priesthood leaders on March 17.
Adelaide Australia Temple
The Adelaide Australia Temple district will include three stakes and two districts, which have a membership of some 7,300.
The temple will be the fourth for Australia. The Sydney temple was dedicated in 1984, and temples have since been announced for Brisbane and Melbourne. Members in Adelaide have been dedicated to attending the Sydney temple, despite the fact that it is some 1,000 miles away.
The first missionary to Australia was called in 1840, and work began in Sydney in the 1840s. However, the first branch in Adelaide was not organized until after the turn of the century.
The first stake in Adelaide was created in 1968, and since then two other stakes have been created in Adelaide. President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Adelaide May 13, 1997, and spoke to some 2,800 members.
Copenhagen Denmark Temple
The Copenhagen Denmark Temple will be the first in Denmark. The temple district will include four stakes, with two in Denmark and two in Sweden. A total of 7,700 members live in the district.
In early Church history, Denmark was the starting point of missionary work in 1850, and from there the work soon branched to Sweden and Norway. About 14,000 members immigrated to the United States from 1850-1930. The first stake in Denmark was created in 1974.
President Hinckley visited the nation in June, 1996, and encouraged members to increase their missionary efforts.
In 1998, President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, visited Copenhagen and offered a prayer of rededication for missionary work in Denmark.
Louisville Kentucky Temple
The new Louisville Kentucky Temple district will include 11 stakes, including stakes in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, with a membership of about 36,500 members. The temple will be the first in Kentucky.
Samuel H. Smith, brother of the Prophet and the Church's first official missionary, traveled across Kentucky in 1831. However it is unlikely that he and his companion, Reynolds Cahoon, did any preaching. The distinction of the first preaching in Kentucky likely fell to the Prophet Joseph Smith, who stopped in Louisville for three days that same year.
The first branch in Kentucky was started in May 1834, and missionary work continued until the Prophet's martyrdom in 1844. Missionary work resumed slowly in difficult times after the Civil War. Membership at the turn of the century was about 1,170.
The first stake in Kentucky was created in 1971 in Louisville. The state now has some 21,000 members.
Medford Oregon Temple
The new Medford Oregon Temple district is comprised of nine stakes, with three in California and six in southern Oregon. Some 28,600 members reside in the district. The temple will be the second in Oregon; the first was dedicated in Portland in 1989.
Although missionary work began in Oregon in 1850, the first significant LDS presence began in 1887 when LDS businessmen started a lumber mill on the North Powder River and several hundred LDS families migrated to Oregon to work there. The Northwestern States Mission (now Oregon Portland Mission) was created in 1897. More members migrated to other areas in Oregon, and the first stake in Oregon was created in 1901. During the two world wars, Oregon's defense industry led more members to move to Oregon.
The Medford Oregon Stake was created in 1964, and the Oregon Eugene Mission was created in 1990.
Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple
The new Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple, the first in Oklahoma, will serve 15 stakes in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. About 32,000 members reside in this area.
Missionary work began in Oklahoma among the Native Americans of the Cherokee Nation in 1855. The Cherokee Branch was started that year. However, illness among the converts and missionaries, of whom at least four died, depleted this and other branches.
A few converts from before the turn of the century have a posterity that has remained faithful. The first stake in Oklahoma was created in Tulsa in 1960, followed by another stake in Oklahoma City the same year.
San Jose Costa Rica Temple
The San Jose Costa Rica Temple district includes five stakes and 17 districts in Costa Rica, with some 32,000 members.
This will be the first temple in Costa Rica and the second temple in Central America. The first was the Guatemala City Temple, which was dedicated in 1984.
Missionary work in Costa Rica began in 1946 with missionaries presenting a copy of the Book of Mormon to the president of the republic. Work proceeded slowly, however, and the first branch wasn't created until 1950. The Costa Rica San Jose Mission was formed in 1974. Costa Rica's first stake was created in San Jose in 1977.