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New temples announced for Perth, Omaha

The First Presidency has announced the construction of two new temples: the Omaha Nebraska Temple and the Perth Australia Temple. The Omaha temple will be Nebraska's first, and the Perth temple will be Australia's fifth.

With these new temples, the Church now has 114 temples announced, under construction or dedicated.The First Presidency announced the temple in Omaha in a letter to local priesthood leaders June 14, and they announced it to their members at a meeting Sunday, June 20.

The Omaha temple will be built at the site of historic Winter Quarters in the north Omaha area of Florence, a region rich in Church history dating back to Mormon pioneer times of the late 1840s. Pending local government approval, the temple will be constructed on 1.9 acres of Church-owned land adjacent to the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery at 34th and State streets.

Made up of 14 stakes and four missions, the Omaha Nebraska Temple district will include the Missouri Independence, South Dakota Rapid City, Nebraska Omaha and Iowa Des Moines missions. The temple, the first temple between St. Louis, Mo., and Denver, Colo., will serve more than 40,000 members living in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota.

The Perth temple was announced June 11 by the First Presidency in a letter to local priesthood leaders. The letter will be read to local members in sacrament meetings Sunday, June 27.

The new temple will be built adjacent to the Dianella Stake Center, located about 15 minutes from downtown Perth. The Perth Australia Temple District will include 6,865 members from four stakes and one mission, the Australia Perth Mission.

John Grinceri, an Area Authority Seventy, said since local Church leaders received official word of the temple from the First Presidency, the news has been spreading among the members like wildfire. "It is wonderful," he noted. "Excitement has been building. Perth needs a temple."

Elder Grinceri said for years members in Perth, located on Australia's western coast, have had to travel long distances to attend the Sydney Australia Temple -- a journey that is similar to a trip from Los Angles to New York -- or other temples located at even greater distances.

Elder Grinceri and his wife were married in the New Zealand Temple. He was later sealed to his parents, "at great expense and sacrifice," in the New Zealand Temple.

Elder Vaughn J Featherstone of the Seventy and president of the Australia/ New Zealand Area, said that Elder Grinceri's story is not unusual. Many members in Perth, he said, have made great sacrifices at tremendous expense to attend the temple -- some driving three 18 hours days across the country.

Elder Grinceri said members have watched with great anticipation as other temples were announced for Australia. The Brisbane Australia Temple was announced July 20, 1998. Ground was broken on the Melbourne Australia Temple March 20 and for the Adelaide Australia Temple May 29. The Sydney Australia Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley Sept. 20, 1984.

"While many members [in Perth] have only gone to the temple once or twice in a lifetime," said Elder Grinceri, "now they will have the opportunity to go much more frequently."