SALT LAKE CITY — For the third time in as many October general conferences, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson has announced plans for five new temples.
The five announced temples — two in the U.S. and three internationally — will be in Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Tijuana, Mexico; Urdaneta, Philippines; and Lisbon, Portugal.
The new temples will be the first in Portugal and in the states of Connecticut and Indiana.
Portugal is home to some 38,000 Latter-day Saints organized in 73 congregations — including two missions and a half-dozen stakes — throughout the country, including the islands of the Azores and Madeira. The country was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel in April 1975 by President Monson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in the mountains of Sintra, about 25 kilometers from Lisbon.
With one mission and two stakes, Connecticut has more than 14,500 members. Indiana has 40,529 members in 11 stakes and 1 mission.
For Charles Clark, who lives in Noblesville, Ind., and is a member of the Muncie Indiana Stake, the announcement of the Indianapolis temple was a pleasant surprise for members in his area.
"We've been hoping for this for a long time, ever since the announcement of small temples," said Clark, who currently serves as second counselor in the Columbus Ohio Temple, some 175 miles from his home.
"We drive over, stay in a motel for a few nights and then come back after our term of service for the week," he said.
His feelings certainly echoed those of members in the Hartford, Lisbon, Urdaneta and Tijuana areas. "I feel elated," he said, adding "it's certainly a very momentous thing for us to have a temple closer and to realize the Lord's looking kindly upon us and wants us to do temple work."
The Tijuana temple will be Mexico's 13th, and the Urdaneta temple the Philippines' third.
The LDS Church currently has 134 temples in operation, with another seven under construction. Including Saturday's five, a total of 16 announced temples are in various stages of planning.
Earlier this year, the LDS Church announced a new temple for Payson, Utah, and plans to renovate the existing Ogden Utah Temple.
Last year, new temples were announced for Brigham City, Utah; Concepción, Chile; Fort Lauderdale, Fla; Fortaleza, Brazil; and Sapporo, Japan.
And in 2008, the five sites announced were in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Cordoba, Argentina; Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Rome, Italy.
In his opening remarks, President Monson spoke of dedicating temples already this year in Gila Valley, Ariz.; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Cebu City, Philippines; and Kyiv, Ukraine, with plans to rededicate a renovated Laie Hawaii Temple before year's end.
CONTRIBUTING: Jamshid Ghazi Askar