SALT LAKE CITY — The joy in Victor Onumah's face was hard to put into words.
With emotions near the surface, the 51-year-old Latter-day Saint said traveling from Lagos, Nigeria, to attend general conference in Utah was worth it to hear President Russell M. Nelson announce a new temple in his hometown.
Onumah, a member since 1989, has been traveling more than 10 hours every month to serve as an ordinance worker in the Aba Nigeria Temple.
"I am so happy I had to scream," Onumah said, standing tall in a black suit outside the Conference Center shortly after the announcement. "The sacrifice I made to be here was not a waste. To crown it all, the prophet announced a temple in the city exactly where I live."
The Lagos Nigeria Temple was one of 12 announced by President Nelson in the closing minutes of the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The locations of the new temples are: Mendoza, Argentina; Salvador, Brazil; Yuba City, California; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Praia, Cape Verde; Yigo, Guam; Puebla, Mexico; Auckland, New Zealand; Lagos, Nigeria; Davao, Philippines; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Washington County, Utah.
More on these locations can be found at the church’s Newsroom site.
President Nelson also announced that the Salt Lake Temple and other pioneer-era temples will be renovated.
"With the passage of time, temples are inevitably in need of refreshing and renewal. To that end, plans are now being made to renovate and update the Salt Lake Temple and other pioneer generation temples,” President Nelson said. “Details on these projects will be shared as they are developed.”
Owen Elabor, a student at Utah Valley University, shared in Onumah's jubilation. He served a mission in the Lagos, Nigeria, area from 2012-2014. He was another one in the vast Conference Center crowd who couldn't contain his excitement and shouted out.
"It was wonderful. Every time I come to conference and hear the prophet announce temples. We've been praying, please, announce another temple for Nigeria. It finally happened today. It's great," Elabor said with his wife Nicole standing nearby. "This will mean a lot to the people. They've been waiting patiently for it. It's going to bless the western part of Nigeria."
The Lagos Nigeria Temple will be the ninth in Africa.
Duane Salayog, his wife and two sons, ages 13 and 11, beamed as they recalled the announcement of a temple in Davao, Philippines, the sixth in that country. The Salayog family recently moved from the Philippines to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and rejoiced at the news. It was also their first opportunity to attend conference.
"It was a burst of emotion without any sound," Salayog said. "The work is really progressing there. I think the new temple will strengthen their faith and help them feel the Savior's love for them even more."
Despite a friendly rivalry between Chile and Argentina, Chilean Latter-day Saint Miguel Soza was thrilled to know a temple is coming to Mendoza, the fourth in Argentina.
"Most people in Mendoza used to travel over the Andes Mountains to Chile to attend the Santiago temple. That's a hard ride," said Soza, who now lives in Bountiful, Utah. "I'm happy for them."
Tevita Lata, 28, traveled from Australia to attend general conference for the first time and pumped his fist when he heard President Nelson say Auckland, New Zealand, giving that country a second temple.
"I love it," said Lata, who also enjoyed taking in a personal view of the Salt Lake Temple for the first time in his life. "Everybody was screaming when he announced it. It's awesome."
A temple in Salvador will give Brazil 11 temples, with six operating, two under construction and two others announced.
The Puebla Mexico Temple makes 14 for Mexico.
The Yuba City California Temple give the state eight temples.
Praia, Cape Verde; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, will be the first temples in those respective countries. This will also be the first temple San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Yigo, Guam, both U.S. territories.
Brad and Amy Johnston, a couple from Gilbert, Arizona, with three temples within short driving distance, couldn't help but think of the faithful members in these far off countries.
"You know, it's really exciting for people who think they're in a forgotten corner of the world to realize they're not," Brad Johnston said. "Honestly when I watch conference on TV and people are not reverent when those announcements are made, I feel annoyed. But when I was here, for some of those people it was genuine emotion. That was sweet."
President Nelson also announced a new temple in Washington County, Utah, the second in that area next to the St. George Temple, and the 20th in Utah.
President Nelson's temple announcement Sunday was similar to the one he made at the end of last April's conference. That day he announced seven temples, most notably in Layton, Utah; Bengaluru, India; and a city yet to be determined in Russia.
As of this month, the church has 189 temples around the world. Of those, 159 are currently dedicated and in operation while others are in the announced phase, under construction or being renovated, according to the church’s Newsroom.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Puerto Rico and Guam as countries instead of U.S. territories.