Temple to be built in North Carolina

The First Presidency announced this week a temple for the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area.

This announcement brings to 90 the number of temples in operation, under construction or announced. A total of 53 are in operation, 12 are under construction, two have had groundbreakings and are nearing construction, and another 23 are awaiting starts. Eleven of the temples were announced by the First Presidency during August.The first missionary work done in North Carolina was initiated by Jedediah M. Grant in 1838, who worked the counties of Stokes, Surry, Patrick and Rockingham, mostly along the north-central state border. He baptized several people. Another early missionary, John Eldridge, traveled to Raleigh in 1844, and reported that his few meetings "caused one of the greatest stirs imaginable. . . . I never thought that one poor, weak, mortal soul could make such a stir."

Despite the short time between the beginning of missionary work and the exodus of the Saints to the West, seven congregations were organized in North Carolina. The work resumed in 1868 when missionaries again reported great public interest in their activities.

After the Southern States Mission was created in 1875, additional branches were created. As more elders served, the work was generally done in an orderly, systematic way from west to east across the state. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Carolina, by Wallace R. Draughon.)

Toward the end of the century, a number of local meetinghouses had been erected. By 1930, membership in the state was 2,725.

The first branch in Raleigh was created in 1942, and a meetinghouse was erected and dedicated there in 1956.

Membership in more recent times has increased at a faster pace. In 1980, the total of members was 22,000. That total increased to 53,000 by year-end 1997.

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Highlights from the last week to keep you informed

Meet the Tabernacle Choir member from the Philippines, plus other choir and orchestra members with strong ties to the country.

This week’s study guide includes writings of the prophet Isaiah as recorded by Nephi.

Feb. 18-24, Easter message from President Russell M. Nelson and counselors, plus 6 more stories

Then-Elder Rendell N. Mabey baptized faithful pioneer Billy Johnson in the ocean in 1978. Now a great-grandson and grandson are serving in the Accra Ghana Mission together.

Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra members learn about U.S., Philippine ties at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in between performances and rehearsals during tour to Philippines. Plus see photos of rehearsal for sacred music concert.

"I would go anywhere in the world to be with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," said President Holland of his desire to do the work of the Lord.