After trying for three years to gain approval to build a temple in the suburb of Forest Hills here, Church leaders announced they will move ahead with plans to build a temple somewhere else in the Nashville area.
However, the temple will be substantially smaller than the one originally planned for Forest Hills, said Allan Erb, second counselor in the Nashville Tennessee Stake presidency and chairman of the local committee to obtain a temple site.The Church sought approval to build a temple in one of two selected sites in Forest Hills. An appeal of a recent court decision denying appropriate zoning will not be pursued, said Pres. Erb.
"We were surprised at the opposition in Forest Hills," he said, "because our experience has been that the temples have become attractive and appreciated assets to the communities wherever they've been built.
"We are disappointed that our temple will not be a part of the Forest Hills religious community," he added.
The Church, whose members number some 29,000 in Tennessee, will build 30 smaller temples around the globe in the near future, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced at April conference.
President Hinckley has said he wants to build more and smaller temples to make them accessible to the membership of the Church. The new direction will likely mean others in the southeast United States, in addition to the one in the Nashville area. There are currently 51 temples, with another 47 announced and in varying stages of planning or construction. (Please see March 28 Church News for a report on the progress of several new temples.)