‘Super news’: Latter-day Saints react to announcement of 15 new temples

Members worldwide expressed tender feelings of joy following President Nelson’s temple announcement at the end of the Sunday afternoon session of April 2024 general conference

There was a collective smile and feeling of joy among Latter-day Saints outside the Conference Center following President Russell M. Nelson’s announcement of 15 new temples in the last session of April 2024 general conference on Sunday, April 7.

Tears flowed easily for Maria Griffiths. She lives in South Jordan, Utah, but serves in a Spanish-speaking ward in West Jordan, where a new house of the Lord will be built in the years to come.

“It’s super news,” she said in Spanish. “We have many people who can’t travel. To have a temple in West Jordan will make it easier for the people to attend the temple. When I heard the news, I started to cry.”

Many who attend Griffiths’ ward know Latter-day Saints in Maracaibo, Venezuela, where another temple was announced.

“I was also crying for them because they need the blessings but can’t leave the country. We want them to have this opportunity to go to the temple,” she said.

As a student at BYU-Hawaii, Wallace Seupule, a native of Samoa, often wondered why there wasn’t a temple in Honolulu, Hawaii. He knew of many Church members on that side of the island. He was pleasantly “shocked” to hear President Nelson announce a temple in Honolulu.

“I’m pretty sure the people in Honolulu are very excited,” said Seupule, who added that as a Polynesian it’s a great blessing to see more houses of the Lord in the Pacific Islands, including Uturoa, French Polynesia.

“I have a lot of friends who went there a couple of years ago as missionaries. They always talk about how beautiful those islands are, how the Church is growing and how the people are so ready for a temple down there.”

Not far away, Dave Clark, of San Diego, California, visited with his former mission president, David Ferrell. They served together in Ecuador in the late 1970s. Ferrell’s daughter, Kristin Hargis, of Safford, Arizona, also served a mission in Ecuador. She wept happy tears for the Latter-day Saints in Venezuela with whom she feels a connection.

“That was super special,” she said. “I’m also happy for the Saints in Utah to get more temples because they keep them going all the time.”

Clark expressed gratitude for all the new temples.

“I think you have an opportunity to know what is on the Lord’s mind,” he said. “He’s preparing His people that love to go to His house, the house of the Lord, where He can bless us with His power and arm us with His righteousness, where we can do a great work for His children, even on both sides of the veil. As far as a particular temple, it’s not so much the temple, but what happens in the temple that has great significance to those that live in that land. They all have special significance for me — every one of them.”

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President Nelson announces locations of 15 new temples at conclusion of April 2024 general conference
A world map showing the 15 locations for news temples, with each country highlighted in blue:
Uturoa, French Polynesia; Chihuahua, Mexico; Florianópolis, Brazil; Rosario, Argentina; Edinburgh, Scotland; Brisbane, Australia (south area); Victoria, British Columbia; Yuma, Arizona; Houston, Texas (south area); Des Moines, Iowa; Cincinnati, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; West Jordan, Utah; Lehi, Utah; Maracaibo, Venezuela.
President Russell M. Nelson announced 15 new locations for temples during the April 2024 general conference on Sunday, April 7, 2024. The locations are in: Uturoa, French Polynesia; Chihuahua, Mexico; Florianópolis, Brazil; Rosario, Argentina; Edinburgh, Scotland; Brisbane, Australia (south area); Victoria, British Columbia; Yuma, Arizona; Houston, Texas (south area); Des Moines, Iowa; Cincinnati, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; West Jordan, Utah; Lehi, Utah; Maracaibo, Venezuela. | Church News graphic

15 new temples locations

The 15 new temples will be built in the following locations:

  • Uturoa, French Polynesia
  • Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Florianópolis, Brazil
  • Rosario, Argentina
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Brisbane, Australia (south area)
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Yuma, Arizona
  • Houston, Texas (south area)
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • West Jordan, Utah
  • Lehi, Utah
  • Maracaibo, Venezuela

With Sunday’s announcement, the Church now has 350 total temples — dedicated, under construction or announced and in planning.

Audience members listen to the closing song of the morning session of the 194th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 7, 2024. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Uturoa, French Polynesia

A temple in Uturoa will be the second house of the Lord in French Polynesia. The Papeete Tahiti Temple was dedicated in 1983 and was rededicated in 2006 following an expansion.

There are nearly 30,000 Latter-day Saints in nearly 100 congregations in French Polynesia.

Raromatai Tahiti Stake President Boyer Teheiura said the announcement of a temple for French Polynesia was long awaited and met with “immense joy.”

Soon after President Nelson’s announcement, President Tehieura said his phone kept ringing because many members wanted to confirm that they’d heard correctly. “Today our prayers have been answered. Thank you, Lord.”

Chihuahua, Mexico

A Mexico flag flies in in this aerial view of Chihuahua, Mexico.
Chihuahua, Mexico | esdelval -

The house of the Lord announced for Chihuahua is the 25th temple in Mexico.

Mexico is home to over 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in more than 1,875 congregations.

Florianópolis, Brazil

Aerial view of Florianópolis, Brazil, with high rise buildings and land extending out into the water.
Florianópolis, Brazil | Tiago -

Filipe and Deborah Vasconcelos, members of the Agronômica Ward in the Florianópolis Brazil Stake, said their area is “a blessed place with wonderful, faith-filled people.”

“The Church in Brazil began here, with the first chapel in Latin America built almost 100 years ago. Since then, Santa Catarina members have been praying for a temple in the region,” Deborah said.

In 2008, they were blessed with a temple in Curitiba, more than four hours away. Now, with the news of the temple in Florianópolis, they are “thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to serve in the house of the Lord in our city.”

“After President Nelson’s announcement, there were many tears, hugs, smiles, messages and calls to family and friends. The feeling is the same: the Lord knows His people and hears their prayers. As our Prophet said, ‘the temple is the gateway to the greatest blessings God has in store for each of us,’” Deborah Vasconcelos said.

The temple in Florianópolis will be the 23rd house of the Lord operating, under construction or announced in the country.

There are nearly 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in Brazil — more than any other country aside from the United States and Mexico — in approximately 2,175 congregations.

Rosario, Argentina

The announcement for a temple in Rosario, Argentina, carried special significance for Brigham Nicoll, who served a mission there years ago.

“Temple in Rosario, Argentina — one of the happiest moments of my life hearing that. I love those wonderful people and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about my time with them serving as a missionary,” he shared on social media.

Rosario is located in east-central Argentina, approximately 190 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.

The temple in Rosario will be the seventh in Argentina.

Argentina is home to more than 480,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 725 congregations.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Red phone booths are on a cobbled street with a clock tower rising the back in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Edinburgh, Scotland | Richie Chan -

Following the announcement, tears flowed for Brent Rose, a 68-year-old rancher who lives in Park Valley, Utah, as he spoke to family and answered text messages.

Rose served as a missionary in Scotland from 1975 to 1977. Over the years, he and his companions have wondered if the Church would ever build a temple in Scotland. Prior to Sunday’s announcement, he remarked to his wife Janet that if it happened, the temple would be in Edinburgh.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Rose, who imagined his late mission president, Derek Cuthbert, rejoicing in heaven. “I am so happy for those people, as well as those who served there. What a great thing. I’m overwhelmed.”

President James McCrudden of the Scotland/Ireland Mission posted his reaction on social media.

“Excited to hear the announcement of the new temple in Edinburgh. This is an enormous blessing to the people and missionaries in the Scotland Ireland Mission,” he said.

A house of the Lord in Edinburgh will be the first temple in Scotland and the fourth in the United Kingdom. The other temples in the United Kingdom include the London England Temple (dedicated in 1958, rededicated in 1992), the Preston England Temple (dedicated in 1998) and the Birmingham England Temple (announced in 2022).

The United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, has 185,000 Latter-day Saints attending more than 300 congregations.

Brisbane, Australia (south area)

It will be the second temple in Brisbane, following the dedication of the Brisbane Australia Temple in June 2003, and the sixth in the country. Other temples are the Adelaide Australia Temple, Melbourne Australia Temple, Perth Australia Temple and Sydney Australia Temple.

Today, there are more than 155,000 Church members in more than 300 congregations in the country.

Many pioneer members in the area feel blessed to witness the miracle of a second temple in Brisbane, which was dedicated roughly 20 years ago, said Brisbane Australia Beenleigh Stake President Francis Iva.

The growth of the Church in Brisbane in recent years has been “amazing. This is definitely a faith-promoting experience for the area and will increase temple attendance of the members here in Brisbane. We can’t wait to know of its exact location,” President Iva said in an email to the Church News.

Sunset aerial shot of Brisbane as a City Cat heads towards the city on the Brisbane River
Brisbane, Australia | Mel Campbell -

Victoria, British Columbia

Gabriella Parada reacted to the new temple on social media.

“Victoria BC (British Columbia) forever has my heart. To hear the announcement of a temple really is an answer to so many prayers. To all the members and friends I met while serving there: The Lord truly is mindful of you,” she wrote. “Hurrah for Israel.”

Canada is home to more than 200,000 Latter-day Saints in nearly 500 congregations. The temple in Victoria will be Canada’s 11th.

Yuma, Arizona

Jennifer Wilhelm, a member of the Yuma Ward in the Yuma Arizona Stake, said her family was “all shocked and in tears” when President Nelson announced a new temple for their community. One close family member who hasn’t held a temple recommend in a few years was so touched that he contacted his bishop.

“We are all just so joyful,” she said.

Wilhelm said many Latter-day Saints in Yuma have faithfully attended the Phoenix Arizona Temple three hours away.

“My husband and I have been going once a month since December, and it has been a huge blessing in our lives. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with the privilege to drive that far. This will bless the Saints in the whole region.”

A house of the Lord in Yuma will be the seventh temple in Arizona, which is situated in the southwest United States.

Beginning in the 1850s, Latter-day Saints occasionally traveled from the Utah Territory to preach the restored gospel and to explore the possibility of permanent settlements in Arizona. The Mesa Arizona Temple, the first in Arizona, was dedicated in October 1927.

Other houses of the Lord in the state are in the Gilbert, Phoenix, Snowflake, Gila Valley and Tucson temples.

There are more than 440,000 Latter-day Saints in Arizona in about 925 congregations.

Downtown Yuma, Arizona aerial view in 2009
Downtown Yuma, Arizona aerial view in 2009. | Tim Roberts

Houston, Texas (south area)

Latter-day Saints from the south side of Houston, Texas, have traditionally served in the Houston Texas Temple as ordinance workers and patrons despite the distance many are required to travel to be in the house of the Lord, said President Dustin B. Peterson of the Friendswood Texas Stake.

Following the announcement, the stake president received many texts and reactions from local members that conveyed “energy and excitement.”

“I am so thrilled,” Peterson said. “Having a temple in this southern area will be a blessing to both the members and to the community. The south Houston area is burgeoning with new home developments and highway construction which will make a temple more accessible to many, and having a house of the Lord in our local community will be a symbol to people of all faiths of our shared commitment to Jesus Christ.”

There are more than 385,000 members attending 750 congregations in Texas. The new temple in the Houston, Texas, south area will be the state’s ninth and the second in the greater Houston area. The Houston Texas Temple was dedicated in August 2000 and rededicated in April 2018 following flooding due to Hurricane Harvey.

Conferencegoers gather and take photos after the Sunday morning session of the 194th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 7, 2024. | Marielle Scott, Deseret News

Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines Iowa Stake President Jason Morales said Latter-day Saints in their area have been waiting for President Nelson to say the words, “Des Moines, Iowa” for years.

When Morales heard the Prophet say those words Sunday, his “heart burst with joy, gratitude and love.”

“It seems surreal that after years of praying and striving to bring a temple [to] Iowa, the day has finally come. There were a lot of tears, hugs and smiles as our family celebrated the wonderful news,” he said. “Our members are eager to receive the blessings that a temple will bring to Iowa. This announcement is an answer to the prayers and efforts of many members throughout the state who have dedicated their lives to building up the church here. Today’s announcement is one that the members of the church in Iowa will always remember.”

A house of the Lord in Des Moines will be the first temple in the state, which has more than 29,000 Latter-day Saints who attend 70 congregations.

A bridge with an archway spans a review near the Des Moines, Iowa, downtown, with several high rise buildings in the background.
Des Moines, Iowa | digidreamgrafix -

Cincinnati, Ohio

President Michael Guy of the Ohio River Spanish Branch of the Cincinnati Ohio Stake said members of his branch have been praying for a temple for years. The branch council and youth group chats were full of excitement following the news Sunday afternoon. They are already thinking about friends, family, coworkers and neighbors they can invite to the open house when it happens.

“This new temple will allow us to attend more often. I have been so amazed by the sacrifices members of our branch and stake have made to regularly attend the temple, and this will allow even greater levels of temple attendance,” he wrote in a message to the Church News. “I know there were many tears of joy shed in the city today. ... It is an exciting day for members of the Ohio River Branch and for all the members in the Cincinnati area.”

Sarah Brown and her husband moved to Cincinnati 18 years ago and have made many trips to the Columbus Ohio Temple, an hour and a half drive. In more recent years, their children have enjoyed attending the temple to perform baptisms for the dead.

The Cincinnati skyline and Ohio River, seen from Covington, Kentucky, including several tall buildings and a bridge.
The Cincinnati skyline and Ohio River, seen from Covington, Kentucky. | jonbilous -

“We are extremely excited to have a temple so close to our home,” she said. “I would love to one day serve as a temple worker.”

President Brady Lighthall of the Cincinnati Ohio Stake described his reaction as “deep gratitude.” When called as a stake president two years ago, Church leaders invited the stake presidency to prepare the hearts and minds of the people for the day when a temple would be built in the Cincinnati area.

“We did not know when a temple for our area would be announced, but we knew the day would come if we, as a people, were sufficiently prepared,” he said. “We have worked diligently since that time to help our stake members understand, qualify for and claim the blessings of the temple.”

The branch currently attends the Louisville Kentucky Temple, and the branch president had just ordered pictures of that temple as gifts for Primary children who turn 8 years old.

“I now look forward to someday buying pictures of the Cincinnati Ohio Temple to give to our Primary children,” he said.

Ohio is home to nearly 65,000 Latter-day Saints in nearly 130 congregations.

The temple in Cincinnati will be the third house of the Lord in the state after the Columbus and Cleveland Ohio temples. The Church’s first temple of this dispensation was built in Kirtland, Ohio, a short distance from Cleveland, and dedicated in 1836. It was acquired by the Church from Community of Christ on March 5.

Conferencegoers gather outside after the Sunday morning session of the 194th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 7, 2024. | Marielle Scott, Deseret News

Honolulu, Hawaii

A house of the Lord in Honolulu will be the fourth in the island state, joining temples dedicated or announced in Laie, Kahului and Kona.

There are 75,000 Latter-day Saints that attend 145 congregations in the state of Hawaii.

West Jordan, Utah

West Jordan Mayor Dirk Burton was among the first to react to news of a temple in his community.

“I was honored to hear The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announce a temple in West Jordan,” he wrote on social media.

The temples announced for West Jordan and Lehi Utah will be the 29th and 30th houses of the Lord in Utah either in operation, under renovation, construction or announced.

Lehi, Utah

Sarah and Brett Scoresby have lived with their children in Lehi for nearly 20 years. They were “surprised and excited” to hear the announcement because the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple, dedicated less than a year ago on Aug. 13, 2023, is only a 15-minute drive from their home.

“Oh, it makes me so happy,” Sarah said. “To me it means that the Lord probably wants me to increase my faith and dedication. I think it also means that God wants to bless the faithful in Lehi. I could definitely feel God’s love for us. My heart swelled with gratitude and I shed a few tears.”

Maracaibo, Venezuela

News of a temple for Maracaibo, Venezuela, was welcome news for Kristen Erekson, who served as a missionary there 20 years ago.

“Today feels pretty tender,” she wrote in a social media post. “We and the members hoped and prayed and worked for it back then and it has taken a while. It reminds me that the Lord can do His work in spite of difficulties (political and financial or otherwise) and He doesn’t forget about anyone, anywhere.”

There are more than 175,000 Latter-day Saints who attend 230 congregations in Venezuela. The house of the Lord in Maracaibo will be the second in the country. The Caracas Venezuela Temple was one of many temples dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 2000.

— Vanessa Fitzgibbon, Rachel Sterzer Gibson, Joel Randall, Christine Rappleye and Mary Richards contributed to this article.

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