New temples announced Oct. 1 — Background information
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President Thomas S. Monson announced this morning that six new temples will be built. Their locations are Provo, Utah; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Durban, South Africa; Barranquilla, Colombia and Star Valley, Wyoming. He said plans are proceeding to build a temple in Paris France. On July 15, President Monson announced that the Church hoped to build its first temple in France on property on the outskirts of Paris (please see Church News, July 23, 2011).Details of the new temples, he said, will be provided as site and other necessary approvals are obtained.
Following is information about each of the new temples.
Provo Utah Tabernacle
The converted Provo Tabernacle will become the second temple in Provo and the 16th in the state. The tabernacle was originally constructed from 1883 to 1898. It is located on University Avenue between Center Street and 100 South.
Historically, the tabernacle was used for Church meetings and cultural events. After the tabernacle was heavily damaged by fire in December 2010, Church leaders have worked with architects, engineers and historical experts to determine the future of the building. The project will include a complete restoration of the original exterior. To facilitate these plans the Church has recently acquired additional property near the tabernacle.
This will be the second time the Church has converted a historic tabernacle into a temple. The Vernal Utah Temple, which was dedicated in 1997, was constructed within the brick exterior of the 1907 Uintah Stake Tabernacle. The Copenhagen Denmark Temple was converted from a meetinghouse. The Manhatten New York and the Hong Kong China Temples were constructed in existing Church meetinghouse and office complexes.
The Paris France Temple will be the first in this European country. LDS missionaries arrived in France in 1849. The closest temples to French members are in Frankfurt, Germany, The Hague, Netherlands and Bern, Switzerland.
The Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Durban (South Africa) temples will be the fourth and fifth on the African continent. The first three were built in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1985, Accra, Ghana, in 2004 and Aba, Nigeria, in 2005.
The Kinshasa temple will serve 23,000 members in nine stakes and districts. Currently, the nearest temple for members is approximately 2,100 miles away in Johannesburg, a long journey made more difficult by a lack of dependable public transportation.
The Durban temple brings to two the number of LDS temples in South Africa. There are 55,000 Church members in South Africa. The first missionaries arrived in the country in 1853.
Colombia will have two temples with the addition of Barranquilla. The first was dedicated in Bogota in 1999. The new temple will serve 45,000 members in 15 stakes and districts in Colombia and Venezuela.
The first missionaries arrived in the Latin-American nation in 1966. Today there are now more than 173,000 Latter-day Saints in the country.
The temple in Star Valley will serve members living in western Wyoming, who now travel 1.5 hours Idaho Falls and Rexburg, Idaho, for temple services; it is a journey made difficult during the winter.