RELIGION

Oct. 2021 General Conference concludes with temple announcement

Oct 3, 2021, 7:35 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2021, 2:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The 191st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has come to a close.

The fifth and final session ended Sunday afternoon with the announcement of 13 new temples to be built.

President Russell M. Nelson announced one new temple in Utah and one to be reconstructed.

A new temple will be built in Heber Valley, while the Provo Utah Temple will be reconstructed once the Orem Utah Temple is dedicated.

He also announced several temples to be built in the U.S. in Fort Worth, Texas; Cody, Wyoming; and Rexburg, Idaho. And across the world in Taiwan, the Philippines, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile.

It’s been a busy year of temple announcements.

You’ll remember that in April, President Nelson announced 20 new temples.

“As I emphasized this morning, please make time for the Lord in His holy house,” he said Sunday. “Nothing will strengthen your spiritual foundation like temple service and temple worship. We thank all who are working on our new temples. They are being built all over the world.”

This makes for a total of 265 temples either announced, under construction or operating of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This is the fourth general conference to take place during the ongoing pandemic.

Unlike the last three conferences, this one originated from the Conference Center auditorium, and the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square returned to performing live.

Half of the choir sang Sunday, while the other half performed Saturday, as part of the health safety plan.

Earlier on Sunday, President Nelson shared a video of him visiting the renovation project of the Salt Lake Temple.

“As I examine the craftsmanship of this entire building, I marvel at what the pioneers accomplished,” he said. “I am totally in awe when I consider that they built this magnificent temple with only tools and techniques available to them more than a century ago.”

President Nelson went on to say that the temple’s foundation is being reinforced to withstand earthquakes, corrosion and the test of time.

He then called on Latter-day Saints to strengthen their personal spiritual foundations because “unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.”

He encouraged temple attendance, saying that everything taught in the temple increases understanding of Jesus Christ.

Inside the auditorium of mostly empty seats, Church leaders also spoke of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to eliminate contention.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been a global stress test,” said Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “The test has shown mixed results. Safe and effective vaccines have been developed. Medical professionals, teachers, caregivers and others have sacrificed heroically — and continue to do so.”

Elder Renlund continued: “When love of Christ envelops our lives, we approach disagreements with meekness, patience and kindness.”

Speakers also highlighted the Church’s recent humanitarian efforts in more than 150 countries and generous donations from members.

“Humanitarian donations in 2020 turned out to be the highest ever — and are trending even higher this year,” said Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric. “These donations, which you have given so selflessly to the Lord, have been converted to life-sustaining food, oxygen, medical supplies and vaccinations.”

Throughout the five sessions, messages focused on hope and safety in following Jesus Christ.

“I testify that the Savior is ‘the author and finisher of our faith.’ Will you invite him to be the author and finisher of your story,” said Primary General President Camille N. Johnson.

“My dear brothers and sisters, these are the latter days. If you and I are to withstand the forthcoming perils and pressures, it is imperative that we each have a firm spiritual foundation built upon the rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ,” said President Nelson.

The global audience was reminded Sunday that Tabernacle Choir members have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and recently tested.

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Oct. 2021 General Conference concludes with temple announcement