Latter-day Saints President Russell M. Nelson revealed eight new temples throughout the world are to be built.
The announcement of new temples was made Sunday afternoon and brings the total number of operating temples to 168. Though he acknowledged it may be a strange time to announce new temples as they are all now closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, he said members can still draw upon the power of the temple by their endowments and covenants.
The list of the new temple sites are:
- Bahía Blanca, Argentina;
- Tallahassee, Florida;
- Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo;
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
- Benin City, Nigeria;
- Syracuse, Utah;
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and
- Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
Following the temple announcement, Nelson said:
These eight new temples will bless the lives of many people on both sides of the veil of death. Temples are a crowning part of the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In God’s goodness and generosity, He is bringing the blessings of the temple closer to His children everywhere.
He concluded by issuing an apostolic blessing to all for peace, increasing faith in the Lord, the desire to repent and knowledge that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and "healing consist with the will of the Lord."
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord” and the most sacred places of worship on the earth and differ from the Church’s meetinghouses (chapels).
The primary purpose of temples is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies such as marriages and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors, the Church said on its website.