President Monson Announces Two New Temples in Arizona
SALT LAKE CITY 28 April 2008 Plans to build two new temples in Gila Valley and Gilbert, Arizona, were announced today by Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This will bring the total number of temples to 139 already in operation or in the planning and construction phases.
“It is my personal priority to make sure members of the Church have access to the blessings of the temple,” said President Monson. “It is here where members learn of their divine origin and destiny, where they are strengthened spiritually as individuals and as families. Temples are sanctuaries from the storms of life.”
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are the house of the Lord, the most sacred place on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God's plan of salvation. Temple attendance strengthens Latter-day Saints' commitment to living Christian principles, emphasizes personal spiritual growth and increases devotion to family.
There are currently two temples in Arizona: one in Mesa and another in Snowflake.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the tens of thousands of local meetinghouses where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities and where visitors are always welcome. Temples are used solely for the performance of sacred ordinances and religious instruction aimed at strengthening members’ relationships with God and their fellow man. They are closed to the public after they are dedicated.
The church is growing by leaps and bounds here. When I first moved to Chandler, AZ six years ago, I was the Elders Quorum Secretary for Jim Anderson. Neither Jim nor I have moved in that six year period. We are now in different stakes. My ward has been split, or had the boundaries changed at least three times in the last six years. It's great to see new temples being built here. I've heard unsubstantiated rumors of where the Gilbert temple might be built. If the rumors are true, it will be about five minutes from my home. I am grateful for temples and the ordinances that are performed inside them that link generations and help the Lord to accomplish His work and glory.