President Monson also announced the construction of five new temples during the 179th Semiannual General Conference in October. The locations are Brigham City, Utah; Concepción, Chile; Fortaleza, Brazil; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Sapporo, Japan.
In announcing the five new temples, President Monson said, “We desire that as many members as possible have the opportunity to attend the temple without having to travel inordinate distances.” He also said that 83 percent of Church members worldwide live within 200 miles of a temple and that that percentage would increase as the Church continues to construct new temples.
Other news highlights during 2009 included the following:
New Apostle Called
Elder Neil L. Andersen was called in April to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles created when Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin passed away in December 2008. The announcement was made by Church President Thomas S. Monson to 21,000 people seated in the Conference Center and to hundreds of thousands more watching the broadcast throughout the world.