The announcement of seven new temples to be built across the world (three of which are the first in their countries) this conference was an exciting and historic message to many members—and it even fulfilled prophecy.
There have been times when prophets and apostles have foretold of temples to be built in countries around the world, including the Managua Nicaragua Temple President Russell M. Nelson just announced this weekend.
Here are 11 examples of temples that were foretold by leaders of the Church long before they were built to serve the Saints.
1. Managua Nicaragua Temple
Then-Elder Russel M. Nelson told saints in Nicaragua on Jan. 12, 2012, "I promise you that when you are ready, the Lord will do His part so that you will have a temple." On April 1, 2018, President Nelson fulfilled his promise to the Nicaraguan Saints with the announcement that the first temple in the country was to be built in Managua.
"I know that the Church will continue to grow and bless this nation," President Nelson said of his visit in 2012. "You will be the means by which the Lord will pour out His blessings."
2. Curitiba Brazil Temple
Image from ldschurchtemples.com
President Spencer W. Kimball told the Saints in Brazil in 1953, "One day, in this region, there will be a temple of the Lord," while at the dedication of the Ipomeia meetinghouse, according toldschurchtemples.com. More than 50 years later, President Gordon B. Hinckley selected the site for the Curitiba temple in 2004.
President Hinckley planned to take President James E. Faust, who served a mission in Curitiba, with him to the dedication, but both passed away before the ceremony. The temple was dedication by President Monson on June 1, 2008, during his first trip outside North America as a prophet.
3. Panama City Panama Temple
Image from lds.org
When President Hinckley visited the Saints during a member meeting in Panama in December 2000, he promised the 5,000 members in attendance that if they were faithful in paying their tithing and kept the commandments, the Church would find a way to build a temple in Panama, according to ldschurchtemples.com.
Though the cost of the temple would be more than these members' tithing contributions, President Hinckley promised the Lord would bless the Saints with a temple if they obeyed. Less than two years later, the announcement was made for the Panama City Panama Temple, which was later dedicated on August 10, 2008, by President Monson.
4. Sapporo Japan Temple
Image from Mormon Newsroom
In 1948, when Hokkaidō, Japan, opened again for LDS missionaries, the Church began to grow in Sapporo. In fact, on July 17, 1949, during a prayer at the dedicatory services for the Tokyo mission home, Elder Matthew Cowley prophecied that the growth of the Church in the area would lead to many blessings, including temples in the land, according to ldschurchtemples.com.
While the Toyko Japan Temple was opened on September 15, 1980, the Saints in Sapporo firmly believed there would also be a temple in Sapporo one day.
Then, on October 3, 2009, President Monson made the announcement that a temple would be built in Sapporo. The announced was met with cheers from the Saints in Sapporo, who now saw there would, in fact, be more than one temple Japan.
The temple was dedicated August 21, 2016, by President Russell M. Nelson.
5. Star Valley Wyoming Temple
Image from lds.org
When Elder Moses Thatcher, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, visited Star Valley, Wyoming, looking for a place for the Saints to colonize in the late 1870s, he named the valley Star Valley because "it is the star of all valleys," according to ldschurchtemples.com. Later, he would prophecy to George Goddard, an officer of the Church, that "a fine tract of bench land on the eastern portion of Afton will afford a beautiful site for a Temple," according to ldschurchtemples.com.
On October 1, 2011, President Monson fulfilled Elder Thatcher's prophecy with the announcement that the Star Valley Wyoming Temple would be built in Afton. On October 30, 2016, the Star Valley Temple was dedicated by David A. Bednar.
6. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
Image an artistic rendering from ldschurchtemples.com
While visiting a congregation of more than 1,500 Saints in 1998, President Hinckley addressed the challenge many faced as some members had to drive 14 hours to the nearest temple.
"Some time, you will have a temple. But not now. Keep on driving. I urge every one of you, don't wait for it," he said, according to ldschurchtemples.com.
And on April 2, 2011, President Monson made the announcement that the members in Winnipeg would receive a temple, significantly diminishing the travel time and cost for members in Manitoba. The groundbreaking of the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple was December 3, 2016, and the construction of the temple is expected to begin spring 2017.
7. Bangkok Thailand Temple
Before leaving Bangkok during his tour of Asia, President Hinckley addressed a congregation of more than 2,600 members in 2000. During his remarks, he mentioned the first time he came to the country in 1961 when there were only a handful of members in the country. In 1966, he returned to dedicate the land of Thailand for the preaching of the gospel.
"We prayed that the Lord would smile upon this land, that He would touch it by the power of His Holy Spirit, that the way would be opened for missionaries to come here, that the faithful would accept the truth, and that the Lord would do a great and good work here," he said, according to ldschurchtemples.com.
During his address, President Hinckley promised the Saints the Lord would bless them with a temple if they were faithful. "The Lord expects so very, very much of you. He expects you to be the best people in all of Thailand, and you ought to be because you have a knowledge of His everlasting truth," he said.
On April 5, 2015, the announcement was made that there would be a temple built in Thailand. As of now, the temple is still in the planning phases and there is not yet a rendering of what the temple will look like.
8. Nairobi Kenya Temple
While visiting the Saints in Nairobi on February 17, 1998, President Hinckley addressed more than 900 members from the surrounding areas from a conference room at his hotel.
Many had traveled from other countries in Africa to see the prophet, and others had sent representatives to relate back to their LDS communities what the prophet had said, according to ldschurchtemples.com.
During his address, President Hinckley said, "There isn't the slightest doubt in my mind that the time will come if you will walk in faith and patience that a temple will be built in this land to serve the needs of this people. Now, don't count on it for a few years . . . but it will be so."
On April 2, 2017, President Thomas S. Monson announced that there would indeed be a temple built in Nairobi, Kenya. The temple is still in the planning phase and there is no rendering of what the temple will look like as of yet.
9. Vernal Utah Temple
Image from lds.org
The Vernal Utah Temple was the first temple to be built from an existing building, the Uintah Stake Tabernacle. While at the dedication of the tabernacle in 1907, President Joseph F. Smith told the congregation in attendance he "would not be surprised if the day would come when a temple would be built in your own midst here," according to ldschurchtemples.com.
In 1993, the idea to convert the tabernacle into a temple was proposed to the First Presidency and the announcement for the Vernal Utah Temple was made on February 13, 1994. The dedication was November 2 to 4, 1997.
10. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
Image from lds.org
While struggling to colonize the desert prairie of the Idaho Falls area, the Saints were uplifted by President Wilford Woodruff, then an apostle in 1884. He told Saints in the area "be not disheartened because God's blessing is upon this land" and "as I look into the future of this great valley, I can see temples—I can see beautiful temples erected to the name of the Living God where holy labors may be carried on in his name through generations to come," according to ldschurchtemples.com.
The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is considered a fulfillment of that prophecy, and the design was even inspired by a vision architect John Fetzer, Sr. had of an ancient Nephite temple after he prayed for guidance.
The temple was announced March 3, 1937, and was originally dedicated by George Albert Smith on September 23 to 25, 1945. Currently, the temple is closed for renovation and is scheduled to be rededicated June 4, 2017.
11. Bern Switzerland Temple
Image from lds.org
The Bern Switzerland Temple was the fulfillment of a prophecy made by President Joseph F. Smith as he visited Zurich, Switzerland. During his visit, President Smith said, "the time would come when temples to the Most High would be built in various countries of the world," according to ldschurchtemples.com.
The year was 1906 and, at the time, there were only four operating temples in the world, and none of them were outside of Utah. Later, President George Albert Smith would also prophesy of temples built outside the U.S. "I have no doubt in my mind that temples of the Lord will be erected in Europe, none whatever. How soon that will come I do not know. It will not come until the spirit of peace has increased among the people of Europe," he said, according to ldschurchtemples.com.
And in September 1955, both prophecies came true with the Bern Switzerland Temple dedication, which was the first temple in Europe and the first temple built overseas.
For more information about temples, check out ldschurchtemples.com.