PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The Provo Tabernacle will be converted into one of six new temples across the World.
Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the new temples at the 181st Semiannual General Conference Saturday morning.
The converted Provo Tabernacle will become the second temple in Provo and the sixteenth in the state of Utah.
The historic Provo Tabernacle was heavily damaged by a fire in December 2010. The tabernacle was constructed between 1883 and 1898 and is located on University Avenue between Center Street and 100 South in Provo.
Monson announced that a temple will be built in Paris, France and will be the first temple constructed in the European country. Temples closest to Paris are located in Frankfurt, Germany, The Hague, Netherlands and Bern, Switzerland.
The Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Durban (South Africa) will be the fourth and fifth temples built on the African continent. The first three were built in Johannesburg, Ghana and Aba, Nigeria.
The Kinshasa temple will serve 23,000 members in nine stakes and districts. Currently, the nearest temple to Kinshasa is located 2,100 miles away in Johannesburg.
A second temple Barranquilla, will be built in Colombia adding to the second temple in Colombia. The first was built in Bogota. The new temple will serve 45,000 members in 15 stakes and districts in Colombia and Venezuela.
Star Valley will receive a new temple to serve members in western Wyoming who were traveling over an hour and a half to travel to Idaho Falls and Rexburg, Idaho.
Members of the LDS faith consider temples to the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred place on earth. Unlike meetinghouses, where Sabbath worship and weekly activities take place, temples are open throughout the week and closed on Sundays.
Currently there are 135 operating temples worldwide and with Saturday’s announcement, 31 temples announced or under construction.