“Conference Temple Announcements,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 104
A major announcement on temples was made by President Gordon B. Hinckley in the Saturday evening general priesthood session (see page 49). He said that the Church will build “small temples” in some remote areas where “the membership is small and not likely to grow very much in the near future.” He then said that three such small temples were already in the planning stage—for Anchorage, Alaska; for the colonies originally settled by Latter-day Saints in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico; and for Monticello, Utah.
Noting that a small temple could be built within several months, President Hinckley said such temples would be presided over by a locally called temple president; would be open according to need, perhaps only one or two days a week; would be placed where possible on the same grounds as a stake center; and would not have cafeterias or laundry facilities, except as needed for baptismal clothing, to help keep the temples small. He also said that local Church members would serve as ordinance workers and would clean and care for the temples.
President Hinckley said: “I think stake presidents in many areas will say this is exactly what we need. Well, let us know of your needs, and we will give them prayerful consideration, but please don’t expect things to happen all at once. We need a little experience for this undertaking.”
He also announced that larger temples will be built in Houston, Texas, and in Pôrto Alegre, Brazil. “In areas of greater Church membership we will build more of the traditional temples,” he said.
The announcement of three small temples and two larger temples brings to 71 the number of temples the Church now has in operation (50), in construction (9), and in the announced planning stage but for which ground has not yet been broken (12).