“Nearing the Goal of 100,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 77
Ninety-five temples are scheduled to be in operation by the beginning of August, just five temples shy of the target of 100 in the year 2000. The goal, announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley just two years ago, was remarkable, considering it had taken nearly 120 years to build the first 50 temples then in existence. “I am sure that many thought this was just wishful dreaming on my part,” commented President Hinckley. “It seemed totally unrealistic” (Ensign, Nov. 1998, 88).
But now, with additional temple dedications planned before the end of the year, the once seemingly unrealistic goal will soon become a reality. And with 14 temples currently under construction and 12 more announced, the number of operating temples may top 120 relatively soon.
Plans to build many smaller temples rapidly, thus making temple blessings available to many more members, were outlined by President Hinckley during the April 1998 general conference. “I take this opportunity to announce to the entire Church a program to construct some 30 smaller temples immediately. They will have all the facilities to provide the ordinances of the Lord’s house,” he said. “In this program we are moving on a scale the like of which we have never seen before” (Ensign, May 1998, 88).
At the present there are 37 smaller temples in existence, 8 under construction, and 11 more announced. “We shall not stop at these,” President Hinckley has said. “We shall go on building. We know there are so very many locations where they are needed in order that you, the faithful Saints of this Church, may go to receive your own blessings and to extend those blessings to those who have passed beyond the veil of death. We pray that our people may be worthy to use them” (Ensign, Nov. 1998, 88).