Joseph Smith's commitment to build temples was his response to a divine mandate: "Establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God" (D&C 88:119). His personal testimony about temple work is apparent in his last general conference address. "Every man who wishes to save his father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends," he testified, "must go through all the ordinances for each one of them separately, the same as for himself, from baptism to ordination, washings and anointings, and receive all the keys and powers of the Priesthood, the same as for himself" (History of the Church, 6:319).
According to Wilford Woodruff, Joseph Smith gave the following prophecy in 1834: "This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build Temples to the Most High" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1898, 57). Subsequent Presidents of the Church saw the fulfillment of that prophecy and extended the work around the world. As the number of temples worldwide approached 100, President Gordon B. Hinckley reaffirmed: "This is a great era of temple-building. We are reaching out everywhere that we can go to build the House of the Lord" (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley , 641).