News of the Church


178th Semiannual Conference Concludes

In his first semiannual general conference since being sustained in solemn assembly last April, President Thomas S. Monson announced five new temples to be constructed around the world.

Not since April 2000 have so many temples been announced at one time. (See accompanying story on p. 126 for more information.)

Elder Earl C. Tingey and Elder Sheldon F. Child were released from the First Quorum of the Seventy and were designated emeritus General Authorities, and Elder Gerald N. Lund and Elder Robert R. Steuer were released from the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy was sustained to fill the vacancy in the Presidency of the Seventy left by the release of Elder Earl C. Tingey. (See accompanying biographical information on p. 128.)

President Monson, who celebrated his 81st birthday on August 21, presided at the conference and conducted three of the sessions. He and his wife, Frances, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on October 7.

In addition to their publication in the conference issue of the Church magazines, proceedings are available online at LDS.org. Video of all conference sessions is available in American Sign Language, English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Audio files in more than 90 languages and text in 30 languages are also available online.

President Monson Announces New Temples

More Church members will receive the blessings of the temple after the completion of five new temples announced during general conference. President Thomas S. Monson announced plans for the new temples during his opening remarks in the Saturday morning session on October 4, 2008.

The new temples will be built in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Córdoba, Argentina; the greater Kansas City, Missouri, USA, area; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; and Rome, Italy. Sites for the new temples have already been acquired.

“What a glorious day for us to witness the announcement of five new temples by our beloved prophet,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said in his conference address following the announcement. “What a beautiful day for all of us.”

The temple in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will be built on Church-owned land next to an existing meetinghouse in the northwest part of the city. It will be the eighth temple in Canada and the third temple in the Alberta province. Other temples in Canada include those in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Edmonton, Alberta; Cardston, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Toronto, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; and Vancouver, British Columbia (the temple in British Columbia is currently under construction).

The temple in Córdoba, Argentina, will be situated on the Belgrano meetinghouse site, next to the present mission home. It will be the 34th temple in Latin America and the second temple in Argentina. The first Argentine temple was dedicated in 1986 in the capital city of Buenos Aires.

Steady Church growth in the United States is reflected in the announcement of plans for a temple in the greater Kansas City, Missouri, area, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These temples will add to the dozens of other temples throughout the United States. The temple serving the greater Kansas City area will be built in Clay County, Missouri, within the Kansas City limits on residential property in the Shoal Creek development. The temple in Philadelphia will be built downtown, similar to other temples built in urban areas such as Manhattan and Hong Kong.

Saints in the Mediterranean will benefit greatly from the announced plans for a temple in Rome, Italy. The temple will occupy part of a 15-acre (6-ha) Church-owned site near the ring road skirting the northeast section of Rome. The announced temple will be the 12th in Europe. Members of the Church in surrounding countries will benefit from less travel time as well as reduced travel expenses.

There are currently 128 dedicated temples in operation and another 17 announced or under construction, bringing the total number of announced or operating temples throughout the world to 145.

Resource Guides Now Separate from Conference Magazines

The Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women resource guides for teachers, previously found in the general conference editions of the Liahona and Ensign, will now be published separately and shipped directly to wards and branches.

“The guides supplement and strengthen the Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women manuals by giving teachers the most current words of Church leaders on the subject of the lesson,” said Michael G. Madsen of the Church Curriculum Department.

The guides provide supplementary material for each lesson in the regular manuals by referencing recent stories and talks from current Church leaders and other Church magazine articles. Questions, quotes, and teaching tips for the instructors have been added to the new guides, giving instructors more material to draw from. The new guides are intended to supplement and update the material within the current manuals, not replace the manuals themselves.

The resource guides will now be published separately once a year. There are four components to the new guides: questions, additional resources, experiences, and teaching tips.

The new guides are printed in 27 languages and offer Sunday lesson material as well as suggestions for midweek activities with the youth. These midweek activities are designed to coincide with the Sunday lessons, giving the youth a chance to experience and apply what they have been taught. Many of the activities help complete Duty to God and Personal Progress requirements.

“We’re tying what they’re learning on Sunday to a weeknight activity to help get the gospel into their hearts,” Brother Madsen said.

Young Men and Young Women leaders are encouraged to use the new guides with their teaching materials. The guides include 11 specific teaching tips to help the instructors plan and present more effective lessons.

“If teachers follow these tips, they can greatly improve their teaching,” Brother Madsen said.

The new guides for 2009 were first available through Distribution Services on September 2, 2008.

Elder Jay E. Jensen

Of the Presidency of the Seventy
Elder Jay E. Jensen

After spending several days taking care of a problem while serving as president of the Colombia Cali Mission, Elder Jay Edwin Jensen, recently called to the Presidency of the Seventy, recalls opening his scriptures on the flight back to the mission home.

A line from Doctrine and Covenants 3:5 caught his attention: “Remember also the promises which were made to you.”

“Throughout life we face difficulties, but the Lord seemed to be reminding me that the promises are always greater,” Elder Jensen says.

Elder Jensen first began learning of the Lord’s promises from his parents, Ruel Whiting and Ethel Otte Jensen. Born in Mapleton, Utah, USA, on February 5, 1942, he was the 6th of 10 children in a home “where the gospel was lived and taught,” he says.

After serving in the Spanish American Mission from 1961 to 1963, he married Lona Lee Child on November 1, 1963, in the Manti Utah Temple. They are the parents of six children. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Brigham Young University.

After teaching seminary, he worked as director of curriculum for the seminaries and institutes of religion, director of training for the Missionary Department, and director of scriptures coordination for the Church’s Curriculum Department.

Elder Jensen has served as a bishop, counselor in the Provo MTC presidency, high councilor, high priests group leader, Young Men president, Sunday School teacher, and mission president. He was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on June 6, 1992, and to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 1995.

What he has learned from a lifetime of service is illustrated by that early experience he had with the scriptures as mission president. “There is power in the word of God,” he says (see Alma 31:5). He hopes, as Gideon did in the Book of Mormon, that his words “have been of service” to the King and the members of His kingdom (Mosiah 22:4).