The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will build another new temple in Arizona, this one in Phoenix, President Thomas S. Monson announced Friday. The news follows a decision by church leaders last month to bring two other temples to Arizona, one in Gilbert and the other in the Gila Valley.
The number of Mormon temples in Arizona will grow from two to five.
Don Evans, Arizona spokesman for the church, said Saturday he hasn’t received details about where or when the church will be constructed.
But the new temple will join the two others planned to alleviate the high demand placed on the state’s existing temples in Mesa and Snowflake, Evans said.
There is a high concentration of Mormons in Phoenix and the East Valley, officials say. Estimates place the number of members in the East Valley at more than 100,000.
The Mesa Arizona Temple is attended by more worshippers than any other Latter-day Saints temple in the world outside of Utah, according to information on the church’s Web site.
At times, lines to get into the temple are so long that people are turned away, some church members said.
The other planned temples are coming to the Gila Valley and Gilbert, near the intersection of Greenfield and Pecos roads. Timetables for their completion also haven’t been finalized, Evans said.
The church’s newer temples will be smaller than those built in the past, Evans said.
The Mesa Arizona Temple is more than six times larger than the one in Snowflake.
Tribune writers Mike Branom and Chris Markham contributed to this report.