Mormon church announces new temple plans worldwide

By JENNIFER DOBNER | October 1, 2011 | 1:50 PM EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The president of the Mormon church says the faith will build five new temples in cities worldwide, including two in Africa.

Thomas S. Monson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the announcement Saturday during the opening session of the faith's semiannual General Conference in Salt Lake City.

The plans call for temples to be built in Barranquilla, Colombia; Durban, South Africa; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Star Valley, Wyo.

The church will also reconstruct as a temple an historic tabernacle in Provo, Utah, which was destroyed in a fire in December.

Monson says temples are the church's most important buildings. Temples are used for the most sacred church rituals.

The 14.1 million-member church has 135 operating temples. Another 31 are planned or under construction.