SALT LAKE CITY — The announcement of three new temples — two in the Intermountain West — highlighted the Saturday sessions of the 181st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Church President Thomas S. Monson announced that temples would be built in Meridian, Idaho; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
“It will certainly be a blessing to our members in those areas,” he said.
The Meridian temple will be the fifth in Idaho, where there are more than 410,000 members. The Fort Collins facility will be the second temple in Colorado.
Currently, 134 temples are operating worldwide, according to information from the church. With Saturday’s announcement, 26 temples are now under construction.
The conference also marks the 75th anniversary of the church welfare system.
Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, commemorated the anniversary by giving a charge to church members to participate in an upcoming day of service.
He recommended three guiding principles as leaders and members design projects for such an activity.
The principles are to prepare spiritually, select recipients whose needs would touch those giving the service and plan to draw on the bonds of families and church organizations in doing the projects.
Eyring said the church welfare system was created during the Great Depression to meet the needs of those who lost jobs, farms and homes.
But there are similar financial trials today, he said.
“Great temporal needs of the children of Heavenly Father have come again in our time as they have and as they will in all times.”
A central theme in the Saturday morning session was the touting of women and children for their examples of faith and living the gospel.
Eyring stressed the need for families to involve children when performing acts of service for others.
“Wise parents see in every need of others a way to bring blessings into the lives of their sons and daughters,” he said.
Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve, quoted from the book “American Grace” in a talk titled “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
He said the book reported that LDS women are unique in being overwhelmingly satisfied with their role in church leadership.
“Furthermore, Latter-day Saints as a whole, men and women, have the strongest attachment to our faith of any of the religions studied.”
Cook said women’s service is essential to the success of the church.
“Much of what we accomplish in the church is due to the selfless service of women. It is a beautiful thing to see the priesthood and the Relief Society work in perfect harmony.”
Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, encouraged parents to teach their children appropriate Sunday activities.
“Invite your sons and daughters to ‘arise and shine forth’ by keeping the Sabbath Day holy, that ‘(their) light may be a standard for the nations,’ ” he said, quoting LDS scripture Doctrine and Covenants 115:5.