"We Shall Have Temples Built" : Joseph F. Smith and a New Era of Temple Building
Joseph F. Smith : Reflections on the Man and His Times
Religious Studies Center, BYU ; Deseret Book Company
Building on the doctrinal foundation of early leaders and on the push for financial stability led by Lorenzo Snow, President Joseph F. Smith guided the Church into a new era of temple construction. Recognizing the need to provide all members, not just those living in Utah, with the ordinances of the temple, Smith directed an effort to build temples in southern Alberta and Hawaii. He also hoped for a temple for the Latter-day Saint colonies in Mexico, but when those were abandoned, his attention shifted to the possibility of a temple in Arizona.
As Church membership grew around the world and the call to gather diminished, those members living great distances from the four Utah temples hoped for the day when other temples would be built closer to them. This hope became a reality as the Church emerged from the constricting shackles of debt and improved its financial stability. With resources now available, Joseph F. Smith led the Church into a new era of temple construction. The concepts developed in the site selection and construction of the three temples discussed in this chapter have influenced temple construction ever since. [From the text]