We’re so used to new temples being announced on a regular basis, and in so many far-away places, that it was a matter of comment when April Conference passed without the announcement of any new temples. But imagine what it might have been like 60 years ago, when temples were scarce, and concentrated in the Mormon Corridor of the western U.S., to open your monthly church magazine in September 1952 and find this letter:
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
Office of the First Presidency
Salt Lake City 1, Utah
President A. Hamer Reiser and Counselors,
149 Nightingale Lane,
Balham, London, S.W.12, England
For some time past, prayerful consideration has been given by the First Presidency of the Church to the desirability of making available to the faithful members of the Church in the European missions the blessings that are given in the House of the Lord.
In harmony with this consideration, it gives us great joy to announce to you that on April 17th, 1952, in the regular weekly meeting of the First Presidency and council of the Twelve, upon the recommendation of the First Presidency, it was unanimously decided to select a suitable site upon which to erect the first temple to be built in European lands.
In keeping with this action, President David O. McKay, during his recent presidential tour of ten European missions, after consultation with President Stayner Richards, Assistant to the Twelve; President Samuel E. Bringhurst, and counselor Elder Willie Zimmer, of the Swiss-Austrian Mission; President Golden L. Woolf of the French Mission; and Elder David L. McKay, Secretary to the President on his official trip, chose a site at Berne, Switzerland, which seems to offer special advantages for a temple of the Most High.
It is earnestly hoped that the contracts already drawn, and negotiations now under way will be completely and successfully consummated and plans approved by municipal officials, so that erection of this important edifice may proceed without undue delay.
As you make this announcement to the members of the Church in your mission, will you please convey to them our blessings and prayerful wishes that they will so conduct their daily lives that the joy and peace that follow obedience to the Gospel will fill their souls, and that by so doing “their light will shine before men that they may see their good works, and glorify our Father which is in Heaven.”
DAVID O. McKAY
STEPHEN L. RICHARDS
J. REUBEN CLARK, Jr.
The First Presidency.