Ohio may get its first Mormon temple in 160 years.
Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the temple would be built in the Columbus area if a suitable location is found.
In 1838, members abandoned a temple near Cleveland because of financial problems and political pressure. Devout Mormons now travel to the closest temple, in Kensington, Md., for sacred rites.
The Mormon temple is not a place for regular worship but one for sacred rites such as special wedding ceremonies. While the church recognizes civil marriages, they are valid only until death. For families to be united for eternity, a special marriage must be performed in a holy temple by the authority of the holy priesthood.
Speaking to about 6,800 followers, Hinckley said the new temple will be "small, but beautiful," accommodating about 80 people.
The Columbus temple would be one of 30 small temples that Hinckley plans to build in the next two years. The church claims 10 million followers worldwide.