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Smith broke with the previous tradition (established since Kirtland) of building temples with upper and lower courts.
Temples previously had been ever larger, but the Laie Hawaii Temple was smaller than the Nauvoo Temple had been. In 1997, Hinckley introduced a standardized, smaller temple plan designed to bring temple services to smaller or remote congregations at a reduced cost.
A small crew remained in the city and continued to work on the temple until April 30, 1846, when it was formally dedicated in a private ceremony the senior of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy.
It was used for three months, then abandoned in late summer 1846.
There are 159 operating temples (which includes 9 previously dedicated, but closed for renovation), 11 under construction, and 12 announced (not yet under construction). Several temples are at historical sites of the LDS Church, such as Nauvoo, Illinois and Palmyra, New York.
The first Latter-day Saint temple ceremonies were performed in Kirtland, Ohio, but differed significantly from the endowment performed on the second floor of Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store in Nauvoo, Illinois, and the Nauvoo Temple.
Subsequent revisions to the standard design further increased the size and complexity of the temples.
The majority of the temples dedicated under Hinckley's tenure were of the smaller design, but one particularly noteworthy achievement was the rebuilding of the temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, known as the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), a temple is a building dedicated to be a House of the Lord.
Temples are considered by church members to be the most sacred structures on earth.Smith, who announced two additional temples: Cardston, Alberta (1913), and Lāi (1915).