Well it looks like there were no new temples announced, usually they announce them at the start of conference. There was still some big time news! Larry Eco Hawk got called to the first quorum of the seventy, he is one of the more prominent members who is a Democrat (after Harry Reid of course). There is a nice article about him here. The big news was the release of the presiding bishopric. Most members really underestimate the importance of the presiding Bishopric, especially what Bishop Burton has done while in office. He is in charge of overseeing billions (probably tens of billions) in church assets, including all the meeting houses, temples, and a for profit 300,000 acre ranch in Florida among other investments. What I noticed with Bishop Burton is the church tended to engage in large projects while he was in office. Maybe this was a natural result of church growth (both membership and revenue). Before his time in office (1995) the only major project I remember is the BYU-Jerusalem center. So here are the top 10 projects of the Bishop Burton era
10. Tabernacle remodel This might sound like a little thing, but it was a very detailed process. It reopened in 2007. You can read about it here
9. Humanitarian response Though, the LDS humanitarian center was built before Bishop Burton came into office (1991) There have been many disasters in recent years, the church has been there to help in all the big ones. You can read more about it here
8. Perpetual Education Fund. I'm not sure how much Bishop Burton had to do with managing the PEF, but he is responsible for all the funds of the church so this falls under his responsibility as well. Over 50,000 have participated in the program so far.
7.Green church buildings Bishop Burton commissioned 5 prototype green chapels, that all conserve energy. Future chapels will be built using concepts from these prototypes. You can read about it here
6.Envision Laie Almost no one knows about this, but the church has big plans for BYU-Hawaii and the surrounding area. They want to redevelop the area to allow for increased housing, better transportation, and a larger BYU-Hawaii, right now they plan on building 11 new buildings. They have already succeeded in building a new bigger Marriott hotel at the Polynesian Cultural Center. You can read more about it here. The project won't be completed any time soon.
5. Church history library. This building was finished in 2007. It is 230,000 square feet and is pretty impressive. You can read more about it here.
4. Main street One of the more famous events of Bishop Burton's time in office was when the church bought main street in Salt Lake. Not many organizations get permission to buy streets (the US did so in Estonia). There was a lot of controversy regarding whether it would be subject to city public rules, or private rules. You can read about it here, in an article talking about the release of Bishop Burton.
3. BYU-I One of the bigger things that has happened in the church over the last 20 years has been the expansion of Ricks College into BYU-Idaho. Many construction projects enabled the 2 year college to enlarge to a 4 year university. This was accompanied by the Rexburg temple and capped off with the BYU-Idaho center a world class 15,000 seat auditorium with broad casting abilities. I hope to visit it some day. You can read about it here. You can have a video tour with Brett Crandall here.
2. Conference Center The conference center is over 10 years old and it is still amazing. Read about this wonder here.
1. City Creek Center. It was not a coincidence that Bishop Burton was released just a week after the opening of City Creek, this was his project and he was going to see it through to the end. It required an investment of 1 to 2 billion dollars and has completely changed down town Salt Lake. The church does not want Temple Square to be located in an unsafe inner-city type area. The City Creek Center aims to bring in new residents to down town Salt Lake, making it similar to Europe, where people live above stores and can walk to work. The rental units are all full, but only 30% of the Condos have been sold. Hopefully I will get a chance to see it this summer. You can read about the center here.