How do you convince the 4 million or so truly active Mormons in the world that the church is still growing? How do you create the illusion for the 8 billion other people on the planet that Mormonism is doing well?
Announce 17 new temples. Then gamble that no one will learn how farcical that is.
The LDS church could have closed 17 temples and they would still have too many for the number of temple recommend holders.
My favorite new temple will be in Montpelier, Idaho which is located in a county with 7,000 people in it. I am sure that not all 7,000 are LDS. People may say "well, it is going to serve the people of Bear Lake."
Bear Lake straddles Utah and Idaho. A former teaching colleague of mine grew up there. When people asked him what is was like living there he would say "9 months of snow, and 3 months of relatives and tourists." I have a friend who lives there now who grew up in eastern Idaho, so Bear Lake is doable for him. There are only a few hundred people rugged enough and rich enough to live there year round. If you are foolish enough to give a church ten percent of your income, you are not going to have enough money left over to live near Bear Lake. It is not as posh as Park City, but it is a giant step up from the over-priced housing of the Wasatch front.
Like any sociopath backed into a corner by the truth, Mormon Inc just keeps digging a hole of lies. The sociopath will never admit they are wrong, and Mormon leadership will never admit that the "good ship Zion" is taking on water.
Most intelligent people who find themselves in a hole of their own creation stop digging.