On Sunday, November 20, 2022, two temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were dedicated in South America. Elder Quentin L. Cook presided over the dedication sessions for the Quito Ecuador Temple. Fellow Apostle Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the dedication of the Belém Brazil Temple.
Both of the three sessions (9 am, noon and 3 pm) were dedicated to being broadcast to Church congregations within their respective temple districts.
Temple Allocation in Quito Ecuador
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Before the first dedication session for the Quito Ecuador Temple, Elder Cook and his wife, Mary, joined Elder Jorge F. Zeballos, president of the South America Northwest Area; Elders Kevin R. Duncan and Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy; and Quito Ecuador Temple President Fernando Aguirre Sosa for the cornerstone ceremony. The wives of the elders also attended the ceremony.
More than 50,000 people toured the temple at a public open house in October. During the tours, visitors learn why the Church builds temples and what goes on inside them.
The Quito Ecuador Temple is the 175th Church in the world and the second in Ecuador. The country’s first temple was built in Guayaquil and dedicated in August 1999 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
The temple will open for worship on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the Lord’s house and the holiest place of worship on earth. Temples are different from Church meeting centers (chapels). All are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at local meetinghouses. However, the primary purpose of temples is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages that bind families together forever and proxy baptisms for deceased relatives.
Belém Brazil Temple dedication
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The Belém Brazil Temple is the 174th functioning in the world and the ninth in Brazil. The Belém Brazil Temple will be open for ordinance work beginning Thursday, December 1, 2022.
Elder Renlund was accompanied by his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund; Elder Carlos A. Godoy of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife Mônica; Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela of the Seventy and his wife Silvia; and Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, president of the Brazil Area, and his wife Elaine.
The sessions were attended by 850 people in spaces prepared inside the temple and in nearby residences. In addition, thousands of other members watched the broadcast in 10 stakes and two districts in the states of Pará and Amapá. With the dedication of this sacred building in the northern region of Brazil, the Saints in these localities will no longer need to travel long hours to reach the house of the Lord and perform the sacred ordinances.
For Elder Godoy, who became the mission president in Belém, it was a special moment and a dream come true to share in this sacred and historic moment.
“I never thought I would live to see this happen, especially if I was there sharing the message,” Elder Godoy said of the temple and its dedication. “And I have to thank Elder Renlund because he made it possible for Mônica and I to go there. We are very grateful.”
The dedication began with the laying of the cornerstone of the temple. Elder Renlund shared his thoughts: “This is a glorious day for everyone in this temple district. I am sure God is pleased with what is happening today. Temples are not just ordinary chapels. Temples are dedicated as the house of the Lord, where the most sacred religious ordinances are performed. … Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone upon which every building framed together grows in the Lord. Because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, this sacred place will bless the lives of the living and the dead. May God bless you all as you share in this historic occasion.”
Five children participated in the ceremony: Beatriz Gomes Costa, 5; Sara Sofia, 6; Thiago Dourado, 10; Rafael Lameira dos Santos, 8; and Thiago da Silva Cunha, 9. They put cement on the cornerstone next to Elder Renlund. Sara, from the Satélite Stake, shared that she prayed to be close to the Apostle. He arrived early with his family and was playing in the temple garden when he was invited to participate in the ceremony. At a young age, he experienced the power that comes from righteous prayer.
On returning to his parents, he said, “I felt so much love.”
At the entrance of the temple, Elder Renlund welcomed all the Saints, shaking hands with each one. During the dedication session, Elder Parrella was reminded of the pioneers of the Church in Belém and invited all present to leave the temple determined to keep their covenants. He acknowledged the media presence covering the dedication along with other government, religious and community leaders.
Speaking in Portuguese, Elder Renlund emphasized that “through temple covenants, we are equipped with the power of God and with the promise that even the worst circumstances can be overcome with joy in Christ.” He repeated “this is your day” three times as a way of responding to the Savior’s invitation not to put off the day of repentance and to remain faithful.
In the consecration prayer, the Apostle asked that the power of God be felt abundantly in that part of the country, that all who attend the temple renew their faith and diligence, that they have divine help present in the work. to find and preserve the sacred records, and the nation and its liberties will be blessed and honored.