News Release

Apostles Dedicate Two Temples in South America

One in Quito, Ecuador, and another in Belém, Brazil

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 at 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 were dedicated in three sessions (9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.) that were broadcast to Church congregations within their respective temple district. 

Quito Ecuador Temple Dedication

Before the first dedicatory 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 elders’ wives also attended the ceremony. 

More than 50,000 people toured the temple during the public open house in October. On the tours, visitors learned about why the Church builds temples and what happens inside them. 

The Quito Ecuador Temple is the Church’s 175th worldwide 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 regard temples as the house of the Lord and the holiest places of worship on earth. The temples differ from the meeting centers of the Church (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 unite families forever and proxy baptisms for deceased relatives. 


Belém Brazil Temple Dedication 

The Belém Brazil Temple is the 174th in operation in the world and the ninth in Brazil. The Belém Brazil Temple will open for ordinance work starting 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 accommodations. 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 of these localities will no longer need to travel long hours to reach a house of the Lord and perform the sacred ordinances. 

For Elder Godoy, who was mission president in Belém, it was a special moment and a dream come true to participate in this sacred and historic moment. 

“I never thought I’d be alive to see this happen, much less be there sharing a message,” Elder Godoy said of the temple and its dedication. “And I have Elder Renlund to thank because he made it possible for me and Mônica to be there. We are so 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 that 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 on which every building fitly framed together grows in the Lord. Because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, this sacred place will bless the lives of those who live and those who have died. May God bless you all as you participate 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 alongside Elder Renlund. Sara, from the Satélite Stake, shared that she said a prayer asking to be close to the Apostle. She arrived early with her family and was playing in the temple garden when she was invited to participate in the ceremony. From an early age, she experienced the power that comes from righteous prayer.  

Upon returning to her parents, she said, “I felt a lot of love.” 

At the temple entrance, Elder Renlund welcomed all the Saints, shaking each hand. During the dedicatory session, Elder Parrella was reminded of the pioneers of the Church in Belém and invited all those present to leave the temple determined to honor their covenants. He recognized the presence of the media covering the dedication along with other government, religious and community leaders. 

Speaking in Portuguese, Elder Renlund emphasized that “through temple covenants, we are armed with the power of God and have the promise that even the most disastrous events can be overcome by 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 remain faithful. 

In the dedicatory prayer, the Apostle asked that the power of God will be felt in abundance in that part of the country, that all who attend the temple will have their faith and diligence renewed, that they will have divine help be present in the work to find and preserve sacred records, and that the country and its freedoms would be blessed and respected.

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