News Release

Elder Soares Dedicates the Arequipa Peru Temple

Peru’s third temple was dedicated today by Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Arequipa Peru Temple was dedicated in three sessions, which were broadcast to congregations of the Church within the temple district.

Downloadable video: Youth devotional B-roll / SOTs

Before the first dedicatory session, Elder Soares; Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department; Elder Enrique R. Falabella, president of the South America Northwest Area; and other Church leadership participated in the cornerstone ceremony.

Beginning the cornerstone ceremony, Elder Soares said, “We are very happy to be with you this morning. Today is a glorious day for all Arequipa and for this beautiful country. At this special moment, we must raise our thoughts to our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ who is the true cornerstone of this work and of our lives, on which everything else rests. May God bless you by participating in this wonderful historical moment.”

The Arequipa Temple is the Church's 167th temple worldwide and the third in Peru, with the first completed in Lima in 1986, the second in Trujillo in 2015 and a fourth temple is under construction in another part of Lima.

More than 80,000 members of the Church from southern Peru and northern Chile will be served by the new temple. Latter-day Saints will be able to begin the sacred work in the dedicated temple on Tuesday, December 17.

On Saturday, prior to the dedication, Elder Soares greeted and spoke to Latter-day Saint youth in a special evening devotional that was broadcast to meetinghouses in the temple district.

Elder Soares told the youth that he brings the greeting and love of President Nelson. “You are wonderful; your face has an expression of love and admiration for the gospel. Thank you for your faith, your testimony, your desire to do the things that the Lord asks of you.”

“Your attendance at the temple can have a profound influence on you if you are faithful. He will bless you with greater personal revelation, peace and strength to continue on the covenant path. Follow the teachings of the prophets,” he added.

“Commit to being true disciples of Christ, take His name,” Bishop Davies encouraged the youth. “Be a blessing to those around you. Do not hesitate, do not delay it.”

Sister Rosana Soares said, “Our Heavenly Father gives us His commandments, not to force us to fulfill them but to show our love for Him…when I enter the house of the Lord, I pray to Heavenly Father and tell Him that I am entering His House, and I feel his hug and his love."

On Saturday morning, Elder Soares spoke to missionaries from the Peru Arequipa Mission.

More than 80,000 people toured the temple during a free two-week open house in November 2019. In addition to seeing the inside of the temple, visitors were told why the Church builds temples and provided an explanation of the important work that goes on in the temple.

Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord” and the most sacred places of worship on the earth. Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses (chapels). All are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at local meetinghouses. The primary purpose of temples, however, is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages that unite families forever and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity while living. Find out more about temples.

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