News Release

Ground Broken for Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple

A groundbreaking was held Saturday, June 17, 2023, to mark the beginning of construction for the Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple. Elder Juan A. Uceda, General Authority Seventy and a member of the Brazil Area Presidency, offered the dedicatory prayer.

“I ask Thee, dear Father, that this place and all who live within the boundaries of the temple district enjoy special protection,” Elder Uceda prayed. “And may the light of the gospel shine throughout this region. We pray that no influence will stop or delay the building of the temple and that in due time it will be dedicated as the house of the Lord. May Thy spiritual power be strongly felt in this region.”

Elder Uceda was accompanied by his wife, Maria. Elder Luciano Sankar, an Area Seventy, conducted the ceremony. The event featured speakers and a volunteer choir assembled from local congregations.

One of the speakers, Carlos Inéas Bueno, is a longtime Latter-day Saint who helped build one of the Church’s first meetinghouses in Belo Horizonte.

“I want to testify that I know that here, now, with the building of this temple, we will grow stronger and stronger in the gospel in this state,” he said.

Otávio Rietra Dias, a leader of several local congregations, spoke about the examples of those Church members who laid the spiritual foundation for Latter-day Saints in Belo Horizonte.

“We must remember their consecrated life and what they did so that we could be here today,” he said.

Approximately 500 invited guests attended. Among them were state authorities, including the mayor of Sete Lagoas, Duílio de Castro; the representative of the secretary of culture of Belo Horizonte, Natalie Oliffson; and the secretary of social service from Nova Lima, Álvaro Azevedo.

“It’s an honor to be here today,” said Mayor de Castro. “I know that the temple is highly anticipated.”

Plans for the Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple call for a single-story building of approximately 26,884 square feet. Its architecture and decor will be inspired by the sacred purposes of temples and the natural beauty of the state of Minas Gerais. Church President and Prophet Russell M. Nelson first announced this house of the Lord in April 2021.

There are nearly 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in Brazil in more than 2,100 congregations. Missionary work began in Brazil in 1928. Including the temple in Belo Horizonte, there are 18 houses of the Lord in Brazil, with dedicated temples located in Belém, Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo; two under construction in Brasília and Salvador; and others announced in Londrina, Maceió, Ribeirão Prêto, Santos, São Paulo East and Vitória.

Latter-day Saints consider temples to be houses of the Lord and the most sacred places of worship on 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 is for faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ to participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages, which unite families forever, and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity to be baptized while living.

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