News Release

Groundbreaking News for Two Temples in South America

Ground is broken in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and groundbreaking is set for Londrina, Brazil

Two temples to be built in South America by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have marked groundbreaking milestones. Groundbreaking services were held for the Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple on Saturday, June 8, 2024. A groundbreaking date was announced today for the Londrina Brazil temple.

Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple Groundbreaking

Elder Jorge F. Zeballos, President of the Church’s South America Northwest Area, presided at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple on Saturday, June 8, 2024.

Jhonny Fernández, mayor of the City of Santa Cruz, attended the ceremony. He was joined by Juan Carlos Medrano, councilor of Santa Cruz, and other civic and religious authorities. Approximately 500 people attended.

“The temple is the holiest place on the face of the earth,” Elder Zeballos said. “Today we are going to dedicate this sacred ground. From now on this will be a consecrated ground for the Lord, a place where His house will be built.”

During the dedicatory prayer, Elder Zeballos expressed gratitude for Jesus Christ.

“We thank You for Your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer. We are so grateful for His love for each of us, love represented especially through His infinite atoning sacrifice. By dedicating this site, we rededicate our lives to You and Your Beloved Son,” he prayed.

Elder Zeballos also recognized the need for Latter-day Saints to strengthen their commitment to keep covenants (promises to God).

“We also understand that it is necessary for each of us to strengthen our dedication and devotion to You and to Your Son, Jesus Christ, especially through our faithfulness and obedience to the covenants we have made with You,” he said.

A Latter-day Saint from the Santa Cruz Bolivia Abundancia Stake, expressed gratitude for being part of the third generation of her family in the Church. She shared the joy she feels of being minutes from the future temple. Her grandparents traveled days to other countries to worship in a temple, and her parent’s traveled hours for the same privilege.

Attending the temple “strengthens the Spirit, faith and testimony of Jesus Christ,” said Alcides Sabath, a member of the Santa Cruz Bolivia Stake. “It’s a great event to have a temple nearby,” he added.

Elder Zeballos thanked Heavenly Father for allowing a temple to be built in the city of Santa Cruz Bolivia. “I dedicate and consecrate this site for the construction of a house of the Lord, the Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple, and we ask that this land be blessed and sanctified.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Jhonny Fernández prayed, “I am sure that many families, many homes are going to be blessed. Thank you for thinking of a temple here in Santa Cruz and to the missionaries for their work and love for others.”

President Nelson announced the Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple on the afternoon of Sunday, October 4, 2020. Site plans were released by the Church on November 28, 2022. This temple will be a single-story building of approximately 29,000 square feet and will be built in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra Metropolitan Region, the most populous city in Bolivia.

Temples in Bolivia announced, under construction or in operation include the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple (dedicated in April 2000 by former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley), the Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple (announced in October 2020) and the La Paz Bolivia Temple (announced in October 2021).

Missionaries began teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Andes Mission in November of 1964. Today, Bolivia is home to more than 225,000 Latter-day Saints in over 270 congregations.

Londrina Brazil Temple

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the groundbreaking date for the Londrina Brazil Temple. A groundbreaking service will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2024. Elder Ciro Schmeil, First Counselor in the Brazil Area Presidency, will preside and offer a dedicatory prayer.

Church President Russell M. Nelson announced this temple in October 2022. “May you focus on the temple in ways you never have before. I bless you to grow closer to God and Jesus Christ every day,” he said before announcing 18 new temples, including the Londrina Brazil Temple.

The site location for this temple was published in November 2022. An artist’s rendering was released in January 2024.

Brazil has 23 temples in use, announced or under construction. The Londrina Brazil Temple will be one of three temples in the construction phase, including the Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple, and the Ribeirão Preto Brazil Temple (groundbreaking date June 22, 2024). The Salvador Brazil Temple (dedication date October 20, 2024), will be open to the public beginning August 23, 2024 until September 7, 2024. 

Ten operating temples are in Belém, Brasília, Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. There are nine temples announced in Florianópolis, Goiânia, João Pessoa, Maceió, Natal, Santos, São Paolo East, Teresina and Vitória.

Today, there are nearly 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in Brazil (more than any other country aside from the United States and Mexico) in approximately 2,175 congregations.

Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began preaching in southern Brazil in 1928. The Portuguese translation of the Book of Mormon was published in 1940, igniting a new era of growth in the country, including temples.

Latter-day Saints worship in temples for several reasons: to make sacred promises with God, to learn more about God’s plan for His children and the central role of Jesus Christ in that plan, and to unite families for eternity.

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