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Elder Christofferson Dedicates Salta Argentina Temple

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Elder D. Todd Christofferson dedicated the Salta Argentina Temple Sunday, June 16, the third house of the Lord in the South America country.

Elder Christofferson said the purpose of the house of the Lord is to make sacred covenants with God and to perform sacred ordinances, all with eternal blessings and benefits made possible because of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

“This temple and all latter-day temples constitute our visible, tangible testimony of the living reality of the Redeemer, since without His Atonement and Resurrection, the temple would serve no purpose,” he said.

Latter-day Saints from the mountainous northwest region of the southeastern country, surrounding provinces, and former missionaries who had served in northern Argentina, were among attendees at the dedication services. That included Elder Christofferson, who served as a full-time missionary in the Argentina North Mission from 1964 to 1966.

Elder Christofferson recalled working as a young missionary to help build the first chapel in Salta on several preparation days, then later returning with his mission president, President Richard G. Scott (who later served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), when the chapel was dedicated in 1966.

The temple in Salta is one of two temples dedicated Sunday. Fellow Apostle Elder David A. Bednar dedicated the Layton Utah Temple three hours after the Salta dedication, bringing the Church’s total number of dedicated temples to 195.

Elder Christofferson was accompanied by his wife, Kathy; Bishop L. Todd Budge, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and his wife, Lori; Elder Alan R. Walker, a General Authority Seventy and Second Counselor in the South America South Area Presidency, and his wife, Inés; and Elder Juan Pablo Villar, a General Authority Seventy and assistant executive director in Temple Department, and his wife, Carola Villar.

Find a Quiet Place to Examine Your Life

Elder Christofferson encouraged Latter-day Saints to examine their lives from time to time, consider whether there is something unworthy to remove from their life or a Christlike attribute to more fully cultivate. He suggested following President Russell M. Nelson’s counsel to “find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and comfort” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” April 2018 general conference).

The Temple is one such quiet place where Latter-day Saints can regularly go and expect to find answers and guidance while contemplating their lives, Elder Christofferson said.

“With a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we will individually receive impressions about what we need to do to present ourselves as a worthy offering to the Lord in His holy house,” the Apostle said. “We can receive peace and reassurance that the Lord is pleased with our desires and efforts to follow Him. We can receive encouragement and needed strength to continue in His path. We can receive the guidance and revelation that President Nelson spoke about.”

Seek to Understand Temple Covenants and Ordinances

He added another invitation from President Nelson to “seek — prayerfully and consistently — to understand temple covenants and ordinances.” The Prophet promised that “spiritual doors will open. You will learn how to part the veil between heaven and earth, how to ask for God’s angels to attend you, and how better to receive direction from heaven. Your diligent efforts to do so will reinforce and strengthen your spiritual foundation” (“The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,“ October 2021 general conference).

A Blessing for Faithful Saints

Both Elder Walker and Elder Villar — native sons of Argentina and Chile, respectively — have served in the South America South Area Presidency and know well the faith, commitment and sacrifices of the Latter-day Saints in northern Argentina.

The temple in Salta will not only provide Latter-day Saints living across northern Argentina closer proximity for temple worship and work, but the temple district extends into southern Bolivia, including several districts and stakes there.

“It will be a blessing for those who have had to travel long distances, including those from Bolivia and the members in the Tucumán, Jujuy and Santiago provinces [of Argentina],” Elder Walker said. “All these areas are very faithful in attending the temple, having traveled to Córdoba faithfully to serve and participate in the temple. Now they’re going to be really, really blessed by having a temple here.”

Elder Villar said, “People here have been waiting for a temple for a long time, and I can see that they have been making efforts and doing what is in their own capacities to have this house of the Lord here now. This is a blessing for all the efforts they have made all these years to have a temple.”

The Salta Argentina Temple will be the third dedicated temple in Argentina. The other two are in Buenos Aires and Córdoba, and the Mendoza Argentina Temple is scheduled for dedication on September 22 by Elder Gary E. Stevenson.

President Nelson announced a temple for Salta at the close of the April 2018 general conference. He has since announced 153 new houses of the Lord; in addition to Salta and Mendoza, he has also announced temples for Bahía Blanca, a second for Buenos Aires in the city’s central area, and Rosario.

Ground was broken for the Salta Argentina Temple on November 4, 2020, presided over by Elder Benjamín De Hoyos, who was then a General Authority Seventy and President of the South America South Area. The ceremony had been postponed twice due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 27,111-square-foot Salta temple is built on a 17.66-acre site across from the airport in the city’s southern area. An accommodation center was built on the property, as well as a residence for the temple president and matron.

 

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