The dedication of the Rome Italy Temple, to take place over the course of three days beginning March 10, 2019, continues to be historic with the announcement the entire First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be in attendance. According to the Church Newsroom, this is believed to be the first time in Church history that all 15 leaders have gathered in one location outside the United States.
The last time the entirety of the senior leadership of the Church gathered for a temple dedication in the United States was at the Nauvoo Illinois Temple dedication in 2002.
President Russell M. Nelson will lead the dedicatory services for the Rome Italy Temple.
Why is so much attention being given to the Church’s temple in Rome? At the Rome Temple media day in January, Elder David A. Bednar (chairman of the Church’s Temple and Family History Department) explained the faith’s global makeup and mindset. He also recognized that Rome is one of the most historic locations in the world, a city rich in biblical history, where the ancient apostles Peter and Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“This is a worldwide religion,” Elder David A. Bednar said of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We have more than 16 million members and the Church is recognized and established in over 170 nations, so it’s only a matter of time before we have temples in most major cities in the world, but it is of particular significance to have a temple in Rome, the Eternal City.”
“As the center for Christianity for millennia, Rome couldn’t be without a temple dedicated to Jesus Christ,” said Elder De Feo, a General Authority Seventy and native of Italy. “Rome is also the Eternal City. We needed to have a temple in the Eternal City because it is a symbol of eternity. The temple is the place we learn that life is eternal.”
Prior to the dedicatory services that take place Sunday through Tuesday, President Nelson will lead a Saturday evening devotional for local youth, which will emphasize the importance Latter-day Saints place on temples.
The Rome Italy Temple will serve over 23,000 Church members living in Italy and in neighboring countries. Currently, there are more than 160 operating temples worldwide, including 14 in Europe.