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HomeChurchGallery: 3 Latter-day Saint Temples Dedicated in One Day!

Gallery: 3 Latter-day Saint Temples Dedicated in One Day!

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The dedication of the Moses Lake Washington Temple on Sunday, September 17, by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the third dedication of the day, brings the number of operating temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to 182.

The dedication came two hours after a similar ceremony in Bentonville, Arkansas, by Elder David A. Bednar of the Twelve. About two hours prior to that, Elder Neil L. Andersen, also of the Twelve, dedicated the Brasília Brazil Temple. Having triple dedications in a single day is a first for the Church.

Moses Lake Washington Temple

“The temple is a blessing and a gift and prepares us to rejoice in what the Savior has done for us,” Elder Cook said in Moses Lake, Washington, where he dedicated the Moses Lake Washington Temple.

While previously a General Authority Seventy, Elder Cook served as president of the Church’s North America Northwest Area, which included Washington state. In addition to visiting many stakes in that area, he also participated with then-President Gordon B. Hinckley at the dedication of the Columbia River Washington Temple, in Richland, on November 18, 2001, and also during the open house prior to the dedication.

Elder Cook noted that the Moses Lake Washington Temple open house had an impact on visitors.

“There was a powerful, spiritual feeling that touched your neighbors and community leaders from all five stakes in this temple district,” he said.

Elder Cook reiterated Church President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation and promise from the October 2018 general conference to increase time spent in the temple.

“Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater,” President Nelson said. “I plead with you to take a prayerful look at how you spend your time. Invest time in your future and in that of your family. If you have reasonable access to a temple, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord — to be in His holy house — then keep that appointment with exactness and joy.

“I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracle He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples. …

“Building and maintaining temples may not change your life, but spending your time in the temple surely will,” President Nelson promised.

Elder Cook was accompanied by his wife, Sister Mary Cook; Elder Mark A. Bragg, General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s North America West Area, and his wife, Sister Yvonne Bragg; and Elder Shayne M. Bowen, also a General Authority Seventy and assistant executive director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Sister Lynette Bowen.

Bentonville Arkansas Temple

Elder Bednar tied Sunday’s three dedications with the Church’s total number of temples — and looked back to his youth to put the increase in numbers in perspective.

“As a 12-year-old boy in 1964, I attended with my mother the dedication of the Oakland California Temple — the 13th operating house of the Lord. Today, just 59 years later, 315 temples are functioning, announced, in design, under construction or being renovated,” he said.

“How grateful we should be to live in this remarkable season of the latter-day dispensation of the fullness of times,” he added. “We are blessed to witness and participate in the ongoing fulfillment of prophecies that holy houses of the Lord will dot the earth. Surely the Lord is hastening His work in marvelous ways all around the world.”

Elder Bednar and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar raised their young family in Bentonville during the 1980s and 1990s.

The Church’s first house of the Lord in Northwest Arkansas has a temple district that also expands into southwest Missouri and northeast Oklahoma.

When the Bednars arrived in Northwest Arkansas in August 1980, there were only about 2,000 Latter-day Saints in the area of what is the new temple district, where now there are between 35,000 and 40,000 members of the Church. This growth has come through convert baptisms and individuals moving into the area for Northwest Arkansas’ blossoming corporate, educational and recreational draws.

President Russell M. Nelson, who announced the temple for Bentonville in the October 2019 general conference, announced at the April 2023 general conference a new temple for Springfield, Missouri, which is less than a two-hour drive from the new temple in Bentonville and part of the new temple district in southwest Missouri.

Sunday’s dedication was the third milestone event for the new house of the Lord in Bentonville in which Elder Bednar has participated. On November 7, 2020, the Bednars participated remotely in the Bentonville temple’s groundbreaking services, as travel and large meetings were limited due to the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with their extended family, the Bednars returned in June of this year, as Elder Bednar presided over the Bentonville temple’s media day.

Brasília Brazil Temple

Nearly three years to the day since ground was broken in what is known as Brasília’s North Wing, Elder Andersen dedicated the new Brasília Brazil Temple. Recognizing the significance of the day in Church history with three temple dedications, Elder Andersen smiled and said, “It is a glorious day.”

Elder Andersen invited worthy members of the Church to come to the temple in any of life’s circumstances because “the Lord’s Spirit will be here and the beauties of the eternities will be yours.”

He, and all who spoke in the dedicatory sessions, spoke in Portuguese without the aid of live interpretation.

Elder Andersen was joined by his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen; Elder Mark D. Eddy, a General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Brazil Area presidency, and his wife, Sister Annette Eddy; Elder Kevin R. Duncan, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Sister Nancy Duncan; and Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, a General Authority Seventy and assistant executive director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Sister Elaine Parrella.

Dedicating the temple in Brasília is far from the first time Elder Andersen has been involved with temples in Brazil. Reflecting on previous assignments and opportunities in the country, he said he has been involved in different ways with the temples in Campinas, São Paulo and Curitiba.

The Andersens’ first Church assignment in Brazil came through the late President James E. Faust, a counselor in the First Presidency. Elder Andersen said President Faust “promised us that we would come to know a most extraordinary people, and that we would create friendships and associations that would be treasured both in this life and in the next.” Elder Andersen said he felt that promise had been fulfilled and that he loved everyone who was at the dedication on Sunday.

The Church dedicated a temple in Rio de Janeiro in 2022. The temple in Brasília has now been dedicated in 2023. And a temple in Salvador is under construction and may be dedicated in 2024.

In addition to the dedicated temples in Rio and Brasília, the other eight dedicated temples in Brazil are in Belem, Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife and São Paulo. The 10 temples in Brazil serve the Church’s 1.5 million members in the country who worship in 285 stakes. Ten other temples are announced or under construction. Brazil has the third-most members of any country in the world, behind the United States and Mexico.

Nearly 5 million of Brazil’s 214 million inhabitants live in or around Brasília. While nearly 80% of the country’s population lives along the 4,500-mile-long eastern coastline, the capital city was intentionally built in the geographic center of South America’s largest country.

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