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Milestones Reached for Temples in South America and the US

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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 Ribeirão Preto Brazil Temple on Saturday, June 22, 2024. A groundbreaking date was announced today for the Santiago West Chile Temple, as well as the site location for the Springfield Missouri Temple.

Ribeirão Preto Brazil Temple

Ground has been broken for the Ribeirão Preto Brazil Temple. Elder Joni L. Koch, Brazil Area President, presided and offered the dedicatory prayer.

With a beautiful clear-blue skyline and newly graded dirt at the temple site as the setting, the ceremony took place with several hundred attendees. Local adult and youth Church members spoke.

“Our hearts are intertwined in love and harmony for this inspiring and significant ceremony,” said Elder Koch as he began the dedicatory prayer.

He offered words in reverence and expressed gratitude for Jesus Christ. “We give thanks for You having sent Your Son Jesus Christ to earth, whose Atonement, gospel, restored Church and covenants enable us to return to Your presence,” Elder Koch said.

Elder Koch also paid a heartfelt tribute to early Latter-day Saints in the area.

“We remember with appreciation those who were the first members of the Church in this region,” he said. “The example of these pioneers has been a moral and spiritual support for your kingdom to flourish from these few who stood firm so that thousands of Latter-day Saints could on this day — here in this part of the earth — enjoy this sublime moment.”

Elder Koch was born in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil. He later served a full-time mission in the Brazil São Paulo North Mission. He was sustained as a General Authority Seventy in April 2017.

President Russell M. Nelson announced the Ribeirão Preto Brazil Temple in October 2022. The site location was released in November 2022. The artist’s rendering was released two years later, in January 2024.

Brazil has 23 temples in use, announced or under construction. Today, the country is home to nearly 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in more than 2,170 congregations.

Santiago West Chile Temple

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the date of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Santiago West Chile Temple; it will take place on August 17, 2024. Elder Alan R. Walker, second counselor in the South America South Area Presidency, will preside at the event.

Attendance at the site will be by invitation only. Additional details will be released as the date of the groundbreaking approaches. An exterior artistic rendering has also been released.

Church President Russell M. Nelson announced this house of the Lord in October 2021. “I plead with you today to counter the lure of the world by making time for the Lord in your life — each and every day,” he said before announcing 13 new temples, including the Santiago West Chile Temple.

The site location was published in December 2022. The temple will be built at Primo de Rivera 1551, Comuna de Maipu, Santiago, Chile. Plans call for a single-story temple of approximately 12,500 square feet.

The first temple in Spanish-speaking South America was dedicated in Santiago in 1983. The other four temples in operation, under construction or announced in Chile are in Antofagasta, Concepción, Santiago West and Viña del Mar.

One of the Church’s earliest leaders served a mission in Chile in 1851. Today, the country has become home to more than 600,000 Latter-day Saints in 571 congregations.

Springfield Missouri Temple

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the site location for the Springfield Missouri Temple.

The Springfield Missouri Temple will be built on a portion of a 38-acre site located at 2720 East Farm Road #188, Springfield, Missouri. Plans call for a single-story temple of approximately 29,000 square feet.

This new house of the Lord was announced in April 2023 by President Russel M. Nelson. “Jesus Christ is the reason we build temples,” President Nelson said. “Each is His holy house. Making covenants and receiving essential ordinances in the temple, as well as seeking to draw closer to Him there, will bless your life in ways no other kind of worship can. For this reason, we are doing all within our power to make the blessings of the temple more accessible to our members around the world.”

In addition to the Springfield Missouri Temple, the “Show-Me” state has two other houses of the Lord in operation. These are the St. Louis and Kansas City Missouri temples.

Missouri is home to more than 80,000 Latter-day Saints in nearly 165 congregations. In the 1830s, during the early days of the Church, Independence, Missouri, and its surrounding counties were important gathering places for Latter-day Saints.

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 of Latter-day Saints to participate in sacred ceremonies that unite families forever.

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