The 171st operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opening its doors to the community, starting with journalists and local leaders.
A media day begins today for journalists; tours will continue throughout the week for local dignitaries.
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, a General Authority Seventy, are in Brazil to host tours for invited guests.
“I feel honored, happy and humbled by the opportunity to participate in the open house this week for the Rio de Janeiro temple,” Elder Soares expressed. “This city is an icon in Brazil and has drawn visitors from all over the world. It is significant to me that the Christ the Redeemer statue that stands over Rio de Janeiro is, in most people’s minds, one of the most prominent emblems of Christianity in the world. What a beautiful new emblem of Christianity the people of Rio de Janeiro will soon have!”
Elder Soares is a native of Brazil. As a young man, he served a two-year mission for the Church in Rio de Janeiro.
“Rio de Janeiro has a special place in my heart because my wife and I served as missionaries there when we were young,” Elder Soares said. “What a beautiful thing it is to see the beloved place where we labored as young people now be ready to have a dedicated temple.”
The public is invited to tour the temple beginning Saturday, March 26, through Saturday, April 30. The temple will be closed Sundays (March 27 and April 3, 10, 17 and 24), as well as Saturday, April 2.
“I hope that those who come through the open house will feel the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for them and realize they can experience that same love as a constant in their life,” Elder Soares said. “I hope they can feel in their heart how precious life is and that as they learn a little bit about the plan of salvation, they catch a glimpse of the eternal happiness the plan of salvation offers us.”
“All temples are sacred and invite us to come to Christ and bind us to Him through ordinances and covenants,” said Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella. “What makes the open house of the Rio de Janeiro Temple so particular is that Rio is an international city, and it consequently attracts people from all the world and from different states in Brazil as well. This makes it possible for many people who would otherwise not be aware of and not have the chance, to visit the temple.”
A youth devotional is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, prior to the temple’s dedication on Sunday, May 8. Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the temple and preside at the devotional.
The temple dedication on Sunday, May 8, 2022, will be held in three sessions: 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The dedicatory sessions and the youth devotional will be broadcast to congregations in the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple district.
The Temple’s Design
The Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple was designed to complement the surrounding architecture in Barra da Tijuca, with an art deco influence.
Design elements are finished with clean lines that evoke and reinforce a planar feel. Inside the temple, chandeliers, stylized railings, expertly crafted millwork and exquisite art glass invoke an art deco feel.
The proximity of Rio de Janeiro to the ocean influenced the colors selected for the art glass, with shades of blue, aqua, and purple offset with soft gold. The patterns consist of geometric art deco fountain motifs.
Native Brazilian Jequitibá hardwoods are used throughout the temple. The designs reflect the clean modern style of the building and allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine. The recommend desk has metal details that were influenced by the historic Bank of São Paulo building.
The strong, simple, symmetrical design of the exterior focuses on the entablature and window surroundings composed of carved stone representing the Art Deco arches motif. A beautiful single spire rises over 140 feet and is topped by a gilded statue of the ancient prophet Moroni.
The exterior of the temple’s concrete structure is covered with Branco Ceará granite, quarried in northeastern Brazil. This is considered Brazil’s whitest and most uniform granite. The same stone has been used in the construction of several other temples, including the Recife, Campinas and Fortaleza Brazil temples, as well as the Trujillo Peru Temple.
The temple grounds encompass 9.44 acres. The campus includes a full-size meetinghouse and shared parking. The buildings were designed to complement one another, with the temple as the premier structure.
The landscape design incorporates local horticulture and plants native to the region.
In addition to shrubs, flowering perennials, vines and ground covers, there are 129 palms, 33 flowering trees and 18 shade trees of numerous varieties and sizes. Interior walkways surrounding the temple and connecting to the adjacent chapel are built with stone pavers of Brazilian granite.
Plans for the 29,966-square foot temple were announced on April 6, 2013, by President Thomas S. Monson, the 16th president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.