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Asuncion Paraguay Temple

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File:Asuncion paraguay temple.jpg

The Asuncion Paraguay Temple is the 112th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On April 2, 2000, an announcement was made that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church, was planning to build a temple in Paraguay. Although there were already eleven other dedicated temples in South America, the Asuncion Temple was the first temple to be built in Paraguay. For the more than 68,000 members that the Asuncion Temple would serve, the announcement was gladly received.

In 1994, Carlos Espinola, a member of the Mormon Church in Paraguay said, "We have lived in Paraguay since the Church had only two branches, I feel that the day is much closer now when there is going to be great growth in the Church here. When President Ezra Taft Benson dedicated this land for the preaching of the gospel, he said there would be many stakes in Paraguay. I can see that day coming." [1]

The Mormon Church in Paraguay grew very slowly compared to much of the rest of South America. In 1949 Paraguay was officially opened to Mormon missionaries under the mission headquartered in Uruguay. In 1977 Paraguay became its own mission area, and soon after that conversions to the Mormon Church began to increase. The average number of baptisms per year in Paraguay up to this time had been just over 200. In the year following the announcement 400 people were baptized into the Church. Missionary work in Paraguay takes great effort on the part of missionaries. In Paraguay's capitol city Asuncion, most people speak Spanish, but in much of the rest of the country, many people speak only Guarani, so many of the Mormon missionaries must learn both languages.

In February, 1979, the first stake was formed in Paraguay, and by November, 1992, a third stake was needed. In 1994 there were only 15,000 members; by 2000, when the building of the temple was announced, that number had more than tripled, and now there are approximately more than 152,000 members in Paraguay.

On February 3, 2001, the site for the temple was dedicated and a groundbreaking ceremony was held. Despite it being a rainy, cloudy day, many members came to be a part of the building of the temple. Once the temple was constructed, an open house was held Saturday May 4-11, 2002. This allowed Mormons and those not of the Mormon faith to see the inside of the temple and learn more about what takes place inside. On Sunday May 19, 2002, four dedicatory sessions were held. This allowed all those members who wanted to attend the opportunity to be present at the dedication of the temple. President Gordon B. Hinckley gave the dedicatory prayer.

The Asuncion Paraguay Temple has a total of 10,700 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and two sealing rooms.

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Notes

  1. Marvin K. Gardner, “Pioneers in Paraguay,” Ensign, Mar. 1994, 39

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