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Caracas Venezuela Temple

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The Caracas Venezuela Temple is the 96th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In November of 1966 the beautiful land of Venezuela was dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Elder Marion G. Romney. Within weeks, four Mormon missionaries arrived in Venezuela. They arrived in a land Christopher Columbus had called the "Land of Grace," and a land where the geography varies from rain forests to high mountain peaks to balmy beaches. [1]

The Mormon missionaries found a people who were ready to accept the Gospel, such as the Manuel and Luisa Vargas family. When Manuel and Luisa were married in 1969, they wanted a lot of children but were concerned about the influences of the world. Six months later, when Luisa was pregnant with their first child, the missionaries knocked on their door to bring them the Gospel of Jesus Christ - within a few weeks they were baptized. When their son Luis was born, he became the first of a new generation of Venezuelans born and raised in the Mormon Church. This family of six boys and one girl were all sealed in the temple for time and all eternity.

In less than eight years the Church membership in Venezuela had grown to nearly four thousand, and in the mid-1980's, twenty years after the Mormon missionaries arrived, the membership had reached nearly twenty-five thousand.

In 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans to construct a Mormon temple in Venezuela. Immediately following that announcement, a search was conducted to find a suitable site on which to build. Several properties were considered over the next eighteen months, but because of high prices and restrictions that would not allow religious use of the land, no suitable location was found. By 1997, no site had been found. But, in that same year, when President Hinckley announced and explained the concept of smaller temples, options opened up in Venezuela. The Mormon Church examined existing holdings in the country, and finally a decision was made to build the temple in the city of Caracas on land that the Church had owned since 1977. [2] The groundbreaking for the Caracas Venezuela Temple finally took place in 1999.

Unexpected obstacles occurred during the construction of the temple. When digging the foundation, excavators discovered an underground spring. Once the water was diverted, the excavation continued. However, the digging caused two major landslides. The first landslide did not cause any damage, but the second did. Eight tons of earth and materials were shifted in the slide. Duane Cheney, construction supervisor, stated that, "In all my experience as a builder, never have I had the problems that I have seen in temple construction ... the adversary works with power and strength ... Jesus Christ himself, directs this project and has helped us and will continue doing so." [3]

Nearly six thousand members of the Mormon Church attended the dedication of the Caracas Venezuela Mormon Temple on August 20, 2000. President Hinckley counseled the members never to let a day pass without holding a current temple recommend. At the conclusion of the dedication, as President Hinckley drove away, thousands of Venezuelan Saints saluted the Prophet by waving white handkerchiefs and singing in their own language, "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet."

The Caracas Venezuela Temple has a total of 15,332 square feet, two ordinance rooms, and two sealing rooms.



  1. Alejandro Portal Campos, “News of the Church,” Ensign, Mar. 2000, 77
  2. "Choosing the Land", by Flora Ruscitti
  3. "The First 100 Temples", by Chad Hawkins, 2001, p. 256

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