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Curitiba Brazil Temple

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The Curitiba Brazil Temple is the 125th temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Mormon Church has had a presence in Brazil since the 1920's. During that time, most of the converts were German immigrants who came to Brazil after World War I. They were settled in a town called Ipomeia, in the state of Santa Catarina. In 1923, Robert Lippelt and his wife Augusta arrived in Brazil. Augusta asked the Church Headquarters to send LDS literature. Consequently, Reinhold Stoff, who was the South America Mission President in Buenos Aires, Argentina, went to visit Brazil. He took missionaries there in 1928 to teach the Restored Gospel to people in Santa Catarina who spoke German. The first converts joined the Church in Brazil in 1929. The first Mormon Church meetinghouse was erected in Joinville, Santa Catarina, in 1931. A Brazilian Mission was established in 1935, some church materials were translated into Portuguese in 1937, and the missionaries started teaching in Portuguese a year later. During World War II, the Mormon missionaries were removed from Brazil, and at the conclusion of the war, they returned. From this point, the Brazilian natives began joining the Church by the hundreds, and membership continues to grow at a steady rate.

On August 23, 2002, the First Presidency of the Mormon Church announced the building of a temple in the city of Curitiba, Brazil. This will be the fifth temple in Brazil.

Church authorities met with city officials, including Mayor Beto Richa of Curitiba, in February, 2005. Church authorities explained the significance of the temple for members of the Mormon Church. "In addition, the Church presented two Church programs: Helping Hands and the Perpetual Education Fund. The mayor expressed his appreciation for the service provided through Helping Hands and stated that he wished more organizations demonstrated the same zeal for volunteer service as does the [Mormon] Church." [1] Church authorities presented Mayor Richa with a statue that represented family ties.

The Curitiba Brazil Temple sits on a tract of land located in the Campo Comprido (Long Plain/Field) district. Decorating the exquisite grounds are a large water feature, gorgeous gardens, and numerous trees. The Temple will serve more than 42,000 worthy members of the Mormon Church including members from the Brazilian states of Parana and Santa Catarina.

Ground was broken for the Curitiba Brazil Temple on March 10, 2005.

The open house before the temple was dedicated was held from Saturday, May 10 to Saturday, May 24, 2008 (excluding Sundays and Monday evenings). Over 42,000 visitors took the opportunity to tour the Curitiba Brazil Temple during its two-week public open house. The open house was the occasion of numerous spiritual experiences. One account tells of a visitor who became increasingly anxious during his tour, almost running from the final room. Tour guides couldn't imagine the cause of his anxiety, but he came again the next day and explained, "I felt something in my heart that I had never felt before [that] filled me with happiness. I wanted my family to feel what I was feeling." He continued, "That's why I ran; I was in a hurry to tell my wife about this, and ask her to come back with me." He was accompanied this time by not only his wife but also his four children and his grandchildren. The missionaries identified his feelings as the Spirit and arranged to teach him. Of the over 40,000 who visited the temple, approximately 4,000 left comment cards and 2,000 requested missionaries. [2]

President James E. Faust served as a young missionary in Curitiba and later presided over South America as a general authority. President Gordon B. Hinckley planned to take President Faust with him to dedicate the Curitiba Brazil Temple, but both passed away in the months preceding the dedication.

President Thomas S. Monson's trip to dedicate the Curitiba Brazil Temple was his first trip outside North America as president of the Church. The temple was dedicated in four sessions on June 1, 2008. Enthusiastic members filled the temple to capacity while services were transmitted to area stake centers. A cultural celebration was held the evening before the dedication. 4,330 Brazilian Saints took to the field of Curitiba's Arena da Baixada, backed by 1,700 voices for the celebration. The program mixed music, dance, drama, gymnastics, scripting, costuming, direction, staging, and technology to tell the story of the Church from its founding in New York to the dedication of its 126th temple in Curitiba. [3]

References

  1. www.lds.org: Curitiba Brazil Temple
  2. Gerry Avant, "Temple is answer to many prayers," Church News 31 May 2008: 3.
  3. http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/curitiba/ The Curitiba Brazil LDS Temple Site


Temples in Brazil

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