The Rio de Janeiro Temple was completed in early 2020, with an open house scheduled for April 2020 and the dedication for May 17. But like so many events planned for that year, these events were put on hold indefinitely, and the Rio de Janeiro Temple has sat empty—completed and quiet—for almost two years.
So when the temple had its official and much-anticipated opening on Monday, March 21, local Latter-day Saints rejoiced at finally being able to step inside their beautiful new temple and move one step closer to performing sacred ordinances in the house of God. And local members living in Rio were not the only ones rejoicing: Brazilian natives Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, a General Authority Seventy, and Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles both expressed heartfelt joy for this new temple and its special location.
“All temples are sacred and invite us to come to Christ and bind us to Him through ordinances and covenants,” Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella told Church Newsroom. “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.”
“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 shared, as reported by Church Newsroom. “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 and his wife both served as young full-time missionaries in Rio de Janeiro, making this city and its new temple even more meaningful for their family.
The official temple opening began with a media day for journalists on Monday and includes private tours for local dignitaries throughout the week. As natives of Brazil, Elder and Sister Soares both led a number of tours of the new temple for media and dignitaries.
Elder Soares told Church News that many questions during the first tours involved the purpose of the temple and what is done inside. “My wife and I both started explaining how important and sacred a temple is for us and what is done inside. But for us, the most important thing I need them to know is that this is the house of the Lord and it is a place where we learn more about God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and the plan They have for us in this life. … Everything else is connected with this foundation—the love of our Father and the Son for us, as children of God, and also what They promise to us if we are faithful to the principles we learn in the Church.”
The public open house will run from Saturday, March 26, through Saturday, April 30, with closures on Sundays and on Saturday, April 2, for general conference.
The Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple will be dedicated on Sunday, May 8, 2022, by Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The three dedicatory sessions, along with a youth devotional on Saturday, May 7, will be broadcast to congregations in the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple district.