New temple announcements, site announcements, groundbreakings, dedications, rededications and renovation announcements filled 2019. In October 2019 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson spoke about the value of temples today.
“All our efforts to minister to each other, proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead converge in the holy temple,” he said. “…We regard a temple as the most sacred structure in the Church. Whenever plans are announced to construct a new temple, it becomes an important part of our history.”
Here's a look at some of the memorable moments with temples in 2019.
11 Groundbreaking Ceremonies
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the following temples:
Urdaneta Philippines Temple — January 16, 2019
Bangkok Thailand Temple — January 26, 2019
Pocatello Idaho Temple — March 16, 2019
Yigo Guam Temple — May 4, 2019
Praia Cabo Verde Temple — May 4, 2019
San Juan Puerto Rico Temple — May 4, 2019
Quito Ecuador Temple — May 11, 2019
Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple — June 8, 2019
Belém Brazil Temple — August 17, 2019
Saratoga Springs Utah Temple — September 5, 2019
Puebla Mexico Temple — November 30, 2019
4 Additional Renderings Released
The Church released the renderings for four additional temples. No groundbreaking date has been set for these temples.
7 Sites Announced
As part of his ministry to the Pacific, President Nelson announced the Auckland New Zealand Temple would be built on Redoubt Road, next to the Missionary Training Center. Additionally, the Church announced the sites of four temples in Utah (Tooele Valley Utah Temple, Washington County Utah Temple, Orem Utah Temple, and Taylorsville Utah Temple) and two sites in the United States (Moses Lake Washington Temple and McAllen Texas Temple).
All renderings from Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
6 Temple Dedications
All six new temples dedicated in 2019 are located outside of the United States, bringing the number of operating temples to 167.
Rome Italy Temple
Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
President Nelson dedicated the Rome Italy Temple on March 10, 2019.
"In this ancient and great city that has stood since biblical times, in this historic nation of Italy, we acknowledge the ministry of two of thy son’s early apostles, Peter and Paul, who once blessed this land with their labors," he said during the dedicatory prayer. "May the influence of their abiding testimony of Jesus Christ continue to be felt among the vital values of this great country."
Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple
Photo by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple on April 14, 2019. Elder Renlund described the history of the Congolese people as one of difficulty and hardship, according to Church News.
“And yet, you meet the people and you’re just amazed by how spiritual they are, how strong, how stoic and how absolutely devoted they are to the Savior and to the restored Church,” he said.
Fortaleza Brazil Temple
Photo from Church News
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Fortaleza Brazil Temple on June 2, 2019. This was the first time an apostle from outside of the United States dedicated a temple in his home country.
“It means a lot to me to be a part of this historic moment — to see the wonderful growth that has happened and the blessings showering Brazil,” Elder Soares said, according to Church News. “It is something that touches my heart profoundly, because I see the hand of the Lord blessing our country, blessing our people so they can perform their own ordinances and make covenants with the Lord in preparing for his Second Coming.”
Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple
Photo by Jason Swenson, Church News
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple on September 1, 2019.
“On this day of dedication, I think not only of today, but also of the future, and what this temple will cause to happen in this country,” Elder Bednar said on the day of dedication, according to Church News.
Lisbon Portugal Temple
Photo by Scott Taylor, Church News
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Lisbon Portugal Temple on September 15, 2019. Elder Andersen incorporated the spirit of exploration, which has long been a rich part of Portugal's history, into his remarks.
“In this dedicated and consecrated house of the Lord, we too are explorers, searching not for new lands but for something much more precious,” he said according to Church News, then quoting John 17:3: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.”
Arequipa Peru Temple
Photo by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Elder Soares dedicated the Arequipa Peru Temple on December 15, 2019. At the dedication, Elder Soares taught that temple attendance will secure promised blessings.
“First we need to recognize that we need to be worthy of our temple recommend by living the commandments and honoring our covenants made with the Lord,” Elder Soares said, according to Church News. And second, as members serve in the temple, “we receive more knowledge and understanding about the sacred ordinances we receive in the temple. They guide and lead our lives to goodness.”