Latter-day Saint Life

“I am the happiest person right now”—local Latter-day Saints react to newly announced temples

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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

One of the most exciting parts of general conference is the announcement of new temples, but that excitement is only amplified when a new temple is announced in your metaphorical backyard. Here are just a few elated reactions from members of the Church local or native to the areas receiving new temples.

► You may also like: President Nelson announces 13 new temples during October 2021 general conference

Monrovia, Liberia

“I am the happiest person right now,” said Samuel Sayon, a member from Brewerville, Liberia told Newsroom. “I am so, so excited.”

The new temple in the capital city of Monrovia will be the first temple in Liberia. Latter-day Saint missionaries first started teaching in Liberia in 1987, and today it is home to about 15,000 Latter-day Saints. Members currently travel to Ghana to attend the temple.

Antananarivo, Madagascar

Domoina Kendell, a native of Madagascar, told Newsroom that after her initial excitement, she cried tears of joy. “I have no words to express my gratitude to Heavenly Father. This will bring so many blessings for the people of Madagascar. I think having a temple there will bring a different perspective of family history work.”

Members in Madagascar currently travel around 1,700 miles to the nearest temple in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Culiacán, Mexico

“My emotions can’t fit in my chest,” Marco Medina, stake president in Culiacán, Mexico, told Church News. “We are very happy to have received this news from our prophet. We know that the Lord has heard our prayers and we will continue to work to be worthy of it.”

The new temple in Culiacán will be Mexico’s fourth temple either under construction or announced, and there are 13 more temples currently in operation in Mexico.

La Paz, Bolivia

After President Nelson’s announcement, La Paz native Guizella Rocabado also fought back tears and told Newsroom, “I hope that this temple can bring peace to the area — I know that it will. The people need some rest. They need peace and something they can look to for answers and purpose.”

Bolivia’s first temple in Cochabamba was dedicated in 2000, and a second temple was announced just last year for Santa Cruz.

Vitória, Brazil

Members in Vitória were looking forward to the new temple in Rio, which is currently under construction and which will cut members’ 620 mile journey to the temple in half, but President Nelson’s announcement brought them even more joy.

“It’s one more testimony that God sees our efforts, that He loves us and cares for us,” Vitória resident Wanessa Ferreira Roncate told Church News. “The Lord is hastening His work, and what a privilege to be a part of it. We have a lot of work to do, on both sides of the veil, and it’s not just any work, it’s the best work ever. It is the Lord’s work.”

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