Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple Groundbreaking

Ground Broken for Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple

On June 17, 2023, a groundbreaking ceremony was performed to officially launch the Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple’s construction. The dedicatory prayer was delivered by Elder Juan A. Uceda, a General Authority Seventy who is also a part of the Brazil Area Presidency.

“I ask Thee, dear Father, that this place and all who live within the boundaries of the temple district enjoy special protection,” Elder Uceda prayed. “And may the light of the gospel shine throughout this region. We pray that no influence will stop or delay the building of the temple and that in due time it will be dedicated as the house of the Lord. May Thy spiritual power be strongly felt in this region.”

Elder Uceda was accompanied by his wife, Maria. Elder Luciano Sankar, an Area Seventy, conducted the ceremony. The event featured speakers and a volunteer choir assembled from local congregations.

One of the speakers, Carlos Inéas Bueno, is a longtime Latter-day Saint who helped build one of the Church’s first meetinghouses in Belo Horizonte.

“I want to testify that I know that here, now, with the building of this temple, we will grow stronger and stronger in the gospel in this state,” he said.

Otávio Rietra Dias, a leader of several local congregations, spoke about the examples of those Church members who laid the spiritual foundation for Latter-day Saints in Belo Horizonte.

Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple Groundbreaking

“We must remember their consecrated life and what they did so that we could be here today,” he said.

Approximately 500 invited guests attended. Among them were state authorities, including the mayor of Sete Lagoas, Duílio de Castro; the representative of the secretary of culture of Belo Horizonte, Natalie Oliffson; and the secretary of social service from Nova Lima, Álvaro Azevedo.

“It’s an honor to be here today,” said Mayor de Castro. “I know that the temple is highly anticipated.”

Plans for the Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple call for a single-story building of approximately 26,884 square feet. Its architecture and decor will be inspired by the sacred purposes of temples and the natural beauty of the state of Minas Gerais. Church President and Prophet Russell M. Nelson first announced this house of the Lord in April 2021.

There are nearly 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in Brazil in more than 2,100 congregations. Missionary work began in Brazil in 1928. Including the temple in Belo Horizonte, there are 18 houses of the Lord in Brazil, with dedicated temples located in BelémCampinasCuritibaFortalezaManausPorto AlegreRecifeRio de Janeiro and São Paulo; two under construction in Brasília and Salvador; and others announced in LondrinaMaceióRibeirão PrêtoSantosSão Paulo East and Vitória.

Temples are regarded by Latter-day Saints as the most sacred places of worship on earth and the house of the Lord. Temples are different from the meetinghouses (chapels) of the Church. Everyone is welcome to participate in the everyday activities and Sunday worship services at the nearby meetinghouses. Temples are primarily used by faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ to participate in sacred ceremonies like marriages, which bring families together forever, and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who were unable to be baptized while still alive.

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