Antofagasta Chile Temple
The Antofagasta Chile Temple was announced on Sunday afternoon, 7 April 2019, by President Russell M. Nelson in his concluding remarks at the 189th annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Antofagasta Chile Temple will be the third temple built in Chile, following the Santiago Chile Temple (1983) and the Concepción Chile Temple (2018). The Saints of Antofagasta currently travel 830 miles (1335 km) to participate in temple ordinances at the Santiago Chile Temple, a trip that is costly and takes approximately 22 hours by bus. The new temple will serve the two stakes in Antofagasta as well as other stakes in northern Chile, making the temple much more accessible.
On 2 October 2020, an official exterior rendering of the 23,000-square-foot Antofagasta Chile Temple was released to the public, featuring a Spanish Colonial-style temple of two stories with a single attached end tower. The temple will be constructed on a 2.2-acre parcel on Avendia de Las Palmeras 44 in Antofagasta, Chile. A housing facility will also be constructed on site.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Antofagasta Chile Temple is Held
On Friday, 27 November 2020, a groundbreaking ceremony was held, signaling the beginning of construction of the Antofagasta Chile Temple. Elder Juan Pablo Villar, a General Authority Seventy and a member of the South America South Area Presidency, presided at the event. He was joined by his wife, Sister Carola Villar.
He said, "We should be grateful to our Father for having chosen Antofagasta as a place to be a light to the nations, for shining His divine light to the hearts of those who have their eye on rewards beyond what the world has to offer." He further commented, "From this day on and for several years, the construction of the temple will be carried out. This will require coordination and work to excavate, remove rocks and materials that are not needed, to prepare it so that it is ready for the foundation that will make it a firm and stable House of the Lord."
In his site dedicatory prayer, he said, "“I invite us all to do the same within ourselves and take out the things that are not needed from our lives, ‘remove’ the rocks that weaken our foundation and ‘prepare’ our spirits with firm foundations to support life’s trials and to stand tall in the face of the adversity.”
Sister Villar commented, "The temple is not going to only bless the beauty of this location with its structure, or with its pretty gardens, it’s going to bless the lives of those that live here, and it will bless our country. The opportunity to have an eternal family is a wonderful thing for us."
Attendance at the groundbreaking was limited because of local COVID-19 restrictions. Still, several local government leaders participated in Friday’s event — including Antofagasta Governor Nanto Espinoza and Yamile Guzmán, the city’s interim mayor.
Details for the open house and temple dedication will be announced at a future date.