Asuncion Paraguay Temple
The Asunción Paraguay Temple is the 112th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On 2 April 2000, an announcement was made that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was planning to build a temple in Paraguay. Although there were already eleven other dedicated temples in South America, the Asunción Paraguay Temple was the first temple to be built in Paraguay. For the more than 68,000 members that the Asunción Paraguay Temple would serve, the announcement was gladly received.
In 1994, Carlos Espinola, a member of the LDS Church in Paraguay said, "We have lived in Paraguay since the Church had only two branches, I feel that the day is much closer now when there is going to be great growth in the Church here. When President Ezra Taft Benson dedicated this land for the preaching of the gospel, he said there would be many stakes in Paraguay. I can see that day coming."
Missionary Work in Paraguay
The Mormon Church in Paraguay grew very slowly compared to much of the rest of South America. In 1949 Paraguay was officially opened to missionaries under the mission headquartered in Uruguay. In 1977 Paraguay became its own mission area, and soon after that, conversions to the Mormon Church began to increase. The average number of baptisms per year in Paraguay up to this time had been just over 200. In the year following the announcement of a new temple, 400 people were baptized into the Church. Missionary work in Paraguay takes great effort on the part of missionaries. In Paraguay's capital city, Asunción, most people speak Spanish, but in much of the rest of the country, many people speak only Guarani, so many of the Mormon missionaries must learn both languages.
In February 1979, the first stake was formed in Paraguay, and by November 1992, a third stake was needed. In 1994 there were only 15,000 members; by 2000, when the building of the temple was announced, that number had more than tripled, and now there are approximately more than 152,000 members in Paraguay.
Site Dedication, Groundbreaking Ceremony, Open House, and Dedication
On 3 February 2001, the site for the temple was dedicated and a groundbreaking ceremony was held. Despite it being a rainy, cloudy day, many members came to be a part of the building of the temple.
Once the temple was constructed, an open house was held Saturday, 4-11 May 2002. This allowed Latter-day Saints and those not of the Mormon faith to see the inside of the temple and learn more about what takes place inside. On Sunday, 19 May 2002, four dedicatory sessions were held. This allowed all those members who wanted to attend the opportunity to be present at the dedication of the temple. President Gordon B. Hinckley gave the dedicatory prayer.
Temple News Updates
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the closure of the Asunción Paraguay Temple later this year for extensive renovations. The temple will close in November 2017. The renovations will help maintain functionality, efficiency, and beauty. The temple will receive mechanical upgrades along with updates in finishes and furnishings. The Renovations are expected to be completed in 2019. Once the renovations are complete, a public open house and rededication services will be announced. While the temple is closed, Latter-day Saints will be able to attend neighboring temples.
Open House and Rededication Dates Announced
The Asunción Paraguay Temple has been renovated and will have a free public open house beginning 12 October through 19 October 2019, except for Sunday, 13 October 2019.
Rededication of the temple will take place Sunday, 3 November 2019, in one session at 10:00 a.m.
The temple, which serves Latter-day Saints in Paraguay and parts of Argentina, will reopen for temple patrons on Tuesday, 12 November 2019.
- Marvin K. Gardner, “Pioneers in Paraguay,” Ensign, Mar. 1994, 39