Belém Brazil Temple
On 3 April 2016, Thomas S. Monson, then-President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stood at the Conference Center pulpit for his opening remarks at the Sunday morning session of the 186th annual general conference. He began by saying, "Brothers and Sisters, before I begin my formal message today, I would like to announce four new temples, which in coming months and years will be built in the following locations." After naming the Quito Ecuador Temple and Harare Zimbabwe Temple, the Saints of Brazil rejoiced to hear the announcement of a temple to be built in Belém, Brazil.
Belém, the 11th most populous city in Brazil, is known as the gateway to the Amazon River. Anchoring a metropolitan area of over two million people, the city stands on the banks of the Pará River, approximately 60 miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean in northern Brazil. Church membership in the city has grown substantially in recent years. There are five operating stakes and a total of seven stakes and two districts in the state of Pará. At the time of the announcement, the Saints in Belém attended the Recife Brazil Temple, which was serving over 80 stakes and districts throughout northeastern Brazil. Travel from Belém to Recife requires a two-and-a-half-hour flight or an exhausting 1,200-mile trip by land.
The Belém Brazil Temple, which was announced in the 400th anniversary year of the founding of the city of Belém, will be the ninth temple built in Brazil. The other temples in Brazil include the Campinas Brazil Temple, Curitiba Brazil Temple, Fortaleza Brazil Temple, Manaus Brazil Temple, Porto Alegre Brazil Temple, Porto Alegre Brazil Temple, and São Paulo Brazil Temple. The Fortaleza Brazil Temple became the Church’s newest operating temple on 2 June 2019. Currently under construction is the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple and announced are the Brasília Brazil Temple and the Salvador Brazil Temple. Once completed and dedicated, Brazil will have 11 temples.
The Belém Brazil Temple will be constructed in a central location to the Belém metropolitan area near the Val de Cans International Airport. The site is located on Avenida Centenário, Val de Caes, Belém, Pará Brazil across from Bosque Grão Pará, a major shopping mall.
Temple Rendering and Groundbreaking Ceremony
Official rendering of the Belém Brazil Temple was published in a news release announcing the groundbreaking ceremony on 2 August 2019. The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that the groundbreaking ceremony would be held on Saturday, 17 August 2019.
On Saturday, 17 August 2019, the ground was broken for the Belém Brazil Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis, president of the Brazil Area, presided at the traditional ceremony. Hundreds of Church members and guests gathered to the site to participate in the historic services, including Church, civil, religious, and community leaders. Attendance at the temple site was by invitation only, but the proceedings were broadcast live via the internet to local meetinghouses within the proposed temple district.
Before pronouncing the dedicatory prayer on the temple site, Elder Aidukaitis said, "The building being constructed here is in honor of the Father and [His Son], Jesus Christ." During the prayer, he said, “May the members of the Church be inspired to find solutions to the problems and challenges that arise. May the neighbors feel the spirit of the work and may [they] be happy as they pass by and may the temple contribute to the beautification of this beautiful city. . . .May this work be a symbol of light and a representation of the love of Jesus Christ to all."