Lisbon Portugal Temple

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The Lisbon Portugal Temple. ©2019 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

During the course of his remarks at the opening session of the 180th semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 2 October 2010, President Thomas S. Monson announced a new temple to be built in Lisbon, Portugal.

This will be the first temple to be built in Portugal, joining 13 others across Europe. The Saints of Portugal, organized into 6 stakes and 4 districts, currently attend the Madrid Spain Temple, approximately 390-mile (625-kilometer) drive from Lisbon.

According to Newsroom, more than 45,000 Latter-day Saints living in Portugal, including the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores, and in neighboring countries, will be served by the new temple.

Temple Site

According to LDS Church Temples.com:

The Lisbon Portugal Temple site sits in the northeastern section of the city near the modern parish of Parque das Nações (Nations' Park). Once a nondescript industrial area, the Parque das Nações neighborhood was redeveloped for the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition (known as Expo '98), featuring the theme (Os Oceanos, um Património para o Futuro) The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future. Today, Parque das Nações is a thriving hub of leisure, commercial, and residential activity on the Tagus River, boasting famed venues that include the Lisbon Oceanarium, the Vasco de Gama Tower, the twin São Gabriel and São Rafael towers, the Parque Das Nações Marina, the MEO Arena, the Vasco de Gama Center (shopping mall), and the Vasco de Gama Bridge. The area is beautified by volcano and waterfall fountains that can all be taken in from an overhead gondola lift.

As the temple site is located adjacent to the Moscavide station, transportation to and from the temple will be facilitated by the Lisbon Metro. The station opened in July of 2012 in conjunction with the Encarnação and Aeroporto stations which expanded the line that serves the Lisbon Airport, situated just two miles west of the temple site.

In late December 2012, the Church acquired a plot of land inside Lisbon city limits for the Lisbon Portugal Temple, and on 7 January 2013, announced the acquisition publicly, however, the specific location for the temple site was not given at that time.

History of the Church in Portugal

The first Latter-day Saints in Portugal were members serving in the United States Armed Forces beginning in 1954. The first Portuguese citizen to become a member of the Church was baptized in 1967. Following the bloodless military coup of April 1974, Church President Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth President of the Church, visited Portugal and received confirmation that the Church would be recognized, and was given permission for Latter-day Saint missionaries to enter the country. On 27 October 1974, the Church’s status as an officially recognized religious entity was published in the Diário da República, the official publication of Portugal. In November 1974 the Portugal Lisbon Mission was formed with an initial four missionaries transferred from Brazil. Elder William Grant Bangerter of the Seventy arrived in Lisbon to preside over the newly created mission. The first Church meetings held in Portugal were held among the United States Armed Forces stationed there, in the home of a Canadian embassy member. President Thomas S. Monson, then an apostle of the Church, dedicated the country for the preaching of the gospel, and soon missionaries were assigned.

By July 1975, there were 100 Portuguese Latter-day Saints, and by July 1978, membership had reached 1,000. The Lisbon Portugal Stake (similar to a Catholic diocese) was created in July of 1981. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently reports that there are 42,861 members in six stakes and four districts, 74 congregations, and one mission, the Portugal Lisbon Mission. These congregations called wards and branches, serve as the center for all local Church activities, including Sunday worship services, as well as classes for children, youth, young adults, men, and women. Weekday activities provide opportunities for additional instruction, social events, and cultural events such as dancing, musical and theatrical performances, and sports.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Lisbon Portugal Temple

More than five years after President Thomas S. Monson announced plans for a temple in Lisbon, Portugal, the groundbreaking ceremony was held on Saturday, 5 December 2015, at 12:00 noon. Elder Patrick Kearon, President of the Europe Area, presided. Attendance at the ceremony was by invitation only, and the general public was invited to view the proceedings live from local meetinghouses.

In a video posted on Newsroom United Kingdom Elder Kearon remarked that the new temple will be "a great blessing for the Portuguese Saints." He further commented:

The Lisbon Portugal Temple groundbreaking is the culmination of years of hope and prayers and faith. It’s just a glorious moment for the 42,000 Latter-day Saints who live in Portugal. It is a privilege to take part in this joyful moment. The temple will be a bright symbol of our faith, our gratitude to our loving Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. We pray for those who will be involved in building this sacred place and know that it will be a blessing to the people of Portugal.
To have a temple in Portugal is a symbol of our growth, a symbol of our confidence in Portugal, in our Church, and in our people here. It will be a great symbol of our faith, and a beautiful part of this landscape for many decades to come.

Elder Joaquim J. Moreira, an Area Seventy, further commented, “In the temple, we can perform ceremonies for this life and beyond. We can have eternal families and this is a blessing that our members have been waiting for a long time.”

The Angel Moroni Placed Atop the Lisbon Portugal Temple

On 19 November 2018, a video was released showing the angel Moroni being placed above the scaffolding surrounding the spire of the Lisbon Portugal Temple. This is the first temple in the southern European country to have the angel Moroni.

A Look Inside the Lisbon Portugal Temple

The pictures in this gallery were taken from Newsroom and are ©2019 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Open House Announced for the Lisbon Portugal Temple

The public was invited to tour the first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Portugal. Church leaders had announced the Lisbon Portugal Temple would be open for a free public open house from Saturday, 17 August 2019, to Saturday, 31 August 2019, except for Sundays 18 and 25 August 2019. Open house hours were 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. The public could make reservations at [templeopenhouse.lds.org templeopenhouse.lds.org].

According to Newsroom:

Colors throughout the temple are gold, blue, ochre, and lavender. Designs are based on derivatives of azulejo tile star patterns, which are indigenous to Portugal and reflect the region’s Moorish heritage. The temple’s exterior is covered with Portuguese Moleanos limestone, quarried from a location near Lisbon and fabricated by the Portuguese company Solancis. The temple reflects the architecture of the late Art Deco and Modern periods.
The stone tile, in creams and warm and light browns, is from Spain, Italy, and Turkey. Ceilings throughout the temple feature cove or pendant lighting. Crystal chandeliers in the celestial and sealing rooms are by Swarovski Lighting of New York, and fixtures were provided by Crenshaw Lighting in the United States.
Interior and exterior art glass have deeply etched and carved patterns with added gold leaf to highlight the designs. They too are based on tile patterns native to Portugal.
The building is 49 feet tall and includes a 134-foot gold-leafed spire with the angel Moroni statue at the top.

The temple, which is in the northeastern section of the city near the modern parish of Parque das Nações, on Avenida Dom João II, Lot 4.72.00 Nations Park, 1990-364 Moscavide, Lisbon, was dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, 15 September 2019. A youth devotional was held with senior Church leaders on Saturday, 14 September 2019.

The Lisbon Portugal Temple Has Been Dedicated

The Lisbon Portugal Temple was dedicated on Sunday, 15 September 2019, in three sessions. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presided at the dedication. He called attention to Portugal’s fascinating history of global discovery and likened it to Latter-day Saints going to the temple as explorers seeking to discover something greater than lands and riches.

In earlier interviews with the Church News to summarize the themes of his dedicatory remarks planned for Lisbon, Elder Andersen noted the historic achievements of Portuguese explorers such as Bartolomeu Dias, who helped map Africa’s coastline; Vasco da Gama, who followed Dias’ initial route and continued on to chart a sea-going course to India; Ferdinand Magellan, who is credited as the first to circle the globe, by sailing below South America and through the straits that now bear his name; and even Christopher Columbus, who spent seven years in Portugal observing and learning from other explorers.

Elder Andersen explained the analogy with the new Lisbon Portugal Temple. <http://www.ldsliving.com/-Discover-the-Things-of-Eternity-Elder-Andersen-Dedicates-First-Temple-in-Portugal/s/90929 He said>, "In this dedicated and consecrated house of the Lord, we too are explorers, searching not for new lands but for something much more precious." He then quoted <https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/john/17.3?lang=eng John 17:3>: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent." He also said, "As disciples of Jesus Christ, we enter into this house to discover the things of eternity and to prepare us to one day travel through the veil back to our heavenly home. . . .With patience and righteousness, our exploration will bring the discoveries we seek. We will come to know our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ."

The Church News reports that such a theme for the Lisbon Portugal Temple’s dedication hearkened back to the prayer offered on 22 April 1975, by Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve when he dedicated Portugal for missionary work. On the outskirts of Lisbon, overlooking the country’s Atlantic Ocean coast, the future Church president prayed, "We recognize, Father, that from this land went navigators and seafaring men in days of yore and that the Portuguese people have had an adventurous spirit, as they trusted in Thee, as they looked for lands unknown. Grant that they may trust in Thee as they now search for those truths that will lead them to life eternal."

Joining Elder Andersen and Elder José A. Teixeira, a Portugal native and member of the Presidency of the Seventy, in the weekend dedication assignment in Lisbon were their wives, Sister Kathy Andersen and Sister Teixeira, as well as Elder Gary B. Sabin, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Europe Area, and his wife, Sister Valerie Sabin; and Elder Kevin R. Duncan, also a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Church’s Temple Department, and his wife, Sister Nancy Duncan.

Elder Andersen offered both his remarks and the dedicatory prayer in Portuguese. With the exception of a rare talk in English, the proceedings of Sunday’s three sessions were done in the local language. Also, the dedication services were broadcast by satellite to members in meetinghouses throughout the temple district, with hundreds attending in the temple and the adjacent stake center for the 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. meetings.

Today, Portugal is home to 45,000-plus Latter-day Saints as well as six stakes, 68 congregations, one mission and four districts. The Lisbon Portugal Temple becomes the Church’s 166th operating temple worldwide. The temple — Portugal’s first — will open for ordinances on Tuesday, 24 September 2019.

Videos of the Lisbon Portugal Temple