San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple
On 7 April 2019, in his closing remarks for general conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced that a second temple would be constructed in the nation of Honduras in the city of San Pedro Sula. Saints currently travel over 200 miles to the well-attended Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple (March 2013) to serve in the temple.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Honduras reports 180,646 members in 31 stakes and five districts, 239 congregations (179 wards and 60 branches), and four missions - Honduras Comayaguela Mission, Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission, Honduras San Pedro Sula West Mission, and Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission. Eleven of the stakes are organized in the metropolitan area of San Pedro Sula.
The San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple, the eighth temple to be built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Central America and the second built in Honduras, will be constructed in the northwest section of the city on Bulevar Mario Catarino Rivas. The temple will have a single attached central tower and four ordinance rooms (stationary) and three sealing rooms. On 5 August 2020, an official exterior rendering of the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple was released.
Other temples in Central America include the San José Costa Rica Temple, San Salvador El Salvador Temple, Guatemala City Guatemala Temple, Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple, Cobán Guatemala Temple (announced), Managua Nicaragua Temple (announced), and the Panama City Panama Temple.
The San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple will serve Latter-day Saints in the Atlántida, Bay Islands, Colón, Copán, Cortés, Lempira, Ocotepeque and Santa Bárbara subdivisions of Honduras.
History of the Church in Honduras
Then-Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Central American Mission president, Gordon M. Romney, were instrumental in promoting missionary work in Central America. They visited Tegulcigalpa, Honduras, and left a tract and a copy of the Book of Mormon with a hotel waiter, Jose Santos Ortega Flores, on 17 November 1952.
Missionary work in Honduras began on 10 December 1952, a month after the Central America Mission was created. On 21 March 1953, the first two missionaries in Honduras, James T. Thorup and George W. Allen, baptized Alicia Castanado, Corina de Bustamonte, Mario A. de Chotria, and Carmen B. Corina, as well as Jose Ortega, who first met Elder Kimball and President Romney.
The Church organized a branch in Tegucigalpa the day after that first baptismal service. Missionaries began working in San Pedro Sula on 4 October 1954 and a branch was organized there in 1955. The San Pedro Sula District was organized on 4 June 1961.
The first stake in Honduras was created in San Pedro Sula on 10 April 1977. The Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission was created on 1 January 1980, with 6,300 members and only seven years later membership totaled 23,000. The mission was divided 1 July 1990 and the country’s ninth stake was created in September 1990. From September 1992 to April 1993, North American missionaries were withdrawn because of threats from extremists groups. Nevertheless, the missionary work continued to grow with non-North American missionaries. By 1995, membership was 65,000, 10 times what it was just 15 years earlier.
In 2002, membership reached 108,217.
The First Presidency announced in a 9 June 2006, letter that a temple would be built in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, the first in Honduras and the fourth in Central America.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple
On Saturday, 5 September 2020, San Pedro Sula native Elder José Bernardo Hernández, an Area Seventy, gave brief remarks and then offered a dedicatory prayer to commemorate the beginning of construction of the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple. Due to Covid-19 restrictions attendance at the temple site was by invitation only. The simple yet sacred ceremony was live-streamed to members throughout the region.
In his remarks, Elder Hernández said Honduran Latter-day Saints will be blessed, not only by the finished temple, but also as they prepare for its completion. He encouraged parents to teach their children the importance of following God’s commandments and youth to attend the temple often to participate in ordinances. He also invited children to keep their sights on and always qualify to enter "the House of the Lord." He said, "Personal preparation [to go to the temple] will bring to our lives many unimaginable blessings, such as eternal life and uniting the family for eternity."
Elder Carlos H. Amado, a native Central American who was then serving as a General Authority Seventy, commented, "The temple teaches us that life is not a tragedy. The temple teaches us that life is an opportunity."