Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
On 9 June 2006 the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ announced plans to build a temple in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The Central American Area President Spencer V. Jones, a member of the Seventy, made the announcement to members of the area. In the letter, the First Presidency stated, "We are confident that this will be a blessing to the many faithful Saints in this and surrounding areas who have had to travel long distances to enjoy the blessings of the temple." With its completion, the Tegucigalpa Temple will be the first Mormon temple in Honduras and the fourth Mormon temple in Central America. Currently, members in the area must travel to Guatemala City, to attend the nearest temple.
The new temple will serve Mormon members in Honduras and Nicaragua. Currently, there are 165,553 members, 4 missions, and 229 congregations in Honduras. There are 87,880 members, 2 missions, and 101 congregations in Nicaragua. This is a dramatic accomplishment and a testimony of the faith of the members because the Church is still very young in the area.
Missionary Work Begins in Honduras
Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Honduras in the early 1950s. They left Church literature with a hotel waiter who was later baptized. The first Mormon missionaries arrived in Honduras in December 1952 when Elder Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Bruce R. McConkie, and President Gordon M. Romney (president of the Central American mission) opened the area for missionary work. On 10 December 1952 the first two Mormon missionaries, James T. Romney and George W. Allen, arrived in Tegucigalpa. On 21 March 1953 the first five Mormon members from Honduras were baptized and a branch was organized the next day. By 1960 there were 411 members in Honduras, and in just ten years, by 1970 there were 3,000 members. In another ten years membership more than doubled to 6,300 and by 1990 there were 43,00 members in Honduras.
Missionary Work Begins in Nicaragua
The first missionaries arrived in Nicaragua in 1953. The first convert was baptized the following year. In September 1978, civil war forced missionaries to leave the area, however, the work resumed in the late 1980s. In 1987, a group of Church members traveled by bus to visit the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple. When the Nicaragua Managua Mission was organized in October 1989, there were approximately 3,500 members in Nicaragua. By December 1990, the membership increased to 8,000.
Open House and Cultural Celebration
The public was invited to visit the temple during an open house from Saturday, 9 February, through 2 March 2013, excluding Sundays. More than 210,000 people attended the Mormon temple open house, including local dignitaries — Honduran president Porfirio Lobo Sosa, First Lady Rosa Elena de Lobo, and a large government delegation that included 10 cabinet ministers.
In conjunction with the dedication of the temple, there was a cultural celebration featuring music and dance on Saturday, 16 March 2013. About 4,100 Latter-day Saints participated in the presentation. It took ten months to prepare the colorful program. Approximately 15,000 people attended the program, including President Ucthdorf, other Church leaders. and the President and First Lady of Honduras.
The Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple is Dedicated
The temple was formally dedicated on Sunday, 17 March 2013, in three sessions, by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Gregory A. Schwitzer of the Seventy also joined him for the dedication. The sessions were broadcast to Mormon meetinghouses in the temple district, which includes Nicaragua.
The 28,254-square-foot temple is made of gray granite from China and stands 41.2 meters tall, with an angel Moroni on top.