Arequipa Peru Mormon Temple
On 6 October 2012, during the opening session of the 182nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet of the Church, announced that a temple would be built in southern Peru in the city of Arequipa. The Arequipa Peru Temple will be the third temple built in Peru. The other temples are the Lima Peru Temple (1986) and the Trujillo Peru Temple (2015). A fourth temple, the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple, was announced on 3 April 2016 during the 186th Annual General Conference.
Seven stakes currently operate in the city with several additional stakes and districts in the surrounding region. The units that will be served by the Arequipa Peru Temple have not yet been announced.
Peru is home to approximately 29 million people including nearly 569,000 Latter-day Saints organized into 100 stakes and 21 districts. Church members living in Arequipa, Peru's second-largest city, currently travel to the Lima Peru Temple, almost five hundred miles away, to attend temple services.
Missionary Work and Church Growth
Missionary work officially began in the country in 1956.Missionary work]] officially began in the country in 1956. in 1959, Church membership consisted of five congregations and 300 people. Since then, the Church has grown quickly in Peru. In January 1988, 32 years after missionary work began in Peru, seven stakes (diocese) were created in one weekend by visiting Church Apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard. At the end of 2011, there were 508,812 Latter-day Saints in 788 congregations in Peru and 10 Mormon missions.
Arequipa Peru Temple Site
The Arequipa Peru Temple site is located just three miles north of the city center near the entrance to the quiet village of Carmen Alto. The land stands on a bluff rising from the Chili River and surrounded by breathtaking pastures and mountain views including the prominent volcano Misti. Carmen Alto, which is easily accessible by public transportation, is popular with visitors and described as "Heaven like."
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Arequipa Peru Temple was held on Saturday, 4 March 2017. Elder Carlos A. Godoy, of the Seventy and the South America Northwest Area President, presided at the services. Other members of the Presidency in attendance were Elders Enrique R. Falabella and Hugo Montoya also members of the Seventy. Attendance at the temple site was by invitation only but was transmitted via the internet to Church stake centers within the proposed temple district.
During his remarks, Elder Godoy commented, "I have no doubt brothers and sisters, that somehow all of us need to change something in our lives; to make a change in our hearts. This is an opportunity, perhaps, to evaluate ourselves and to qualify to be here in this house with our heart turned towards God and to be more like His Son Jesus Christ."
Elder Montoya addressed the youth of the Church in Peru. He said, "A temple is a place of hope; it is a place where our young people can attend. Members of the Church come here and they find peace, serenity, answers and revelation."
Elder Godoy encouraged the youth to become more involved in family history. He said the Lord has provided technology to assist us in our search for our ancestors so they may receive the temple ordinances.
For additional information on the Arequipa Peru Temple, go to the Peru Mormon Newsroom website (Spanish).
Open House and Dedication Dates Announced
The Arequipa Peru Temple will be the third temple in that country.
A free public open house will start Friday, 15 November run through Saturday, 30 November 2019, except for two Sundays (17 and 24 November 2019).
A youth devotional will be held Saturday, 14 December 2019, and the dedication of the temple will be the next day Sunday, 15 December 2019, in three sessions, 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. The dedicatory sessions and youth devotional will be broadcast to all Church congregations in the temple district. Additional details regarding the temple dedication will be announced at a future date.
The Arequipa Peru Temple will open for patrons on Thursday, 19 December 2019.