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 (10 January 1986) and the Trujillo Peru Temple (21 June 2015). A fourth temple, the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple, was announced on 3 April 2016 during the 186th Annual general conference. Lima will be the first city outside of the United States to have two temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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 30 million people, including over a half million members of the Church 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. 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 Latter-day Saint 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, Youth Devotional, and Dedication Dates Announced
A free public open house was held from Friday, 15 November 2019, through Saturday, 30 November 2019, except for two Sundays (17 and 24 November 2019). Tour hours were 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and no reservations were needed.
A youth devotional was held on Saturday, 14 December 2019.
President Russell M. Nelson will dedicate the Arequipa Peru Temple on 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.
The Arequipa Peru Temple will open for patrons on Thursday, 19 December 2019.
A Look Inside the Arequipa Peru Temple
The pictures in this gallery are ©2019 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. The pictures were obtained from the Church newsroom.