Praia Cabo Verde Temple
The announcement that a Latter-day Saint temple will be built in Cabo Verde was made by President Russell M. Nelson during his closing talk at the 188th semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 7 October 2018.
This will be the first temple in Cabo Verde, a country of 10 islands off the west coast of Africa. Construction on the temple with an adjacent meetinghouse is expected to begin in 2019 and is anticipated to take about two years to complete. Church members currently must fly to the Madrid Spain Temple to attend the temple.
On Friday, 8 February 2019, an artist's rendering of the temple was made public. The rendering features a single-story temple with an end spire reflective of the architectural styles in the area. The temple will be built in the capital city of Praia on the island of Santiago and located east of Avenida Cidade de Lisboa in the Tahiti Chã de Areia neighborhood.
As of 1 January 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 14,205 members in three stakes, two districts, 42 congregations (24 wards and 18 branches), one mission, and three family history centers in Cabo Verde.
There are approximately 50 missionaries serving in the country. Some 100 natural-born Cabo Verde members have served full-time missions in areas throughout the world.
On 22 February 1998, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church, visited the islands and met with government officials and members of the Church.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for Praia Cabo Verde Temple
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Praia Cabo Verde Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held on Saturday, 4 May 2019. Elder Paul V. Johnson, president of the Europe Area for the Church, presided over the groundbreaking and dedicated the temple site. Attendance at the site was by invitation only.
The Praia Cabo Verde Temple is the first LDS temple in that part of the world. The temple will be built in the capital city of Praia on the island of Santiago and located east of Avenida Cidade de Lisboa in the Tahiti Chã de Areia neighborhood.
During his remarks, Elder Johnson said, "For Cabo Verde’s faithful sons and daughters the blessing of having a temple of the Lord in their own country is a powerful reminder of the Lord’s promise in the Book of Mormon that He remembers His children upon the isles of the sea." A newly wedded couple from Cabo Verde, Zanny and Simão Lopes, expressed the impact this temple will have in their lives. They said, "We just got married two months ago, in the Recife (temple) in Brazil. We are very excited to be able to enter the temple of our own country."
More details about the groundbreaking ceremony can be found on the Cabo Verde Newsroom website.
Open House and Dedication Dates Announced for the Praia Cabo Verde Temple
On Thursday, 3 March 2022, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced dates for the open house for and the dedication of the Praia Cabo Verde Temple, located on the island nation about 350 miles off the coast of West Africa.
On Saturday, 18 June 2022, the evening prior to the dedication, Latter-day Saint youth will gather in a nearby Church meetinghouse for a devotional.
The dedication of the Praia Cabo Verde Temple is scheduled for three sessions — at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. — on Sunday, 19 June 2022. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will preside over the dedication weekend events.
The Praia Cabo Verde Temple is Dedicated
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Praia Cabo Verde Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, 19 June 2022, in three sessions. The location on Cidade de Lisboa Avenue — in the capital city's old town center called "Plateau" on a raised area overlooking the Atlantic Ocean — is just southwest of where then-Elder Dallin H. Oaks dedicated the 10-island nation off the west coast of Africa in 1994.
Elder Andersen was accompanied for the dedication-weekend events by his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen; Elder Kevin R. Duncan, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Sister Nancy Duncan; Elder Rubén V. Alliaud, a General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Europe North Area presidency, and his wife, Sister Fabiana Alliaud.
In addition to the cornerstone ceremony outside during the morning's first dedicatory session, Sister Andersen, Elder Duncan, and Elder Alliaud joined the Apostle in speaking at different times during one of the three sessions. Other speakers included the temple presidency, matrons and assistant matrons, and three local youth.
Now that the House of the Lord is dedicated and set to be operational, what does that mean to the people of Cape Verde?
Elder Andersen answered, "First of all, to the entire country it will be a beacon of light and truth." "This House is a testament to the immortality of the soul." A temple is a place of endowment, which he described as "a gift given of enlightenment, of testimony, and of understanding." Elder Andersen further commented, "That endowment of knowledge, when acted upon with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, provides strength and conviction. It helps us become who we are to become. And as more and more in this country are endowed in this House of the Lord, there will be a strengthening of the power among our people on every island, in every ward and branch."
Elder Andersen also said that in the temple, one comes to learn, feel and know what holiness really means. "Holiness to the Lord is much more than the words, it is something we are taught in the soul." He continued, "These are things not understood with eyes and words only; they are understood with our hearts and souls. Here we come to feel His holiness, and as we do, we deepen our desire for our own small measure of holiness."
President Leonel Da Cruz, president of the Praia Cape Verde Stake, said that by having a temple in Cape Verde, the members will be able to witness and feel the captivating power pushing them to gain great spiritual maturity. He said, "I can see that everyone understands the great responsibility of keeping their personal worthiness to go inside and have their ordinances done. And the blessings are already visible."
Jaqueline Lopes of the Praia 1st Ward said that being a member in Cabo Verde with a new temple at hand means "to be one of the 'angels on earth' chosen by our Heavenly Father to serve as an instrument in His hands. And the temple helps me recharge for such a mission and do sacred ordinances with my Heavenly Father — one of which is to be sealed to my family for all eternity."
And Eliane Freire Taveres of the Praia 4th Ward added: "Knowing that Cabo Verde now has a temple means that the people here are ready for new challenges because God ordered them to prepare a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith and glory, a house for Him. I live to say that chapels are like a school, and the temple is the university we don't go through before finishing school first."