Praia Cape Verde Temple

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Praia Cape Verde Temple Photo Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Praia Cape Verde Temple is the 173rd dedicated temple in operation. It was among the twelve new temples announced by President Russell M. Nelson on October 7, 2018, during his closing remarks in general conference.

Cape Verde, or the Republic of Cabo Verde—as it is officially called—is an archipelago and island country in the central Atlantic Ocean, 350 miles off the coast of West Africa. It consists of ten volcanic islands. Although the official language of the country is Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole is spoken by most of the population.

The temple is located on the island of Santiago, the largest island in the country. The Praia Cape Verde Temple was the first temple built in the Macaronesia islands and in the country of Cabo Verde. More than 15,000 Latter-day Saints in some 40 congregations reside in Cabo Verde, which despite its proximity to the African continent is part of the Europe North Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before its construction, Church members had fly to the Madrid Spain Temple to attend the temple. [1]

The Praia Cape Verde Temple is the second temple with rooms that can be converted to either become sealing rooms or instruction rooms, depending on the needs of the Church members visiting on a specific day. One room is designed as a sealing room but can be converted into an instruction room. The other is an instruction room that can be converted into a sealing room, when necessary. The first temple with this flexibility is the Yigo Guam Temple.

The single-story building of nearly 8,880 square feet (813.7 square meters) features a spire reaching 80 feet (24.4 meters) that has been described as reflective of the architectural styles in the area. The exterior finish features moleanos limestone from Portugal. The temple has one instruction room, one sealing room, and one baptistry.

A meetinghouse shares the 4.46-acre temple site, surrounded by formal grounds beautified with tropical plants and flowers. A lovely circular planter sits at the entrance doors, and gathering plazas flank either side of the building.

In 1994, then Elder Dallin H. Oaks dedicated the nation not far from where the temple would be built, and Church membership has grown significantly since then. The first stake in Cape Verde was organized in Praia on April 29, 2012, by Elder Erich W. Kopischke, president of the Europe Area. At the time of the Praia Cape Verde Temple dedication, Cape Verde had four stakes, one district, and more than 40 congregations. The Cape Verde Praia Mission was created in 2002.

Groundbreaking, Open House, and Dedication

Elder Paul V. Johnson presided over the groundbreaking and site dedication on May 4, 2019. An open house was held from May 21 through June 11, 2022.

Over 10,000 guests toured the interior of the temple during the open house. Dignitaries included the President of the Republic of Cabo Verde, the Prime-Minister of Cabo Verde, the Mayor of the city of Praia, the President of the National Assembly of Cabo Verde, and a former President of the Republic of Cabo Verde.[2]

From left to right: Sister Fabiana Alliaud; Elder Rubén V. Alliaud, a General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Europe North Area presidency; Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Sister Kathy Andersen; Sister Nancy Duncan; and Elder Kevin R. Duncan, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department. They pause for a photo prior to the Cape Verde Temple dedication on Sunday, 19 June 2022. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Elder Neil L. Andersen dedicated the Praia Cape Verde Temple in three sessions on June 19, 2022. 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.

Temples in Africa

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