An Inside Look at the First Visitors’ Center in South America

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News editor

  • 11 November 2019

The São Paulo Brazil Temple and Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Article Highlights

  • The new visitors’ center reflects the love of the Brazilian people for one another and for the Savior.
  • The visitors’ center was dedicated on January 21 and is the first in South America.

“We are in the shadow of the temple. They see the beauty and feel something special here.” —Sister Sonia Milani Casado, missionary serving in Brazil 

SÃO PAULO, Brazil

Guided on a tour by sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visitors walk through the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center.

Sister Kendra Earl and Brittni Burleigh speak about the Church and its history in this nation with 1.4 million members, 273 stakes, and 7 temples.

Pointing to photographs of pioneer members in Brazil, Sister Earl details the growth of the Church in South America.

Many visitors have a natural connection to the men and women who built the Church in the country, she said. They show “how God prepares individuals to do His work.”

The visitors’ center—which includes interactive exhibits and a Christus statue — was dedicated on January 21. It is one of 12 visitors’ centers worldwide and the first in South America.

Sister Emma Loftus and Sister Brooke Williams hold their copies of the Book of Mormon in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Shortly after the visitors’ center opened, the city opened a new transit station nearby. Crowds that came to see the temple found an additional uplifting experience in the visitors’ center.

People of many faiths have come to the center. “People here love God, and they love Christ,” Sister Earl said.

The visitors’ center director, Elder Antonio Casado, said the center reflects the love of the Brazilian people for one another and for the Savior.

It also reflects the efforts of those called to represent the Savior. The visitors’ center also includes an online teaching center, where the 42 sister missionaries and 3 senior couples can teach online lessons. “This is a great strength to the missions around Brazil,” Elder Casado said. “The sister missionaries here teach two lessons and send the contact to local missionaries.”

Sister Sonia Milani Casado said people are drawn to “the spiritual strength they find” on the temple grounds and in the visitors’ center. “We are in the shadow of the temple,” she said. “They see the beauty and feel something special here.”

The São Paulo Brazil Temple and Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Visitors look through the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

The São Paulo Brazil Temple and Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Displays are looked over in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Photos are taken in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred

Displays are looked over in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Displays are looked over in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Displays are looked over in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Displays are looked over in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Displays are looked over in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Sister Kendra Earl, right, and Sister Brittni Burleigh speak to investigators at the online teaching center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Elder and Sister Casado, directors of the new visitors’ center, talk about the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Displays are looked over in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

Sister Kethyllen Pimentel and Sister Whitney Hogge pose in the São Paulo Brazil Temple Visitors’ Center in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 31, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.