“Work Begins on Brazil Temple,” Ensign, May 1976, 137
SAO PAULO, Brazil—Work is already underway here on the first Latter-day Saint temple to be constructed in South America.
Announced by President Spencer W. Kimball at the Sao Paulo area conference in 1975, the temple is scheduled for completion in 1978.
Official groundbreaking on the site took place on March 20. More than 2,000 Saints attended the ceremony presided over by Elder James E. Faust, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve and area supervisor for eastern South America.
Many of the Saints arrived long before the ceremony was scheduled and some had traveled hundreds of miles to witness the historic event.
Under a clear blue sky, they heard Elder Faust ask, “With the building of this great temple what is our challenge? The time has arrived for a great new era for the work of God in South America.”
He said, “The great challenge for all of us who are privileged to stand on this sacred spot … is to strengthen our faith and to begin anew with a great desire to be faithful Saints of God in these lands.”
Elder Faust went on to say, “Over the front door of this temple will be written ‘The House of the Lord’ and ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ It will be the first time in this dispensation that these words will have been written in any language on a sacred building in South America.”
Other priesthood leaders participating in the event were Antonio Carlos de Camargo, Regional Representative of the Twelve for Sao Paulo; Asael T. Sorensen, Regional Representative of the Twelve for Uruguay; Osiris Grobel Cabral, Regional Representative of the Twelve for Southern Brazil; and President Louis P. Hefer, president of the Johannesburg South Africa Stake.
Brother Camargo offered the invocation and the benediction was offered by Brother Cabral, a descendant of Pedro Alvares Cabral, who discovered Brazil in 1500.
Following the benediction, Elder Faust turned the first shovelful of earth on the spot where the celestial room of the temple will be. He was followed by Brother Sorensen, Brother Camargo, Brother Cabral, local priesthood leaders, and then the members. Special shovels had been prepared for the event with the inscription, “Groundbreaking, Sao Paulo Temple, March 20, 1976.”
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The First Presidency last year announced the establishment of a Sao Paulo Brazil Temple fund to which persons outside of South America may contribute. The fund is still open and contributions may be sent to the Church’s Financial Department, Room 1521, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.