“Preparing for the Temple,” Ensign, Mar. 1978, 77
The first temple of the Church to be built in a non-English-speaking land since the Swiss Temple was dedicated in 1955 is rapidly approaching completion, and the Saints in Sao Paulo, Brazil, are already preparing for the dedication. President Demar Staniscia of the Sao Paulo East Stake recently spent five months in Salt Lake City, learning procedures and methods of preparing and submitting forms verifying the temple work that will be done there. And committees are hard at work, planning such diverse things as the music for the dedication program, the missionary efforts that will accompany the dedication, and the radio, television, and printed publicity.
But most of the excitement is centered around the temple itself. For years, only a few Saints have been able to make the trip to Salt Lake to go through the temple to be endowed and sealed—but when the Sao Paulo Temple is dedicated, all the eligible Saints in Brazil will be able to receive those ordinances. And with 50,000 Saints there—and more than 3,000 new members every year—there’ll be a great deal of temple activity. Add to that the thousands of Saints in other South American countries, and the Sao Paulo Temple will provide family-tying ordinances for a significant percentage of Saints who would never have had the chance before.
Building the temple has involved sacrifices. Hundreds of thousands of dollars had to be raised locally, and such amounts of money are not easy to come by. President Staniscia tells of one young couple who had saved $2,000 to come to Salt Lake City to go through the temple, a dream they had shared for many years. But when they were asked to contribute to the temple fund, they gave up that dream—for the sake of another, the dream of every Brazilian Saint being able to go to the temple, instead of just a few.
Many others have made similar sacrifices—and the Brazilian Saints’ allotment in the temple fund was completed months before the building was to be finished—a year before the scheduled dedication.
Current plans indicate that the Sao Paulo Temple will be finished in May 1978, and that it will be opened for public tours after August, as is normal with Latter-day Saint temples. The dedication is planned for sometime in November 1978. And in Brazil, with eleven stakes and four missions, and with three hundred local missionaries serving in both Brazil and Portugal, the Saints are working hard to be ready.