Buenos Aires Temple Fulfills Desire of Saints

“Buenos Aires Temple Fulfills Desire of Saints,” Ensign, Mar. 1986, 84–85

Buenos Aires Temple Fulfills Desire of Saints

President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple January 17—the thirty-ninth temple completed in modern times, and the fourth in South America.

He read the dedicatory prayer, written under the direction of President Ezra Taft Benson, at the first of eleven dedicatory sessions spread over that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

“We are grateful for this long-awaited time, when the house has been completed. The sacrifice of the Saints through years of patient waiting and constant striving has helped bring to fulfillment this glorious day of dedication,” President Monson said in the prayer.

He referred to the historic visit of Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Council of the Twelve to Buenos Aires in 1925. On Christmas day that year, Elder Ballard “dedicated all of South America for the preaching of the gospel. What a fulfillment to an inspired prayer is evident today,” President Monson said, noting Church members’ growth in numbers and faith.

“Bless with health and wisdom thy servant, President Ezra Taft Benson, whom thou hast called to lead thy Church in this day. Reveal to him thy mind and will concerning the growth and advancement of the work among the children of men,” President Monson petitioned, asking for blessings also upon other Church leaders.

“Thy sons and daughters have prayed fervently for the completion of this, thy Holy House. Our tears of gratitude flow freely as we contemplate the precious washings and anointings, the holy endowments and sacred sealings which await the worthy,” he said, expressing gratitude also for the opportunity to bring the same blessings to “loved ones who have left this mortal life.”

“As we dedicate this temple, we dedicate our very lives. We desire to lay aside anything petty or sordid and reach to thee in daily prayer and supplication, that our thoughts may be pure, our hearts and hands clean, and our lives in conformity with thy teachings,” President Monson said.

“We express to thee our abiding love. We desire to honor thee and thy Son each day of our lives. May our posterity follow the example of thy Son and increase ‘in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’” (Luke 2:52.)

In presiding at the dedication, President Monson led a party of General Authorities that included Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve; Elder J. Thomas Fyans, Elder Spencer Osborn, and Elder Waldo P. Call of the First Quorum of the Seventy, the presidency of the South America South Area; Elder Robert L. Simpson of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a managing director in the Temple Department; and Elder Angel Abrea of the First Quorum of the Seventy, president of the new temple and a native of Argentina.

It was the second temple dedication of 1986 in South America. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Lima Peru Temple January 10. Temples are also in operation in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile.

Approximately nine hundred Saints attended the first dedicatory session in Buenos Aires on January 17. A total of 9,630 attended the eleven dedicatory sessions. Many traveled from other areas of the country and from Uruguay; the Buenos Aires temple will serve some 106,000 members in the two countries.

During the eight days of the open house, beginning 17 December 1985, more than 29,000 visitors passed through the temple, located near Buenos Aires’ international airport. Some waited in lines for up to two and one-half hours to get in.

Members said it was an answer to their prayers, and made them want to live better. One commented gratefully, “It is beautiful, and I hope to be married in it.” Said another: “I have become a bit removed from the Church, and this visit makes me think about many things I could come to lose.”

Many who were considering for the first time the meaning of a temple found it created unexpected emotions, as their comments in the guest book indicated. “Very pretty, and I need to know more. It interests me,” one visitor wrote. One commented that the beauty and delicacy of the interior offered a small glimpse of the world to come. Another, perhaps an investigator, penned in the book: “Lord, guide me and help me to be baptized. Today I did not deserve this reward of knowing thy temple.”

A number of newspapers and radio stations called attention to the open house and dedication. One publication, a monthly distributed in Evita, a nearby community of 70,000, noted in a front-page headline: “A Temple Unique in the World.”

While the purposes and the ordinances of the temple in Buenos Aires are the same as those of other temples around the globe, Saints of Argentina and Uruguay who will use it know that for them, this temple does offer opportunities unique in all the world.

Correspondent: Nestor Coronel, area director of public communications for Argentina.

Photography by John Hart