Temple Update
March 1999

“Temple Update,” Ensign, Mar. 1999, 75–76

Temple Update

Open Houses and Dedications Announced

The First Presidency has announced open house and dedication dates for the Madrid Spain Temple and Mexico’s Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Temple, which will be the Church’s 55th and 56th temples operating worldwide.

The Madrid Spain Temple will open its doors to the public from 20 February to 13 March 1999, and the dedication will occur in 10 sessions on 19–21 March. The 46,800-square-foot Madrid temple will serve more than 53,000 members living in Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, and parts of France. The temple was announced on 4 April 1993, and ground was broken on 11 June 1996.

The Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Temple will open to the public for tours on 26–27 February, and four dedicatory sessions will be conducted on 6–7 March. The small temple will be Mexico’s second operating temple and will serve about 5,000 members living in the Colonia Juárez and Colonia Dublán stakes. The Colonia Juárez temple was announced in October 1997, and ground was broken on 7 March 1998.

Columbia South Carolina Temple Groundbreaking

“As the contractors and building people prepare and begin construction, let us also begin a program of personal construction that we will be as exemplary as this beautiful temple when it is completed,” said Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy, First Counselor in the North America Southeast Area, at groundbreaking ceremonies held 5 December 1998 for the Columbia South Carolina Temple. “If changes are required in your life to gain entrance into the temple, let us begin now.”

More than 3,500 people attended the event, which took place on a southeastern Columbia site purchased more than 20 years ago for a potential meetinghouse. Area Authority Seventies Elders Brent H. Koyle and Alvie R. Evans participated in the service, and community dignitaries in attendance included state senator Warren Giese, Christian Action Council executive minister L. Wayne Bryan, and Richland County councilman-elect Jimmy Bales.

Two local members spoke during the groundbreaking service. Evan D. Ginn of the Asheville North Carolina Stake described how his grandparents met missionaries in 1899 and joined the Church, and reported that their descendants have since served 65 full-time missions and entered into 85 temple marriages. Gwen Slay Llewllyn of the Columbia South Carolina Stake said, “I was 13 when the stake was organized. My relatives and I would have to clean tobacco out of rented buildings before services could be held.”

After Church leaders and other dignitaries turned shovels of dirt to symbolically begin construction of the temple, Elder Watts invited several children and youths to come forward and “represent the young people whose lives will be benefited now and in the future as a result of the temple.”

The Columbia temple will serve members living in two Georgia stakes, four North Carolina stakes, four South Carolina stakes, and one Tennessee stake.

Two Temple Groundbreakings in Mexico

Elder Eran A. Call, President of the Mexico North Area, presided over two recent temple groundbreakings in northern Mexico. About 930 people attended the groundbreaking for the Tampico Tamaulipas Temple on 28 November, and about 1,200 people attended the groundbreaking for the Hermosillo Sonora Temple on 5 December.

“Having a temple near will open doors to growth, and as we attend we will receive blessings that we can’t even begin to comprehend or understand at this time,” said Elder Call in Tampico. “Men and women will grow in their strength and power so that Satan will have less power over them.”

In Hermosillo, Elder Call said: “A temple is an island of importance in our eternal journey to return to the presence of our Father in Heaven and live with him again after this life. The work done in the temple is eternal. It is a work of love.”

Hermosillo is a city of about 232,000 people located near the Gulf of California. When completed, the Hermosillo temple will serve about 9,000 members living in two stakes and four districts. Tampico has about 212,000 people and is located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. When completed, the Tampico temple will serve about 18,000 members living in four stakes and three districts.

Mexico currently has eight temples operating, under construction, or in planning stages. The Mexico City Temple was dedicated in 1983, and the Colonia Juárez temple will soon be dedicated. Ground has not yet been broken for temples planned in Mérida, Monterrey, Ciudad Juárez, and Villahermosa.

More than 3,500 people attended the Columbia South Carolina Temple groundbreaking. (Photo by Rick Gay.)

Church leaders break ground for Mexico’s Hermosillo Sonora Temple. (Photo courtesy of Elder Eran A. Call.)