Church History
Chile: Church Chronology

Chile: Church Chronology

1851–52 • Valparaíso and Quillota, Chile

Apostle Parley P. Pratt and his wife Phoebe served a five-month mission to Chile. During their time in Chile, they determined that a Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon was needed.

1886 • Salt Lake City, Utah

The first Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon was published.

December 25, 1925 • Buenos Aires, Argentina

Elder Melvin J. Ballard dedicated South America for the preaching of the gospel.

June 23, 1956 • Santiago, Chile

Encouraged by Billie F. Fotheringham and his family, missionaries Verle M. Allred and Joseph C. Bentley began preaching in Santiago.

July 5, 1956 • Santiago

The Santiago Branch was organized, with Billie F. Fotheringham as president.

November 25, 1956 • Santiago

Ricardo García, Isidro and Graciela Saldaña, Sally Lanzarotti, Mario Lanzarotti, Patricio Lanzarotti, Craig Fotheringham, Jo-Ann Robinson, and Silvia Ortiz became the first members baptized in Chile.

1957–59 • Chile

New branches were established in Concepción, Viña del Mar, Santiago, Valparaíso, and Parque Cousiño.

Chile: Church Members

January 16, 1959 • Santiago

María Cristina Donoso and Ruth Peters of Santiago were the first Chileans called as full-time missionaries.

April 26, 1959 • Santiago

Ricardo García became the first Chilean Latter-day Saint to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

May 21–22, 1960 • Concepción, Chile

Following the Great Chilean Earthquake, the largest ever recorded, Church members and missionaries in Chile provided translation services, medical supplies, food, clothing, construction materials, and other assistance.

May 1960 • Santiago

Carlos A. Cifuentes became the first Chilean called as a branch president when he was called to preside over the Santiago Branch.

October 8, 1961 • Santiago

As growth accelerated, Chile was split off from the Andes Mission into its own mission.

1962 • Chile

Construction missionaries were called to build new meetinghouses. They received training in construction trades and proselytized in the evenings.

1962–68 • Chile

The first Church-built meetinghouses were built and dedicated in Santiago, Viña del Mar, Quilpué, and Concepcíon.

March 1964 • La Cisterna and Viña del Mar

The Asociación Mormona Educacional y Cultural (Mormon Educational and Cultural Association) opened Church-run schools in La Cisterna and Viña del Mar.

July 1970 • Santiago

St. George College, a Catholic school in Santiago, was purchased by the Church. The Colegio Deseret (Deseret School) replaced all Church schools in the area.

1970s and 1980s • Chile

Amidst political unrest, acts of vandalism were committed at Church meetinghouses in Chile. Despite opposition, Church membership continued to increase rapidly. Stakes were created throughout the country.

July 1972 • Chile

In collaboration with the Catholic archdioceses of Chile, the Church began microfilming centuries of parochial records from across the country.

November 19, 1972 • Santiago

The Santiago Chile Stake, the first in Chile, was organized with Carlos A. Cifuentes as president.

1972 • Chile

Seminaries and institutes were established in Chile.

1975–88 • Chile

As interest in the Church continued to increase, missions were created in Concepción, Santiago, Osorno, Viña del Mar, and Antofagasta.

February 17, 1976 • Santiago

Carlos A. Cifuentes was called as a regional representative of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

May 1976 • Salt Lake City

Chilean government officials presented the Church with a medal in appreciation for the Church’s spiritual and social contributions to the Chilean people.

March 1, 1977 • Santiago

President Spencer W. Kimball presided at an area conference with 6,800 members in attendance.

January 29, 1980 • Arica, Chile

The Arica Chile Stake, the first in the northernmost region of Chile, was organized.

1981 • Chile

The last Church-run school in Chile was closed. Construction of the Santiago Chile Temple began on the site of the former Colegio Deseret.

May 17, 1981 • Osorno, Chile

The Osorno Chile Stake, the first in southern Chile, was organized.

July 1, 1981 • Hanga Roa, Chile

The Easter Island Branch was organized.

July 13, 1981 • Santiago

A missionary training center was established in Santiago.

December 7, 1982 • Islas Juan Fernández

A branch of the Church was established on the Juan Fernández Islands.

September 15–17, 1983 • Santiago

The Santiago Chile Temple, the first in Chile, was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then of the First Presidency.

March 31, 1990 • Salt Lake City

Eduardo Ayala became the first Chilean called as a General Authority Seventy.

August 15, 1996 • Chile

The Chile Area was created.

August 23, 1996 • Santiago

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Chile for the preaching of the gospel.

Conversion and Change in Chile

April 25, 1999 • Santiago

Nearly 60,000 Chilean Saints attended a regional conference where President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke. This was one of the largest gatherings of Latter-day Saints ever held.

April 2001 • Salt Lake City

Chilean Saints helped pioneer the Perpetual Education Fund.

2002–4 • Chile

While serving as Chile Area President, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles trained Chilean leaders in their roles and oversaw merging stakes and wards throughout Chile.

September 21, 2004 • Salt Lake City

Luisa Durán de Lagos, First Lady of Chile, met with Church leaders to thank them for the Church’s support of poverty-fighting initiatives in Chile.

January 2005 • Santiago

The Senate of Chile recognized the Church as an “equal, accepted, and mainstream religion” in the country.

February 27, 2010 • Chile

After a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile, the Church delivered over 26 tons of food to the affected areas.

August 1, 2012 • Chile

The First Presidency consolidated the Chile and South America South Areas.

October 28, 2018 • Concepción

President Russell M. Nelson dedicated the Concepción Chile Temple.