Guatemala: Additional Information
    Footnotes
    Theme

    Guatemala: Church Chronology

    1800s • Central America and Salt Lake City, Utah

    Church leaders and members, curious about possible connections to the Book of Mormon in Central America, proposed missionary efforts and made exploratory visits to the region.

    1886 • Salt Lake City

    The Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon was published.

    June 1942 • Retalhuleu, Guatemala

    John F. O’Donnal moved to Guatemala, becoming the first member of the Church living there.

    December 1946 • Salt Lake City

    John F. O’Donnal visited Church headquarters, where he met with President George Albert Smith to personally request that missionaries be sent to Guatemala.

    September 4, 1947 • Guatemala City

    Seth G. Mattice and Earl E. Hansen, the first missionaries in Guatemala, were assigned to preach in Guatemala City.

    September 7, 1947 • Guatemala City, Guatemala

    After a short sacrament service, the first Church meeting in Guatemala, Arwell L. Pierce, president of the Mexican Mission, dedicated Guatemala for the preaching of the gospel.

    August 22, 1948 • Guatemala

    The first district in Guatemala was organized, with John F. O’Donnal as president.

    November 13, 1948 • Guatemala City

    Carmen de O’Donnal, wife of John F. O’Donnal, was baptized. She was the first Guatemalan to join the Church. Three other converts were baptized the same day.

    Guatemala City Relief Society

    December 2, 1948 • Guatemala City

    The first Relief Society in Central America was organized in Guatemala City, with Carmen de O’Donnal as president.

    June 12, 1950 • Guatemala City

    The Guatemala City Branch was organized.

    November 16, 1952 • Guatemala City

    President Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated Central America for the preaching of the gospel.

    February 13, 1954 • Guatemala City

    President David O. McKay, the first Church President to visit Guatemala, presided at a two-day conference with the Saints in Guatemala.

    January 9, 1955 • Guatemala City

    The first meetinghouse in Guatemala was dedicated by Elder LeGrand Richards.

    December 15, 1956 • Patzicía, Guatemala

    Missionaries began learning Mayan languages and preaching to the native people in Patzicía in their own language.

    November 10, 1962 • Guatemala City

    Church membership in Guatemala exceeded 10,000.

    October 3, 1965 • Guatemala City

    General conference was first broadcast to Central America by shortwave radio from WRUL, a Church-owned station that was broadcast from New York City.

    November 1965 • Guatemala

    Udine Falabella led 100 Saints on a temple excursion to the Mesa Arizona Temple.

    November 1966 • Guatemala City

    The Church received official recognition from the Guatemalan government.

    January 9, 1967 • Guatemala City

    Udine Falabella and Alan Baldizon began teaching seminary classes in Guatemala.

    May 21, 1967 • Guatemala City

    The Guatemala City Stake, the first in Guatemala, was organized, with Udine Falabella as president.

    February 1, 1969 • Guatemala

    At the request of Edgar Juan Aparicio, president of the Guatemalan Academy of Genealogical, Heraldic and Historical Studies, the Church microfilmed colonial documents from the general archives and civil registry in Guatemala.

    July 2, 1970 • New York City, New York

    Rafael Eduardo Castillo Valdez, a member of the Church, was appointed Guatemalan ambassador to the United Nations.

    February 4, 1976 • Guatemala

    An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale caused extensive destruction throughout the country.

    1976 • Guatemala

    Missionary discussions were translated into K’ekchi’, a Mayan language.

    July 1, 1977 • Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

    The Guatemala Quetzaltenango Mission was created, with John F. O’Donnal as president.

    1978 • Guatemala

    The Kaqchikel translation of Selections from the Book of Mormon was published.

    June 5–10, 1979 • Guatemala

    Elder Boyd K. Packer dedicated meetinghouses in La Grandeza, Juchanep, Santa Ana, Canquixaja, San Andrés Semetabaj, Tecpán, Patzún, Comalapa, and San Andrés Itzapa.

    1979 • Guatemala

    The K’iche’ translation of Selections from the Book of Mormon was published.

    1982–83 • Guatemala

    The Mam and Yucatec translations of Selections from the Book of Mormon were published.

    1983 • Guatemala

    The K’ekchi translation of the Book of Mormon, the first full translation in any language native to the Americas, was published.

    December 14, 1984 • Guatemala City

    Guatemala City Guatemala Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency. John F. O’Donnal was called as temple president.

    April 23, 1986 • Guatemala City

    The Missionary Training Center in Guatemala City was dedicated.

    April 1, 1989 • Guatemala

    Carlos H. Amado was called as a General Authority Seventy, making him the first General Authority from Guatemala.

    October 19, 1991 • Quetzaltenango

    Guatemala was rededicated by Elder Marvin J. Ashton for the preaching of the gospel.

    February 1994 • Guatemala

    A new Spanish translation of the triple combination was released.

    September 20, 2003 • Guatemala City

    The Church’s Humanitarian Services partnered with the Wheelchair Foundation to deliver 250 wheelchairs for disabled people in Guatemala City. Evelyn de Portillo, the First Lady of Guatemala, participated in the activities.

    November 27–28, 2004 • Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala

    More than 4,000 young women participated in a two-day “Women of Virtue” camp near Guatemala City.

    December 16, 2006 • Guatemala

    The Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple, the second temple in Guatemala, was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

    Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple

    December 11, 2011 • Quetzaltenango

    The Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple was dedicated by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency.

    May 29, 2014 • Guatemala City

    The expanded Missionary Training Center in Guatemala City was dedicated by Elder Carlos H. Amado.