Restoration and Church History
Portugal: Chronology

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Portugal: Chronology

1950s • Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal

The earliest known Latter-day Saints in Portugal were United States servicemen assigned to Lajes Field on the Azores Islands. By 1953 a servicemen’s group was functioning there as part of the French Mission.

October 1, 1967 • Lajes Field

The Lajes Branch, the first branch in Portugal, was organized.

October 9, 1967 • Lajes Field

Maria Morgado became the first known Portuguese convert to be baptized in Portugal.

April 25, 1974 • Lisbon, Portugal

The Carnation Revolution took place, leading to an increase in religious freedom in Portugal.

1974 • Lisbon

David M. Kennedy, special representative of the First Presidency, secured official recognition for the Church.

November 19, 1974 • Lisbon

William Grant Bangerter, the first president of the Portugal Lisbon Mission, arrived in the country. He was soon followed by the first four missionaries, who were transferred from Brazil.

1975 • Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

The Church began collaborating with local archivists to microfilm marriage and death records.

January 19, 1975 • Lisbon

The Lisbon Branch was organized.

March 4, 1975 • Estoril, Portugal

Maria Lourdes Dias Prista and her daughter, Maria José Dias Prista became the first converts to be baptized in continental Portugal.

Thomas S. Monson

April 22, 1975 • Cascais, Portugal

Near the Sintra Mountains, Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Portugal for the preaching of the gospel.

October 1975 • Porto, Portugal

The first baptism in Porto took place.

February 15, 1976 • Lisbon

Julio do Rosario Tavares Branco and Fernando dos Reis Amaral became the first men in Portugal to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

March 1976 • Coimbra, Portugal

The first baptisms in Coimbra took place.

May 8, 1976 • Provo, Utah

Fernando and Inês dos Reis Amaral became the first couple from Portugal to be sealed in the temple.

August 1976 • Paris, France

About 60 Saints from Lisbon chartered a bus and traveled to an area conference in Paris to see Church President Spencer W. Kimball.

July 3, 1977 • Lisbon

Local members were called to lead efforts across the mission. Inês dos Reis Amaral was called as mission Relief Society leader, Izilda Alves da Silva Teixeira was called as the first mission Primary leader, and Julio do Rosario Tavares Branco was called as the mission Melchizedek Priesthood leader.

June 10, 1978 • Porto

Following the June 9th revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy men, Alexandre R. Benidio became the first Portuguese Saint of black African descent to receive the priesthood.

July 1978 • Portugal

Church membership in Portugal surpassed 1,000.

March 1980 • Angra do Heroísmo, Azores

The Angra Branch, the first Portuguese branch in the Azores, was organized.

August 1980 • Zollikofen, Bern, Switzerland

Members from the Porto and Coimbra Branches made the first temple excursion from Portugal to the Bern Switzerland Temple.

September 12–13, 1980 • Porto

A youth conference was held for young Church members from throughout Portugal with nearly 300 youth in attendance.

June 10, 1981 • Lisbon

The Lisbon Stake was organized with José Manuel da Costa Santos as president.

January 9, 1982 • Lisbon

Fernando dos Reis Amaral became the first ordained patriarch in the Lisbon Stake.

July 24, 1983 • Madeira

The first baptisms in Madeira took place, and the Relief Society was organized there with Amelia de Nobrega Vieira as president.

1984 • Lisbon

Domitila and Joaquim Jose de Silva Aires became the first senior couple from Portugal to serve a mission.

July 1990 • Lisbon

Vitor Manuel Pereira Martins became the first native Portuguese mission president. He presided over the Portugal Lisbon North Mission with his wife Ana Bela da Gloria Jorge Cabido.

October 1994 • Lisbon

General conference was broadcast live in Portugal after a satellite dish was installed for the Lisbon Portugal Stake.

March 20, 1999 • Madrid, Spain

The Madrid Spain Temple was dedicated. Members in Portugal became part of the Madrid Temple district.

2000 • Portugal

With over 35,000 members living in five stakes, Portugal had the second largest membership of Latter-day Saints among European countries.

April 5, 2008 • Salt Lake City, Utah

José Augusto Teixeira da Silva became the first Portuguese member to be sustained as a General Authority Seventy.

October 2, 2010 • Salt Lake City

Church President Thomas S. Monson announced a temple to be built in Lisbon, Portugal.

December 17, 2011 • Portugal

About 600 Church members and friends participated in a blood drive in response to an invitation by the First Presidency to have a day of service. With participation from almost all of the congregations in Portugal, this was the Church’s largest service activity ever held in the country.

2012 • Portugal

Church membership surpassed 40,000.

September 2015 • Salt Lake City

A Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible in Portuguese became available online.

December 5, 2015 • Lisbon

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Lisbon Portugal Temple.

July 2017 • Castanheira de Pera, Portugal

Mormon Helping Hands gathered and delivered needed supplies to victims of deadly forest fires in Portugal.

Lisbon Portugal Temple

September 15, 2019 • Lisbon

The Lisbon Portugal Temple was dedicated.