Excitement for temple in Ecuador grows

As work on the long-awaited Guayaquil Temple begins, an even larger project has started among the members of the Church here as they accelerate their preparation for the temple.

The new temple, shown in an architect's rendering on the cover, depicts a sense of solidarity and permanency on its site the El Principado area in Guayaquil.The temple was announced in 1982 but has been delayed by a number of problems, including governmental approvals. However, progress on the temple has continued since the groundbreaking was held Aug. 10, 1996.

A drought in the country, which created excellent dry conditions for construction, facilitated excavation for the foundation, which began about the first of December. The excavation required drilling holes into rock and using low-impact blasting powder to shatter the stone. After the blasts, heavy equipment scooped up the broken rock.

The footings and concrete work began about the end of January.

As the temple construction proceeds, efforts among the members are increasing, said Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy and president of the South America North Area.

"The temple committee for the Guayaquil temple is one of the most enthusiastic I have ever seen," he said. "They have organized a speakers bureau of eight to 10 of the prominent Church leaders in Guayaquil. These leaders are being trained to go out and meet the public in preparation for the temple open house."

He said the committee will seek invitations to speak about the temple to various groups and organizations.

"In the Church, members of the temple committee are meeting with priesthood leaders and auxiliary leaders in all the 21 stakes in Ecuador. The committee will teach the leaders about the temple, and about the open house and dedication.

"We have a countdown calendar that we are really focusing on," said Elder Jensen. "We are trying to kindle an excitement in the minds of the Saints everywhere with a concerted, united effort. We have set a goal to have 1 million people go through the temple at the open house."

He said wards and branches are holding temple preparation classes and encouraging members to obtain a temple recommend and keep it current.

The architect's rendering of the temple will soon be reproduced and distributed to every member-family in the nation, he said.

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