Panama temple is ready for dedication

President Monson to preside over solemn, joyful event


It's often said a new temple doubles as the best missionary in town.

Tens of thousands have been introduced to the gospel's message of love, charity and eternal families by visiting a newly built edifice during the open house session that traditionally precedes a temple dedication.

Now a temple stands for the first time in Panama awaiting dedication. And, yes, the Panama City Panama Temple has already proven to be a first-rate missionary.

Almost 33,000 people participated in the open house activities — including some 10,000 visitors during the final two days. The open house ran July 11 through July 26, excluding Sundays.

Many of the open house guests expressed appreciation for being invited to walk through the halls of the stately building which is scheduled to be dedicated Sunday, Aug. 10, by President Thomas S. Monson. Others asked to learn more about what they had witnessed.

"The experience was magnificent for everybody — as much for the visitors as for us, the temple workers," wrote Julio Alvarado about the open house.

The many comments written by open house guests suggest the temple has already become a beloved symbol in Panama. An attorney who accepted an open house invitation called the temple a "wonderful work" of construction.

"I was impressed by the presentation that our tour guide gave us about baptism, eternal families and the other activities (embraced) by the Church. Of all the rooms, my favorite was the Celestial Room where you can breathe in the peace and unique tranquility."

Here are a few other observations offered by visitors representing a wide range of religious and professional backgrounds:

"I enjoyed the temple and would one day like to be sealed to my family for eternity."

"I'm not a member of your Church, but this building is the best thing I've seen in my life."

"I think this is the most special place I have ever visited. I felt the Creator's presence."

"The peace felt inside the temple is incredible. In every room, you feel close to the Lord."

"Being inside the temple is like being in heaven. It's special."

Praise for the open house was not limited to the rank-and-file public. Several Panamanian media agencies covered the event and filed positive stories.

A cultural celebration on Aug. 9 featuring Panamanian members will conclude the pre-dedication activities. The Panama City Panama Temple will then be dedicated in four sessions.

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