Cochabamba Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba Bolivia Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Cochabamba Bolivia Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Announced: Jan. 13, 1995.

Location: northern side of Cochabamba at Av. Melchor Urquidi, 1500, Alto Queru Quero, Cochabamba, Bolivia; phone: (591) 4-42-93161.

Site: 6.51 acres.

Exterior finish: Blend of hand-hewn Comanche granite and plaster.

Temple design: Classic modern.

Architects: BSW and Church A&E Services.

Project manager: Javier Mendieta.

Contractor: CBI.

Rooms: Two ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms, celestial room, baptistry.

Total floor area: 33,000 square feet.

Dimensions: 128 feet by 145 feet.

District: 21 stakes, 9 districts in Bolivia.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Nov. 10, 1996, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions.

Dedication: April 30, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

O God, our Eternal Father, Thou great Judge of the nations, we come unto Thee in solemn prayer.

Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving on this historic day when we meet to dedicate this Thy holy house in Bolivia. How thankful we are for it. It is the fulfillment of our dreams, our hopes, our prayers, our faith.

Father, it is beautiful to look upon. Its purposes are profound in their meaning. Here the higher ordinances of the gospel will be administered. Here the fulness of the priesthood will be exercised.

In this sacred edifice, as well as in other temples, will be carried forward a work unequaled in all the earth in behalf of those of Thy children who have lived and passed on to immortality. How wondrous are Thy works. How great Thy plan, O God. It is all possible because of the gift of Thy Son, who gave His life in an atoning sacrifice in behalf of all who have walked or will yet walk the earth.

And now in the authority of the Holy Priesthood in us vested and in the name of Thine Only Begotten Son, we consecrate and dedicate to Thee and to Him this the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints together with its associated structures.

This temple is Thy house, the House of the Lord. It is our gift, dear Father. We present it with love for Thee and for Thy divine Son.

Please accept of it and cause that Thy Holy Spirit may dwell here and be felt by all who come within these walls.

Father, we dedicate the beautiful grounds on which this complex stands. May they ever speak of the wonders of Thy creation. We dedicate the footings, the foundation, the walls and windows, the roof and the figure of Moroni atop the steeple. We dedicate the Baptistry, the halls and offices, the endowment rooms, the celestial room, and the sealing rooms with their sacred altars. May this temple, together with its auxiliary structures, all be combined into a sacred complex built to assist the on-rolling of Thy work in this great nation of Bolivia.

This nation is named for Simón Bolívar, the great liberator of much of South America, who died the year Thy Restored Church was organized. May the incomparable principle of democracy be preserved forever in this republic. Bless the land and its people. May Thy work grow and prosper in this area of Thy vineyard.

We remember before Thee the sons and daughters of Father Lehi. Wilt Thou keep Thine ancient promises in their behalf. Lift from their shoulders the burdens of poverty and cause the shackles of darkness to fall from their eyes. May they rise to the glories of the past. May they recognize their Redeemer and be faithful and true Saints of the Most High. May they seek learning out of the best books (see D&C 88:118). May the enlightenment of education bring new and wonderful opportunities into their lives.

May all who look upon Thy house do so with respect. May it be regarded as a sanctified and holy structure. May it never be defiled by unclean and mischievous hands.

Bless all who use it that they may be worthy before Thee. We pray for the temple presidency and for the matron and her associates. We pray for all who will serve here in any capacity as officers, workers, or patrons that this house may be sacred to each.

Let Thy Holy Spirit touch the hearts of all who govern in the nations of the earth that they may be hospitable to Thy servants, that Thy work may prosper and Thy sons and daughters everywhere have cause to rejoice in their knowledge of the everlasting gospel.

We pray for the faithful tithe payers throughout the world. It is their consecrations which have made this holy temple possible. Bless them as Thou hast promised, and open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon them.

Now, gracious Father, unto Thee we ascribe the honor and the praise and the glory, now and forevermore, and to Thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer, we lift our voices in love and gratitude as we pray unto Thee this day of dedication in His Holy Name, even that of Jesus Christ, amen.

Temple workers enlist ingenuity

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia — Workers at the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple have enlisted a bit of ingenuity to better fit patrons renting clothing at the temple.

Bolivians use metric measurements, so it was sometimes difficult for patrons to remember their respective pant sizes in inches. Many men were selecting ill-fitting pants. Workers attached a 45-inch measuring tape to a stick. Now a patron simply puts the “O” end of the stick on his shoe and measures to his beltline, according to Sister Marilyn C. Fillmore, a missionary at the temple.

Female patrons use a 60-inch measuring tape to determine dress sizes.

“Repeat patrons have made the effort to lock this new size in their memories so they don’t have to measure themselves each time they rent the temple clothing,” wrote Sister Fillmore.

Faith paved way for temple in Bolivia

By John L. Hart

Church News associate editor

As site preparation moves forward for construction and eventual dedication of the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple, members are likewise preparing and dedicating themselves to be stronger in the gospel.

Among those members are contemporary pioneers who sacrificed and struggled, helping the Church get started some 30 years ago. They now experience a rich and enduring satisfaction as they watch construction work proceed on the temple site overlooking Cochabamba.One of these early members is Elder Rene Cabrera, Area Authority Seventy and a former mission president. He was baptized in 1972, an era when the handful of members had begun the daunting task of building meetinghouses.

“That was in the days when members paid part of the cost of the building, and this through work,” he said.

“My testimony was greatly strengthened during this period to see all the brethren in a beautiful work. It was not just a matter of building and dedicating chapels, but the members were also being built and becoming more dedicated during this time.

“Many people joined the Church because of these experiences.”

He said the growth during this period, including his own baptism, was in part an answer to the prayers and faith of those who started construction with but little resources.

“I have no doubt that the Church in Bolivia will continue to grow and become stronger,” he continued. “I do not remember one moment in the past when the Church decreased. It only increases and goes up, affecting every member.”

Elder Cabrera’s wife, Teresa Perales de Cabrera, joined the same branch as converts. He was a branch president before he was married, but they married before the branch was made into a ward. He was then was called as bishop. The Cabreras later were called to Peru, where he presided over the Peru Lima East Mission.

Sister Cabrera said all her family was baptized in 1973, except her father, who joined six months later.

“This was very curious to us because it was he who invited the missionaries into the home, and it was he who was most enthusiastic about the gospel. He liked the Church very much, but he was not eager to be baptized,” she said.

“A few days before he was to be baptized – it was more of a goal than a baptismal date – missionaries were praying for him at the same time we were praying for him. That night he had a very special dream. He woke up early and asked my mother to go find the missionaries and arrange for his baptism that weekend. When my mother knocked on the missionaries’ door, one answered, “I know who is knocking on the door, because I have felt the answer to my prayers.”

Sister Cabrera said that after her father was baptized, they became a very strong family in the gospel, and her father was eventually called as bishop.

Other early members looking forward to the completion of the temple are Luis Octavio and Carmen Molina of the La Paz Constitucion Stake. They were among eight people baptized Jan. 31, 1965, and now have a large posterity in the Church. The Molinas served a full-time mission in the Lima Peru Temple.

“We were the first members in La Paz, and we met with four American families,” she said. “We did not have a chapel, so we met in the home of Brother Dube (Thomas). Our meetings were very warm and sweet. We had the help of our children and the missionaries and the American families.

“There were some very special moments, filled with the Spirit of the Lord, which we came to know in reality. Thus it is in times of bonding, the times of work, and service.

“We were baptized in a rainstorm, at noon. But the Spirit is neither too hot nor too cold. We felt very happy and blessed by providence. We felt uplifted and in communication with our Heavenly Father.”

The day after the baptismal service, her husband lost his job.

“We asked Heavenly Father in a prayer for work. The next morning a young messenger came searching for my husband, and he found work the second day after our baptism.”

She said many other blessings have come in their lives, including a priesthood healing of her husband when doctors said he was likely to die from a serious illness.

“Now, a temple will soon come for all — all the Bolivians who don’t now have a temple now can have all the things of the Lord. We love our Church. We love our prophet. We love our Lord, Jesus Christ, and all of our beloved brothers and sisters.” Eduardo Mercado Talavera and his wife, Wilmer, of the La Paz Bolivia Sopocachi Stake, were baptized July 18, 1965, half a year after the Molinas. The following January he was called as the first local president of the first and second branches in La Paz, and later as the first local district president. “We had great and very beautiful experiences,” he said. Among these were accompanying President Spencer W. Kimball on a mission tour President Kimball gave one of his children a blessing of health, “the greatest experience of my life,” said Brother Mercado. Since that time, his children have have grown up and are strong in the gospel. As his sons returned from their missions, he marveled at their personal growth. Seeing that, and the many strong priesthood leaders who are now serving, fills him with a profound sense of gratitude.

“We never dreamed that the Church would grow so large in such a short period of time,” he said. “I can’t get out of my mind what I have seen in my lifetime: the change from what we had to the way the Church is now growing. And not just in numbers, but in collective spiritual progress.”

Baptized in April of 1966 were Lizardo and Maria C. de Pedraja, whose son Carlos, baptized May 30, 1965, is currently serving as president of the Argentina Salta Mission. Brother and Sister Pedraja later served full-time in the Texas McAllen Mission.

Sister Pedraja, who was among the first Relief Society presidents in Bolivia, said, “I am very happy to have a beautiful family and missionaries in three generations.

“Now the Church is well-known and respected, but in the early days we suffered a great deal. We worked very hard.

“When our son, Carlos, was called as a missionary by President Spencer W. Kimball, we had many problems with my family because they didn’t understand how we could send our son away from his studies to be a missionary. But, with time, my family understood that the things of God come first, and we were with the truth.

“I still try to be a missionary with whomever I meet. I have to talk with them about the Church and share my joy.”

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