Guayaquil Ecuador Temple

Guayaquil Ecuador Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Guayaquil Ecuador Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Guayaquil Ecuador Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Guayaquil Ecuador Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Announced: March 31, 1982.

Location: El Principado de Las lomas de Urdesa North in Guayaquil; Calle 6ta y Av Rodrigo Chavez Gonzalez, Principado de Las Lomas, Urdessa Norte, Guayaquil, Ecuador; phone: (593) 42-889-388.

Site: 6.25 acres.

Exterior finish: Granite (Asa Branca).

Temple design: Classic modern.

Architects: Rafael Velez Calisto, Arcitects & Consultants and Church A&E Services.

Project manager: Roger Sears.

Contractor: Inmomariuxi.

Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, four ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms.

Total floor area: 70,884 square feet.

Dimensions: 154 feet by 76 feet.

District: 50 stakes and districts in Ecuador.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Aug. 10

Dedication: Aug. 1, 1999, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 8 sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

O God our Eternal Father, Thou great Elohim, we come unto Thee in the name of Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to dedicate Thy holy house. Acting in the authority of Thine eternal priesthood, and in the name of Jesus Christ, we dedicate this the Guayaquil Ecuador Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unto Thee and unto Thy divine Son. Wilt Thou accept of it as the offering of Thy sons and daughters who love Thee and who seek to accomplish Thy purposes. Our hearts reach to Thee in gratitude for Thy wonderful blessings upon us. With the completion of this house Thou hast given to the Saints of Ecuador every blessing of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

We thank Thee for the Prophet Joseph unto whom Thou hast revealed Thy will, and upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thine ordinances and Thine authority. We thank Thee for the faith of our forebears who faced trials beyond our comprehension in establishing Thy work in strength.

We are grateful for the principles of the everlasting gospel, for the universality of the resurrection made possible through the atoning sacrifice of Thy Beloved Son, and for the opportunity to move forward on the road that leads to immortality and eternal life through obedience to His commandments.

We thank Thee for the inspiration given Thy servant in selecting this property on which to construct this sacred building. Thy guiding hand was evident in the circumstances when this site was found and determined upon. We thank Thee for all who have worked so diligently to obtain the permits authorizing the construction of this house, and for all who have labored to bring about its completion.

Now we dedicate unto Thee and Thy Son this beautiful temple with all of its facilities and furnishings. We dedicate the grounds with the vegetation growing thereon which add beauty to this structure. We dedicate the temple from the foundation to the figure of Moroni which crowns its steeple. We dedicate the baptistry, the initiatory ordinance facilities, the endowment rooms, the celestial room, the sealing rooms with their altars, and every other part of this sacred house.

Wilt Thou watch over it and by Thy divine power preserve it from the elements of nature and any evil hand that might be inclined to deface it or defile it in any way. We ask that no unclean thing shall enter the portals of this Thy holy house. May it be sanctified to all who come, and may there be no inclination on the part of evil men or women to violate the sanctity of this temple.

We likewise dedicate the ancillary structure with all of its facilities and furnishings. Bless those who will preside here, the temple president and the matron, together with their counselors and assistants, and all those who serve here in administering the ordinances of Thy house. We pray that Thy Saints may gather here to carry forward the work of receiving their own ordinances, and offering these ordinances to those beyond the veil of death that Thine eternal purposes may be accomplished.

We pray for Thy blessings to rest upon this nation of Ecuador. Touch the hearts of those who govern, that the people may be blessed with freedom and opportunity. May peace reign in the land. May crime and evil lessen, and may goodness increase.

Prosper Thy work in this land. May the gospel message touch the hearts of people throughout the nation. May they come into the waters of baptism, and remain faithful and true unto Thee. Bless Thy servants, the missionaries, and preserve them from harm and evil.

Bless Thy faithful Saints throughout the world whose consecrated offerings have made possible this holy house. Open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon them.

Now, with grateful hearts, we dedicate and consecrate this hallowed structure and its surroundings to the accomplishment of Thy will and the fulfillment of Thine eternal work. We pray that its influence may be felt throughout the land as a light upon a hill. We ask it all in the name of Him whose redemption has blessed the human family and opened the way for Thy sons and daughters to go forward in eternity, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

100,000 expected at open house of Guayaquil Ecuador Temple

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador — More than 100,000 visitors are expected to tour the newly opened Guayaquil Ecuador Temple during its nearly monthlong open house that ends July 17.

From June 23 to July 5, a total of 37,858 people had visited the new edifice, including business and cultural leaders and a number of radio, television and newspaper reporters who publicized the event in the media throughout Ecuador. Their reporting has been very positive, said Church leaders.

The first temple in this land will be dedicated Aug. 1-2 in eight sessions. It will be the Church’s 58th operating temple. Ecuador has a population of some 12 million people with about 157,000 members in 32 stakes and 233 wards.

Elder Francisco J. Viñas of the Seventy and president of the South America North Area welcomed VIP and media visitors to the temple June 23-25. He was joined in hosting the visitors by Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, second counselor in the area presidency and an Area Authority Seventy, and Elders Cesar Davila, Horacio Araya and Francisco Jimenez, all Area Authority Seventies. Elder Davila is the temple recorder.

Elder Viñas said he personally escorted the mayor and other officials of the city to the temple, and they were deeply impressed.

The first to visit the temple were the contractors and their families, neighbors living near the temple, and the media. Among the media were representatives of seven television channels, a radio station, seven newspapers and two magazines, a total of 62 including photographers.

The press toured the temple in an atmosphere of complete cordiality, said those who hosted them. Among the media hosts were Blackie de Araya, area director of public affairs; Guillermo Granja, vice chairman of the temple committee; and Roger Sears, temple construction supervisor.

“The press participated with important and respectful questions regarding our beliefs, the temple ordinances and the programs of the Church for the family,” said Elder Viñas.

Following the media reception on June 24, the leaders hosted 470 VIP visitors whose interest and many questions prolonged the day until nearly 11 p.m. Some of those invited were prominent in business and cultural affairs of Guayaquil.

On the following day, June 25, an additional 500 VIP visitors toured the temple. “It was an arduous day, and when night came, there were so many visitors still waiting that it was necessary to request the assistance of stake presidents as well as two visitors from Church headquarters as guides,” said Elder Davila. “Just as the last of the visitors were leaving, the volunteers at the temple were pleased with the arrival of Pres. J. Lynn Shawcroft and his wife, Dorothea, the new president and matron of the temple.”

After VIP tours, the temple doors were open to the general public, who came at an average of about 1,800 per day except on Saturdays when the attendance jumped to 5,400 on June 26 and to 15,200 on July 3, respectively.

Among those who participated as volunteers were members of the Guayaquil Ecuador Pascuales Stake, one of the most distant and least-affluent areas in the city.

“A group of 50 of these members arrived one night at the temple about 11 p.m. to assist the maintenance supervisor and his team of employees in cleaning the House of the Lord,” said Elder Davila. “This group participated with great enthusiasm and love in their project, returning to their homes well after midnight.”

Amid tears, Ecuador temple ground broken

Tears came easily and hearts were full of gratitude at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Guayaquil Ecuador Temple Aug. 10, presided over by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Although attendance at the site was limited to stake presidents and their wives and a few other invited guests, some 10,446 people were gathered in the nearby Guayaquil Coliseum where they heard the proceedings via local radio. Some of the stake presidents came from distant cities on buses, riding eight to 12 hours.Accompanying Elder Scott were Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy, president of the South America North Area; and Elder Julio E. Davila of the Seventy, first counselor in the area presidency. Elder Jensen conducted the ceremony and Elder Davila gave an address. The opening prayer was given by Walter F. Gonzalez, vice chairman of the Guayaquil temple committee and an Area Authority, and the closing prayer was given by Guillermo Granja, former regional representative and open house coordinator.

Coincidentally, the groundbreaking was held on Ecuador’s independence day and was one of many gatherings throughout this equatorial country of South America. Because of this, local dignitaries were precluded by swearing-in ceremonies from attending the temple groundbreaking ceremony.

Despite their absence, Elder Scott expressed appreciation to the leaders, including Ecuador President Abdala Bucaram and Guayaquil Mayor Ing Leon Febres Cordero, for their help as the Church purchased the temple site, obtained the necessary permits, and received permission to use the coliseum for the ceremony.

“Tears came easily to all involved in the groundbreaking ceremony,” said Elder Jensen. “We have always said, `Someday a temple will be built here, someday, someday.’ The groundbreaking ceremony made something that was vague and nebulous now tangible.”

He said that many learned for the first time of the temple site, on an elevation on the outskirts of Guayaquil. The Guayaquil temple was announced 14 years ago on March 31, 1982, by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor to President Spencer W. Kimball.

Elder Scott explained that temples are different than the 350 meetinghouses the Church builds each year. “We have thousands and thousands of these meetinghouses where we worship the Lord. In gatherings in meetinghouses, the principles of the gospel are taught and the ordinances of baptism, confirmation and the sacrament are performed.

“But this building has another purpose. There are only 49 temples in the world, and they are literally Houses of the Lord, places where the Only Begotten Son of the Father can come and dwell, and where are performed sacred ordinances, done only in the temple by the authorization of Heavenly Father. In temples, he continued, “couples are united for eternity, not just for their earthly lives.”

Elder Scott said that within a temple, worthy members kneel before the altars and express their deepest desires to be with Heavenly Father.

“Our sons and daughters are sealed to us for eternity. And not only can we do this magnificent work of incredible significance for those who live, but also through vicarious ordinances we can perform those same ordinances for our ancestors who were not able to enjoy the blessings of the gospel during their sojourn on earth.”

He described temples as “tangible evidence of our certainty that there is a life after this one. The plan of God is that each one of us had the opportunity to dwell with Him in the pre-mortal life. There we progressed until He permitted us to come to this earth and prove ourselves, to see if we are true and faithful in keeping His commandments, with the hope that after this life . . . we will live in family units. The temple is a symbol of the eternal life that we may have.”

Elder Scott noted that the new Guayaquil temple will have an open house between construction and dedication when “all the citizens of Ecuador” may enter the temple.

He invited all the members to “prepare spiritually to enter the temple. Use the time of construction of the temple to identify your ancestors. It is not difficult to obtain the instructions from your wards and branches on how to prepare the names of our ancestors so when the temple is dedicated here in Guayaquil we may enter therein and do their work.”

“In a special way, I wish to give my testimony of the validity of the ordinances done in the temple,” said Elder Scott.

“I have experienced a great consolation in my own life to know that our two children who died are sealed to us. Now, my wife has gone on ahead of me, across the veil, and I have great consolation in the certainty that she lives and that I will have the privilege of dwelling with her in the presence of God if I am true and faithful.”

In his address, Elder Davila, a Colombian, paid tribute to the pioneers of the restored gospel, including Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

He also paid tribute to the pioneers of the Church in Ecuador who in the past 30 years “have sacrificed, dedicated themselves and continued in faith – the presidents of stakes and branches, the presidents of missions. These have worked enthusiastically on many occasions to make this moment a reality.”

Elder Davila noted that there are many in the world who, in an effort to be closer to the Savior, would walk the paths of the Holy Land.

“There are many advertisements to visit the Holy Land, and walk where Jesus walked,” he said. “This is a marvelous opportunity, but for me it seems that it would be a greater blessing to enter the temple and walk where Jesus walks.”

He encouraged members to symbolically “have a temple in our hearts, to make of our home a temple, and have within our hearts a path to the temple. We should be able to walk in our homes in a way that will sanctify us, loving our spouse, loving our children, serving the Lord, and sanctifying our homes through prayer.

“I hope sincerely we will begin to walk where Jesus walks, and I testify that He was in these lands. . . . Our ancestors lived near this temple. I seem to feel the spirit of Nephi, of Moroni and the descendants of Lehi, who are also the descendants of Jacob and descendants of Abraham, children of our Heavenly Father.

“In a 1977 visit to the countries of the South America North Area, President Spencer W. Kimball told of his vision that he could see thousands and thousands of our descendants entering the temple . . . to do the work for ourselves and our ancestors.”

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