Lima Peru Temple

Lima Peru Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Lima Peru Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Lima Peru Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Announced: April 1, 1981.

Location: Southwest part of Lima, in the Molina district; Prolg. Av. Javier Prado Este 6420, La Molina, Lima 12, Peru; phone: (51) 1 348-0418.

Temple design: Six spires

Site: 4.5 acres.

Exterior finish: Local granite, oriental design.

Temple design: Modern adaptation of earlier six-spire design.

Architects: Modern adaptation of earlier six-spire design.

Construction adviser: Sergio Gomez

Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, four ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms.

Total floor area: 9,600 square feet.

Dimensions: 178 feet by 71 feet. Angel Moroni statue is atop tallest spire at 112 feet.

District: 80 stakes and 32 districts in Peru.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Sept. 11, 1982, by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Dedication: Jan. 10-12, 1986, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 11 sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

God of our fathers, Thou great Elohim, we come unto Thee in the name of Thy Beloved Son Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We look to Thee as we dedicate Thy holy house. Our hearts are filled with gratitude. We love Thee, and we love Thy Son. Wilt Thou hear our prayer, dear Father.

We thank Thee for this glorious day in the history of Thy work. We thank Thee for this temple in the nation of Peru. We thank Thee for all who have contributed to make it possible.

We thank Thee for Thy smiles of favor upon the people of this land, and particularly upon the many who have accepted the restored gospel as it has been taught to them. Reward their faith. Let them feel of Thy love for them. Increase their knowledge of things divine. Prosper them in their labors.

We are particularly mindful this day of the sons and daughters of Lehi. They have known so much of suffering and sorrow in their many generations. They have walked in darkness and in servitude. Now Thou hast touched them by the light of the everlasting gospel. The shackles of darkness are falling from their eyes as they embrace the truths of Thy great work. Surely father Lehi has wept with sorrow over his posterity. Surely he weeps today with gladness, for in this holy house there will be exercised the fullness of the priesthood to the blessing, not only of those of this and future generations, but also to the blessing of those of previous generations.

Let Thy people rejoice at the wondrous gift Thou hast bestowed upon them. May they be faithful unto Thee that they may be found worthy always to enter this holy house and partake of the blessings here to be offered. Through the ordinances to be performed in this house, under authority of the everlasting priesthood, they now have available every gift for time and eternity that Thou hast bestowed in this the dispensation of the fullness of times.

O God, we thank Thee for this glad season when Thy house is complete and when we dedicate it unto Thee and unto Thy Beloved Son. Acting in the authority of the Holy Priesthood, which Thou hast given us, Thy sons, we dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this the Lima Peru Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We dedicate the grounds and the building. We dedicate the ancillary structure, the fittings, the furnishings, and all of the facilities connected with this sacred edifice. We dedicate this temple as Thy holy sanctuary, and pray that Thou wilt accept it as our offering unto Thee. Wilt Thou be pleased to honor it with Thy presence, and to bless it and all who use it.

O God, preserve this Thy holy house. Save it from the storms of nature, from the tremblings of the earth, and from the defilement of men. It is consecrated in holiness to Thee, and so may it stand through generations yet to come.

May it be the means of accomplishing Thine eternal purposes. May it be a house of prayer, a house of learning, a house of faith, a house of God. May all who enter its doors do so with clean hands and with hearts free from iniquity. May their numbers increase through the years and may a glorious work be here performed for the eternal blessing of the generations of men and women who have walked the earth.

Restrain the adversary that he shall not have power over Thy people or over Thy work. Thwart the designs of any who would do injury to Thy kingdom.

Bless this nation and its neighbor nations which have befriended Thy servants. Bless those who govern that they may do so with equity, extending to the people that freedom which is consistent with Thy divine plan.

Prosper Thy faithful saints as they live honestly with Thee in the payment of their tithes and offerings. May they enjoy the bounties of the earth as well as the blessings of heaven. Let Thy Holy Spirit go before those who serve as missionaries. Open the doors and the hearts of the people. May they be responsive to the truth.

Bless Thy work that it shall blossom and grow in this nation and in its neighbor nations of South America. Remember, Father, Thine ancient covenant with the children of Lehi that in the latter days Thou wouldst favor them and bring to them a knowledge of their Redeemer. Make them strong in faith and magnify them in leadership in Thy kingdom.

Prosper Thy work in all the earth that it may move forward with great power to the blessing of all who shall hear the message of salvation. Smile on Thy prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, and grant him health and revelation. Bless all who labor with him in promoting Thy work and building Thy kingdom. Bless all who have taken upon themselves the name of Thy Beloved Son. May they walk as Thy favored children, exemplifying in their lives the beauties of Thine everlasting truth.

We thank Thee, we love Thee, we praise Thy Holy Name.

On this day of dedication, we rededicate ourselves, our lives, and all that we have and are to Thee our God, with our prayer that we may be found worthy in Thy sight to receive Thy blessings and Thy divine approbation.

All of this we do in the name of Thy Beloved Son, the Savior of the world, even our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Amen.

Faithful Peruvians claim temple blessings

Iquitos members reach Lima temple via rivers, ragged Andean roadways

By Jason Swensen

Church News staff writer

This is a temple story about riverboats, ragged Andean roads and peddled stoves. A tale of determined folk who sacrificed, prayed and put their trust in God and a tenacious desire to worship in His holy house.

Lima Peru Temple
Lima Peru Temple | Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A historic year of temple building has offered much of the world unprecedented access to temples. Still, the opportunity to receive endowments, be sealed to families and perform work for the dead remains a dream for some. Last February, more than 140 members from the remote city of Iquitos, Peru, accepted a divine challenge and realized their own dreams.

Iquitos sits on the banks of the Amazon River in northeastern Peru, separated from the rest of the country by some of the world’s largest waterways and the Andes Mountains to the west. Such isolation has kept many members from claiming their temple blessings. A round-trip flight from Iquitos to Lima costs about $200 — an unattainable fortune for people who may not make more than three or four dollars a day.

“These people are absolutely cut off, there are no highways linking them to anywhere,” said J. Marlan Walker, president of the Lima Peru Temple.

Last year, President Walker traveled to Iquitos to speak with the members and local Church leaders. Many desperately wanted to visit the temple. Soon there was talk of traveling to Lima via the rivers.

“We really got to chatting this over in some firesides and decided to go for it,” President Walker said.

A few families had ventured down the Amazon and its adjoining Maranon rivers. But a full-fledged group temple excursion had never been attempted, said Humberto Vilchez, president of the Iquitos Peru Punchana Stake, one of three stakes in Iquitos.

Although the river and subsequent bus trip to Lima was much less expensive than air travel, the Iquiton members still sacrificed much to pay for their journey. Some sold their stoves, while others peddled sewing machines, furniture or other personal items to raise money.

“The people figured those items could be replaced, but they needed to get to the temple,” President Walker said.

More than 140 people traveled to the temple in three groups. Spending several days traveling west on the mighty Amazon and Maranon rivers on a boat was adventuresome — but excursion leaders say bus travel proved most daunting. The stakes had rented buses to pick the groups up at the river’s edge for land travel on to Lima.

“One of the buses was built for 50 passengers and there were 65 people in the group,” President Vilchez said. “So people took turns standing and sitting.”

The single-lane, dirt roads leading to Peru’s Pacific coast stretched high into the Andes. One of the groups experienced bus trouble. All endured a harrowing trek.

“The members were petrified; they spent half their time praying,” President Walker said.

The modern Pan-American Highway near the Peruvian coast was a welcome site for the travelers. Many were seeing the ocean for the first time. Finally, the groups arrived at the temple in Lima. It had taken two of the groups’ six days to travel from Iquitos to Lima. The third group required seven days because of bus trouble.

President Walker remembers watching the weary members stepping off the bus outside the temple.

“The Israelites arriving in the promised land could not have had more euphoric looks on their faces than these people from Iquitos arriving at the temple,” he said.

There is no patron housing at the Lima Peru Temple, so the Iquitos members were lodged in nearby homes. Sleeping pads were placed in tight rows to accommodate each member.

“They were stacked in there like cord wood, but the people did not complain a bit,” President Walker said.

The families spent the next three days at the temple performing their own endowment work, being sealed and performing temple work for the dead.

The faithful members returned safely home to Iquitos rich with the Spirit, strengthened by the temple.

“These people will now bring a strength to their units that they’ve never had before,” President Walker said.

Lehi’s children blessed by Lima temple

By Glen V. Holley, Lima Peru Temple President

“Surely Father Lehi has wept with sorrow over his posterity. Surely he weeps today with joy.”

These words from President Gordon B. Hinckley’s dedicatory prayer of the Lima Peru Temple were repeated to more than 1,000 temple attenders Jan. 10 on the fourth anniversary of the dedication.Regarding those who would attend the temple, President Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, said at the dedication, “May their number increase through the years and may a glorious work be here performed for the eternal blessing of the generations of men and women who have walked the earth.”

That supplication – as well as President Hinckley’s plea that the temple be protected from the destructive forces of nature and the defilement of men – has been answered affirmatively. There are many forces that could hold back the children of Lehi, in whose midst this temple has been erected. There has been a serious economic condition, political controversy and social unrest.

But in spite of these problems, attendance at this temple has been increasing rapidly, and has tripled in the past two years. The number of endowment sessions per day on weekdays has increased in the past two years from three to 11. A 12th session is planned to be added soon.

On Saturdays, holidays and special days the temple is heavily attended, which makes it necessary to place extra chairs in endowment sessions. Since there is no chapel in the temple, often patrons have to wait in sealing rooms until an ordinance room can be emptied. Seldom is there any complaining.

By opening the temple on holidays, eager temple-goers have happily celebrated special occasions with quiet enthusiasm in the spiritual atmosphere of the temple. Up to 35 sessions a day have been conducted on these special days. On such days, the temple bursts at its seams, yet a reverent calm prevails. As patrons emerge from sessions, they take a few moments for silent prayer and meditation in the celestial room.

It was with the same spirit of joyous reverence that two plane-loads of families arrived at the temple during the week of the commemoration of the dedication. They flew in to be sealed from Iquitos, a thousand kilometers to the north and east of Lima. This distance is not great, compared to that traveled by temple visitors who come from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, and some outlying spots in Peru, but the people coming from these lands can travel by less-expensive bus. Iquitos is situated in the heart of Peru’s jungle, and the only way members there can come to the temple is by commercial air, since there are no roads from this area to Lima.

This is very expensive. An airplane ticket for one passenger takes three months of an average wage-earner’s salary. But even if it can be saved, by the end of three months, inflation has eaten most of it up. This becomes even more difficult when there is a family of 10 or 12 to be sealed. There were several in the group who came who had 10 children.

Temple blessing for the 6,000 members who live in Iquitos may appear to be unattainable to some, yet the families who made this trip were able to do it through prayer, preparation, considerable personal sacrifice and some financial help from members of the Church in more prosperous parts of the world.

In times of economic and social troubles, it is a temptation to merely maintain activities at a status quo, but the people who serve in the Lima Peru Temple have not been satisfied with this. Temple workers, temple missionaries and employees often work beyond their scheduled hours, and the operational challenges that occur almost daily often tax their abilities. Commercial power outages, for example, require the use of a backup generator that must be kept running at all times.

During one commercial power outage, which happened on one of the busiest days of the year (All Saints’ Day), the generator stopped. Everything in the temple stopped also. Through quick thinking, positive actions by the temple engineers, and a lot of prayer, it was soon going again.

The engineers of the temple on many occasions have had to use ingenuity to repair, re-build, and even manufacture parts and components for mechanical, electrical, and electronic temple systems that were unavailable and would have caused a temple closure.

The temple has never had to close because of mechanical problems, and only two scheduled sessions were lost in the past year due to lack of attendance. The ordinance workers, temple missionaries, office staff, security force, and maintenance crew are all dedicated to keep the temple functioning at all times.

The people who work and serve in this temple as well as those who come as patrons are faithful, robust, resilient, and resourceful people. They are truly the children of Lehi.

As these descendants of Father Lehi pass through difficult and discouraging times, he probably weeps with sorrow. But as he sees them conquer challenges and emerge stronger and more faithful, he surely weeps for joy.

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