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Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple: 2,400 youth participate in cultural celebration

QUETZALTENANGO, GUATEMALA

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf stood before thousands of Guatemalan youth Saturday and testified that they were built from the same spiritual goodness as the newly built Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple.

"You are a representative of the values of the temple to all the world," said President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency.

The Church leader is here to preside over Sunday's dedication of the Guatemala's second temple. Some 2,400 youth from across the new temple district in western Guatemala gathered Saturday at a local soccer field for a cultural event designed to celebrate the dedication through song and dance. The young people donned a variety of colorful costumes and native clothing and performed several local folk dances that delighted President Uchtdorf and the thousands in attendance.

Young Guatemalans perform at Saturday's Quetzaltenango cultural event.
Young Guatemalans perform at Saturday's Quetzaltenango cultural event. | Photo by Jason Swensen

President Uchtdorf was joined at the cultural event by his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, along with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Sister Kathy Sue Andersen. Other General Authorities who attended were Elder Enrique R. Falabella, Elder James B. Martino, Elder Carlos H. Amado and Elder Larry W. Gibbons of the Seventy and their wives, Sister Blanca Falabella, Sister Jennie Martino, Sister Mayavel Amado and Sister LaDawn Gibbons.

President Uchtdorf saluted the youth, congratulating them on their efforts to enrich the temple dedication experience. "My dear young friends, it is wonderful to be with you," he said. "You look marvelous."

Young Guatemalans perform at Saturday's Quetzaltenango cultural event.
Young Guatemalans perform at Saturday's Quetzaltenango cultural event. | Photo by Jason Swensen

He then spoke of traveling to Quetzaltenango and marveled at the natural beauty of this valley surrounded by mountains, lakes and volcanoes. President Uchtdorf also noted the gospel legacy of the people who call this region home. "You are truly children of our wonderful Father Lehi."

President Uchtdorf passed along a greeting to the young performers from President Thomas S. Monson. He noted the Church's president's fondness for such cultural programs.

"There is such an abundance of goodness and strength and power coming from these events," he said.

Young Guatemalans perform at Saturday's Quetzaltenango cultural event.
Young Guatemalans perform at Saturday's Quetzaltenango cultural event. | Photo by Jason Swensen

President Uchtdorf counseled the youth to treasure the events of the weekend for the remainder of their lives and to listen to the counsel of their leaders. "But most of all, always listen to the Spirit."

He then blessed the young men and women that they would be "a light to the world, a light to Guatemala and a light to Quetzaltenango."

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