Four and a half years after President Thomas S. Monson announced during general conference that a temple would be built in Durban, South Africa, hundreds of local members and civic and Church leaders gathered to the site of the future temple for a groundbreaking ceremony.
Leading the event on April 9 was the Church’s Africa Southeast Area president, Elder Carl B. Cook, General Authority Seventy. He was joined by his wife, Sister Lynette Cook, and his counselors, Elder Stanley G. Ellis and Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, both General Authority Seventies. Sister Kathryn K. Ellis and Sister Claudia K. Hamilton accompanied their husbands at the event.
“Today the ceremonial shovels will turn the soil, and the construction of the temple will begin,” Elder Cook said, as reported on LDS Newsroom. “We can likewise begin building. We can build our personal lives in preparation for the temple. Today we can increase our faith, we can increase our obedience to God, and serve Him more fully.”
Upon completion, the Durban South Africa Temple will be the country’s second temple and will serve more than 61,000 Church members living in South Africa. The Johannesburg South Africa Temple was dedicated in 1985.
There are three operating temples on the African continent: the Johannesburg South Africa Temple, the Accra Ghana Temple, dedicated in 2004, and the Aba Nigeria Temple, dedicated in 2005.
President Monson has announced plans to build three other temples in Africa: Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Temple, Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple and Harare Zimbabwe Temple.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the ceremony to break ground for the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Temple on Friday, Feb. 12 (please see Church News, week ending Feb. 21, 2016).
During the April 2015 general conference, President Monson announced plans to build the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple and during this year’s April general conference he told of plans to build the Harare Zimbabwe Temple.