CURITIBA, Brazil On a beautiful morning, Church members, government officials and other guests gathered here March 10 under ancient Araucaria trees to break ground for the fifth Brazilian temple.
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve presided at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Church members in the area have lived with the great expectation of seeing their long-awaited dream come true, ever since the First Presidency announced on Aug. 23, 2002, the building of the Curitiba Brazil Temple. During the ceremony, many expressed their gratitude to God for this wonderful gift.
"It is not likely that I will be here for the temple dedication, but I am so thankful for what this will mean for my family, my children's families and the generations to come. It is an indescribable feeling," said President Jarbas Souza, Curitiba Boa Vista stake president. He was recently called to serve as president of the Salvador Brazil Mission.
In his remarks, Elder Nelson reminded members of the importance of the sealing power and sealing families for eternity, and how grateful members should be to participate in temple ordinances. He said he dearly missed his beloved wife, Dantzel, who passed away on Feb. 12, 2005. He invited his daughter, Sylvia Webster, his son-in-law, David R. Webster, who is president of the Curitiba Brazil Mission, and his two grandsons, Samuel and Adam, to come to the pulpit. He said: "We know that our mom, grandmother, and my sweetheart is just fine. We will meet again as a family, because of the blessings and promises of the temple." He said that the temple would influence the lives of the children, many of whom were attending the ceremony.
It was deeply touching to the members when Elder Nelson gave the formal prayer for the groundbreaking in the Portuguese language. He then invited Church leaders, the vice-mayor, and others to join him for the ceremonial groundbreaking.
In addition to Elder Nelson, also attending the ceremony were Bishop Richard C. Edgley, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Seventy and Brazil South Area President; Elder Adhemar Damiani and Elder Paulo R. Grahl of the Seventy, first and second counselors in the Brazil South Area Presidency; and Elders Ildefonso de Castro Deus, Jairo Mazzagardi, Yatyr M. Cesar and Alfredo Heliton de Lemos, each an Area Authority Seventy.
One of the distinguished guests was the city's vice-mayor, Luciano Ducci, who stated that Curitiba was celebrating its 312th anniversary in 2005, and that the construction of the temple was the greatest gift the city could ever receive, because it "will unite families at a time when so many of them are falling apart."