TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras Under the direction of Elder Spencer V. Jones of the Quorum of the Seventy and president of the Central America Area, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple took place on June 9. This is the fourth temple to be built in Central America.
Among those present was Brother Jose Ortega, who in 1952 had his first contact with a member of the Church in the Plaza Hotel in Tegucigalpa. That member was Elder Spencer W. Kimball, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
At the time Brother Ortega worked as a waiter at the hotel. While waiting on Elder Kimball, he was invited to receive the missionaries.
More than 40 years have passed and today Brother Ortega is filled with joy to be living a moment so anticipated by many when a temple would be built in their country.
Like Brother Ortega, others who have witnessed the growth of the Church in Honduras are filled with joy to be a part of such an event. Sister Laura Chavez, who also joined the Church more than 40 years ago, has seen five generations of her family enjoy the blessings of the restored gospel in their lives.
Members in Honduras desiring to attend the temple today must make a 12-hour trek to the temple in Guatemala City. Despite the distance, as well as other trials, they've traveled regularly with much faith and excitement, and their desire to be in the temple has not diminished. They now see an outpouring of great blessings by the Lord in the construction of the temple.
Participating in the ceremony were various stake presidents including those from Nicaragua and their families, who expressed gratitude at the fact that this temple would only be four hours away. This will allow them to utilize the majority of the time they dedicate to such trips participating in the saving ordinances instead of traveling as is usually the case.
Tears were shed as members, including youth and children, were allowed to participate in turning over the ground for the new temple. Elder Jones stated, "This will be the temple in which these boys and girls will be sealed for time and all eternity."
Elder Luis Gustavo Duarte, Area Seventy, said, "It fills our hearts with gratitude to think that now our children will not have to make these trips, that we will be able to participate when they receive their endowments for the first time and when they marry in the temple and that, in some small way, we have contributed to all of this."