Announced: April 2, 1980.
Location: On southwest outskirts of Buenos Aires; Autopista Richieri y Puente 13, B1778 dua Ciudad Evita, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Telephone: (54) 11-4 487-1520.
Site: 3.73 acres.
Exterior finish: Light gray native granite.
Temple design: Modern adaptation of earlier sixspire design.
Architects: Church architectural staff; local architect Ramon Paez.
Construction adviser: Gary Holland.
Contractor: Benito Roggio and Sons.
Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, four ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 17,687 square feet.
Dimensions: 178 feet by 71 feet; statue of Angel Moroni on top spire; 112 feet.
District: 65 stakes, 36 districts in Argentina.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: April 20, 1983, by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Dedication: Jan. 17-19, 1986, by President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency; 11 sessions.
Done by President Thomas S. Monson
O God, our Eternal Father, Thou great Elohim. Creator of the heavens, the earth, and all things thereon, we come before Thee this sacred and blessed day with bowed heads, with full hearts and with subdued spirits.
We pray to Thee, our Father, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Thine Only Begotten in the flesh, our Redeemer and our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Our thoughts turn to Thee as we contemplate Thy goodness to us, Thy infinite mercies, Thy watchful care and the gift of Thy Beloved Son. We know that through obedience to Thy divine commandments, we may return to Thee and be blessed with life eternal in Thy exalted presence.
We are grateful for this long-awaited time, when Thy house has been completed. The sacrifice of the saints through the years of patient waiting and constant striving has helped bring to fulfillment this glorious day of dedication. Let peace prevail as we lift our voices in songs of praise and words of prayer for Thy beneficent blessings unto us.
We thank Thee for the restoration of Thy glorious gospel. We marvel at Thy saving doctrines. We rejoice in Thy plan of salvation. Unto Thee we raise our voices in thanksgiving for the lives and ministries of the Prophet Joseph Smith and each succeeding president of Thy Church here upon the earth. Bless with health and wisdom Thy servant, President Ezra Taft Benson, whom Thou hast called to lead Thy Church in this day. Reveal to him Thy mind and will concerning the growth and advancement of Thy work among the children of men. We love and sustain him wholeheartedly. As we pray for President Benson, so we pray for his counselors and all the General Authorities, stake and mission, ward and branch officers and teachers everywhere.
Particularly do we thank Thee, our Father, for the faithful missionaries who have served, and continue now to labor, in this and surrounding lands, who teach Thy truths and who lead Thy children by Thy everlasting light. We remember that it was in this very city of Buenos Aires, on Christmas Day in the year 1925, just sixty years ago, that Elder Melvin J. Ballard, an apostle of the Lord, dedicated all of South America for the preaching of the gospel. What a fulfillment to an inspired prayer is evident today. Stakes of Zion have been organized in ever-increasing numbers, temples dot the landscape and faith is exemplified in the daily lives of the members of Thy Church.
Thy sons and daughters have prayed fervently for the completion of this, Thy Holy House. Our tears of gratitude flow freely as we contemplate the precious washings and anointings, the holy endowments and sacred sealings which await the worthy. To know that we shall have the privilege and opportunity to bring to loved ones who have left this mortal life these same blessings so essential to exaltation prompts the silent sobbings we experience.
Bless all, dear Father, who have labored in the erection of this temple, who have contributed their means and efforts to the advancement of Thy work. Bless the faithful tithe payers throughout the world who have made this dream a reality. May each be comforted and blessed.
Now, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ and in the authority of the Holy Priesthood in us vested and under assignment from Thy prophet in this day, we dedicate unto Thee, our Father, and unto Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, this, the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We consecrate it for the sacred purposes for which it has been erected. We dedicate it unto Thee as a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God. We dedicate the ground on which it stands. We dedicate the shrubs, the flowers and vegetation which add beauty, provide fragrance, bid welcome and invite holy meditation and inspired thought. We dedicate this sacred structure from the deepest footing to the highest spire. We dedicate each room and hall, every furnishing and fixture, each element and all equipment which have been brought together to form Thy house.
Watch over this magnificent temple. Protect it, we pray, from the storms of nature, the rumblings of the earth, the ravages of time and from any evil designs of men.
Accept of our offering, hallow it by Thy Holy Spirit and protect it by Thy power. May this temple ever stand as a beacon of righteousness, pointing to all the way of life eternal. As we dedicate this temple, we dedicate our very lives. We desire to lay aside anything petty or sordid and reach to Thee in daily prayer and supplication, that our thoughts may be pure, our hearts and hands clean and our lives in conformity with Thy teachings.
Wilt Thou, our Father, continue to bless the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and likewise the descendants of Lehi and Nephi, that the promises contained in the Holy Bible and in the Book of Mormon may be brought to fulfillment and our homes and families blessed abundantly.
May all who enter this, Thy house, be privileged to say, as did the Psalmist of old, "We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company."
We express to Thee our abiding love. We desire to honor Thee and Thy Son each day of our lives. May our posterity follow the example of Thy Son and "increase in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."
We pray Thou wilt accept of our offering and hallow this house which we have built. Bless our lives. Magnify our service and prosper Thy work.
May we, Thy children, be pure and holy before Thee, thereby meriting Thy bounteous blessings and Thy watchful care, we pray in the name of Thy Beloved Son, even the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord. Amen.
Argentine converts left legacy of leadership among their posterity
By Nestor Curbelo, South America South Area historian, Church News correspondent
Ashort time after the turn of the century, thousands of European families bid farwell to the economic challenges and signs of war in their homelands and immigrated to South America.
Among them was 17-year-old Ramon Avila, who left his home in Ameria, Spain. He and a cousin, Andres, arrived here May 10, 1910, and were received by relatives. During the following years, the discovery of new opportunities dominated his life as he worked to better his lot in his new land.In 1925, he married a daughter of Italian immigrants, Elisa Leonor Melga. The couple built their own home and established a business. However, the effects of the worldwide depression in 1930 seriously depleted their business and threw the family on hard times.
The economy did not slow their desire to have a family, however. By 1936, they were parents of five sons. A year after his birth, the fifth son, Jose Luis Avila, contracted a severe case of meningitis. The parents took the baby to the Buenos Aires Childrens Hospital. Physicians there told the parents to take the baby home and wait out the disease, because there was nothing they could do.
The anguished parents took their baby home where tiny Jose Luis continued to cry and suffer. They watched helplessly. A neighbor, seeing the anguish on the face of the mother, asked about the situation. She then spoke to two LDS missionaries, and they came to administer to Jose Luis. The night after the blessing, Jose Luis slept peacefully and the next morning began to eat and recuperate.
This event is regarded as a miracle by the Avila family. Afterwards they began investigating the Church and attending the meetings with their faithful neighbor, Maria Lopez. The missionaries taught the Avila family the lessons. Three years later, on Oct. 19, 1940, the Avila family was baptized in Liniers, a suburb of Buenos Aires.
Three years later, a new challenge came to the family. Leonor died, leaving her husband with six sons, the youngest not 2 years old. Well-founded in the gospel, Brother Avila continued his activity in the Church and began rearing the boys by himself.
Brother Avila died Nov. 6, 1979. In his memoirs, he observed:
"In this unfortunate situation, I began to learn to cook, wash and iron clothing, leaving my work as bricklayer. I placed a sign on the front of the home: `Heaters, stoves, pots and clocks repaired.' "
The twin older boys, Juan Carlos and Miguel Angel, began working in a butcher shop while Francisco worked for a fruit seller. The younger boys worked at the repair shop in their home. The dedication of Brother Avila and his sons to the gospel never wavered. Each Sunday at 7 a.m. they walked for an hour and a quarter from their home in New Pompei to attend services at the Liniers Branch.
Miguel Angel later recalled:
"In this period when we joined the Church, the branch was very poor. Although there were many faithful and hard-working members, few were in a good position economically. Few owned their own homes because it required all their efforts to maintain their families. This was an era of sacrifice, but it was not difficult to belong to the Church. When going to Church, we wore mended clothing and tennis shoes, and when it was necessary, our school uniforms, for we had nothing else. In this we were not unique; this was the condition of most of the members then."
Eventually, Juan Carlos and Miguel were among the first local missionaries from Argentina during that era. Since then, the Avila sons have continued to make contributions in the Church. Leadership responsibilities are now carried by the extended Avila family. Currently, a number of their children or children's spouses are serving as stake presidents, bishops, Relief Society presidents and in other responsible callings.
Three of the Avila sons are particularly well-known. Miguel, the oldest, served as bishop and later as stake patriarch. Juan Carlos, who died April 3, 1995, served as counselor in the stake presidency of the first stake in Argentina and later as regional representative and mission president.
Jose Luis, the baby with meningitis who was blessed by the missionaries in 1936, is today a counselor in the presidency of the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple. He recently reflected on how the past has influenced the present:
"Those were times of great sacrifice, but thanks to the examples of our parents and our brothers and their perseverance, I have had the blessing of baptizing my wife, starting a family and being sealed to them in the temple. I have watched our family increase and grow within the light of the gospel. We have the goal of being a family eternally united.
"Now, being in the temple every day and seeing other families sealed adds to my certainty that this work is the most important of our lives."
Buenos Aires Argentina Temple
- Ground broken April 20, 1983, by Elder Bruce R. McConkie.
- Dedicated Jan. 17, 1986, by President Thomas S. Monson.
- Located in the suburb of Ciudad Evita, southwest of Buenos Aires.
- Modern adaptation of earlier six-spired design.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - Primary children all over the world were studying about the temple in 1993. It was the same in Argentina. We had groups of Primary children visit us every Saturday during the entire year.
One Saturday, we had a visit that touched the lives of those in the temple that day. Two large tour buses pulled up at the curb. We could see children alighting and forming rows, with three in a row, holding hands and slowly moving toward the temple gates. There were nearly 100 of them, and they were singing, "We love to see the temple."
All were dressed in white, the girls in long dresses with white ribbons in their hair, and the boys in white trousers and white shirts. The leaders accompanying them were also dressed in white. As the children entered the temple annex, they stopped singing and moved with great reverence toward the annex room where they were to assemble.
We noticed the details of their preparation. Each child was also wearing white shoes or had white terry cloth shoe covers. Each was carrying a booklet that he or she had made that had a picture of the temple on the front, and special things inside, such as a copy of the dedicatory prayer offered by President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency; the history of the temple and the site; teachings about the temple; and his or her own impressions of the temple.
Not a word was spoken. During a short service, the children, ages 3-12, gave the prayers, testimonies and sang. As we invited them to return to the temple to be sealed with their families and receive their own ordinances, the love in the room was overflowing. As each child left, still completely reverent, each one gave me and my wife, Joanne, a kiss on the cheek.
These children returned home and bore their testimonies in their wards. We have since heard reports of several of the testimonies. In addition, several of the children have returned with their families to be sealed in the temple. - Pres. Rodolfo Mortensen and Sister Joanne Mortensen, temple matron, Buenos Aires Argentina Temple