On the eve of the dedication of this nation's first temple, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf stood in front of thousands of Latter-day Saint youth and repeated the words of Honduras' national motto: Libre, Soberana e Independiente ("Free, Sovereign and Independent").
His passionate recitation prompted cheers from the many who had gathered at a baseball stadium inside the capital city for the March 16 LDS Honduras cultural event.
"I like the motto of your country … because that is what the Church is all about — that is what the temple is all about," he told the program's young cast members. "You are independent. You stand free to make a marvelous [contribution] to Honduras."
In recent years, youth cultural events have become a beloved tradition during the weekend of new temple dedications. President Thomas S. Monson is a staunch supporter of such shows. They offer the youth of the Church an opportunity to showcase their faith, patriotism and local culture through music, song and colorful dance.
Members here say the Honduran cultural event exceeded expectations. Approximately 4,300 youth from across the country gathered to stage a once-in-a-lifetime celebration anchored to the dedication of the Church's 141st temple.
"In generations to come, you can tell your children what this was all about," said President Uchtdorf.
Before calling for the festivities to begin, the Church leader offered a blessing upon the Honduran youth "that the moments of this weekend will be ingrained in your hearts and be a part of your own personal scripture that you write."
The next 90 minutes presented a spectacle of light and joy that was broadcast live on national television. The youth performed a variety of local folk dances that told the story of Honduras' rich indigenous and colonial past. The celebration included a spiritual message, "We'll Bring The World His Truth." The evening culminated in a salute to the Church's newest temple.
The performers also presented President Uchtdorf with a book signed by thousands of Honduran youth signaling their pledges to serve full-time missions.
He gladly accepted their pledges, and then held high the book containing the names of future missionaries for allto see.