Construction well under way on Madrid temple

Construction is moving forward at the site of the new Madrid Spain Temple, for which ground was broken by President Gordon B. Hinckley last June 11.

The imposing new edifice is being constructed in the Moratalez district of south Madrid, against a backdrop of high-rise apartments. Its light color and straight vertical lines will be distinctive among other, much older buildings in a city of gray carved stone.The temple, which will have 46,000 square feet when completed, will be the centerpiece of a complex of Church buildings. Other buildings at the site will be a stake center and an eight-story office building.

Underground parking will be part of the completed complex. According to builders, construction is well underway. The footings have been excavated and the concrete basement floor poured. The floor and walls of the baptistry have also been poured.

Although the temple is not above ground, the excitement of members is growing, said Pres. Carlos Jesus Somoza Diaz of the Madrid Spain Stake.

"They will be very happy to have a temple," he said of the members. "The stake is holding meetings and activities that will motivate members to prepare themselves to attend and serve in the temple. We also have three functioning family history centers, and will soon open a fourth. We are preparing for a great work to be done in Madrid."

He explained that the family history centers, where members can obtain family names for temple work, are very busy. One center is so active with members and non-members that there is hardly ever free time, he said. "The center is filled with people."

Pres. Somoza said that members are also preparing as individuals and families for the temple. "We are also working with members in missionary work, to motivate them to begin to convert others, to strengthen and fortify the stake. This is one of our goals."

Stakes in the rest of Spain are also working toward bringing members to Madrid to obtain their temple blessings, he said.

"The members are becoming more interested," said Pres. Richard H. Winkel of the Spain Madrid Mission. "We expect that as the temple is closer to completion the members will become more involved in missionary work."

The Madrid temple is the fifth temple under construction. The others are in St. Louis, Mo., Vernal, Utah, Preston, England, and Bogota, Colombia.

Groundbreaking ceremonies have been held and work will begin soon for temples in Ecuador and Dominican Republic. On President Gordon B. Hinckley's current South America trip, he broke ground for a temple at Cochabamba, Bolivia; and is to break ground for a temple at Recife, Brazil. (See article on this page.)

In addition, temples also have been announced for Billings, Mont.; Boston, Mass.; Caracas, Venezuela; Monterrey, Mexico; Nashville, Tenn.; and White Plains, N.Y.