‘This is a day of history’

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador — Take advantage of the blessings of the temple by living worthily, President Gordon B. Hinckley urged members during the Guayaquil regional conference, held in a large soccer stadium on July 31, the evening before the Guayaquil Ecuador Temple was dedicated.

Nearly 22,000 members gathered at the Estadio Modelo to hear President Hinckley. He was accompanied by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Francisco J. Vinas of the Seventy and president of the South America North Area, and his second counselor, Walter F. Gonzalez, an Area Authority Seventy, who live in Quito, also spoke at the conference. The Brethren were accompanied by their wives, Sisters Marjorie P. Hinckley, Ruth Faust, Dantzel Nelson, Cristina de Vinas and Zulma de Gonzalez, respectively.

"This is a day of history," said President Hinckley. "This a day to be remembered by Latter-day Saints for many years to come, when for the first time in all of Ecuadorian history a temple will be dedicated to carry forward His eternal purposes. We are blessed, so richly blessed, for this opportunity. And this evening, I want to make a plea to all the Latter-day Saints who are gathered here to make up your minds, to determine within yourselves that you will be worthy to go to the House of the Lord and there partake of the wonderful blessings which are available only in this place.

"Now my brothers and sisters, we will dedicate tomorrow the 58th working temple in this Church. We have hundreds and thousands of meetinghouses. And we have 58 temples. And one of them, one of them is in Ecuador to bless the Saints of this great nation. Blessings and prayers will be offered, which cannot be offered under any other circumstance. Covenants will be made, which cannot be made under any other circumstance. Blessings will be received, which cannot be received under any other circumstance.

"I want every young man and every young woman who is here tonight to resolve in their hearts that they will prepare themselves and keep themselves worthy to go to the House of the Lord and stand before Him, pure in heart, and worthy to receive His great blessings.

"Now my brothers and sisters, the temple is made with the finest material that we could obtain. You now have in your midst everything that this Church has to offer, baptism, the priesthood, all the wonderful attending blessings that come from membership in the Church. And with all that, the wonderful and unique blessings of the House of the Lord in your midst."

President Faust commented on the progress of temple building in South America. When the Sao Paulo Temple in Brazil was planned, "We asked all the members in all South America to contribute, and now we rejoice that many nations have their own temple."

He said that when he saw the temple in Guayaquil, he felt "overwhelmed by its majesty."

"Under the keys and authority of President Hinckley, the building will be activated tomorrow and with the keys given to temple Pres. [J. Lynn] Shawcroft, the blessings which you receive in the temple will become as efficacious and binding as those in the Salt Lake Temple."

He encouraged members to be prepared and worthy and permanently change their lives. "I hope and pray that we will rise to a new level of faithfulness."

"Heavenly Father will lift us from our sorrows and our afflictions," said President Faust. "He has turned His ear to hear our prayers and He will extend His love to each of us as we seek to repent of our transgressions.

"Now this is a new day for this great country of Ecuador. The power of the blessings of the Lord will increase. Ecuador will flourish from this day forward because of the presence of this temple."

Elder Nelson extended appreciation to members "for your great faith, devotion, tithing and offerings, for your children who serve as missionaries, for your service in the Church and your goodness.

"My theme is very simple: Keep the commandments."