Guatemala City Guatemala Temple

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Announced: April 1, 1981.

Location: At the base of hills in southeastern Guatemala City; 24 Avienda 2-20, Zona 15, Vista Hermosa 1, Guatemala City, Guatemala; phone: (502) 369-3426.

Site: 1.43 acres.

Exterior finish: Natural white Guatemala marble.

Temple design: Modern adaptation of earlier six-spire design.

Architects: Church architectural staff, assisted by Jose Asturias, Guatemala City.

Construction adviser: David Judd.

Contractor: Isa Constructors Aires Y Cia Ltd.

Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, four ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms.

Total floor area: 17,609 square feet.

Dimensions: 178 feet by 72 feet, six-spires; statue of Angel Moroni tops 126-foot spire.

District: 124 stakes and districts in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Sept. 12, 1982, by Elder Richard G. Scott of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Dedication: Dec. 14-16, 1984, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 10 sessions.


Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

Hallowed be Thy holy name, our Father. Thou art the great Elohim to whom we lift our voices in thanksgiving and prayer on this day when we dedicate Thy house.

Thou hast honored us in directing, through Thy prophet, that a sacred temple should be built in this land. Now the yearnings of our hearts for the higher blessings of the gospel may be realized. We think not only of ourselves, but of our forebears through whom has come our inheritance. Under the keys of the Holy Priesthood restored by Thy power, we may now receive our washings and our anointings, our endowments and our sealings through the ordinances which thou hast revealed in this dispensation.

Thou hast sent Thy prophet Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, that the purposes of the Earth may be fulfilled, and that those who have passed beyond the veil of death may partake of the blessings of Thine everlasting gospel and move forward on the way of eternal life.

Thou kind and gracious Father, our hearts swell with gratitude for Thy remembrance of the sons and daughters of Lehi, the many generations of our fathers and mothers who suffered so greatly and who walked for so long in darkness. Thou hast heard their cries and seen their tears. Now there will be opened to them the gates of salvation and eternal life.

Dear Father, have mercy upon us of this generation. Fortify us in our faith. Strengthen us against weakness. Give us power to resist the wiles of the adversary. May love for Thee and Thy Son grow in our hearts, and may it be expressed in our love one for another as Thy covenant sons and daughters.

We thank Thee, O God, for lifting the scales of darkness which for generations clouded the vision of the descendants of Lehi. We thank Thee for the wondrous light of the gospel, restored in this dispensation through the instrumentality of Thy servant Joseph Smith, whom Thou didst ordain a prophet to the nations. We thank Thee for the glorious vision given him in the opening of this dispensation. We thank Thee for the restored record of our ancestors, the record of Lehi, Nephi and Jacob, of Alma and Mosiah, of Benjamin and Mormon and Moroni. We thank Thee for this voice which has come from the dust to bear witness of the divinity of Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We thank Thee for listening ears and believing hearts, that Thou hast touched us by the power of Thy spirit to recognize divine truth when it was brought to us by Thine ordained servants.

And now, acting in the authority of the everlasting priesthood, and as Thy servants duly commissioned, we dedicate to Thee and Thy Beloved Son this, the Guatemala City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We dedicate the ground on which it stands, with the beauty of Thy creations growing thereon. We dedicate the structure from the foundation to the figure of Moroni which crowns the tallest steeple. We dedicate the baptismal font, the endowment rooms, the beautiful celestial room, which represents Thine abode, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, together with all related facilities. We dedicate the ancillary buildings that they may contribute to the purposes of this temple. While so doing, we dedicate ourselves to the sacred work to be performed herein.

Please accept this house as the gift of Thy children. We have built it according to Thy will, that Thou, our Father, and Thy Son, our resurrected Lord, might have a place to manifest Thyself to Thy people. We consecrate it with love. Let Thy mighty blessings rest upon it and Thy Holy Spirit sanctify it.

Wilt Thou bless the grounds and the exterior that they may be beautiful to all who look upon Thy house. May those who are worthy to enter it come with thanksgiving in their hearts, and in a spirit of dedication and love for Thee and Thine eternal pattern of salvation. May faith grow in their hearts. May they be sanctified in their minds, and may visions of Thy glorious, eternal plan unfold before them. May families rejoice as they are bound together under the authority of the Holy Priesthood for all eternity with an everlasting covenant.

Protect this Thy house from hands or voices that would defile it. Preserve it from the tremblings of the earth and the storms of nature.

Bless our land, O Father, this nation of Guatemala where stands Thy holy house. May those who govern do so in righteousness. Bless them as they act to preserve the liberties and enhance the prosperity of the people. May there be peace in the land. May it be preserved from revolution and war. May there be freedom and equity under the law. May there be education and opportunity for all. May the forces of oppression and darkness be stayed by Thy power, and may the light of truth shine over this Republic. So bless, Father, its neighbor nations that they may be preserved in independence and freedom.

Prosper Thy faithful sons and daughters as they serve Thee in righteousness and walk in obedience to Thy commandments. Preserve them from hunger and privation, and may the generations of their posterity walk with faith before Thee.

We lift our voices in faith to ask Thy blessing upon Thy prophet, President Spencer W. Kimball, that Thou wilt increase his days and give him strength according to Thy divine will. Bless all associated with him and all who carry responsibility wherever Thy work may be established.

Father, we thank Thee for the redeeming sacrifice of Thy Son. We love Him for what He did for us and for all mankind. We bless His holy name. We come unto Thee through Him who gave His life as a ransom for each of us.

Accept our thanks. Hear our prayer. Bless us with a spirit of dedication to Thee and to Thy great work, we humbly ask as Thy thankful sons and daughters, for whose blessing Thou hast revealed Thy glorious plan of everlasting life, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.


Second temple for Guatemala

Guatemala will soon be the only Spanish-speaking country outside of Mexico to have more than one temple.

While presiding at the Dec. 16 groundbreaking ceremony for the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans to build a temple in Quetzaltenango in western Guatemala.

President Hinckley was in Guatemala 22 years ago — on Dec. 16 — to dedicate the nation's first temple, the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple.

The Church's Central America Area is enjoying a vigorous period of temple building. Earlier this year, the First Presidency announced plans for a temple in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Meanwhile, construction continues on the Panama City Panama Temple.


Joyous day awaits western Guatemala

News of a second temple thrills Guatemalan members

By Jason Swensen and Chris Morales

Church News staff writers

Happy news seemed apropos for Church members preparing for Christmas in western Guatemala. For many, recent word that a second temple was to be built in the country was more welcome than anything that could be wrapped inside a package and bow.

Guatemala City Guatemala Temple
Guatemala City Guatemala Temple Credit: Intellectual Reserve Inc.

"We feel that we could not have possibly received a greater Christmas gift than this," said Quetzaltenango Guatemala El Bosque Stake President Alex M. Perez Ulin.

On Dec. 17, the day after President Gordon B. Hinckley made the announcement while presiding at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, President Ulin learned that the Church would build a temple in Quetzaltenango. (See Dec. 23, 2006 Church News, page 4.) The future temple will become the second in Guatemala — the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple was opened in 1984 — and the fifth temple to be built in Central America. The Guatemala City and San Jose Costa Rica temples are in operation. Meanwhile, temples in Panama and Honduras will open in the future.

The Church enjoys a prolific presence in Quetzaltenango — the nation's second-largest city — and in neighboring cities and towns in western Guatemala. Some 15 stakes and a mission operate in the region.

Missionary work was established over a half-century ago in the region and the first stake was organized in 1975 by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, according to the Central America Area.

The mountainous regions surrounding Quetzaltenango offer a peek into the indigenous past of the Americas where the ancient Mayan languages of Kiche and Mam are still spoken. With the new temple, Guatemala will become the only predominately Spanish-speaking country outside of Mexico to have more than one temple.

Julio Alvarado is a former Area Authority Seventy and once presided over the Guatemala Quetzaltenango Mission. He said a new temple will provide unprecedented access and growth to the thousands of devout members living in western Guatemala.

"I'm well aware of the limitations that many have had trying to regularly attend the temple in the capital," Brother Alvarado said. "For example, the members who live in Canquixaja Momostenango have to travel via pick-up truck two hours to the town of Momostenango, and then travel another four to six hours by bus to Guatemala City.

With a temple in Quetzaltenango, those same members will be able to attend the temple and return to their homes on the same day.

Francisco Rosales, a member from Totonicapan near Quetzaltenango, echoed Brother Alvarado's thoughts, saying countless lives will be blessed by the new temple.

"So many faithful families, individuals and young people from this region will be able attend the temple often and enjoy the great blessings that such a building brings," Brother Rosales said.

Lives are being changed — even before ground has been broken on the future temple.

President Guillermo Eduardo Cabrera Telon, first counselor of the Quetzaltenango Guatemala West Stake, said members of his stake are being encouraged to donate generously to the general temple fund to show their gratitude. "There is a greater sense of consecration among the members."

Some members in the area cannot attend the Guatemala City temple and look forward to one in Quetzaltenango.

"It is a four-hour drive to the capital and it takes an entire day to make a trip to the temple, President Telon said. "Many employers here require workers to work part-time on Saturdays, making it impossible for them to attend the temple regularly. But those members who can't go are making sure to keep their temple recommends renewed to be ready for when the new temple opens."

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