Announced: Oct. 4, 1997.
Location: Northern zone of Porto Alegre, Chacara das Pedras, Rua General Salvador Pinheiro, 50-Vila Jardim, Porto Alegre RS CEP 91320-0400; no clothing rental.
Site: 2 acres.
Exterior finish: Cotton white granite from Ceara State of Brazil.
Temple design: Classic modern.
Architects: Andre Belo de Faria and Church A&E Services.
Project manager: Raul Lins.
Contractor: Ernesto Woebcke.
Rooms: Two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms, celestial room, baptistry.
Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.
Dimensions: 149 feet by 77 feet.
District: 27 stakes and four districts in southern Brazil.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: May 2, 1998, by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency.
Dedication: Dec. 17, 2000 by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions.
Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley
Our beloved Father in heaven, Thou great Elohim, we bow before Thee at this sacred hour when we dedicate Thy holy house. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for this wonderful occasion. We thank Thee for this temple constructed in our midst as the House of the Lord to which we may come as Thy guests. Here we will serve Thee. Here we will be privileged to receive those precious ordinances which are timeless in their nature and which seal us to one another as families, including the generations who have gone before us, all according to Thy plan for the salvation and exaltation of Thy children.
We thank Thee and praise Thy holy name for Thy marvelous blessings.
And now, in the authority of Thy divine priesthood, and in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Redeemer, we dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wilt Thou accept it as our offering. May Thy Holy Spirit abide in this sacred edifice and give comfort and testimony to all who serve here. May the witness of the Spirit confirm the reality of Thy divine Son to all who labor within these walls, whether as workers or as patrons. May the ordinances revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and administered here in Thy house, become an eternal covenant between Thee and Thy faithful children.
May this house ever be holy to those who enter it. May "no unclean thing…be permitted to come into thy house to pollute it" (D&C 109:20). May even those not of the faith who pass this way be constrained to look upon this as a place of holiness.
We dedicate the grounds which have been beautified with trees, flowers, and the grass. We dedicate the footings on which it stands, the foundation, the walls, the roof, and the steeple with its crowning figure of Moroni. We dedicate the interior halls and miscellaneous spaces, the Baptistry, the ordinance rooms, the beautiful celestial room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, and every other facility of this hallowed structure. May all work together efficiently and well for the purposes for which they are designed.
Protect this Thy house from the ravages of the elements. May all who enter the portals of this temple be worthy to do so. May a spirit of kindness and love prevail at all times.
Let blessings of strength and vitality rest upon the temple president and his counselors, and upon the matron and her assistants. May a spirit of love be felt among them at all times. May Thy Spirit influence all who work here in any capacity. May they rejoice in the great opportunity that is theirs. Let Thy peaceful influence come upon the patrons that all may rejoice in that which they do. Bless in ever increasing numbers the Saints of this temple district that they may qualify and keep themselves worthy to serve in Thy house.
We invoke Thy blessings on this great nation of Brazil that it may always be hospitable toward the missionaries who are assigned here. May the people reach out with friendly hands and have ears to listen, that Thy work may continue to grow in this part of the earth.
We pray for Thy work wherever it may be established that it may strengthen and grow. We pray that faith may increase in the hearts of Thy people, and that Thou wilt open the windows of heaven and shower blessings upon them.
We pray Thy blessings upon those who have been called to lead Thy kingdom. Inspire them in all that they do. Shield them from those who would injure them. Sustain them in their labors and give them joy in their service.
O Lord God of Israel, accept of our thanks. Accept of our love. Favor us with Thine approving smile. Help us to walk in Thy paths, to be found always as true disciples of Thy Beloved Son, even our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.
'Glorious event' completes historic year of temples
By Nestor Curbelo
Church News correspondent
Reverence, joy, peace and brotherhood prevailed among members as President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple on Dec. 17.
The Porto Alegre temple is the Church's 102nd, and its dedication — a "glorious event" — is the 34th and final one of this remarkable year of temples — the year 2000, upon which hinges two millennia.
President Hinckley, accompanied by his wife, Marjorie, was assisted by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency. They attended four dedicatory sessions and took part in the cornerstone ceremony, where the singing of a youth choir instilled a sweet feeling.
Some 7,590 members attended the dedication. Members spoke of the joy this temple has brought into their lives. They spoke of a similar joy among the missionaries and pioneer members on the other side of the veil who gave so generously of their time and effort to establish the Church.
President Hinckley was warmly welcomed and he expressed his love to the members.
President Faust spoke of his special feeling for the early members he knew when he served as a missionary in Brazil. He mentioned that when he arrived in Porto Alegre, there were only six members of the Church. Among these were members of the Bing family. One of these, Olga Bing Biehl, who attended the dedication with her husband, was baptized Dec. 17, 1938, exactly 62 years to the day before the dedication of the temple.
"For me, the Porto Alegre temple is a true miracle; never did I think I would live to look upon a temple here during my lifetime," she said. "I feel very grateful to be able to come here and participate in the ordinances."
Elder J. Kent Jolley of the Seventy, president of the Brazil South Area, said: "The temple of Porto Alegre is the result of a combination of many years of effort in missionary work and the faith of the members. Now we do not have to travel a long distance to Sao Paulo, but will be able to attend the temple regularly and become better people than in the past. The temple literally will be a light on a mountain, blessing the lives of the members and all the community, and, as the symbol of our membership in the Church, will offer the opportunity to share the gospel with others."
The Porto Alegre temple is located at the summit of a hill, which opens to a beautiful view of the city. Construction of the temple was completed with high standards, said Andre Belo de Faria, temple architect. "I have worked for 20 years on various construction projects but I have never worked on a project of this quality; there is not another one like it in Brazil."
When the temple opened its doors to the public, visitors were very impressed. Elder Yatyr Moreira Cesar, Area Authority Seventy and vice chairman of the temple committee, said that the temple open house was very successful. "The neighbors love the temple. Many came to the open house, expressing their gratitude and pleasure that this extraordinary edifice is part of their community.
"The impact of the open house on missionary work is also extraordinary," continued Elder Cesar. "We received more than 1,000 referrals, written by visitors requesting missionaries, and many wanting to know if they can be baptized. We saw people who were hearing of the Church for the first time, shedding tears as they walked through the temple learning about eternal families."
Ana Lucia Soller Vianna, public affairs director, said the turnout of more than 25,000 visitors exceeded their expectations. "The reporters and community leaders who visited were very friendly. Some of them had planned to leave soon, but after walking through the temple, paused to spend more time with us.
"Now the entire community has more respect for us, and more understanding of the Church; they know we have good principles. Many of them see the temple as the true House of the Lord."
The temple combines the past, present and future in a marvelous way, said pioneer member Georgina Blind Mayer soon after attending the second dedicatory session. "I do not have an explanation for the pure and sweet feelings I had in the temple today; I know that in the resurrection I will have these same feelings again. The temple is a sacred place where I can be with my loved ones. I do not know all my ancestors, but through the temple I can associate with them for eternity."
She is the daughter of Georgia Lippelt Blind, one of the first members in Brazil who was baptized in Germany in 1923 at the age of 9.
Her grandmother, Augusta Kuhlmann Lippert, was baptized three years earlier. The family emigrated from Germany to Brazil where the missionaries found them in 1930. Sister Blind, who has served two missions, remembers that long-ago first arrival of the missionaries to her home. She remembers her mother's voice breaking as she exclaimed in German: "Angels, angels!"
The Church began in Brazil in 1927 when President Reinholdt Stoof and Elder Waldo Stoddard of the South American Mission came to Brazil to investigate the possibility of sending missionaries. In September 1928, they returned with Elders Emil Schindler and William F. Heinz. The first baptismal service was held April 14, 1929.
The first presence of missionaries in Porto Alegre came in June 1933 when President Stoof and Elder Schindler arrived to begin preaching the gospel. A district was created here in 1960 with fewer than 500 members, and the first stake was created in 1973, Brazil's sixth. During the first half century, the notion of a temple in Porto Alegre was very distant. Some members knew of a temple's significance and worked with great effort to collect their family history and then send it to temples in the United States for ordinance work.
In 1975, President Spencer W. Kimball announced plans for the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple. Its completion and dedication in 1978 created an awakening among the general membership of Brazil for temple work. Yet because of the cost and distance, some families in southern Brazil were able to travel only once to Sao Paulo, while others traveled twice or three times. Often, families were not able to attend the temple weddings of their children. With the dedication of the Recife, Porto Alegre and soon the Campinas temples, all LDS families in Brazil will have closer access to a temple.
The dedication by President Hinckley of the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple has brought great joy to the saints in southern Brazil. The Church and its roots have been strengthened. Now, with the faith and determination of the members, the kingdom of God is extending with greater power to bless the lives of the people of Brazil.
Be loyal, worthy to enter temple, members urged
More than 3,500 people gathered on a mountainside overlooking this southern Brazil city May 2 to witness the ceremonial beginning of construction of the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple.
President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, presided at the groundbreaking ceremony.The new temple is the fourth for this populous land and will overlook the city from the east toward a large river and port for which the city is well-known. The temple was announced Oct. 4, 1997, in general priesthood meeting by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Following the services and after he turned the ceremonial first shovelful of earth, President Faust invited a young girl and young boy to come forward and assist him. They not only complied, but the little girl also waited for him the next day at the Campinas regional conference so she could give him a hug of appreciation.
President Faust was accompanied by his wife, Ruth, and Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Elisa. Also in attendance at the ceremony were Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy and president of the Brazil Area, and his wife, Janet.
Speakers at the ceremony were President Faust, Elder Wirthlin, and Elder Zwick.
"None of us will ever forget how we feel today because of the Spirit of the Lord that is present," said President Faust.
He said the temple would have two endowment rooms and all the capacity for ordinances as do the larger temples in the world.
He asked members to ponder and meditate upon the privilege that it is to enter a temple, and encouraged them to be loyal and worthy and ready to enter the temple when it is dedicated in about two years.
President Faust cited Doctrine and Covenants Section 109, which contains the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple, and noted the promises made at the time of the temple dedication.
He emphasized the need for Saints all over the world to begin to sacrifice for temple building. He recalled how, when the Sao Paulo Temple was being built, members in Argentina found ways to donate.
They gave the gold from their dental work to help pay on the temple, said President Faust. He explained that he had purchased some of that gold, for more than the market price, and has shown the gold fillings to various congregations to illustrate the nature of the sacrifice made by these members.
This sacrifice has been the hallmark of the success of members in the Latin American nations, he noted, indicating that the same principle of sacrifice is needed today, where members in one area can reach out to help those in other areas.
Elder Wirthlin spoke of the importance of temple work, and said that nothing will hold back the sacred movement of temple work.