On Nov. 15 Church leaders broke ground for the temple to be built at Avenida Santos Dumont in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. President Thomas S. Monson announced construction of the Church’s seventh temple in Brazil during the October 2009 general conference.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve presided over the Fortaleza Brazil Temple groundbreaking ceremony. Elder Bednar was accompanied by his wife, Sister Susan K. Bednar, and members of the Brazil Area Presidency — Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, Elder Carlos A. Godoy and Elder Jairo Mazzagardi, of the Seventy. Also present were Elder David Fernandes, Elder Mozart Soares and Elder Victor Asconavieta, Area Seventies serving in Brazil. About 800 Church members and community leaders also attended the ceremony.
Elder Costa, Brazil Area president, told the Church News that those attending the ceremony were blessed for their faith. It rained and rained as they waited for the ceremony to begin. “Today the heavens weep with joy and gladness. It is a historic day,” said Elder Costa.
During her remarks, Sister Bednar also spoke of the rain. “Upon seeing the rain today, I remembered the lyrics from a Primary hymn: ‘I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain,’ ” she said. “ ’I want to be the best I can and live with God again.’ These blessings are possible because of the temple. We can be clean and return to live with God.”
As the choir sang a special musical number, the sun broke through the clouds and remained until the completion of the groundbreaking ceremony.
During his remarks, Elder Bednar commented upon the sudden change in weather. “A few minutes ago you used your umbrellas as a protection from the rain and now they protect you from the bright sun. If we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we will recognize the many important blessings we are receiving as we are gathered together this morning,” he said. “I promise that the temple will be a blessing to the entire city of Fortaleza.”
“This temple will be a source of hope, light and faith in God for all who come and walk on this land,” Elder Bednar continued. “This city will always be better and different because of the temple to be built here.”
Addressing the public leaders present at the ceremony, Elder Bednar expressed gratitude for their attendance and support.
Concluding, Elder Bednar said he would never forget the faith of the congregation, attending in spite of the rain, but now sitting in the bright sun. “Dear brothers and sisters, you have a place in my heart,” he said. “I will always remember this day of faith.”
After offering the dedicatory prayer, Elder Bednar invited Church and community leaders to turn the soil, officially opening the land for the construction of the temple.