On Sunday, Feb. 5, Portuguese speakers residing in the Utah Area are invited to participate in a special devotional with Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares.
Elder Carlos A. Godoy of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Monica Godoy, will also speak at the event. Elder Hugo E. Martinez, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Utah Area presidency, will be in attendance.
The event starts at 6 p.m. Mountain Time, and it will be held in the BYU Smith Fieldhouse (1150 N. 150 East) in Provo, with a capacity for 5,000 people.
The devotional will not be streamed online or recorded, and tickets are not required to attend. This will be the first time that Elder Soares will officially address Portuguese speakers in the Utah Area.
Presence of the Church in Portuguese-speaking countries
According to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, nine countries have Portuguese as an official language. The Church is recognized and established in five of them: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Portugal.
In an interview with the Church News, Elder Godoy mentioned a Church study that estimates about 5,000 members born in Portuguese-speaking countries currently live in the Utah Area, but not all attend congregations in their native language.
He also commented that in the past two years, the number of Portuguese-speaking units in the state increased from six to 14, with 12 wards and two newly created branches. Here is a list of the cities (in alphabetical order) that have Portuguese-speaking units:
- Lehi (North Pointe Ward)
- Logan (Cache Valley 3rd Branch)
- Mapleton (Mapleton 24th Ward)
- Millcreek (Winder 17th Ward)
- Orem (Geneva Heights 9th Ward)
- Pleasant Grove (Garden 9th Ward)
- Provo (Pioneer 6th Ward)
- Riverton (Harvest Field Ward)
- Sandy (Crescent Park 6th Ward)
- Sandy (Midvale 17th Ward)
- Saratoga Springs (Saratoga Hills 8th Ward)
- South Ogden (Orchard Branch)
- Taylorsville (11th Ward)
- West Jordan (Mountain Shadows 1st Ward)
Other states in the U.S. that have meetings in Portuguese-speaking units are Idaho, Nevada, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. There are also Portuguese meetings in England, Luxembourg and Uruguay.
The music for the devotional will be provided by the Coro Luz Divina (Divine Light Choir), created by Elton Luz and his wife, Mila Luz. The choir has about 250 members, mostly Brazilians from various Portuguese-speaking units throughout the state.
Elton Luz shared with Church News: “We intend to provide opportunities for immigrants and people connected in some way to the Portuguese language to be blessed by good music.”