Expanded temple garment factory dedicated in Paraguay, receives visit from country’s president

Bishop Waddell blesses the factory workers with a greater understanding of the importance of their work, and the president of Paraguay speaks on faith

Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, dedicated the expanded textile plant in Luque, Paraguay, outside the capital of Asuncion, on Jan. 29, 2024, according to a Church Newsroom release.

The factory produces garments worn and considered sacred by endowed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The clothing is worn beneath everyday clothes as a reminder of sacred covenants members make in the temple. The plant first opened in 1995 and operates exclusively in producing religious clothing for the Church. The Paraguay plant was originally dedicated the same year.

The expansion will increase employment from 90 to 290 and includes 2,830 square meters of offices, a dining room, a modern cutting room and a large warehouse. It is estimated that the expansion will double exports to 2 million garments annually.

Five men observing as a woman works on a machine in a textile factory.
General Manager Elvio Villasboa gives a tour of a textile plant in Luque, Paraguay, to Elder Craig C. Christensen and Bishop W. Christopher Waddell on Jan. 29, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The plant’s general manager, Elvio Villasboa, said that in a 2018 visit to the factory, Church President Russell M. Nelson said that the plant would continue to grow.

“This is the Lord’s factory,” Villasboa said, “We have seen his hand in everything we do, and we have seen miracles in this place.”

Bishop Waddell was accompanied by Elder Craig C. Christensen, a General Authority Seventy and president of the South America South Area.

He said there was no other factory in the world with the Spirit he observed in the Paraguay plant and praised the employees “for being so dedicated to their work and for following the agreements they have made with the Lord.”

In the dedicatory prayer, Bishop Waddell blessed the employees with spiritual and physical strength and to have a greater understanding of the importance of their work.

He also blessed “all who benefit from this facility, that they may have a renewed understanding of the sacred nature of all that will be produced in its name, reminding them of their covenants that they have made with you in your house.”

President Peña putting his arms around the shoulders of a plant worker.
Paraguayan President Santiago Peña greets workers at a textile plant in Luque, Paraguay, during his visit for the inauguration ceremony in February 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Paraguay Newsroom reported on Feb. 23, 2024, that Paraguayan President Santiago Peña and first lady Leticia Ocampos spoke at the inauguration ceremony of the expanded facility and met with Elder Alan R. Walker, a General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the South America South Area presidency.

President Peña said he celebrates when an organization “bets on Paraguay,” offering employment opportunities like the Church has done in the country for nearly 30 years.

He was delighted that the inauguration centered on faith.

“Paraguayans are people of great faith,” President Peña said, “I believe that faith is important because it leads us to paths that are difficult, but that are ultimately the correct ones to carry forward the dreams and aspirations of each of us.”

People shaking hands with each other.
Elder Alan R. Walker, a General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Ines Walker, greet Paraguayan President Santiago Peña and First Lady Leticia Ocampos for the inauguration of an expanded textile plant in Luque, Paraguay, in February 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Walker said at the inauguration ceremony that members of the Church have several divinely appointed responsibilities that include uniting families for eternity.

“For this we build temples, like the one we have here in Asunción on España Avenue, within which faithful members of the Church worship God and make sacred promises to follow the highest standards of moral integrity and dedication to God.

“As part of making these agreements you receive a simple underwear, which you wear under your normal clothing for the rest of your life, and it becomes an outward expression of an inner commitment to follow Jesus Christ.”

Other guests included Central Department Governor Ricardo Estigarribia, Luque’s mayor Carlos Echeverria, and representatives from the ministries of Commerce and Industry and of Work, Employment and Social Security.

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