The president of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo do Sousa, toured the Lisbon Portugal Temple on Aug. 29 during the temple open house.
The president also received as a gift his documented family history from Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy at the occasion — a framed four-generation chart and book of his ancestry.
“My grandfather went to Brazil when he was very young,” Rebelo de Sousa said in a Newsroom release. “Then he went to Angola. He became a very well-known trader. These kinds of stories are so important. And I know that your Church is very much pro family, as I am. (The family) is the foundation of society.”
Rebelo de Sousa was also joined in his tour of the temple by Elder Gary B. Sabin, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Europe Area, and Elder Joaquim Moreira, an Area Seventy responsible for the temple open house.
In addition to the building’s 49-feet height, the temple has a 134-foot gold-leafed spire with a statue of the angel Moroni on top, according to a Church News article. With gold, blue, ochre and lavender colors featured inside the temple, the exterior is made of Portuguese Moleanos limestone. The exterior and interior glass has been carved in traditional Portuguese patterns and highlighted with gold leaf.
“I want people to come and see the temple,” Elder Teixeira said. “More than just being beautiful, it’s full of meaning, full of meaning for life and what life means to us as families. What we’re doing in the temple is not secret, it is special and sacred.”
The temple was announced by President Thomas S. Monson, who also dedicated Portugal for the preaching of the gospel in 1975, during the October 2010 general conference. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the temple on Sept. 15, making it the 166th temple in operation of the Church worldwide.
Read the full release on Newsroom.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that President Monson dedicated Portugal for the preaching of the gospel in 1947. He dedicated it in 1975.