Ground broken for Salvador Brazil Temple, to be the South American country’s 11th

The Brazilian city that bears the title of the Savior now has a house of the Lord under construction.

A group of leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined local leaders and friends in Salvador, Brazil, on Saturday, Aug. 7, to break ground for the Salvador Brazil Temple, to be the 11th temple in the South American country.

Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, president of the Brazil Area, speaks to invited guests during the Salvador Brazil Temple groundbreaking service in Salvador, Brazil, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021.
Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, president of the Brazil Area, speaks to invited guests during the Salvador Brazil Temple groundbreaking service in Salvador, Brazil, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, president of the Church’s Brazil Area, presided over the event, with Elder Joni L. Koch, first counselor in the area presidency, offering the dedicatory prayer.

“We recognize this city, whose name ‘Salvador’ refers to your Son,” prayed Elder Koch to the Father in the prayer dedicating the site and blessing the ensuing efforts to build the new temple. “May the construction of this holy house on the mountaintop be an expression of the privilege that it is to have one in our lives. …

“May the construction of this house symbolize, for everyone here and around the world, a testimony of Thy greatness and the certainty of eternal life.”

In his remarks, Elder Parrella said: “The word ‘temple’ literally means ‘house of the Lord.’ … We can be blessed by that house.”

He explained that in temples, sacred ceremonies are performed, and when those attending the temple need to communicate, they whisper. “This is a sign and a message,” Elder Parrella said. “Not for other people, but for God. A sign that we recognize that we are treading on sacred ground. Temples are built to perform the most sacred ordinances a child of God can receive on this earth.”

Sister Elaine Parrella speaks to invited guests during the Salvador Brazil Temple groundbreaking service in Salvador, Brazil, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021.
Sister Elaine Parrella speaks to invited guests during the Salvador Brazil Temple groundbreaking service in Salvador, Brazil, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Parrella and his wife, Sister Elaine Parrella, were joined by a small number of guests and local Church leaders, with COVID-19 pandemic precautions limiting the gathering. Others included Elder Koch and his wife, Sister Michele Koch; Elder Juan A. Uceda, second counselor in the Brazil Area presidency, and his wife, Sister Maria Isabel Uceda; Bruno Reis, the mayor of Salvador; and other government leaders.

Formerly known as São Salvador de Bahia de Todos os Santos (Holy Savior of the Bay of All Saints), Salvador was founded in 1549 by the Portuguese as the first capital of Brazil and is one of oldest colonial cities in the Americas. Located along Brazil’s northeastern coast, it is the country’s fourth-largest city.

“With the construction of this temple, we can see the love that the Savior has for the Church’s members here,” said Sister Parrella.

She added: “I feel the Savior’s love every week I go to the temple. I feel help from heaven and angels. I feel peace and tranquility, even in the midst of challenges.

An exterior rendering of the Salvador Brazil Temple.
An exterior rendering of the Salvador Brazil Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Announced on Oct. 7, 2018, by President Russell M. Nelson, the Salvador temple was among 12 new temple locations identified in the closing session of the October 2018 general conference.

Brazil is home to more than 1.4 million members, with 277 stakes, more than 2,100 congregations and 36 missions, two of which are headquartered in Salvador.

The Salvador temple is among 13 to be located in South America’s largest country. Dedicated temples are located in Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife and São Paulo — the latter, dedicated in 1978, being the Church’s first temple both in Brazil and on the continent.

A temple in Rio de Janeiro has been completed and is preparing to be dedicated, with other temples under construction in Belém and Brasília and additional temples announced for Belo Horizonte and São Paulo East.

Salvador is currently in the Recife Brazil Temple district, with that temple located a little more than 500 miles away.

Local government representatives from Salvador, including the city‘s mayor, Bruno Reis, third from left, listen to Latter-day Saints‘ messages during the groundbreaking service of the Salvador Brazil Temple on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021.
Local government representatives from Salvador, including the city‘s mayor, Bruno Reis, third from left, listen to Latter-day Saints‘ messages during the groundbreaking service of the Salvador Brazil Temple on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Uceda recalled a time when the São Paulo Brazil Temple was the Church’s sole temple in South America. He recalled when he and his wife many years ago traveled from their home in Lima, Peru, by train and bus to attend the temple in São Paulo and be sealed.

“Today, Church members in Salvador … will have a beautiful temple,” he added, mindful of the growing number of temples that have been constructed on the continent since the dedication of the São Paulo temple in 1978.

A video of the groundbreaking ceremony will be available on Newsroom in the coming days.