When Sister Rebecca L. Craven arrived in Quito, Ecuador, on Oct. 28 and as she turned a corner on the road to get to the hotel, she saw on the side of the highway the new Quito Ecuador Temple all lit up.
“I know that the lights were all from outside shining on the temple, but it seemed as if a light was coming from it,” said the second counselor of the Young Women general presidency in an interview with the Church’s Ecuador Newsroom.
She compared the brightness of the light from the temple to the image of the temple on the Young Women medallion — which symbolically invites young women to remember they are part of the great work regarding the gathering of Israel on both sides of the veil.
For Sister Craven, the temple helps her remember that she is a daughter of God, and she invited each of the young women to have this truth implanted in her heart.
Sister Craven and Sister Kristin M. Yee, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were in Ecuador to meet with and minister to Church members.
On Saturday, Oct. 29, Sister Yee and Sister Craven attended the open house for the temple with Elder Jorge T. Becerra, a General Authority Seventy and first counselor in the South America Northwest Area, and his wife, Sister Debbie Becerra.
Sister Yee remarked on the beautiful spirit she felt inside the building and the beauty of the paintings of Jesus Christ. She said everything seen inside and outside the temple invites the viewer to reflect on creation, since creation is a reflection of the Creator.
In the interview with Newsroom, Sister Yee also said she felt that because of the great faith of Ecuadorians, many miracles will be given to their ancestors who have been waiting for the ordinances on the other side of the veil.
Sister Yee and Sister Craven were able to tour the Quito temple on the last day of the open house. It will be dedicated on Sunday, Nov. 20, and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will preside at the dedication.
The Quito Ecuador Temple open house
Newsroom reported that more than 50,000 people have taken a tour during the open house since it began on Oct. 14, often forming long lines to get in. At the end, many stayed to walk around the building and enjoy the gardens with their families and friends.
The opportunity to visit the temple for the first time was wonderful, said Patricia Palacios, who knows the Church through her school teacher. She told Newsroom it was very impressive to see the baptismal font and recognize the importance of connecting families for generations and for eternity.
Xiomara Mero traveled to Quito to attend the open house. She expressed her admiration for the beauty of the halls and the meaning of the ceremonies that are performed there.
On Oct. 12 and Oct. 13, government leaders, diplomatic representatives and other invited guests toured the Quito temple, reported Newsroom.
Among those who attended was Santiago Guarderas Izquierdo, the mayor of Quito. He remarked on the beautiful finishes and artwork inside the temple, including pictures of the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve and the Chimborazo volcano. Local flower and palm tree motifs are displayed in the stained glass windows, which were made in Cuenca.
Local politician Cristina Reyes Hidalgo said the open house helped her understand more about the symbolism and ceremonies inside the temple. She additionally valued the message the temple denotes about eternal families and the love of Jesus Christ.
Members of other religions visited the temple as well, including the Catholic church, the Muslim community, Orthodox, Gnostic, Baptist and the Bahai community, said a Newsroom report. Members of the media and private sector also attended.
About the Quito Ecuador Temple
The Quito Ecuador Temple — the second for the country — will serve Latter-day Saints in Quito, Otavalo, Ambato, Santo Domingo and other areas in the region.
Elder Hugo Montoya, General Authority Seventy who was then a counselor in the South America Northwest Area presidency, said at the groundbreaking, “As members we support each other to serve the citizens of this country. The temple will be a refuge. We should not be distressed, despite our problems. If we can be in a safe place, this place is the temple.”
The last temple open house to take place in Ecuador was in 1999 when the Guayaquil Ecuador Temple was completed. There are more than 250,000 members of the Church in Ecuador and more than 300 congregations.