With several messages, a dedicatory prayer and the symbolic turning of shovelfuls of soil, the construction phase has now begun for the Miraflores Guatemala City Guatemala Temple.
The temple will be The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ fourth in Guatemala — and the second in the metropolitan area of the Central American nation’s capital.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, in Guatemala City, Elder Patricio M. Giuffra, a General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Church’s Central America Area presidency, presided over the groundbreaking ceremony and offered a prayer dedicating both the temple site and the temple’s construction process.
In remarks prior to the prayer, Elder Giuffra reminded attendees — comprised of Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church — that Heavenly Father has directed the building of temples as earthly places of refugee and worship as well as locations of eternal ordinances, the rites being sacred both for themselves as well as for those who have left this world of probation.
“We are grateful for the faithfulness in Jesus Christ that many of Thy children have had in preaching the gospel in this part of Thy vineyard ...,” Elder Giuffra said in his prayer. “[We are] grateful there is a safe environment so that the gospel of Thy Son Jesus Christ can be preached and the work grown in the City of Eternal Spring.”
As he concluded the prayer, he added: “We know that this holy house will allow many of Thy faithful children to perform covenants and ordinances to return to Thy presence. May the neighbors and all who pass by this sacred ground feel the influence of Thy Spirit flowing from this place so that they have the desire to know about this sacred edifice.”
Prior to Elder Giuffra’s remarks and prayer, several local Latter-day Saints offered remarks during the services.
Rogelia Morán of Chimaltenango — the municipal capital of the department of the same name, which is about 55 kilometers (35 miles) west of Guatemala City — spoke of her gratitude for participating in the groundbreaking for a new temple in Guatemala, considering it a spiritual and momentous event in her life.
“I have been a temple worker for almost three decades,” she said. “I know the joy and hope of our family members who await their ordinances in the house of the Lord, where His presence is felt.”
Melany Ibeth Per Sanic, a young woman from Patzicía, in the Chimaltenango Department, spoke of her gratitude and happiness for the new temple, recalling that since she was little, her family had taught her about and prepared her for the temple.
“When it was time to enter the temple for the first time, I could feel in a great way a spirit of joy and happiness that for a moment made me forget the things of the world and instead focus on the ordinances and covenants,” she said. “The closer temples are to our homes, the closer Heavenly Father is to us and we are to the blessings He offers us.”
José Miguel Durán, a recently returned missionary, explained that through prayer, God listens and is present in the lives of His children, that Jesus Christ will be close to those who live His teachings and accept the invitation to come unto Him through His Church and temple ordinances and covenants.
The Miraflores temple will be a two-story building of approximately 30,000 square feet, located on a 1.5-acre site at the intersection of 13 Calle and 5A Avenida in Guatemala City’s Zona 11, where the former Roosevelt Ward meetinghouse stood previously.
The temple’s site and rendering were released in September 2021, with the First Presidency announcing on July 1, 2022, that the temple would be named the Miraflores Guatemala City Guatemala Temple.
The temple will be the country’s fourth. The Guatemala City Guatemala Temple was dedicated in 1984, followed by the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple in 2011. Construction began in late 2020 on the Cobán Guatemala Temple.
Guatemala is home to more than 285,000 Latter-day Saints, seven missions, 51 stakes and approximately 440 congregations. The Miraflores temple will serve more than 56,000 members.
Dates for the temple’s open house for public tours and its dedication will be announced later.
The Church’s Guatemala Newsroom site provided the video of Miraflores Guatemala City Guatemala Temple groundbreaking services.