First Presidency announces same dedication dates for 2 temples

Bentonville Arkansas Temple is that state’s first; Brasília Brazil Temple is 10th in that South America nation

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced dedication and open house dates for two temples — the Bentonville Arkansas Temple and the Brasília Brazil Temple.

Both temples will be dedicated on the same day — Sunday, Sept. 17.

The announcement was published Monday, Feb. 13, on Additional details about the dedications and open houses will be released as the events approach.

Bentonville Arkansas Temple

The public open house for the Bentonville Arkansas Temple runs from Saturday, June 17, through Saturday, July 1, excluding Sundays.

Exterior rendering of the Bentonville Arkansas Temple. The First Presidency announced that it will be dedicated Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will preside over the temple’s dedication on Sunday, Sept. 17, offering the dedicatory prayer in the two sessions at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Elder Bednar has numerous ties to the area and the temple. He and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, and their family lived in Arkansas for about 14 years during the 1980s and 1990s, during which time he served as a bishop, stake president and regional representative.

As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he has organized two stakes in Arkansas, including the Bentonville Arkansas Stake in 2014. And he presided remotely over the temple’s Nov. 7, 2020, groundbreaking ceremony, which was a small, by-invitation-only gathering because of COVID-19 pandemic precautions and restrictions.

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Prior to the public open house, a media day will be held Monday, June 12, followed by tours for invited guests Tuesday through Friday, June 13-16.

President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Bentonville in October 2019 general conference. The 25,000-square-foot building with a center spire sits on an 8.8-acre site at 1101 McCollum Road in Bentonville, about 15 miles south of the Missouri border in Arkansas’ northwestern corner.

It will be the Church’s first temple in the state, which is home to more than 34,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 70 congregations. The closest temples currently to these members are the Kansas City Missouri, Oklahoma City Oklahoma and Memphis Tennessee temples.

The Bentonville Arkansas Temple will serve members not only in northwestern Arkansas but also eastern Oklahoma and southern Missouri.

Brasília Brazil Temple

The public open house for the Brasília Brazil Temple begins on Saturday, Aug. 5, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 26, excluding Sundays.

Exterior rendering of the Brasília Brazil Temple. The First Presidency announced that the temple will be dedicated Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will preside over the two dedications, at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m on Sunday, Sept. 17, and will offer the dedicatory prayer.

Elder Andersen presided over the Brazil South Area for several years in the early 2000s.

The dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to all units in the Brasília Brazil Temple district.

A media day at the Brasília temple will be Tuesday, Aug. 1, with invited guests touring the temple Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 2-4.

President Thomas S. Monson announced plans for a temple in Brasilia during the April 2017 general conference.

Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Brazil Area, presided over the Sept. 26, 2020, groundbreaking ceremony and offered a dedicatory prayer on the site and the construction processes.

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The temple will be Brazil’s 10th and first since 2022, when temples were dedicated in Rio de Janeiro and Belém. The São Paulo Brazil Temple was the first both in the country and on the continent when it was dedicated in 1978. Other operating temples are found in Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre and Recife.

The Brasília Brazil Temple will be on a 6-acre site at SGA/Norte Quadra 612 – Lote “C” in Brasília, the nation’s capital. Plans call for a single-story building of approximately 25,000 square feet, with patron housing and a new meetinghouse also built on the site. 

Brazil is home to 36 missions and nearly 1.5 million Latter-day Saints in more than 2,100 congregations. As a country, Brazil has the third-most members of the Church in the world, after the United States and Mexico.

Even with nine operating temples, many Latter-day Saints must still travel long distances at great expense to enjoy the blessings of temple attendance. Brasilia — Brazil’s capital city, located at the heart of the sprawling South American nation — will be the first temple in the country’s geographic interior.

For example, the distance from Palmas to the Campinas Brazil Temple — which is from country’s interior to the southern side, close to Sao Paulo — is nearly 1,100 miles, requiring a nonstop drive by car of 20-plus hours. The temple in Brasilia will halve the time and distance and reduce travel expenses, but it will still be more than a 10-hour drive.

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