As open house concludes, see who visited new temple in Brasília

Brazil’s vice president, Geraldo Alckmin, is among many who have toured the Brasília Brazil Temple’s open house, which concludes Sept. 2

The beginning of the Brasília Brazil Temple VIP tours and open house this month coincided with the beginning of a new legislative term for the country’s lawmakers on Aug. 1.

Among those who visited the temple was Brazil’s vice president, Geraldo Alckmin, who walked through the temple with Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Aug. 9. Alckmin was joined by eight other federal representatives on that tour.

Geraldo Alckmin, Brazil’s vice president, Elder Joni L. Koch, and Elder Ulisses Soares meet outside the Brasília Brazil Temple
Geraldo Alckmin, Brazil’s vice president, shakes hands with Elder Joni L. Koch, Brazil Area president and General Authority Seventy, after meeting Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the Brasília Brazil Temple on Aug. 9, 2023. | Ale Borges, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With so many elected officials coming to the city to fulfill their political responsibilities in August, many of them also took advantage of the opportunity to visit The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ newest temple in Brazil in the nation’s capital of Brasília.

Following an initial surge of nearly 500 government officials, media representatives and other members of the community on the temple’s media day, thousands of others have now visited the temple from the community ahead of the temple’s Sept. 17 dedication date.

The tour with the vice president was one of the final tours given by Elder Soares, who attended the VIP tours and media day as part of an assignment from the First Presidency. During the tours, Elder Soares taught the vice president and others about the sacredness of the ordinances and covenants of the temple and how they help strengthen testimonies of Jesus Christ.

After learning about the chance families have to be sealed for eternity, Alckmin said, “My father’s eyes always shined when he spoke with our family about eternity.”

This visit to one of the Church’s temples came nearly 20 years after his tour of the temple in São Paulo ahead of its rededication in 2004. Alckmin said he felt the same peace on both temples’ grounds.

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Congressional recognition of the Church

The day after Elder Soares returned to the United States, Brazil’s Congress recognized the Church for its growth and contributions throughout the nation. Prior to leaving, Elder Soares recorded a video thanking the Congress for its recognition and inviting its members to visit the temple prior to the open house’s conclusion on Saturday, Sept. 2.

Elder Joni L. Koch, Brazil Area president and General Authority Seventy, speaks to Brazil’s Congress on Aug. 10, 2023. | Ale Borges, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Brazil’s Legislative House President Arthur Lira welcomed more than 500 members of the Church and friends to the Chamber of Deputies in Brasília on Aug. 10, according to the Church’s Brazil Newsroom. During the special session, Lira said the Church’s message about the teachings of Jesus Christ “have fallen on fertile soil.”

Brazil Federal Congressman Charles Fernandes read an official statement from Lira and then shared his own observations of Church members who he has seen serve in the community. Fernandes, who also toured the temple, said he found “peace and spiritual strength I felt inside, which touched me deeply, which awakened in me the desire to be better.”

Lira said the benefits the Church has brought to Brazil go beyond the spiritual feelings they had in the temple. He said the Church has carried out “extraordinary missionary work of evangelization and social assistance in our country, contributing to the dissemination of high Christian values in Brazilian society.”

Brazil’s Congress watches a video recorded with Elder Ulisses Soares in which he invited the elected officials to visit the Brasília Brazil Temple open house that concludes on Sept. 2, 2023. | Ale Borges, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

One member of the Church who previously served in Brazil’s Congress, Moroni Torgan, spoke at the event.

“We learn from [Jesus Christ] to provide service to the community. Any and all help you need, we will be ready to serve, because that is the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Torgan said.

Teenagers at the temple

Young men and young women from the temple district were invited to participate in special open house tours focused on the experience they can have in growing closer to the Savior through serving and making covenants in the temple.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, nearly 1,500 youth gathered at a chapel in Brasília to hear temple-related messages and to enjoy musical messages sung by artists who are featured on the country’s version of the youth theme album. Following that event, the youth traveled to the temple to take part in tours.

Palmênio Castro, the Brazil Area’s director of Seminary and Institute, spoke to the youth about finding strength and hope in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

“It was an extraordinary experience in Brasília,” Castro said. “... There was a marvelous feeling there.”

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