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Peru’s Lima to become 3rd city — 1st outside of Utah — to have 2 dedicated temples

A look at the Lima Peru and Lima Peru Los Olivos temples as well as other cities with two houses of the Lord and areas with temples in close proximity

LIMA, Peru — With the Lima Peru Temple having celebrated its 38th anniversary earlier this week and the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple to be dedicated Sunday, Jan. 14, Lima becomes the first city outside of Utah to have two houses of the Lord.

The first city to have two dedicated temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was South Jordan, Utah — although neither temple’s name contains the city’s full name. The Jordan River Utah Temple was dedicated in 1981 and the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple in 2009, with a little more than 3 miles separating those two houses of the Lord in the Salt Lake Valley.

The next city with two temples is Provo, Utah — and there is no doubt of either’s location, given their names. The Provo Utah Temple was dedicated in 1972 and the Provo City Center Temple in 2016. And the 2.4 miles between the two is the Church’s shortest distance between temples.

The Provo Utah Temple will close next month, with a redesigned and reconstructed house of the Lord to be built on the site.

And now, add Lima at No. 3 on the list of cities with two dedicated temples, after Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicates the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple in two sessions Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.

The Lima Peru Temple in Lima, Peru.
The Lima Peru Temple in Lima, Peru, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. A second temple in Lima will be dedicated Sunday, Jan. 14. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The Los Olivos temple joins the first Lima temple, which was dedicated Jan. 10, 1986, by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor in the First Presidency. It was the Church’s third temple in South America, following the São Paulo Brazil Temple (dedicated in 1978) and the Santiago Chile Temple (1983).

Each of those older houses of the Lord in South America will have a companion temple in its city within coming years.

Lima temple dedications in 1986, 2024

In 1986, Carlos Virrueta was a young full-time missionary from Cusco, Peru, serving in Lima near the city’s La Molina district where the Lima Peru Temple is located. He and other missionaries received permission to attend one of the 11 dedicatory sessions held Jan. 10-12.

“It was so impressive for me,” he said Thursday, Jan. 10, 2024, outside the temple’s entrance, speaking on the anniversary date of the dedication. “I never thought we could have this kind of a session — yes, we had President Hinckley there, but the Spirit was so strong, many people were crying. It was an amazing experience.”

The Lima Peru Temple.
The Lima Peru Temple on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Lima, Peru. A second temple in Lima will be dedicated Sunday, Jan. 14. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Virrueta today is the supervisor of support services at the nearby Peru Missionary Training Center, helping to arrange temple sessions for the elders and sisters to regularly attend and participate in temple ordinances — some for the first time.

When the first house of the Lord in Lima was dedicated, the temple district included the 119,000 Latter-day Saints living in Peru and 45,000 residing in Bolivia. Today, Peru is home to more than 630,000 Latter-day Saints comprising nearly 780 congregations and 112 stakes, including 48 just in Lima, which boasts a metro-area population of more than 11 million people according to most estimates.

And with the Los Olivos temple beginning sessions next week after the dedication, the nation that rises from its Pacific Ocean beaches to its towering Andes peaks will have four operating temples, including those in Trujillo (dedicated in 2014) and Arequipa (2019).

A woman sells dolls on the streets in Lima, Peru.
A woman sells dolls on the streets in Lima, Peru, on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Five more are in planning and design — for CuscoChiclayoHuancayoIquitos and Piura — with all five new temples announced within the past two years by President Russell M. Nelson. His predecessor, President Thomas S. Monson, announced the second Lima temple in the April 2016 general conference.

“The Church in Peru is growing so fast,” said Virrueta, mindful of those who will be attending a temple dedication like he did nearly 40 years ago. “The people who are going to be in the temple, they’re going to have the best experience of their lives.”

Karen Surichaqui recently sat with her husband, Michael, outside the Los Olivos temple three nights before its dedication, waiting to attend training sessions — one to help facilitate the dedicatory sessions and assist attendees, and another in preparation to serve as temple workers after its dedication. The Surichaquis are in the Huandoy Ward of the Lima Peru Naranjal Stake.

“It is a great blessing — the Lord has responded to our prayers, because the members wanted more opportunities to attend and to serve more in the temple,” said Karen Surichaqui of Lima’s two houses of the Lord.

“And it was difficult at times to get to the temple there,” she said, explaining that while their travel to the Lima temple could take an hour and a half or more through the city’s traffic-choked avenues and streets, they are now within 15 minutes of the new temple. “I feel that the Lord recognized the prayers of everyone here.”

Choir members walk near the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple.
Choir members walk near the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple in Lima on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The temple is the second one in Lima and will be dedicated Sunday Jan. 14. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Other cities with a 2nd temple coming

The next city with two dedicated temples will be St. George, Utah. The Church’s oldest operating house of the Lord is the St. George Utah Temple, which was dedicated in 1877 and rededicated just last month by President Jeffrey R. Holland, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, after extensive renovations. The Red Cliffs Utah Temple, located in southeastern St. George, will be dedicated on March 24 by President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency.

A number of cities have one dedicated house of the Lord and a second either under construction or announced and in planning. Those temple pairs are:

Going the distance

Eight miles separate the Lima Peru and the Lima Peru Los Olivos temples in the largest city and capital of the western South American nation.

The Lima Peru Temple.
The Lima Peru Temple in Lima, Peru, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. A second temple in Lima will be dedicated Sunday, Jan. 14. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

However, more than a dozen pairs of temples worldwide — either with actual locations or announced sites — are situated in closer proximity than 8 miles, including a number where the two temples have street addresses in separate cities.

The distances under 8 miles and the pairs are:

Other pairs of the Church’s 335 total temples dedication, under construction or announced could be added in coming months or years, once temples in planning have a site announced. For example, the exact distance between the two temples in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is still unknown as the new City Center temple does not have an announced site yet.

The Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple.
The Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple in Lima, Peru, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The temple is the second one in Lima and will be dedicated Sunday, Jan. 14. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Also, the Brazzaville Republic of the Congo Temple has yet to have a site released. But the city of Brazzaville is on the one side of the Congo River, with the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple less than four miles away on the opposite side.

Temples and metropolitan areas

Temples in close proximity received attention a little more than a year ago when in the same October 2022 general conference, President Nelson announced 14 locations for new temples. Then he added: “We are also planning to build multiple temples in selected large metropolitan areas where travel time to an existing temple is a major challenge. Therefore, I am pleased to announce four additional locations near Mexico City where new temples will be built.”

The four locations are:

Having multiple temples in a metro area was nothing new for the Church, as evidenced by some of the aforementioned pairs. But announcing four new temples at once was something new — and they joined the Mexico City and Mexico City Benemérito temples, both of which are in the city proper.

Guards stand at the Government Palace of Peru in Lima.
Guards stand at the Government Palace of Peru in Lima on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Multiple temples in metro areas in the United States extend from Utah to Phoenix, Arizona, and from Southern California to Texas’ Dallas/Fort Worth area. And the under-construction Alabang Philippines Temple was first announced by President Monson in the April 2017 general conferences as a house of the Lord for “the greater Manila, Philippines, area.”

The Alabang Philippines Temple is located in the barangay of Alabang in the city of Muntinlupa in the Manila metro area, a little more than 13 miles from the Manila Philippines Temple.

Because the parameters of metropolitan areas — both in official and unofficial usages — vary considerably, it is difficult to compile an accurate list of the Church’s temples by metro area.

The Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple.
The Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple in Lima, Peru, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The temple is the second one in Lima and will be dedicated Sunday, Jan. 14. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
A boat is beached on the Pacific coast near Lima, Peru.
A boat is beached on the Pacific coast near Lima, Peru, on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
The Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple.
The Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple in Lima on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The temple is the second one in Lima and will be dedicated Sunday, Jan. 14. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
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See first images inside, outside of the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple, the Church’s 2nd in the metro area
Dedication, open house dates announced for Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple
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