The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Saturday the dates for public open houses prior to the dedications of new temples in Curitiba, Brazil, and Panama City, Panama.
Following tours for media and dignitaries, the public will be invited to visit the Curitiba temple from Saturday, 10 May 2008, until Saturday, 24 May 2008. For the temple in Panama City, the public may visit starting Friday, 11 July 2008, continuing to Saturday, 26 July 2008. Both temples will be closed to visitors on Sundays.
After the open houses, the Curitiba temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, 1 June 2008, and the Panama City temple on Sunday, 10 August 2008. Four dedicatory sessions each will be held to accommodate local Latter-day Saints.
The Curitiba Brazil Temple will serve more than 52,000 members of the Church living in the areas of Paraná and Santa Catarina. The Panama City Panama Temple will serve more than 31,000 Latter-day Saints.
In conjunction with the temple dedications, there will also be a religious meeting and a cultural celebration of music and dance for Church members in the two regions. These events are scheduled for Saturday, 31 May 2008, in Curitiba, and Saturday, 9 August 2008, in Panama City.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ's teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and strengthen their commitment to serve Jesus Christ and those around them.
The Curitiba Brazil and Panama City Panama Temples were announced on 23 August 2002. The Curitiba temple will be the fifth Latter-day Saint temple in Brazil and the 126th operating temple in the world. The Panama City temple will be the 127th worldwide, and the third in Central America.