Construction has begun in the “eternal” city for a new Latter-day Saint temple. Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with Church and local community leaders, participated in the traditional groundbreaking ceremony for the Rome Italy Temple 23 October 2010.
President Monson underlined the uniqueness of the historical moment, the importance of which goes beyond the borders of Rome and Italy. He thanked the members of the Church for their commitment to follow the example of Jesus Christ. (Watch and embed video of Rome Italy Temple groundbreaking on YouTube).
“My heart is filled with gratitude,” said President Monson as he addressed the 500 guests in attendance. “Members throughout Italy, and the entire Mediterranean area, will be able to come here.”
In attendance at the morning ceremony was Mr. Giuseppe Ciardi, representing the mayor of Rome, Giovanni Alemanno, and other local government representatives.
"A ceremony that profoundly touched me for the sincere and heartfelt appreciation of those attending," said Senator Lucio Malan. "A positive day for Italy because those who profess to obey the laws of the state and the laws of God make the country in which they live a better place."
Other Church leaders in attendance included Elder William R. Walker, executive director of the Temple Department, Elder Erich W. Kopischke, president of the European Area and his counselors, Elder Gérald Caussé and Elder José A. Teixeira of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
President Monson surprised members of the Church when he announced that a temple would be built in Rome, Italy during the October 2008 general conference.
The Church will build the temple on a beautiful 15-acre site in the community of Settebagni, Rome. When completed, it will serve over 23,000 Church members living in Italy and in neighboring countries.
Currently the Church operates 134 temples worldwide. The Rome Italy Temple will be the twelfth in Europe and the first in Italy.
The temple exterior will be constructed from granite and have decorative glazing. The interior finish will be of the finest material and workmanship: marble, woodwork, Venetian plaster and decorative painting. The three-story temple will be approximately 40,000 square feet with two tall spires.
“This truly is a historic and memorable day,” said Elder Walker of the First Quorum of the Seventy. “This great city is known for its history, for its beauty and for its Christian tradition and now it will be home to one of the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The temple will be part of a new religious and cultural center which will include a multifunctional meetinghouse, a visitors’ center, family history center and patron housing. Much of the center will be open to the public and will include buildings and gardens that will be of interest to and benefit members of the Church in the surrounding community.
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 following broadcast-quality video files are available for news media use (files are large in size):
B-roll of President Thomas S. Monson speaking at the Rome Italy Temple groundbreaking: http://broadcast2.lds.org/newsroom/2010-10-0023-president-monson-1500k-eng.mov
B-roll of Rome Italy Temple groundbreaking: http://broadcast2.lds.org/newsroom/2010-10-0023-groundbreaking-b-roll-1500k-eng.mov
B-roll of Elder William R. Walker speaking at the Rome Italy Temple groundbreaking: http://broadcast2.lds.org/newsroom/2010-10-0023-elder-walker-1500k-eng.mov
B-roll of Rome Italy Temple site: http://broadcast2.lds.org/newsroom/2010-10-0023-temple-site-b-roll-1500k-eng.mov
B-roll of scenes of Rome: http://broadcast2.lds.org/newsroom/2010-10-0023-rome-b-roll-1500k-eng.mov