The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated its first temple in Honduras, the sixth in Central America and the 141st of the Church on Sunday, 17 March 2013.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, dedicated the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple in three sessions that were broadcast to meetinghouses throughout the temple district, which includes Nicaragua.
Joining President Uchtdorf were Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer of the Seventy, and Elders James B. Martino, Carlos H. Amado and Kevin R. Duncan of the Central America area presidency. Temple president and matron, Roberto Ocampo and Argentina de Ocampo, also participated in the dedication.
Choirs composed of Latter-day Saints from within the temple district sang Church hymns for the dedication and cornerstone ceremony.
The exterior of the 28,254-square-foot temple features gray granite from China. The building stands 41.2 meters tall and is crowned with the statue of the angel Moroni, who is significant to Latter-day Saints for his role in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple will serve approximately 233,000 members of the Church in Honduras and Nicaragua. Five other temples in Central America are in Guatemala City, Guatemala (dedicated in 1984); San José, Costa Rica (2000); Panama City, Panama (2008); San Salvador, El Salvador (2011); and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (2011).
Prior to the temple dedication, more than 210,000 people attended a three-week open house to view each room and receive an explanation of the purpose of temples. Special guests included Honduran president Porfirio Lobo Sosa, First Lady Rosa Elena de Lobo, and a large government delegation, including 10 cabinet ministers.
The night before the temple dedication 4,100 Latter-day Saints participated in a cultural celebration at the Hector Chochi Sosa Stadium in Tegucigalpa. The program presented ancestral song and dance showing the beauty and culture of the country as well as the building of the new temple. The preparation for the program was a 10-month process from rehearsals to costume and stage creation. Approximately 15,000 people attended the evening performance, including President Uchtdorf, other Church leaders and the president and first lady of Honduras.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man.