A new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be built in Manaus, Brazil, according to a recent announcement of the First Presidency of the Church.
“It is not possible to express the joy that I feel as a result of the announcement,” said Geraldo Diogo Lima, a local Church leader in Manaus. “I often find myself in tears as I ponder the blessing of having a temple in our city.”
For the approximately 60,000 members of the Church in Manaus — an area located in the Amazon River basin in the northern part of Brazil — the new temple means they will no longer have to travel for several days to reach the closest existing temple in Caracas, Venezuela.
“We are confident,” officials of the Church Temple Department explained in a letter distributed to Church leaders worldwide, “that this temple will be a blessing to the many faithful members in this and surrounding areas that have had to travel long distances to enjoy the blessings of the temple.”
With the announcement, the total number of temples operating, under construction or announced climbs to 136 worldwide. In Brazil, temples are currently in Campinas, Recife, São Paulo and Porto Alegre.
Latter-day Saint temples are considered houses of God, each a place of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. Temples provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God. They are also where the highest sacraments of the faith occur — the marriage of couples and the sealing of families for eternity.