A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled in August for the Salvador Brazil Temple, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Tuesday.
Why it matters
The temple in this coastal port city of 2.9 million people — the fourth-largest city in the nation — will be the church’s 11th in Brazil, with 12th and 13th temples announced and awaiting groundbreakings.
The church has two missions in Salvador and nine stakes in the metropolitan area and nearby cities, said David Lazenby, former president of the Brazil Salvador Mission.
“It will be just phenomenal for them,” he said of church members who now travel 11 to 20 hours to the Recife Brazil Temple in a neighboring state for temple ordinances.
“They do regular bus caravans a couple, three, four times a year, depending on the ward, the stake, the branch,” said Lazenby, who lives in Belmont, Massachusetts. “Now of course, those that are right in Salvador will be there, and those who were driving 20 hours will have their travel cut in half.”
In all, Brazil is home to 1.4 million Latter-day Saints. Only the United States and Mexico have larger church memberships.
Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, a General Authority Seventy serving as the church’s Brazil Area president, will preside at the ceremony.
The ceremonies in August — the church did not release the exact date — will be private and attendance will be by invitation only due to local COVID-19 guidelines.
President Russell M. Nelson announced the Salvador Temple during the church’s October 2018 general conference.
Construction in Salvador will begin soon after the groundbreaking ceremonies.
Salvador has deep religious roots. Salvador means Savior in English. The city name dates to 1502, when Amerigo Vespucci named the body of water by which it sits — the largest bay in Brazil — the Bay of All Saints. The city was established in 1549 and its full name translates to Holy Savior of the Bay of All Saints.
Beyond its name, Salvador has a long, rich religious history. It was the seat of the first Catholic bishop in colonial Brazil in the 16th century.
Major construction era
Last month during the church’s international general conference, President Nelson said, “We want to bring the house of the Lord even closer to our members, that they may have the sacred privilege of attending the temple as often as their circumstances allow.”
His actions indicate he meant many more temples would be built. He announced 20 new temple locations during the conference, and he announced another last weekend. He now has announced 70 new temples in three years as church president.
The Salvador Temple will be the 37th temple the church has under construction.
Another 47 temples have been announced and church leaders and officials have said many of those will soon be under construction, too.
There are 168 operating temples around the world.
When all are completed, there will be 252 Latter-day Saint temples.
List of Brazil temples
The church has seven temples in operation in Brazil, with another another six announced or under construction.
The seven operating temples in the country are the:
- São Paulo Brazil Temple
- Recife Brazil Temple
- Porto Alegre Brazil Temple
- Campinas Brazil Temple
- Curitiba Brazil Temple
- Manaus Brazil Temple
- Fortaleza Brazil Temple
The three under construction are the:
- Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple
- Belém Brazil Temple
- Brasília Brazil Temple
The three announced are the:
- Salvador Brazil Temple
- São Paulo Brazil East Temple
- Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple