Asuncion Paraguay Mormon Temple
On April 2, 2000, an announcement was made that the Mormon Church was planning to build a temple in Paraguay. Although there were already eleven other dedicated temples in South America, the Asuncion Mormon Temple was the first temple to be built in Paraguay. For the more than 68,000 members that the Asuncion Temple will serve, the announcement was received with joy.
In 1994, Carlos Espinola, a member of the Mormon Church in Paraguay said, “We have lived in Paraguay since the Church had only two branches, I feel that the day is much closer now when there is going to be great growth in the Church here. When President Ezra Taft Benson dedicated this land for the preaching of the gospel, he said there would be many stakes in Paraguay. I can see that day coming.” Espinola’s remarks certainly apply to the Mormon Church in Paraguay.
The Mormon Church in Paraguay grew very slowly compared to much of the rest of South America from 1949 when Paraguay was officially opened to Mormon missionary work under the mission headquartered in Urugauy to 1977 when Paraguay became its own mission area. In 1977 just after the announcement that Paraguay would become its own mission, converts to the Mormon Church began to increase. The average number of baptisms per year in Paraguay up to this time had been 211. In the year following the announcement 400 people were baptized into the Church. Missionary work in Paraguay takes great effort on the part of missionaries. In Paraguay’s capitol city Asuncion most people speak Spanish, but in much of the rest of the country, many people speak only Guarani, so many of the Mormon missionaries must learn both languages.
In February 1979 the first stake was formed in Paraguay. Just a short time later in June 1980 a second stake was created, and in November 1992 a third stake was needed. In 1994 there were only 15,000 members. By 2000, when the building of the temple was announced, that number had more than tripled, and now there are approximately more than 152,000 members in Paraguay.
On February 3, 2001, the site for the temple was dedicated, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held. It was a rainy, cloudy day, but still members came excited to be a part of the building of the temple.
An open house was held Saturday May 4, 2002 through Saturday May 11, 2002. This allowed Mormons and those not of the Mormon faith to see the inside of the temple and learn more about what takes place inside. The Mormon temple is a place of worship for members, where family members can be sealed to each other for eternity and where members learn more about Heavenly Father’s plan for his children.
On Sunday May 19, 2002, four dedicatory sessions were held. This allowed all those members who wanted to attend the opportunity to be present at the dedication of the temple. President Gordon B. Hinckley offerred the dedicatory prayer.
ESQUINA BRASILIA Y ESPAÑA
c/o Asunción Paraguay Service Center
Phone: (595) 21-230-035