Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic’s capital city. Founded in 1496, this city is the oldest European settlement existing in the New World.
In 1978 the Dominican Republic was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel. In that same year, two Mormon families moved to the country, each unbeknownst to the other. They quickly became friends and began sharing the Gospel with newfound friends and acquaintances. In 1979 more than three hundred people had been baptized; 1981 brought the first mission organized for this country, and the membership reached twenty-five hundred; in 1986 membership had grown to eleven thousand, and in 1998, church membership reached a staggering sixty thousand.1
Before the temple was built in the Dominican Republic, members of the Mormon Church would have to travel to Florida, Peru, or Guatemala to attend the temple. As with many regions of the world, financial struggles made it quite difficult for some families to go the temple even once.
With the announcement of the new Mormon temple in their area, members quickly began working on preparing themselves for the dedication and preparing names to be done when the temple doors opened. “Our goal is to have at least 170,000 names available when the temple doors open,” said President Castro of the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Stake.2 These names are of ancestors who had already passed on without the benefit of receiving the gospel or temple ordinances. Their temple work would be done for them vicariously, and in the Spirit World, they will have the opportunity to accept or reject those ordinances.
Worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Mormons] participate in sacred ordinances and make covenants with God in the temple. Like baptism, these ordinances and covenants are necessary for the salvation of man and they must be performed in the Mormon temple. The temple is a learning center where those who enter gain a better understanding of our purpose in life and our relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple is located in the western part of the city. Adorned with trees and overlooking the Caribbean Sea, it is fast becoming a beacon of strength for members and non-members alike.
The temple open house attracted nearly forty thousand people. After touring the temple, a local journalist reported the following, “Within the temple, one receives the impression of being in another world…nothing in the country can compare with this…”
Over ten thousand Dominicans and their neighbors from Haiti, Puerto Rico, and other islands witnessed the dedication of the temple on September 17, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley. “Dear Father, please look down with love upon Thy sons and daughters in this island nation and in surrounding lands,” President Hinckley petitioned in his dedicatory prayer. “Prosper them in their labors that they may have food upon their tables and shelter over their heads. As they look to Thee, reward their faith and open Thy hand of providence toward them. May they find peace in the midst of conflict, and faith amidst the stress of the world. Open the windows of heaven, as Thou hast promised, and let blessings flow down upon them.”3
The prayers of faithful members of the Mormon Church were answered. The temple has and will serve as a source of strength to its members. In a country where marriage is looked upon as an unnecessary foible and where sexual impurity and social drinking are acceptable, the members will need a solid foundation that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can offer. The “Temple on the Hill” will give them strength to continue on the path of righteousness and know that the ultimate blessings which they cannot even begin to comprehend, are found in the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.
AVENIDA BOLIVAR NO. 825
10106 SANTO DOMINGO
c/o Caribbean Area Administration Office
2 “Excitement Growing as Members Prepare for Caribbean Temple”, Church News, January 1997, p3
3 Ensign, LDS magazine, November 2000