The new temple in Peru becomes the third temple in South America now in the planning and construction phases, along with ones planned for Manaus, Brazil, and Córdoba, Argentina, bringing the total number of temples in South America to 17.
“We are confident that this will be a blessing to the many faithful Saints in this and surrounding areas who have had to travel long distances to enjoy the blessings of the temple,” said the First Presidency in an announcement letter to ecclesiastical leaders.
“We commend the Saints for their devotion and faithfulness, and are thankful for the blessings that will come to them through the construction of this new temple.”
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred place on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God’s plan of salvation. Temple attendance strengthens Latter-day Saints’ commitment to living Christian principles, emphasizes personal spiritual growth and increases devotion to family.
The Trujillo Peru Temple is planned for construction on the site of an existing meetinghouse on Teodoro Valcárcel Street in Urbanización Primavera, Trujillo. It will serve more than 88,000 Latter-day Saints in the region.
Latter-day Saint missionaries began preaching in Trujillo in 1960. The first baptisms in the original Trujillo Branch — a small congregation, then part of the Andes Mission — were performed in February 1961. In 1963 the first meetinghouse was dedicated in Trujillo. The first stake in Trujillo (a stake is similar to a diocese) was eventually organized in January 1978 by Thomas S. Monson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — the second-highest governing body of the Church. President Monson now serves as worldwide leader of the Church.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the tens of thousands of meetinghouses where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities and where visitors are always welcome. Temples are used solely for the performance of sacred ordinances and religious instruction aimed at strengthening members’ relationships with God and their fellow man. They are closed to the public after they are dedicated.