SALT LAKE CITY — President Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will preside this weekend over rededication events for the newly refurbished Santiago Chile Temple.

These will be President Hinckley’s first public activities since his recent surgery.

On Saturday evening, 11 March 2006, Latter-day Saints from throughout Chile will meet in Santiago’s Estadio Monumental, an outdoor stadium seating approximately 50,000. Church members will hear messages from President Hinckley, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve and other Church leaders.

Following the meeting with Church members, 4,000 Latter-day Saint youth will perform in Estadio Monumental a program of song and dance celebrating Chilean culture. President Hinckley is expected to attend the cultural celebration.

Both the meeting with Church leaders and the cultural celebration will be broadcast via satellite to Church meetinghouses throughout the temple district, which includes all stakes and districts in Chile and seven stakes in western Argentina.

On Sunday, 12 March 2006, President Hinckley will preside at two dedicatory sessions to formally rededicate the Santiago Chile Temple. Dedicatory services are not open to the public.

The Santiago Chile Temple was originally dedicated in 1983 as the 24th operating temple of the Church. It is located on the corner of Pocuro and Pedro de Valdivia streets in Santiago. More than 62,000 people visited the refurbished sacred building during a public open house held in January and February.

The rededicated temple will serve more than 535,000 Latter-day Saints in Chile and Argentina as one of 122 operating temples worldwide.

Features unique to the Santiago Temple include hand-carved wainscoting in the waiting area, motifs of the copíhue, the national flower of Chile, on door handles and art-glass windows, and a floor motif of inlaid Chilean marble and lapislázuli (native stone) in the baptistry and entryway.

Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity.

Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellowman.

For additional information about the Santiago Chile Temple and for photos of the temple interior and exterior, visit www.newsroom.lds.org.