SANTIAGO, Chile — The public is invited to tour the newly refurbished Santiago Chile Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As announced by the First Presidency of the Church, open house tours began on Saturday, 21 January, and will continue through Saturday, 11 February, excluding Sundays. Tours are available on Monday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. 

The temple is located on the corner of Pocuro and Pedro de Valdivia streets in Santiago.

The Santiago Chile Temple was originally dedicated in 1983 as the 24th operating temple of the Church. The rededicated temple will serve more than 535,000 Latter-day Saints in Chile as one of 122 operating temples worldwide.

Following the open house, the temple will be formally rededicated on Sunday, 26 February 2006. Two dedicatory sessions will be held to accommodate Latter-day Saints in the area who will be served by the temple.

A cultural celebration featuring the talents of 4,000 Latter-day Saint Chilean youth is scheduled for 25 February in Santiago’s Estadio Monumental. Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, who will rededicate the temple, will attend the event. More than 50,000 Latter-day Saints and others are expected to attend.

Features unique to the Santiago Temple include hand-carved wainscoting in the waiting area, motifs of the copíhue — national flower of Chile — on door handles and art-glass windows, and a floor motif of inlaid Chilean marble and lapis lázuli (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 fellow man. 

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