Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined community and civic officials to break ground for two new temples. The temples are located in Concepción, Chile, and Tucson, Arizona. The general public was invited to view both of the proceedings live from local meetinghouses.

Tucson Arizona Temple
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, presided at the groundbreaking of the Tucson Arizona Temple.

“From the days of the Old Testament, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples — sacred structures where He could teach, guide and bless them,” explained President Uchtdorf, who spoke about the importance of temples at the groundbreaking. “Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ [of Latter-day Saints] are sacred structures in which eternal questions are answered.”

President Uchtdorf encouraged those in attendance to be worthy to attend the temple. “Let us help each other to have current temple recommends — now and when the temple is finished,” he said. “For our young people, I encourage you to have your own temple recommend to do baptisms in this temple.”

“No longer will Tucson be a place where people will come from to go to the temple,” said Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy, as a small rain storm brought out umbrellas at the beginning of the groundbreaking event. Elder Richards asked, “What is our sacrifice for this temple?”

The two-story temple is 34,000 square feet with the steeple, a dome-shaped cupola reminiscent of the famous dome that crowns Italy’s Florence Cathedral.

Landscaping plans include large areas of natural desert open space to provide a buffer for the surrounding neighborhood. Cactus plants have been transplanted to an on-site nursery until they can be reintegrated into the final landscaping.

n his dedicatory prayer, President Uchtdorf said, “We have come together with joyful hearts and with a feeling of overwhelming gratitude to participate in the groundbreaking for a house of the Lord. Please help us as we not only dedicate this piece of land but also rededicate our lives to Thee and Thy purposes as we prepare for the time when this new temple will be completed in all its beauty.”

The temple was announced by President Thomas S. Monson at the Church’s October 2012general conference.

The Tucson Temple site is located on N Skyline Drive in the Catalina Foothills.

The Tucson Arizona Temple will be the sixth in the state. Temples are currently operating inMesaSnowflake, The Gila ValleyGilbert and Phoenix. There are more than 416,000 members of the Church in Arizona.

Go to Tucson Arizona Temple for more information.

Concepción Chile Temple

Elder Walter F. González, president of the Church’s South America South Area, presided over the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Concepción Chile Temple.

He said the temple is a place of instruction, of revelation and of covenants. “It is my desire that we ponder and look for things that we can do to quality, receive and be worthy of the benefits of a temple. It’s a place of instruction where we receive knowledge and as we go there, we increase our knowledge and learn about our true purpose in life.”

Latter-day Saint Jacqueline Ferreira said members of the Church believe in establishing strong families upon true principles of faith in Jesus Christ and in His gospel.

The Concepción Temple was announced by President Thomas S. Monson at the October 2009 General Conference.

The interior of the temple will feature artwork inspired by the landscape of Chile. The two-story temple will be approximately 23,000 square feet and stand on some 4.06 acres. There will be an additional building for temple missionaries who serve at the temple and Latter-day Saints when they come to participate in temple work.

The temple site is located at 1525 Pedro de Valdivia in Concepción, Chile.

There are more than 579,000 members of the Church in Chile.

The Concepción Chile Temple will be the second temple built in Chile, following the Santiago Chile Temple. For additional information on the temple, go to Concepción Chile Temple.

When the temples near completion, open house dates will be announced for both temples so the public can tour the sacred buildings before they are dedicated. Dates for dedication will also be announced.

The Church currently has 148 operating temples worldwide. Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. A temple is considered a “house 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 more information about temples, visit www.mormontemples.org. The site includes general information on temples, the history of the Church and the purpose of temples. This site will also provide specific information about the Tucson and Concepción temples as it becomes available.