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Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined community and civic officials to break ground for the first temple in Portugal. The general public was invited to view the proceedings live from local church meetinghouses.

Elder Patrick Kearon, President of the Church’s Europe Area, presided over the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Lisbon Portugal Temple. He said the temple is a place of instruction, of revelation and of covenants. “It is a privilege to take part in this joyful moment. The temple will be a bright symbol of our faith, our gratitude to our loving Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. We pray for those who will be involved in building this sacred place, and know that it will be a blessing to the people of Portugal.”

Church member Joana Alcobia Paulo said that “members of the Church believe in establishing strong families upon true principles of faith in Jesus Christ and in His gospel”.

The interior of the temple will feature artwork inspired by the landscape of Portugal. The temple will be approximately 2,200 square meters (23,730 square feet) and stand on two hectares (4.6 acres). For more details of the project, click here,

The temple site is located at Avenida Dom João II, 1990-364 Lisboa, in the Parque das Nações area. The Lisbon Temple was first announced by President Thomas S. Monson at the October 2010 general conference of the Church.

Elder and Sister Kearon greet members at the Lisbon Temple groundbreaking held on the morning of the 5th of December, 2015.

When the temple nears completion, open house dates will be announced so the public can tour the sacred building before it is dedicated. Dates for dedication will also be announced. Once dedicated and operating, the new Lisbon temple will serve all the church members that live in continental Portugal and in the islands of the Azores and Madeira. There are more than 42,000 members of the Church in Portugal.

The Church currently has 148 operating temples worldwide, when the Lisbon Temple is finished, there will be 14 temples in Europe. 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 Lisbon Temple as it becomes available.

Link for the story in Portugal’s Mormon Newsroom.