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Ground has been broken for the first temple in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ceremony was held on Friday, February 12, 2016, for the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presided. He was joined by other leaders of the Church and in the community.
The temple was announced at the Church’s October 2011 general conference.
During remarks to the Latter-day Saints and members of the community, Elder Andersen recognized that this day is a sacred day and a holy day. He said it will be a day long remembered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “This holy house will also bless the country and the people who surround it, whether or not they are members of the Church. It will be a light upon a hill, and the glory of the Lord will be upon it.”
Elder Andersen paid tribute to the people of Africa and of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “They are a spiritual people. They trust in God and they pray to God. Our Heavenly Father loves His sons and daughters here and answers their prayers.”
Attending the groundbreaking were a number of government and religious leaders and 800 Latter-day Saints. Members of the Area Presidency, Elders Carl B. Cook and Kevin S. Hamilton, and their wives attended as well as Elders Jean Claude Mabaya, Wembo Lono and Alfred Kyungu of the Seventy. There are more than 40,000 members and 145 congregations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Three temples currently serve Mormons in Africa, including the Johannesburg South Africa Temple, dedicated in 1985; the Accra Ghana Temple, dedicated in 2004; and the Aba Nigeria Temple, dedicated in 2005. The Durban South Africa Temple and Abidjan Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) Temple have been announced.
For Latter-day Saints in Central Africa who travel more than 2,100 miles to Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend the temple, this new temple will be a great blessing.
After the temple is completed, open house dates will be announced so the public can tour the temple before it is dedicated. A date for dedication will also be announced.
The Church currently has 149 temples in operation, with another 29 announced, under construction or being renovated.
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.