On Saturday, September 11, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held groundbreaking ceremonies for the temples to be built in Nairobi, Kenya and Neiafu, Tonga. Below are reports from the Church Newsroom about each event:

‘A reason to hope’: Nairobi Kenya Temple Groundbreaking

“Today we will break ground for the Nairobi Kenya Temple, officially beginning the construction of this temple which will increase the power of God in East Africa,” Elder Matthew L. Carpenter, First Counsellor in the Africa Central Area Presidency, declared on Saturday September 11, 2021.  

“This is indeed a sacred and a holy day.”

His statements marked the groundbreaking of the first temple to be built on Kenyan soil and in East Africa.

About 100 Church leaders and members, opinion leaders and journalists gathered on this cool Saturday morning to witness the event in Mountain View—a neighborhood of Nairobi. While Covid-19 gathering restrictions limited the number of people physically present, Church members and friends across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia participated in the proceedings via a live online broadcast in their local chapels and homes.

Dedicated to the ‘rising generation’

Elder Joseph W. Sitati, President of the Africa Central Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that the day was dedicated to the youth of the Church. He said this acted as an invitation to the rising generation “to look at the temple that will come up in this site as their temple,” he said. “This is the place they will get married; this is the place where they will make eternal covenants that will bless them for all eternity.”

Young people expressed their reverence and excitement at the idea of receiving a temple in their homeland.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.

Church Breaks Ground for Neiafu Tonga Temple 130 Years After First Missionaries Arrived in Island Nation

Ground was broken for the Neiafu Tonga Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday 11 September in the presence of His Majesty King Tupou VI and Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u, Lord Fakafanua, and the Honourable Prime Minister Reverend Dr. Pohiva Tuionetoa.

Other distinguished guests were also present.

Watch a recording of the event available in both Tongan and English languages.

Elder Inoke Kupu, Area Seventy, presided and conducted at the ground-breaking on the temple site. In a prayer, he said, “Bless the Saints of Vava’u and the Niua’s (northern islands of Tonga) that they may live worthily to receive the blessings of the temple.”

In further remarks, Elder Kupu said, “Temples are houses of the Lord and to have one on this beautiful Island of Vava’u is a blessing sent of God and a reflection of the goodness and faithfulness of citizens and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who live here and in the surrounding area.

“This temple is being built next to Saineha High School, a Church sponsored place of learning which will soon be bathed in the light of the Temple and a beacon of peace and safety to all. Temples are holy places of worship and a higher place of learning where individuals make sacred covenants with God, which when kept, enable people to return to live with God once more. To have the teachings of the world is good, to have the teachings of God is essential.”

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.