The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Nearly 500 government officials, members of the media and other influential members of the community visited the Brasília Brazil Temple during the new temple’s open house media day, Tuesday, Aug. 1. Many were guided through the temple by Elder Ulisses Soares, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who is from Brazil.

Elder Joni L. Koch, a General Authority Seventy and the new Brazil Area president, began welcoming visitors to the temple in Brazil’s capital city shortly after the sun came over the palm tree canopy to the east of the temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released official images of the inside and outside of the temple as invited guests began to arrive.

During the next two weeks, community and government leaders — including governors of various states of Brazil — are expected to visit the temple, the 10th in the South American nation. The Church in Brazil has 1.5 million members, 281 stakes, 36 missions and 20 temples — 10 others are under construction or in planning.

Among the first visitors to the Brasília temple open house was Jerônimo Rodrigues, the governor of Bahia; another Latter-day Saint temple is under construction in Bahia’s capital city of Salvador. Rodrigues said he was happy to tour this temple and have a better understanding of what to expect as a temple is built in Salvador.

Ibaneis Rocha, the Federal District’s governor, was joined by many of his Cabinet secretaries on a tour with Elder Soares. Elder Soares was complimentary of the many thoughtful questions and observations made by Rocha and the others. The governor expressed his appreciation to the Church and its members when the tour ended.

Elder Soares told the visitors they “are doing a good thing for all of Brazil, not just your constituents. You are promoting goodwill and peace, and we need that.”

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