President Monson Announces Four New Temples (One of them: Belém, Brazil)
The Sao Paulo Brazil Temple—South America's first LDS temple—was dedicated on October 30, 1978.
Nearly 1.3 million of Brazil’s 204 million people are members of the Church. Six operating temples (Campinas, Curitiba, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, and São Paulo) currently dot the country. Another temple is under construction in Fortaleza, and two others are announced for Rio de Janeiro and now Belém.
Brazil, a federal republic with a Portuguese-speaking population, covers almost half the continent of South America.
The first known Church member in Brazil was Max Richard Zapf, who was baptized in Germany in August 1908 and immigrated to Brazil in 1913. After many years with no Church contact, Brother Zapf and his family learned that Augusta Kuhlmann Lippelt and her four children, who had also joined the Church in Germany before immigrating to Brazil in 1923, were living in the small southern Brazilian town of Ipomoea. Augusta's husband Roberto, although not a member when he moved his family to Brazil, was baptized several years later. The Zapf family soon relocated to be with their new friends, the Lippelt family. These two families represented the beginning of the Church's permanent presence in Brazil.
The president of the South American Mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina, first visited Brazil in 1927 and returned with the elders to begin missionary work in September 1928. A branch was organized in Joinville in 1930 and the first Church-owned meetinghouse in South America was dedicated a year later in Joinville.
A mission was created and headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 25, 1935. A Portuguese edition of the Book of Mormon was published in 1939.
In 1954, President David O. McKay became the first Church president to visit Brazil. At the end of the 1950s, membership totaled 3,700 and by the time the Sao Paulo Temple was dedicated in 1978 it had reached 54,000. After 1978, in part due to the revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy males, Church growth became extraordinary. By 1990, membership exceeded 300,000, and as the 1990s ended, membership totaled more than 700,000.
The Brazil Area was created in August 1987. On February 2, 1986, with the creation of the Campinas Brazil Castelo Stake, Brazil became the third country outside the United States to have 50 stakes. When the Sao Leopoldo Brazil Stake was created December 5, 1993, Brazil reached 100 stakes, the second country outside the United States to do so.
In October 1993, construction began on Missionary Training Center in Sao Paulo, the Church's second largest MTC. The seven-story building, capable of accommodating 750 missionaries, was dedicated May 18, 1997, by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In October 1998, North American missionaries called to Brazil began receiving nearly half of their training at the Brazil Missionary Training Center. The program to send North American missionaries to Brazil for four weeks of training enabled them to be immersed in the Brazilian culture and Portuguese language in a controlled environment.
The program was so successful that in April 2000 the first 22 North American missionaries were sent to Brazil for their full eight weeks of training.
The Sao Paulo Stake, the first in South America, was organized on May 1, 1966. Ten years later, Brazil had ten stakes, and a temple had been announced for Sao Paulo. President Spencer W. Kimball presided over a cornerstone ceremony for the temple on March 9, 1977. The temple was dedicated Oct. 30, 1978. President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Recife Brazil Temple on December 15, 2000. While President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency attended the groundbreaking of the Porto Alegre Temple, he also was made an honorary citizen of Sao Paulo, in recognition of his lifelong ties to that city and to Brazil, where he served as a missionary. President Hinckley dedicated the Recife Brazil Temple on December 15, 2000; the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple on December 17, 2000, and the Campinas Brazil Temple on May 17, 2002. President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the Curitiba Brazil Temple on June 1, 2008. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf dedicated the Manaus Brazil Temple on June 12, 2012.
(original article and about the others three Temples, here