Scott Taylor: 3rd Anniversary of the Lisbon Portugal Temple

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*Saudade: a deep emotional state of deep nostalgic or melancholic longing for something or someone one cares about or loves. Many say that the word is untranslatable and is characteristic of the Brazilian and Portuguese temperament.


Reminded this week of the third anniversary of the Lisbon Temple in Portugal, and then seeing photos of Elder Ulisses Soares and Sister Rosana Soares on the temple grounds this month, I found myself caught in a sea of ​​memories linking Lisbon and the temple dedicated with a number of personal experiences and subsequent missions.

Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helps direct young children to the cornerstone of the Lisbon Portugal Temple during the cornerstone ceremony September 15, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Scott Taylor, Church News

Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve dedicated the Lisbon Temple on September 15, 2019, in the country’s Portuguese language. “We can never look at the Church the same way again once the House of the Lord is here,” Elder Andersen said, adding, “We are entering a new chapter of the Church in Portugal.”

Joined by his wife, sister Kathy Andersen, and brother José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy from his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeira, Elder Andersen honored the images and accomplishments of the 15e– and 16ePortuguese explorers traveling by sea in the last century, comparing the fascinating story of global discovery to Latter-day Saints coming to the temple as explorers seeking to discover something greater than land and riches.

“In this dedicated and consecrated house of the Lord, we too are explorers, seeking not new lands, but something far more precious,” Elder Andersen said, then quoting John 17:3: “’ This is eternal life, so they can know you the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

“As disciples of Jesus Christ, we come into this house to experience the things of eternity and to prepare ourselves to one day journey through the veil back to our heavenly home.”

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Family members gather for a photo on the cornerstone of the Lisbon Portugal Temple after the inauguration of the temple on September 15, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.

A similar theme was spoken in a prayer offered on April 22, 1975, by Thomas S. Monson, then a brother of the Quorum of the Twelve, when he dedicated Portugal to missionary work.

“We recognize, Father, that from this land departed the navigators and sailors of old and that the Portuguese people had an adventurous spirit, because they trusted in you, when they sought unknown lands”, prayed to the future president of the Church on the outskirts of Lisbon, overlooking the country’s Atlantic Ocean coast. “Make them trust in You as they now seek these truths that will lead them to eternal life.

Thirty-five years later, in general conference in October 2010, President Monson announced that a new temple would be located in Lisbon.

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The view of Lisbon, Portugal, and the Praça do Marqués de Pombal square in September 2019.

The temple dedication weekend was memorable—Saturday meetings with missionaries and pioneer members, followed by youth devotional evening—as I visited Latter-day Saints in Lisbon and elsewhere about the importance of having a house of the Lord and the availability of a welcoming temple. pacts in their own country.

Equally memorable was a stopover in the Azores on my return from Lisbon in 2019, when President Paulo Alves, President of the Azores District in Portugal, introduced me to my family, members and missionaries as I passed through learn about the history, growth, and continuing potential of the Church. there on the islands.

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A view of the central area of ​​Ponta Delgado, the largest city in the Azores, on September 16, 2019.

The dedication of the Lisbon Temple to Portugal meant that temple worship and work came even closer to the Azores, which now had a temple “only” about 900 miles above the North Atlantic Ocean.

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Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, greet those outside the Praia Cape Verde Temple before the first of three consecration sessions on Sunday, June 19, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Earlier this summer, Elder Andersen dedicated another temple with ties to Portugal – Praia Cape Verde Temple, the capital of the 10-island archipelago in the central Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Africa. the West. Once more he spoke and offered the prayer of consecration in Portuguese, and the thoughts of Lisbon and the Azores and the sea explorers of centuries past returned.

I had scheduled time during layovers in Lisbon to hopefully introduce my fellow traveler, Deseret News photographer Scott Winterton, Portugal’s vibrant capital and introduce him to the temple and grounds on the east side of the city . However, major airport delays at stops at other European airports scuttled this plan.

Elder Ulisses Soares and Sister Rosana Soares walk through the grounds of the Temple in Lisbon, Portugal.

Elder Ulisses Soares and Sister Rosana Soares walk through the grounds of the Temple in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

And this week I saw the familiar sites of the Lisbon Portugal Temple and its grounds were back in Church News, as Elder Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Soares returned to Portugal, where he chaired the Porto mission to Portugal. two decades earlier. They are delighted to return for the first time to a country they love.

And for the first time I fully understood the true meaning of the word saudades.

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