SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Leaders and invited guests of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a groundbreaking Saturday for the Zimbabwe Harare Temple. Attendance was limited due to COVID-19.
Elder Edward Dube, a General Authority Seventy and First Counselor in the Africa South Area Presidency, presided at the groundbreaking and offered the dedicatory prayer. Elder Dube is a native of Zimbabwe and joined the Church there as a young man.
Also in attendance with Elder Dube was his wife, Naume, Elder Ciro Schmeil, a General Authority Seventy and Second Counselor in the Africa South Area Presidency, along with his wife, Alessandra; and several invited guests such as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“I would like to express my profound gratitude to the Church for extending and invitation to me,” said President Mnangagwa in his remarks at the event. “It is most opportune that this event comes in this month of December, where the majority of Christians from all walks of life and denominations, commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.”
This will be the Church’s first temple in the country. The temple will join 12 others in Africa–seven of which are currently under construction or announced. Plans to construct the temple in Zimbabwe were announced in April 2016 by the late President Thomas S. Monson.
“The Harare Zimbabwe Temple will be a beautiful and stunning building. Like every temple, it will stand not only as a manifestation of the faith of Latter-day Saints who live close by in this country and the neighbouring countries of Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique, but also a manifestation of the faith of Saints all around the world,” said Elder Dube. “It reflects our testimony and our faith in Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness. It reflects our testimony and faith in His Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. And it reflects our testimony and faith in the Saviour’s Atonement and Resurrection.”
The temple will be built on a 6.7 acre site located in the Highlands area of Harare. The temple will be a single-story building and approximately 17,250 square feet.
Missionaries from the Church first arrived in the country in 1930. There are presently more than 35,000 church members in the country.
Details for the open house and temple dedication upon the temple’s completion will be announced at a later date.
Today 168 temples operate around the world—with 63 more either announced or under construction.
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