Elder Ulisses Soares, a senior leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met with the president of Guatemala Tuesday during a ministry visit to Central America.
They spoke of President Giammattei’s initiatives and his thoughts on humanitarian efforts and the nutrition of children in the country, Elder Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told Newsroom following the meeting.
“I think he has a great future, and people are very confident that he can do something,” Elder Soares said. “And we as a Church, we want to join him on these initiatives as we are doing here in this country already.”
We spent 30 minutes together talking about his initiatives, his projects, his ideas about humanitarian projects, nutrition of the children in this country,” said the apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I think he has a great future, and people are very confident that he can do something. And we as a church, we want to join him on these initiatives as we are doing here in this country already.”
The Church of Jesus Christ in Guatemala: Some Statistics
History of the Church in Guatemala
Missionaries arrived in Guatemala in 1947. Assisted by John F. O’Donnal, a Church member living in the country as an agricultural adviser to the United States government, they met with Guatemalan officials and began to organize the Church. The first official meeting was held in a rented building on August 22, 1948, with 66 people in attendance. Later that year, John F. O’Donnal baptized the first convert in Guatemala, his wife, Carmen. By 1956, three small congregations with a membership of about 250 had been established.
Membership grew to 10,000 by 1966, and 18 years later, when the Guatemala City Temple was dedicated in 1984, membership had risen to 40,000. By 1998 membership had quadrupled again to 164,000.
As of December 31, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 277,755 members in 49 stakes and 14 districts, 441 congregations (291 wards and 150 branches), six missions, and two temples in Guatemala.
LDS Temples in Guatemala
Guatemala City Guatemala Temple
The Guatemala City Guatemala Temple (formerly the Guatemala City Temple) is the 34th constructed and 32nd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Located in Guatemala City, capital city of Guatemala, it was built with a modern six-spire design. In 1956, while Harold B. Lee (then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve) visited Guatemala City, he felt that it would be a center for Lamanite gatherings and predicted that a temple would be built there.
The LDS temple in Guatemala City was announced on April 1, 1981, and dedicated on December 14, 1984 by Gordon B. Hinckley.
Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple
The Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple is the second temple built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Guatemala. It was the fifth temple of the church in Central America. Construction of the temple was announced by church president Gordon B. Hinckley on December 16, 2006, and construction commenced following a groundbreaking ceremony on March 14, 2009. The temple was dedicated on December 11, 2011 by Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the church’s First Presidency and was the first temple dedicated by President Uchtdorf.
Coban Guatemala Temple
In October 2019, the Coban Guatemala Temple was announced by church president Russell M. Nelson. This will be the third temple of the LDS Church in the country.