BELÉM, Brazil — For the first time in more than two decades, two temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be dedicated on the same day.
On Sunday, Nov. 20, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the Belém Brazil Temple in three sessions at 9 a.m., 12 noon and 3 p.m. local time on the coast of northern Brazil.
Two time zones later that day, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the Quito Ecuador Temple in three sessions, at the same local hours in the Andean foothills in the north-central part of the northwestern South America country.
It marks the first time since 2000 that two temples will be dedicated on the same day.
And the first two-dedication day wasn’t planned as such.
In November 1999, President Gordon B. Hinckley was scheduled to dedicate temples on back-to-back days — the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple on Saturday, Nov. 13, and the Regina Saskatchewan Temple on Sunday Nov. 14.
However, mechanical issues with the airplane President Hinckley was to use resulted in a day’s delay. The decision was made to have the Church president dedicate the Halifax temple a day later and President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, to preside at the Regina dedication on its regularly scheduled date. The result — the Halifax and Regina temple dedications occurring on Sunday, Nov. 14, 1999.
The next year, as the Church continued its push to meet President Hinckley’s announced goal to have 100 dedicated temples by the end of the century, same-day dedications occurred three times in 2000 — a fourth if you count what happened in Mexico in February of that year.
On Saturday Feb. 26, 2000, President Hinckley presided at the first of six sessions for the two-day dedication of the Ciudad Juárez Mexico Temple. But then he left to preside over the Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Temple on Sunday, Feb. 27, with President Thomas S. Monson, the first counselor in the First Presidency, finishing the final sessions in Ciudad Juarez while President Hinckley did the Hermosillo temple dedication.
The three other instances of same-day dedications:
- On Sunday, April 23, 2000, President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Memphis Tennessee Temple while President Monson dedicated the Reno Nevada Temple. And President Hinckley would dedicate the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple a week later.
- On Sunday, May 21, 2000, President Faust dedicated the Nashville Tennessee Temple while President Monson dedicated the Villahermosa Mexico Temple — with the latter having dedicated the Tampico Mexico Temple the day before.
- And on June 4, 2000, President Hinckley dedicated the Montreal Quebec Temple as President Faust dedicated the San José Costa Rica Temple. President Hinckley then left for the Pacific Rim and South Pacific to dedicate four additional temples over the next two weeks — the first in Japan, then followed by two dedications in Australia and one in Fiji.
A few other firsts for temple dedications:
President David O. McKay was the first President of the Church to dedicate two temples in the same year — the Hamilton New Zealand Temple on April 20-22, 1958, and then the London England Temple on Sept. 7-9 later that year.
President Joseph Fielding Smith was the first to preside over two dedications held within a month’s period — the Ogden Utah Temple on Jan. 18-20, 1972, and the Feb. 9, 1972, dedication of the Provo Utah Temple. At President Smith’s request, President Harold B. Lee, then a counselor in the First Presidency, offered the dedicatory prayer that President Smith had written.