[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n news that many would aptly describe as tudo bem, today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pulled the curtain back on the mystery that has captivated a nation: when will the Lisbon Portugal Temple be dedicated? Mystery solved. The temple will be dedicated on Sunday, September 15, 2019.
Naturally, there will be a public open house for roughly two weeks, from August 17 through August 31, except Sundays. Open houses are an awesome opportunity to engage with the community, especially in an overwhelmingly Catholic country like Portugal.
Construction took a shade longer than is typical for Latter-day Saint temples – over three years – as officials broke ground on the sacred edifice in December 2015. Still, that is markedly faster than a fellow southern European temple being dedicated this year.
Aesthetically, there is little to distinguish this temple from others of its floor plan, save perhaps to beautiful golden spire, which evokes some temples of old, such as Europe’s first temples in England and Switzerland.
The temple will serve nearly 45,000 Latter-day Saints in Portugal and “surrounding countries.” The latter is somewhat interesting. Members in Portugal currently attend the Madrid Spain Temple, which pulls from Spain, Portugal, and Cape Verde. The Lisbon temple will presumably take the six districts and four stakes of Portugal, as well as three stakes and two districts of Cape Verde, leaving Spain’s temple — once a magnet for members from as far as Albania — only serving the saints of Spain. What’s more, ground will be broken on a temple in Cape Verde this year, so Portugal’s pull from “surrounding countries” might only last for a few years.
As is now custom, a youth devotional will precede the temple dedication in lieu of a wacky youth celebration. This is a particular bummer, because, let’s face it, a celebration going into Portugal’s history would be way, way more interesting than one for Saratoga Springs, Utah. You know it and I know it.
Europe has 12 dedicated temples, although the Frankfurt Germany Temple is undergoing a long refurbishment. With the impending dedication of the Rome Italy Temple (this weekend!), the Lisbon Portugal Temple will bring the number up to 14. After that, we’re looking at the elusive Russia temple and, uh, maybe Albania at some point?