The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the open house and dedication dates for the first temple in the African nation of Cape Verde. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the Praia Cape Verde Temple on Sunday, June 19, 2022.
Long a subject of our temple predictions, a temple in Cape Verde will serve over 15,000 Latter-day Saints who live in the island nation roughly 350 miles off the coast of West Africa. The saints of Cape Verde are currently assigned to the temple in fellow lusophone Lisbon, Portugal – itself only dedicated in 2019.
If final dimensions hold, Cape Verde’s temple will be one of the smallest in the Church, a modest building of approximately 8,750 square feet with one instruction room, one sealing room, and one baptistry (something we actually have to indicate now). Only the temple in Colonia Juárez, Mexico, is smaller at among dedicated temples. However, the Yigo Guam Temple will be dedicated in May, and it is only slightly above 6,800 square feet. The San Juan Puerto Rico Temple, one that shares a design template with Guam and Cape Verde, will be similarly small.
That’s not a knock on small temples; just information!
President Russell M. Nelson announced the temple in Cape Verde during the October 2018 General Conference. Crews broke ground on the temple in May 2019, giving the building a remarkably quick turnaround time of just over two years and not benefiting from the Church’s experiment with prefabricated modular temples currently underway in Montana. Latter-day Saint temples typically take approximately three years for construction from groundbreaking to dedication.
The temple will be open for public tours from Saturday, May 21, through Saturday, June 11, excluding Sundays. Prior to the dedication, on the evening of June 18, youth will be invited to gather in a nearby meetinghouse for a devotional.
Missionaries first arrived in Cape Verde in 1988 from the Spain Canary Islands Mission as the country was moving to transition from one-party rule to a pluralistic democracy. Today, Cape Verde is among the most stable democracies in Africa, ranking 31st in the world in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, wedged between Italy and Malta. There are now four stakes and one district in the country.