Top leaders of the Mormon church have announced plans to build a temple in Trujillo, Peru.


Top leaders of the Mormon church have announced plans to build a temple in Trujillo, Peru.

The temple is the third in South America in the planning and construction phases, along with others set to be built in Manaus, Brazil, and Córdoba, Argentina. Once completed, there will be 17 Mormon temples in South America.

Worldwide, the Trujillo temple will be the 146th for the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormon missionaries first began preaching in Trujillo in 1960. The first church baptisms were in 1961, and the first church meeting house was built in 1963.

The first Mormon stake in Trujillo — a group of churches similar to a diocese — was organized in 1978 by Thomas Monson, who was then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the church’s second-highest governing body. Monson now is president and prophet of the church.

The Trujillo temple will be built on the site of an existing meeting house. Church officials say it will serve an estimated 88,000 members in the area.

Latter-day Saints use temples for their most sacred religious ceremonies, including weddings and proxy baptisms. Only church members in good standing are allowed to enter a temple once it is dedicated.