GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador -- LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the church's 58th temple on Sunday before thousands of grateful members who have waited years for the church's longest-standing announced temple to be completed.
The Guayaquil Ecuador Temple was announced during the presidency of President Spencer W. Kimball in March 1982 and encountered many delays. Some 5,055 members attended dedicatory services Sunday and a like number was expected to attend Monday.Attending was President Hinckley, President James E. Faust of the First Presidency and Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and their wives.
The church in Ecuador is relatively young, having grown to 170,000 members since 1965. Members came from stakes throughout the nation by bus, some traveling for three or four hours to arrive at the nation's largest city. Among those who attended were the colorful natives of Otavalo, adorned with gold necklaces and wearing long braided hair.
A touching moment came during the cornerstone ceremony, when one of these women shook hands with President Hinckley and began to weep. President Hinckley gave her a gentle hug and was also emotional.
"This is a very sublime moment and one of the best experiences in my life," said Guillermo Granja, vice chairman of the temple committee.