"Now there will be a magnificent temple to accompany it," Stevens said. "A temple will bless the poor people of Rio. I also think it is very timely that a temple will be there with the arrival of the Olympics in a few years."
Rio will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. One of the 25 largest cities in the world, Rio also will host soccer's 2014 World Cup.
Stevens said his family used to drive through Cedar City and play a game to see who could spot the most church building spires.
"There seemed to be so many," he said. "Now we will be able to point out the temple spire with our grandchildren."
Hikari Loftus served as a sister missionary in Brazil. She described Rio de Janeiro as "a rough city, known throughout Brazil for its crimes and ghettos." She admits many missionaries didn't anticipate seeing a temple there for a long time, but was pleased with the announcement.
"I used to say that my accent (while speaking Portuguese) is American, but my heart is Brazilian. Oh how I love those Brasileiros and rejoice with them as they receive another temple," Loftus said. "I look forward to seeing how a temple in Rio de Janeiro will sanctify that city."
Latter-day Saints believe temples are sacred buildings, "the House of the Lord," different from their regular meetinghouses, in which weekly worship services are held. After temples are dedicated, they are open only to active, practicing church members for the performance of sacred rites including baptism and marriage.
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