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The groundbreaking for the Arequipa Peru Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held March 4, 2017.

The groundbreaking for the Arequipa Peru Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held March 4, the First Presidency announced Monday.

The temple will serve Latter-day Saints in Arequipa, Peru’s second most populous city, and surrounding areas. Members of the church in Arequipa currently travel over 500 miles to the nearest temple in Lima, Peru.

Elder Carlos A. Godoy, president of the church's South America Northwest Area., will preside over the groundbreaking service. While attendance on the construction site will be limited to those who have been invited, the groundbreaking will be transmitted to LDS Church stake centers in the proposed temple district.

The temple was originally announced by President Thomas S. Monson during the October 2012 general conference and will become the third temple in Peru, along with those in Lima and Trujillo. A fourth temple in Peru — and the second in Lima — is being planned, with the Lima Los Olivos Temple announced in the church's April 2016 general conference.

According to Monday's Mormon Newsroom release, Peru was opened for missionary work in 1956 and is now home to nearly 569,000 members of the LDS Church. The Lima Peru Temple became the country’s first temple thirty years later in 1986.

Email: mjones@deseretdigital.com