SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR – The three-week public open house for Central America's fourth LDS Temple, the San Salvador El Salvador Temple, will begin on Friday and continue through Saturday, July 23.

Public tours of the new temple, which is located in San Salvador's Antiguo Cuscatlan district overlooking the busy Avenida El Espino near the well-known Multiplaza Panamericana Mall, are available on Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

During the open house period, the building will be open to the media, dignitaries and all members of the community who are interested in seeing the completed temple, with its Spanish colonial-inspired design. Inside the temple they will see extensive and prominent use of El Salvador's national flower, the flor de izote, in art-glass window, exterior granite and interior wood designs.

Once the open house period is over, the temple will be prepared for its dedication, which is scheduled to take place on August 21. A member of the LDS Church's First Presidency will dedicate the temple (three dedicatory sessions are planned), after which the temple will be open only to members of the LDS Church who are "actively engaged in the faith," according to an LDS press release.

The San Salvador El Salvador Temple will be the church's 135th operating temple throughout the world, with another 22 temples announced or under construction.

The new temple will serve more than 110,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in El Salvador, and will join with other similar temples in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama – as well as future temples currently under construction in Guatemala and Honduras – in providing an important element of worship for the rapidly growing circle of Mormons in Central America.

According to an LDS Newsroom press release, "Latter-day Saint temples differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered 'houses of the Lord' where Christ's teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man."

Plans to build the new temple in El Salvador were first announced 2007. Ground was broken for the building on Sept. 20, 2008.

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