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Gerry Avant, Deseret News
President Thomas S. Monson, with Elder Russell M. Nelson, conducted the symbolic sealing of the temple's cornerstone Sunday.

CURITIBA, BRAZIL — On his first trip outside North America since becoming the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the Curitiba Brazil Temple on Sunday, saying that this was "a long-awaited day" for church members in Brazil and missionaries who have served here.

The Curitiba temple is the fifth such edifice in Brazil; another has been announced for Manaus.

To get the dedication under way, President Monson presided over and conducted the symbolic sealing of the temple's cornerstone. He invited Elder Russell M. Nelson of the church's Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Charles Didier of the Seventy and president of the Brazil Area to join him in placing mortar on the stone to seal it into the facade of the temple.

President Monson arrived in Curitiba Friday evening. The next morning, he met with and addressed missionaries serving in the Brazil Curitiba Mission. That afternoon, he and Elders Nelson and Didier visited the new temple. On Saturday evening, they went to a soccer stadium for a cultural program held in conjunction with the dedication of the temple. President Monson offered brief remarks before the event began.

Curitiba had experienced unseasonably warm weather during the open house for the new temple, but on the day of the cultural program, temperatures dropped dramatically and rain threatened to spoil the show that participants had been planning and practicing for since last July. The rain held off long enough for the program to be completed.

The rain overnight lowered the temperature a bit more.

Brazil is entering its fall season, but many held out hope that the warm weather that graced the open house from May 6-24 would continue throughout the weekend of the dedication.

President Monson presided over and addressed all four of the sessions held to dedicate the temple. He wrote the dedicatory prayer, which he delivered in two of the sessions; Elder Nelson delivered it in the other two.

Today, President Monson, Elder Nelson and Elder Didier are traveling to Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, where they will address a meeting of Latter-day Saints. President Monson and Elder Nelson will return to Salt Lake City on Tuesday; Elder Didier resides in Sao Paulo.

President Monson's first trip outside the United States was to Canada May 24-25, where he addressed Latter-day Saints in stake conferences; the proceedings were carried by the church's satellite system. He was accompanied in Canada by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve. Both previously presided over missions in eastern Canada.

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