From Timothy Nicolaysen: Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Sunday, January 10, marking the beginning of construction of the Caracas Venezuela Temple. Elder Francisco Viqas, of the First Quorum of the Seventy and President of the South America North Area, presided at the service. He was accompanied by Elders Robert J. Whetten and Walter F. Gonzalez, counselors in the Presidency.

Also present were the three Area Authority Seventies from Venezuela, Elders Carlos Vargas, Francisco Giminez, and Daniel Johnson, along with the mission presidents from the Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela Maracaibo, Venezuela Barcelona, and Venezuela Valencia Missions, and every president from the 16 stakes in Venezuela. Approximately 300 people crowded into the Caurimare Ward chapel in Caracas to hear their leaders speak.

Elder Viqas delivered the prayer dedicating the site as the place where the temple will be constructed. It will be located on property adjacent to the building which houses the Caurimare and El Marquiz Wards, the Venezuela Caracas Mission office, and the regional offices of the PBO.

The small-design temple will serve approximately 85,000 members living in Venezuela. The intent to build a temple in Venezuela was announced 30 September 1995 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Submitted by Timothy W. Nicolaysen President, Venezuela Caracas Mission