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Overview

The Panama City Panama Temple is the 127th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the 1st temple completed in Panama. This temple is on a tall hillside overlooking the famed Panama Canal, traveled by ships and vessels from around the world. The temple stands adjacent to the Cárdenas meetinghouse and a large facility at the rear of the property provides housing for the temple presidency, temple missionaries, and temple patrons. The beautiful landscaping is punctuated with numerous palm trees, colorful foliage, and a serene water feature.

The Panama City Panama Temple was the third temple built in Central America, following the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple (1984) and the San Jose Costa Rica Temple (2000).

The first congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Panama was organized in 1941. The Panama City Panama Temple was dedicated 67 years later. The public open house of the Panama City Panama Temple saw nearly 33,000 visitors tour the interior of the sacred edifice before its dedication. President Thomas S. Monson's trip to dedicate the Panama City Panama Temple was his first time in the country of Panama.


History

Temple Dedication

Prior to its dedication, the temple opened to the public for two weeks, gaining the positive attention of several media agencies. Nearly 33,000 toured the building who likewise enthusiastically received the temple as a beloved symbol of Panama. Comments from visitors seemed to center around the special feelings they felt: "I think this is the most special place I have ever visited. I felt the Creator's presence." "The peace felt inside the temple is incredible. In every room, you feel close to the Lord." "Being inside the temple is like being in heaven. It's special."4

On Saturday evening, August 9, 2008, a Cultural Celebration was held the evening before the dedication of Panama's "temple in the jungle"—a reference to its rainforest location. A thousand Panamanian youth filled the floor of the Figali Convention Center in Amador thrilled to perform for an audience of thousands of fellow Saints including Church President Thomas S. Monson and his second counselor, Dieter F. Uchtdorf. "I've long wanted to come to Panama," President Monson said, noting his arrival that day was his first steps on Panamanian soil. A rich and colorful variety of cultural dances and local folklore culminated in a message of leaving cultural differences behind to unite as one—a fitting honor to the work performed within the temple walls.5

Dedication day commenced with the traditional cornerstone ceremony, which proceeded to a backdrop of storming rains. The choir remained unfazed by the roar of thunder—its beautiful melodies ringing through the humid air. Delighted children from the congregation joined President Monson at his bidding to seal the cornerstone of the temple. The dedication brought delight to children and adults alike. Panama City resident Ernesto Tejada said, the temple "has given me more optimism—it's given me more hope."6

The day following the dedication of the temple, President Monson and other Church leaders met with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos and his wife, Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos. President Torrijos extended his gratitude for the humanitarian efforts offered by the Church in Panama, including numerous projects for children such as wheelchair distribution, vaccine initiatives, and literacy programs. President Monson presented a sculpture illustrating a child's first steps to the Torrijos family, which they gratefully accepted. President Torrijos asked questions regarding the construction and dedication of the temple. President Uchtdorf explained the great strength and blessings that the temple would bring to all the residents of Panama.7


Temple District

The Panama City Panama Temple serves members from 8 stakes and 5 districts headquartered in Panama and Jamaica:

Panama

  1. Arraijan Panama Stake
  2. Changuinola Panama District
  3. Chitré Panama District
  4. Colon Panama Stake
  5. Concepción Panama District
  6. David Panama Stake
  7. La Chorrera Panama Stake
  8. Panama City Stake
  9. San Blas Panama District
  10. San Miguelito Panama Stake
  11. Tocumen Panama Stake

Jamaica

  1. Kingston Jamaica Stake
  2. Mandeville Jamaica District

Temple Presidents

  1. Rick L. Smith 2019–
  2. William H. Wingo 2016–2019
  3. Hugo Boren 2013–2016
  4. D. Chad Richardson 2010–2013
  5. Ronald D. Jamison 2008–2010

See Also

References


Panama City Panama Temple

Panamatemple2.jpg

The Panama City Panama Temple is the 127th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the 1st temple completed in Panama. This temple is on a tall hillside overlooking the famed Panama Canal, traveled by ships and vessels from around the world. The temple stands adjacent to the Cárdenas meetinghouse and a large facility at the rear of the property provides housing for the temple presidency, temple missionaries, and temple patrons. The beautiful landscaping is punctuated with numerous palm trees, colorful foliage, and a serene water feature.

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