News Release

Temple Groundbreaking Held in Sierra Leone

First of five recently announced temples in West Africa begins construction

The long-awaited day has come. The groundbreaking for the Freetown Sierra Leone Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken place. Elder Hugo E. Martinez, president of the Africa West Area of the Church, broke ground for a new temple in this West African country.

Downloadable B-roll

In a dedicatory prayer, Elder Martinez said, “Bless us as followers of Thy Son Jesus Christ to live lives pleasing unto Thee. May all worthy members enter through its doors to serve others in the most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, that is, vicarious ordinances for their ancestors. May they feel thy Spirit and find knowledge and direction to return to Thy presence as eternal families.”

The temple was announced at general conference in October 2019. Many members remembered the exact moment the announcement was made and shared that they recalled shedding tears of joy while viewing conference in the stake center.

Present for the groundbreaking ceremonies were many members of the Church and invited dignitaries. Madam Nabeela Farida Tunis, minister of the western region, who represented the government of Sierra Leone, spoke at the event. “I heartily congratulate this Church and its effort to bring a temple to our country. God bless this Church. God bless all of us. God bless Sierra Leone.”

Africa West Area leadership, stake and district presidents and the mission president from Sierra Leone were on hand to witness the beginning of the temple construction.

Sister Aminata Charles shared, “The only way I know for us to overcome the challenges that lie ahead is by binding ourselves to the Savior and His gospel. I call on all of us to take the next step towards the temple whatever the sacrifice may be. Bring your life into compliance with what is required to receive a temple recommend ... whatever it takes to qualify yourself to enter the temple.”

Four additional temples have been announced to be constructed in the Africa West Area of the Church, including: Lagos, Nigeria; Benin City, Nigeria; Kumasi, Ghana; and Monrovia, Liberia. A temple is under construction in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Two temples are in operation in West Africa, the Aba Nigeria Temple and the Accra Ghana Temple.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.