a diverse collection of travel photos and firsthand experiences while venturing across the globe. each destination has welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles, making us feel right at home. from argentina to utah - and thousands of miles in between - these are our visual memories of 'home'...just as we never imagined.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Travel Slideshow #4 - Córdoba

Termed "La Docta" for its educational development and academic appeal, Córdoba is also referred to as Argentina's second capital. While the city center is crowded with office towers, government buildings, and endless apartments, the numerous locals also pride themselves on provincial history. First founded in 1573 by Spanish explorers, Jesuit missionaries arrived shortly after, dedicating the national university in 1621 (the oldest in Argentina). The Jesuit order, along with Carmelites and Franciscans, constructed multiple religious edifices across this central province: cathedrals, chapels, convents, and estancias. The capital of Córdoba combines both modern construction and colonial architecture with baroque and indigenous elements. The Jesuit Block, in the heart of downtown, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The lush countryside offers narrow dirt roads, rolling green hills, and several religious sites. Alta Gracia, one of many rural towns, was also home to a young Che Guevara in 1932. It was his hope to escape Buenos Aires and breath the fresh air of Córdoba in order to relieve his asthma.

LDS Church History:

In 1925, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered in Buenos Aires to dedicate the entire continent of South America in preparation for Mormon missionary service. While multiple chapels were constructed in the following decades, the LDS temple in Argentina was not dedicated until 1986 (in Buenos Aires). Many sacred ordinances of the LDS faith are only available inside this religious edifice. For many years, church members scattered across Argentina have traveled great distances to visit Buenos Aires and enter the temple.

As Tania and I served as missionaries in Argentina's northwest, we witnessed how local church members often saved their money for years before taking this important trip (a distance of 800 miles from Salta). There are currently 128 LDS temples in operation worldwide. Such temples are established based on regional population of church members and other factors. The construction of such temples are financed through the tithes and generous offerings of faithful members (cumulative, not regional).

This weekend, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered worldwide to hear the semi-annual General Conference. In April and October of each year, religious leaders of the Mormon faith share important messages and principles with church members across the globe (a live satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City to nearly 100 nations and translated into more than 80 languages).

Just yesterday, 5 additional LDS temples were announced during General Conference: Philadelphia, Kansas City, Calgary, Rome...and Córdoba, Argentina. There are currently 300,000 members of the LDS faith inside Argentina. We are so happy for the local members here that have waited so long, in patience and faith, for this second temple in their homeland. Construction will begin shortly.

(click here for local newspaper article regarding mormons in argentina - i am actually sitting in the top right photograph)


satomblablabla said...

I am so excited that the people of the north FINALLY get their temple! What a blessing!

Ben said...

Wade & Taunia,

Thanks for the info on the new temple. That is really exciting and will be such a great blessing. I just got back from a trip to Panama with my wife for the temple dedication down there. It was amazing. Oh, and Wade, congrats on being famous....but, are you asleep? j/k
Ben & Gina Arkell