LDS President Hinckley Arrives in Chile for Temple Re-dedication

President Gordon B. Hinckley of the LDS Church is in Santiago, Chile. It is his first trip since surgery a month and a half ago to remove a cancerous growth from his colon.

ABC 4 followed President Hinckley to Santiago for his first trip since the surgery. It will also be his first public appearance anywhere.

On Saturday, President Hinckley will be welcomed at Estadio Monumental by more than 60,000 faithful Chilean Mormons.

The tune sounds familiar, but the words and accent are very different. 4,000 young people practiced singing familiar Mormon hymns in Spanish at the soccer stadium that will be filled to a capacity Saturday night to honor a very special guest President Gordon B. Hinckley.

In the warm afternoon sun, they practiced the program of song and dance they will perform for him.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the LDS Church’s Quorum of 12 Apostles arrived in Santiago earlier in the week. He is very aware of the importance of this visit not only for Mormons in Chile, but around the world.

Elder Perry says, “For President Hinckley to be here, with all of health and other problems, it just shows the desire he has to be here.

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Paola Certolesi also understands. As a young girl of 12, she was in the Santiago LDS temple when it was dedicated by President Hinckley then a member of the 12 back in 1983. She will be in the temple again this Sunday, when he will rededicate the expanded and remodeled temple.

“Realmente es muy especial,” (“It really is very special”) she explains. Paola doesn’t like to talk about it, but at President Hinckley’s age (hes 95) and with the recent operation, this could be his last trip to Chile.

Paola says if she doesn’t see President Hinckley again in this life, she hopes to live worthy enough to see him in the life to come. That gives a sense of the depth of feeling of Mormon faithful in Chile.

ABC 4 will be there for President Hinckley’s arrival and the cultural celebration from Santiago on Saturday.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above), USA
Mar. 11, 2006
Brent Hunsaker

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday March 11, 2006.
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