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President Russell M. Nelson dedicates new temple in Rome, Italy

President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy, help two young Latter-day Saints during the cornerstone ceremony of the Rome Italy Temple Sunday, March 10, 2019. (Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

ROME, Italy — President Russell M. Nelson dedicated the 162nd temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday.

The Rome, Italy temple will be dedicated in seven sessions over the next three days, which is unusual for a temple dedication. A Church spokesperson said the ceremonies were extended in order to allow more Church members in the area to participate.

In addition to the seven dedicatory sessions, President Nelson’s time in Italy also included an address to area youth and a meeting with Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic church. It was the first meeting between a Church prophet and a pope.

Sunday’s dedicatory session featured the traditional laying of mortar around the building’s cornerstone, as well as a dedicatory prayer offered by President Nelson.

“In this ancient and great city that has stood since biblical times—in this historic nation of Italy—we acknowledge the ministry of two of Thy Son’s early Apostles, Peter and Paul, who once blessed this land with their labors,” President Nelson said in his prayer. “May the influence of their abiding testimony of Jesus Christ continue to be felt among the vital values of this great country.”

The dedications will continue with two more sessions on Sunday and two sessions each on Monday and Tuesday.