Youth Pay Tribute to Rich Culture at Trujillo Peru Temple Celebration

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 20 June 2015

Young Peruvian Latter-day Saints perform local folk dances at the June 20, 2015, cultural event in Trujillo, Peru.  Photo by Jason Swensen.

TRUJILLO, PERU

Sunday, June 21, is expected to be a day of quiet joy—a sacred, peaceful Sabbath defined by the dedication of the Trujillo Peru Temple.

But the eve of the dedication was all about celebration and fun.

Hundreds of youth from the new Trujillo temple district put their talents on full display Saturday—staging a colorful cultural event at the Coliseo Gran Chima sports arena. The night included a variety of folk dances and music that paid tribute to Peru’s Incan history and culture.

The appreciative audience included President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Their wives, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf and Sister Susan Bednar, accompanied President Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar.

President Uchtdorf saluted his young friends with his trademark enthusiasm.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shares words of counsel with young performers prior to the June 20, 2015, cultural event in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Peru's rich indigenous culture was celebrated during a Church-sponsored event June 20, 2015, in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Peru's rich indigenous culture was celebrated during a Church-sponsored event June 20, 2015, in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

“I bring you the greetings and love of President Thomas S. Monson, our dear prophet,” he said. “He would love to be with you tonight—and when I return I will tell him what a wonderful experience I had with you.”

The Church leader noted that Trujillo is known as the “City of Everlasting Spring” and as Peru’s “cradle of freedom.”

“By accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will establish the cradle of freedom for generations to come.” He then shared a few words of “grandfatherly” counsel.

“Make sure you get a good spiritual education,” he said. “Get a good secular education. Don’t settle for less. You are a generation of many talents. … Plan for a mission and plan for a temple marriage.”

LDS Peruvians are proud of a rich national history that is traced back to the Incas. Several of the high-tempo folk dances celebrated their people’s close connection to the local wildlife, the earth, and the sea.

The festive evening concluded with a soloist performing “I Love to See the Temple” while backed by the entire cast. Many in the audience joined in, clearly excited for Sunday’s temple dedication.

Young dancers perform acrobatics at the June 20, 2015, cultural event in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

A trio of young women participate in a youth choir at the June 20, 2015, cultural event in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

The director leads a youth choir and orchestra at the beginning of the June 20, 2015, cultural event in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Peru's rich indigenous culture was celebrated during a Church-sponsored event June 20, 2015, in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Dancers perform a traditional armadillo dance at the June 20, 2015, cultural event in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

A young actor depicts an Incan leader at the June 21, 2015, cultural celebration in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Youth perform a colorful Peruvian folk dance during the June 20, 2015, cultural celebration in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

From left, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, Sister Susan Bednar, and Elder David A. Bednar salute young performers following the June 20, 2015, cultural event in Trujillo, Peru. Photo by Jason Swensen.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, attended the Saturday night, June 20, cultural celebration for the Trujillo Peru Temple and was joined by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other Church leaders.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks to the youth during the cultural celebration about what he carries with him always: his temple recommend and his copy of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.

Latter-day Saint youth perform during the cultural celebration the evening before the dedication of the Trujillo Peru Temple.

A cultural celebration was held in Trujillo, Peru, Saturday, June 20, 2015, to honor the heritage of the Church in the South American country. Several hundred youth sang and danced.

Several hundred LDS youth celebrate the dedication of the Trujillo Peru Temple the night before the temple was dedicated.