Mormon Newsroom has announced the open house and dedication dates for the Rome Italy Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
The public is invited to tour the first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy. Church leaders announced the Rome Italy Temple will be open for a free public open house from Monday, January 28, 2019, to Saturday, February 16, 2019, excluding Sundays.
A few weeks before the open house, the public can make reservations at templeopenhouse.lds.org. The temple, located in northeast Rome near the Grande Raccordo Anulare, will be formally dedicated on Sunday, March 10, 2019, through Sunday, March 17, 2019.
In 1850, Elder Lorenzo R. Snow, who would later become an apostle and president of the Church, was among the first missionaries in Italy. Within 5 years, over 100 Italians had joined the Church, with 50 of them moving to America.
In 1855, because of local opposition and government restrictions, missionary work in Italy ceased for almost 100 years. One of those early Latter-day Saints who immigrated to Utah before 1855 was a man named Phillipe Cardon, who was an ancestor of current LDS General Authority Seventy, Elder Craig A. Cardon. Elder Cardon would return to the land of his ancestor in the 1960s as a missionary, and again from 1983-1986 as the President of the Italy Rome Mission.
When the Church was allowed back into Italy to resume missionary work in 1964, it only took a few years before there were 66 members meeting in 9 small congregations. As is typical in countries newly opened for missionary work, U.S. military personal made up part of the congregations. In the 1990s, the Church membership passed 14,000 and Italy gave the Church some legal status as a ‘charitable institution’. The Church didn’t receive full legal status as a Church until July of 2012, almost 4 years after the Rome Italy Temple was announced and over a year after construction had commenced. Italian LDS members rejoiced as the Church was finally fully recognized as a religion instead of a charity, and was given high status by the Italian Government, who referred to the Church as a “partner of the state”.
Another moment of rejoicing for Italian Latter-day Saints came when native son Massimo De Feo was called to be a General Authority Seventy in June of 2016. Elder De Feo is the first member from Italy to be called as a General Authority.
Today there are over 26,500 members of the Church in Italy.