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A Brief History:
The Church in Argentina

For more than seventy-five years, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has been taught among the people of Argentina. On October 8, 1925 Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Council of the Twelve was commissioned to travel to South America and dedicate lands of South America for the preaching of the gospel. Rulon S. Wells and Rey L. Pratt of the presidency of the Seventy were chosen and authorized to accompany Elder Ballard.

On December 6, 1925 they arrived in Buenos Aires. Only one week passed until on December 12, Elder Ballard baptized 5 people in el Rio de La Plata - the first ordinances performed in South America since Book of Mormon times.

Missionaries at the airport, Ezeiza, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

On December 25, 1925 Elder Melvin J. Ballard, in el parque 3 de Febrero, Buenos Aires, dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel saying, "The work of the Lord will grow slowly for a time..but thousands will join the church here. It will be divided into more than one mission and will be one of the strongest areas of the church."

The first president of the South American Mission was Elder Reinholt Stoof, who began to direct the mission in 1926. President and Sister Stoof were recently married and lived in Buenos Aires while they directed the work of the Lord in Argentina and Brazil. The missionaries were few, as were the converts in the early years. When President Stoof and his family finished the mission, almost 10 years later, they left 7 missionaries, 4 branches, and a total of 150 converts to the church.

In August 1935, President W. Ernest Young followed as president of the mission in Argentina (officially named the Argentine Mission and now no longer included Brazil). Some of the area where the missionaries worked when President Young started were Villa Devoto, Liniers, and Haedo. In the period of three years he was there, the work grew considerably. In place of 7 Elders, the quantity grew to 60. the number of branches was elevated to 20 in all of Argentina. Upon finishing his mission in August of 1938, President Young saw a total of 400 members in Argentina, a growth of more than 150 percent!

A typical LDS Chapel in Argentina.On April 9, 1939, while Frederick S. Williams presided over the mission, the first chapel was dedicated in Liniers, Buenos Aires. It was a great day for the members of the church in Argentina and was only the beginning of a program of chapel construction that continues today.

On January 17, 1986 Elder Thomas S. Monson dedicated the 39th operating temple of the church, the Buenos Aires Temple. In 1996 President Gordon B. Hinckley visited the people of Argentina. He spoke in the Velez stadium in Liniers, Buenos Aires, just a few blocks from the first chapel in Argentina.

Other Significant Dates:

  • 1959 Chile removed from the Argentina Mission
  • 1962 Mission divided into the Argentina South and Argentina North Missions
  • 1974 Mission divided into the Buenos Aires North and Buenos Aires South Missions
  • 1986 Buenos Aires Temple Dedicated by Elder Thomas S. Monson
  • 1992 Buenos Aires West Mission split off from the North and South Missions
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