News Release

Church Calls New Temple President in Cebu

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently announced that Arsenio Abraham Pagaduan, 64, Cabanatuan 3rd Ward (parish), Cabanatuan Philippines Stake (diocese), was called as president of the Cebu City Philippines Temple, succeeding President Gerald E. Mortimer. President Pagaduan's wife, Aida Calara Virola Pagaduan, will serve as temple matron. 

He previously served as a mission president's counselor then later as the president of the Philippines Davao Mission.  He also served as stake president, high councilor, district president and branch president. A coordinator for the Church Educational System in Cabanatuan, Philippines, he was born in Paniqui, Tarlac, Philippines, to Domingo Dela Cruz and Felicidad Sagadraca Abraham Pagaduan.

Sister Pagaduan served as ward Relief Society president and with her husband when he presided over the Philippines Davao Mission. She has also served in a stake Relief Society presidency and as ward Young Women and Primary president. She was born in Cabanatuan City, Philippines, to Manual Fernandez and Dominga De Jesus Calara Virola.

Temples are places of learning. Their principal purpose is to provide ordinances necessary for the children of God to enable them to return to dwell with Him. Temple ordinances lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Everything in the Church—the meetings and activities, the missionary efforts, the lessons taught and the hymns—all lead to the work done in holy temples.

The sacredness of the temple anciently can be seen in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, Moses had the children of Israel carry with them the Tabernacle (a large, portable temple) as they wandered in the wilderness. King Solomon built and dedicated the great temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. It was rebuilt and later substantially expanded, but again destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. The great Western Wall can still be seen in Jerusalem today, and even after millennia, remains a sacred site for Jews. The New Testament gives an account of Jesus Christ clearing the temples when its sacredness was violated by people using its courts as a common market.

Latter-day Saint temples are considered houses of God, a place of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. They provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God. They are also the place where the highest sacraments of the faith occur — the marriage of couples and the “sealing” of families for eternity.

Temples serve as the only place where ceremonies such as baptism and eternal marriage can be performed in behalf of those who have died —a practice that Latter-day Saints believe was followed in New Testament times but that later was lost.

Temples point Latter-day Saints to Jesus Christ and their eventual life with Him, their Heavenly Father and their family members on the condition of faithfulness to Christ’s teachings.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.