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ROME — Utahn Steve Vistaunet returned home in 1986 after serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy's capital.
Thirty-three years later, he arrived in the "Eternal City" once more, this time to witness the dedication of the Rome temple — a place where faithful Latter-Day Saints believe families can be bound for eternity.
The dedication, which ends Tuesday, prepares the temple for spiritual and sacred use. The Rome temple's dedication was a historic event for Latter-day Saints as all 15 members of the church's First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gathered together for the first time outside the U.S.
For Vistaunet, the dedication was especially incredible. When he served as a missionary in Rome, the church consisted only of "branches," or small congregations that are not large enough to be called "wards."
"To know they have wards, stakes and now a temple is really wonderful," Vistaunet told KSL.com. "To be able to walk through the temple in Rome was a dream come true for me. Thanks to social media, I am in contact with a number of Italians that I met on my mission — and to see and hear how excited they are for this temple is really great and makes me very happy for them. This temple will be such a blessing to the Italian people!"
Vistaunet also spent his time visiting places he had seen on his mission and re-created some iconic photos from his time there.
"I haven't changed at all," he said.
"It was also really great to be able to share this experience with my wife, Tonya. She's heard stories of Italy from me for decades, and now she can finally understand them! At the end of our trip she told me, 'I finally see what all the fuss is about — Italy really is wonderful.' It was an awesome trip for both of us, and the highlight was definitely going through that beautiful temple in Rome," Vistaunet said.
We asked KSL.com readers to send their photos from their time in Italy — both before and after the temple dedication.
Check out the photo gallery below to see what we received. If you want to submit your own photos, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.