The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico

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The México City México Temple

Mexico is home to the largest body of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) outside of the United States. The Church claimed 1,197,573 individuals in 2010. In the 2010 census, 314,932 individuals reported belonging to the LDS Church.[1]

History[edit]

The first missionaries of the LDS Church in Mexico came in 1874. This was shortly after Daniel W. Jones and Meliton Trejo had begun to translate the Book of Mormon into Spanish. The first missionaries did not perform any baptisms. Later in 1879, more missionary efforts were started in Mexico City. The first person baptized a member of the LDS Church in that city was Plotino C. Rhodakanaty. Missionary work in central Mexico continued until 1889 when it was halted for a time.

In 1885, a group of Latter-day Saints from Utah Territory and Arizona Territory settled in the state of Chihuahua. They were fleeing the U.S. federal government prosecution of Mormon polygamists. These Latter-day Saints eventually founded the settlements of Colonia Juárez, Colonia Dublán, four more in Chihuahua, and two in the state of Sonora.

In 1901, the Mexican Mission of the church was re-established with Ammon M. Tenney as president. In 1910, Rey L. Pratt became president. By 1912 he was forced to leave Mexico City but he was able to put most of the branches in Central Mexico under the leadership of local members. Among these was Rafael Monroy.

Most of the Mormon colonists left in 1912 due to rising violence,[2] but many returned some were able to return in later years. Pratt remained as mission president until his death, also establishing missionary work among the Spanish-speaking populations in the Southwestern United States.

In 1936, a group of people called the Third Convention, influenced by the spirit of the Mexican Revolution, called for a Mexican to serve as president of the church's mission in Mexico. The tactics of this group led to the excommunication of its members. In 1946, George Albert Smith, the President of the Church, visited Mexico. He was able to establish a reconciliation with most of the members of the Third Convention and the vast majority of this group were brought back into the church.

In 1956, the Mexican Mission was divided for the first time, with the Northern Mexican Mission being organized. From this time forward the church focused on setting up the structure to organize stakes. In 1959, the church established a network of schools outside of Colonia Juárez. The only one of these still functioning, the preparatory school Benemérito, was established in 1963 in Mexico City.

The first Spanish-speaking stake in Mexico was organized in Mexico City in 1961. In 1966 Agricol Lozano became the first indigenous Mexican to serve as a stake president. In 1970, the Monterrey Stake (now Monterrey Mexico Mitras Stake) was organized with Guillermo G. Garza as president. This was the first stake in Mexico outside of the Mormon colonies and the Mexico City area.

Membership history[edit]

Year Membership[3]
1911 1,000
1920 2,314
1930 4,773
1940 4,196
1950 5,915
1960 12,695
1970 67,965
1974 117,118a
1979 231,266c
1985 293,000b
1989 570,000b
1995 728,000b
2000 884,071c
2005 1,043,718c
2010 1,197,573a
2012 1,273,199a
  • a Actual Membership for January 1 of the respective year
  • b Estimated membership for December 31 of the respective year
  • c Actual Membership for December 31 of the respective year

Missions[edit]

A private high school operated by the LDS Church in Mexico City known as Benemerito De Las Americas[4] was permanently closed at the end of the 2012-2013 term, and the Mexico City Missionary Training Center was relocated here, opening June 26, 2013. This greatly expanded the capacity of the Mexico City MTC, such that it is second in size only to the Provo MTC: the old building near the Mexico City Temple could only accommodate 125 missionaries at a time, but the new 90-acre campus can handle over 1,000.[5][6][7]

  • a Mexico Leon Mission announced to be renamed to Mexico Aguascalientes Mission in July 2013.[8]
  • b Announced to be created July 2013.[8]

Temples[edit]

The México City México Temple was the first LDS Church temple in Mexico; it was dedicated in 1983 and was rededicated after renovation in 2008.

From 1999 to 2002 an additional 11 temples were dedicated in Mexico. This comes after historic June 29, 1993, when the Mexican government formally registered the LDS Church, allowing it to own property.[9]

Mexico city temple night.jpg

26. Mexico City Mexico (Closed for Renovation / Rededication Scheduled) edit

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Mexico City, DF, Mexico
3 April 1976
2 December 1983 by Gordon B. Hinckley
16 November 2008[10] by Thomas S. Monson
19°27′57.25799″N 99°5′12.31439″W / 19.4659049972°N 99.0867539972°W / 19.4659049972; -99.0867539972 (Mexico City Mexico Temple)
116,642 sq ft (10,836 m2) and 152 ft (46 m) high on a 7 acre (2.8 ha) site
Modern adaptation of ancient Mayan architecture - designed by Emil B. Fetzer
The Mexico City Mexico Temple was closed March 30, 2007 for renovations[11][12] and was rededicated Sunday, 16 November 2008.[13] The temple was again closed in early 2014 for renovations.[14] A public open house is scheduled from Friday, 14 August 2015, through Saturday, 5 September 2015, excluding Sundays. The temple will be rededicated on Sunday, September 13, 2015.[15]

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55. Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico edit

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Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
4 October 1997
6 March 1999 by Gordon B. Hinckley
30°18′19.77479″N 108°4′56.46360″W / 30.3054929972°N 108.0823510000°W / 30.3054929972; -108.0823510000 (Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple)
6,800 sq ft (630 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 1 acre (0.4 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

Ciudad Juarez Temple by Christine Asay.jpg

71. Ciudad Juárez Mexico edit

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Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
7 May 1998
26 February 2000 by Gordon B. Hinckley
31°44′10.56840″N 106°27′47.55240″W / 31.7362690000°N 106.4632090000°W / 31.7362690000; -106.4632090000 (Ciudad Juárez Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 1.63 acre (0.7 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro inigo and Church A&E Services

Hermosillo Temple by Miguel Robles.jpg

72. Hermosillo Sonora Mexico edit

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Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
20 July 1998
27 February 2000 by Gordon B. Hinckley
29°6′9.039599″N 110°56′49.04519″W / 29.10251099972°N 110.9469569972°W / 29.10251099972; -110.9469569972 (Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Temple)
10,769 sq ft (1,000 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 1.54 acre (0.6 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

Oaxaca Temple by Henok Montoya.jpg

74. Oaxaca Mexico edit

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Oaxaca, Oaxaca Mexico
3 February 1999
11 March 2000 by James E. Faust
17°2′29.59440″N 96°42′48.61080″W / 17.0415540000°N 96.7135030000°W / 17.0415540000; -96.7135030000 (Oaxaca Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 1.87 acre (0.8 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

Tuxtla Gutiérrez México Temple.JPG

75. Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico edit

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Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico
25 February 1999
12 March 2000 by James E. Faust
16°45′50.99040″N 93°9′32.95799″W / 16.7641640000°N 93.1591549972°W / 16.7641640000; -93.1591549972 (Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 1.56 acre (0.6 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

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83. Tampico Mexico edit

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Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas, Mexico
8 July 1998
20 May 2000 by Thomas S. Monson
22°15′15.34320″N 97°51′21.12839″W / 22.2542620000°N 97.8558689972°W / 22.2542620000; -97.8558689972 (Tampico Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 2.96 acre (1.2 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

Villahermosa Temple by Jairo Hernandez.jpg

85. Villahermosa Mexico edit

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Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
30 October 1998
21 May 2000 by Thomas S. Monson
17°58′52.59360″N 92°56′14.55000″W / 17.9812760000°N 92.9373750000°W / 17.9812760000; -92.9373750000 (Villahermosa Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 1.36 acre (0.6 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

Merida Mexico Temple 2 by Renegade of Funk - Andy Funk cropped.jpg

92. Mérida Mexico edit

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Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
25 September 1998
8 July 2000 by Thomas S. Monson
20°57′56.82239″N 89°37′51.81960″W / 20.9657839972°N 89.6310610000°W / 20.9657839972; -89.6310610000 (Mérida Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 1.53 acre (0.6 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

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93. Veracruz Mexico edit

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Boca del Río, Veracruz, Mexico
14 April 1999
9 July 2000 by Thomas S. Monson
19°8′3.875999″N 96°6′22.53600″W / 19.13440999972°N 96.1062600000°W / 19.13440999972; -96.1062600000 (Veracruz Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 3.39 acre (1.4 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

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105. Guadalajara Mexico edit

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Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
14 April 1999
29 April 2001 by Gordon B. Hinckley
20°39′41.57999″N 103°25′23.05199″W / 20.6615499972°N 103.4230699972°W / 20.6615499972; -103.4230699972 (Guadalajara Mexico Temple)
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 2.69 acre (1.1 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services

TempleMonterrey.jpg

110. Monterrey Mexico edit

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Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
21 December 1995
28 April 2002 by Gordon B. Hinckley
25°35′21.38639″N 100°15′36.22680″W / 25.5892739972°N 100.2600630000°W / 25.5892739972; -100.2600630000 (Monterrey Mexico Temple)
16,498 sq ft (1,533 m2) on a 7.78 acre (3.1 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Alvaro Inigo

Tijuana México Temple map.jpg

149. Tijuana Mexico (Dedication Scheduled) edit

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Tijuana, Mexico
2 October 2010
18 August 2012 by Benjamin de Hoyos
scheduled for 13 December 2015
32°29′20.4648″N 116°55′39.198″W / 32.489018000°N 116.92755500°W / 32.489018000; -116.92755500 (Tijuana Mexico Temple)
TBD
Announced by Thomas S. Monson on October 2, 2010, during General Conference.[16] Ground was broken to commence construction on 18 August 2012.[17] A public open house is scheduled from Friday, 13 November 2015, through Saturday, 28 November 2015, excluding Sundays. The temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, December 13, 2015.[18]

Current status[edit]

As of January 2014, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) reported 1,273,199 members, 222 stakes, 36 districts, Congregations (1,543 wards,[19] and 457 branches[19]), 24 missions, and 13 temples in Mexico.[9]

As of January 2009, two men of Mexican birth and descent were serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy: Benjamin de Hoyos and Octaviano Tenorio. Carl B. Pratt, another general authority, was born and raised in Mexico but is of Anglo-American descent. Clate W. Mask of the Second Quorum of the Seventy is a native of El Paso, Texas, whose mother was an immigrant from Mexico and whose grandfather was the first native Mexican to serve as a missionary for the church.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Panorama de las religiones en México 2010" (PDF) (in Spanish). INEGI. p. 3. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Rentería, Ramón (2012-07-28), "100th anniversary of arrival of Mormon refugees in El Paso celebrated Saturday", El Paso Times 
  3. ^ "Country information: Mexico", Deseret News Church Almanac (multiple almanacs from various years) (Deseret News) 
  4. ^ Juarez Rubio, Tarcisio R. (November 27, 1999), "Benemerito! Church's vanguard school in Mexico", Church News 
  5. ^ Walker, Joseph (January 30, 2013), "Missionary surge prompts LDS Church to open new MTC in Mexico", Deseret News 
  6. ^ Walker, Joseph (June 26, 2013), "First LDS missionaries arrive for training at Mexico City MTC", Deseret News 
  7. ^ "Mexico MTC Opens to Train Hundreds of Missionaries", MormonNewsroom.org (News Story) (LDS Church), June 26, 2013 
  8. ^ a b New mission presidents by area for 2013
  9. ^ a b LDS Newsroom (Statistical Information)
  10. ^ After being closed again for renovation in 2014, a rededication is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, 2015.
  11. ^ Mexico City Mexico Temple, LDSChurchTemples.com, retrieved 2012-10-07 
  12. ^ "México City México Temple", LDS.org (LDS Church), retrieved 2012-10-07 
  13. ^ "Mexico City Temple Opens Its Doors to the Public", Newsroom (News Story) (LDS Church), 2008-10-16, retrieved 2012-10-07 
  14. ^ Temple page on LDS.org
  15. ^ "Late 2015 Opening for New Temples", Newsroom (LDS Church), 2015-03-13 
  16. ^ Taylor, Scott (October 2, 2010), "President Thomas S. Monson opens conference by announcing 5 new temples", Deseret News, retrieved 2012-11-11 .
  17. ^ "Se efectúa la palada inicial del Templo de Tijuana", Sala de Prensa: México [Newsroom: Mexico] (Noticia [News Release]) (SUD [LDS Church]), August 20, 2012, retrieved 2012-11-11  (Spanish)
  18. ^ "Late 2015 Opening for New Temples", Newsroom (LDS Church), 2015-03-13 
  19. ^ a b LDS Meetinghouse Locator. Nearby Congregations (Wards and Branches).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]