There are six stakes in Tijuana with several stakes in nearby Sonora and Baja California. Until the dedication of the Tijuana Mexico Temple, Latter-day Saints in Tijuana have had to cross the U.S. border to get to the San Diego California Temple— a journey that requires traveling across the United States–Mexico border.
Currently, total Church membership in México is reported at 1,368,475 with 34 missions, 1,998 congregations, and 228 stakes. There are more than 2,000 Mexican full-time missionaries serving in México and in various other parts of the world.
The Latter-day Saints have had a long history in Mexico. When they migrated from Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley, Utah was actually part of Mexico Territory.
In 1875 Brigham Young, then President of the Church, sent Daniel Jones to lead a small group of six missionaries to La Ciudad de México (Mexico City) to distribute Spanish language materials about the Church to Mexican leaders. One of these brochures about the Book of Mormon fell into the hands of Plotino Rhodacanaty, who after reading it, wrote to President John Taylor, Brigham Young’s successor, to request more information about the Church.
When Rey L. Pratt returned to central México in November of 1917, he found the members had remained faithful in spite of difficult living circumstances. Local Mexican leaders again maintained stability and expanded proselyting work, and in 1930, six local missionaries were called to serve. The first missionaries arrived from San Diego, California, in the 1940s, and local families formed a group that met for worship services in the house of a member.
In 1946, Church President George Albert Smith, visited Church members in México, who then numbered more than 5,300. The first congregation of the Church was organized in Tijuana on 25 April 1954. On 3 December 1961, the México Stake was created, with Harold Brown as President. Membership at that time numbered nearly 25,000. Church schools were begun in México in 1959. On 3 April 1976, a temple was announced for La Ciudad de México (Mexico City) and the completed temple was dedicated on 2 December 1983 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. At that time, membership in México was conservatively numbered at about 240,000. And, on 23 May 1976, the first Tijuana stake (similar to a diocese) was established, with Carlos Mendez Zullik as its first President.
México was the first country outside the United States to have 100 Latter-day Saint stakes. An historic moment came on 29 June 1993, when the Mexican government formally registered the Church, allowing it to own property. President Howard W. Hunter visited México to create the Mexico City Contreras Stake, the Church’s 2,000th, on 11 December 1994.
On 2 October 2010, during the semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church President Thomas S. Monson declared plans to build the Tijuana Mexico Temple. Church members in Tijuana were elated at the announcement, as the Church has grown exponentially in the city. President Monson simultaneously revealed plans to build four other temples throughout the world and stressed the importance of temples, saying, “May we continue faithful in attending the temples, which are being built closer and closer to our members.”Thomas S. Monson, “As We Meet Together Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 5.
On 18 August 2012, Church leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony to officially commence the Tijuana Mexico Temple construction. About 2,000 Church members attended the ceremony, and it was also broadcast to Church meetinghouses so other members could watch. Church leaders Benjamín De Hoyos and Jose L. Alonso presided over the ceremony and turned the soil to indicate the beginning of building the magnificent edifice.
Church members fanned themselves under colorful umbrellas as they listened to the words of their leaders, who spoke of the importance of temples and the blessings they bring to the lives of those who attend. A choir also sang the hymns “An Angel from on High” and “High on the Mountain Top.” An illustration of the completed temple was on a stand during the program so attendees could imagine the finished product.
Elder De Hoyos offered a dedicatory prayer, dedicating the temple grounds for the construction of what Church members consider to be the Lord’s house.
For many members, this temple construction shows the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Mexico. Dominga G. Sifuentes, a local of Tijuana who was baptized in 1964, saw the temple as a pinnacle of the faith of the members in the city: “I remember when the first chapel was built here,” she said. “We had 30 members then. Now we have a temple. I’ve watched the Church grow and have seen many chapels constructed, but the temple brings a special air of peace and tranquility.”Jerry Earl Johnston, “Members Rejoice at Tijuana Mexico Temple Groundbreaking,” Church News, Aug. 24, 2012.
the Angel Moroni was put in place on 15 April 2014
A free public open house for the Tijuana México Temple was held from Friday, 13 November 2015 through Saturday, 28 November 2015, excluding Sunday 15 and 22 November 2015.
A free public open house for the Tijuana México Temple was held from Friday, 13 November 2015 through Saturday, 28 November 2015. There was not an open house on Sunday 15 and 22 November 2015. The general public, including children of all ages, was invited to attend the open house. Admission was free, and no tickets were required. The open house was conducted on Mondays from 9:00 a.m until 5:00 p.m, and on Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 pm. All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST). Modest dress was requested.
Open house tours began with a short video presentation providing an overview of temples and why they are significant to members of The Church of Jesus Christ. Following the video presentation, a tour host escorted visitors through the temple, explaining the purpose of each room and answering questions as time allowed. At the conclusion of the tour, guests were invited to a reception area to have any further questions answered.
On Saturday evening, 12 December 2015, hundreds of youth participated in a cultural celebration highlighting the history of the Church in México performed through dance and music.
and the temple was dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, 13 December 2015. The dedicatory sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. will be broadcast within the temple district, and the three-hour block of meetings for those congregations will be cancelled for that Sunday to allow members to attend the sessions. Once the temple is dedicated it will serve 25,000 Latter-day Saints.
The Tijuana México Temple was dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, 13 December 2015. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Secound Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presided at the dedicatory services. The dedicatory sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. were broadcast within the temple district, and the three-hour block of meetings for those congregations were cancelled for that Sunday to allow members to attend the sessions.
During the traditional cornerstone ceremony signifying that the temple is complete, President Uchtdorf called on the assistance of Church leaders and local Latter-day Saints to help him place mortar around the cornerstone. In his remarks to the Saints present, he said, “We love you. We bring you the love and greetings of President Monson. His heart is here. He will participate by internet, by television. He will see it. He will hear you. He will feel your spirit. So, blessings to you from him. Blessings to you from us.”
President Uchtdorf was assisted at the dedication services by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department, and members of the Mexico Area Presidency — Elders Benjamin De Hoyos, Paul B. Pieper and Arnulfo Valenzuela, also of the Seventy. He further commented, “It’s the Lord’s house and it’s a connection between heaven and earth. So, remember that when you come here that you feel that the ways between heaven and earth intersect. An intersection of the spiritual and our life here on earth.”
The Tijuana temple was the first built in Mexico since one was completed a decade previous in the northern industrial city of Monterrey.
The temple is located on on Paseo del Río in southeastern Tijuana. The city’s Cerro Colorado, a landmark hill in eastern Tijuana which bears white letters near the peak that state: Jesucristo es el Señor (Jesus Christ is Lord) serves as a backdrop for the location. Its geographic service area is Baja California and the Sonoran border community of San Luis Río Colorado. The temple grounds are lined with tall palm trees and beautiful local foliage. The grounds offer a respite for both Church members and nonmembers who want to feel peace.
Temple designers chose to incorporate cultural architectural elements into this building. The temple resembles old Spanish missions and colonial churches known to northern Mexico and Southern California. Church leader, Elder Benjamín De Hoyos of the Seventy, said of this design, “Those early Spanish friars were very valiant in their preaching and building. And today, we in Mexico are very comfortable with the style of those churches. The temple will be an emblem for the entire Tijuana community.”Jerry Earl Johnston, “Members Rejoice at Tijuana Mexico Temple Groundbreaking,” Church News, Aug. 24, 2012.
The temple features a white exterior of precast concrete. The Tijuana Mexico Temple won the PCI Design Award for Best International Building Structure in 2015. PCI stands for the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.
Spires and Moroni
A single spire in the center,
and the spire holds a gold-leafed statue of angel Moroni, a prophet from the Book of Mormon. This statue sits atop many temples and holds a trumpet to its lips, signifying the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and heralding the eventual Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Individuals and Contractors
Sources and Links
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Thomas S. Monson, “As We Meet Together Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 5.|
|2, 3.||↑||Jerry Earl Johnston, “Members Rejoice at Tijuana Mexico Temple Groundbreaking,” Church News, Aug. 24, 2012.|