Faith Theme of Mexico City Temple Cultural Celebration

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 12 September 2015

Performers dance one of the many folk numbers included in the September 12, 2015, cultural celebration, titled “A Legacy of Faith and Sacrifice.”  Photo by Jason Swensen.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

President Henry B. Eyring has never lived in Mexico—but it's likely that the First Counselor in the First Presidency feels right at home in this land.

The Eyrings have deep ties to Mexico. The family was once counted among the storied residents of the Mormon colonies in northern Mexico. President Eyring's great-grandfather was one of the first missionaries to teach the gospel in Mexico City. And President Eyring's father, the chemist Henry Eyring, was himself a proud son of Mexico.

“He would sing to me the Mexican national anthem with great gusto,” said President Eyring in his brief comments prior to Saturday's faith-rich historical pageant at the city's Metropolitan Theater.

“It is thrilling,” he added, “to be in a place my ancestors loved.”

President Henry B. Eyring delivers brief comments prior to the September 12, 2015, pageant in Mexico City's Metropolitan Theater. Photo by Jason Swenson.

Actor depicting the ancient prophet Moroni buries the gold plates that would become the Book of Mormon. Photo by Jason Swenson.

The Church leader is to rededicate the Mexico City Mexico Temple Sunday, September 13, in three sessions.

Saturday's pageant paid tribute to the many faithful Latter-day Saints who have helped the Church grow strong in Mexico. More than a million Mormons call Mexico home, and temples dot the land.

President Eyring spoke of being in Mexico City in 2008 with President Thomas S. Monson when the temple was rededicated for the first time. On the eve of the rededication, he and President Monson attended a Church-sponsored cultural event at Aztec Stadium. The Church President charmed the massive crowd with a playful song in Spanish.

“We felt then his love and enthusiasm, and I pray we will feel it again tonight.”

Entitled “A Legacy of Faith and Sacrifice,” the pageant celebrated the rich history of the restored gospel in Mexico through song, dance, and theatrical narrative. A central theme was that fertile seeds of faith have been planted across centuries in Mexico, allowing the Church to grow tall and strong.

Highlights included depictions of Jesus Christ’s visit to the New World as recorded in the Book of Mormon and a retelling of the lives of Rafael Monroy and Vicente Morales. The two men were early Church members in Mexico who were executed during the Mexican Revolution after they refused to denounce their faith.

The program also highlighted the pivotal moment when Mexico's first temple was dedicated in this sprawling capital city in 1983 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. Mexican Latter-day Saints will again witness and celebrate their history with Sunday’s rededication of their beloved temple.

Performers don ornate costumes for Mexican folk dances during the September 12, 2015, cultural event at Mexico City's Metropolitan Theater. Photo by Jason Swenson.

A young woman in colorful dress performs a beloved Mexican folk dance during the September 12, 2015, cultural event at Mexico City's Metropolitan Theater. Photo by Jason Swensen.

The cast of the pageant “A Legacy of Faith and Sacrifice” perform the finale at Mexico City's Metropolitan Theater. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Dancers perform a western-themed dance at the September 12, 2015, cultural event at the Metropolitan Theater. Photo by Jason Swensen.