Mexico City Prepares for Rededication of Beloved Temple

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 16 August 2015

Dedicated in 1983, the Mexico City Mexico Temple was the nation’s first temple. It will be rededicated on September 13, 2015, following a nearly two-year renovation period.

Article Highlights

  • The temple closed in January of 2014 for extensive interior renovations.
  • On Septeber 13, members from across Mexico will gather to participate in the rededication ceremony.
  • Mexicans of all backgrounds will be able to tour the renovated temple during a public open house scheduled to run from August 14 to September 5.

“The best way to appreciate this temple is to use it.” —President Thomas S. Monson

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

Moments after the November 16, 2008, rededication of the Mexico City Mexico Temple, a Church News reporter asked President Thomas S. Monson what folks living in the temple district can do to get the most from the beloved edifice.

“Use it,” he immediately replied. “The best way to appreciate this temple is to use it.”

Seven years later, hundreds of thousands of Mexican Latter-day Saints are anxious to answer President Monson’s challenge. They say they are ready to once again—or, perhaps, for the first time—worship and serve inside Mexico’s original temple.

The temple closed in January of 2014 for extensive interior renovations. Twenty months later, it is ready for rededication. On September 13, members from across Mexico will gather at the temple and in local meetinghouses to participate in the rededication ceremony.

But prior to the rededication, Mexicans of all backgrounds will be able to tour the renovated temple during a public open house scheduled to run from August 14 to September 5. Members are inviting their friends, relatives, and neighbors to tour the temple and learn more about its sacred purpose.

Counted among those members is Elder Benjamin De Hoyos, a Seventy who presides over the Church’s Mexico Area. A third-generation Latter-day Saint, he surely remembers the original opening of the Mexico City Temple in 1983. More than three decades later, he surely looks to the fast-approaching rededication with that same excitement.

The recent renovation of the Mexico City Mexico Temple features extensive interior work, including marble flooring and doors crafted from oak and brass.

“The year 2015 is a special time for the Church in Mexico because of the rededication of the temple in Mexico City and the [December] opening of the temple in Tijuana,” declared Elder De Hoyos and his counselors in a statement released by the presidency. “To prepare for these important events, we invite [the members of Mexico] to spend time fasting during the months of August and September. Pray to our Heavenly Father for the blessings of peace and security, so that His Spirit will fall more abundantly upon the inhabitants of this area because of the opening of His holy temple.

“In doing so, we will rise to a higher plane and be able to help others.”

Elder De Hoyos and his counselors, Elder Paul B. Pieper and Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, also challenged members to bring their friends and neighbors to the open house so “that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness” (D&C 109:13).

The celestial room in the Mexico City Temple.

Once rededicated, the Mexico City Mexico Temple will again serve a huge part of the million-plus members in this country. The temple district includes Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Baja California South, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Morelos, Puebla, Queretaro, and San Luis Potosi.

The Mayan-influenced exterior was the focus of much of the work during the temple’s first remodel in 2007–2008. The most recent remodel focused primarily on new interior features. Highlights include a new carpet carved with a Mesoamerican design in the celestial room and new doors crafted from oak and cast bronze.

Exterior detail of the Mexico City Temple.

Besides touring the temple, open house visitors will also be able to enjoy the neighboring 19,000-square-foot Mexico City Temple Visitors’ Center, which was reopened two years ago following an extensive renovation.

The visitors’ center features several theaters, missionary teaching rooms, and a variety of gospel-themed exhibits.

As noted by the Mexico Area Presidency, 2015 will be a historic year. The Tijuana Mexico Temple will be dedicated on December 13 following a public open house. By year’s end, there will be 13 temples operating in Mexico.