Progress and Potential: The Church in Mexico and Central America


Progress and Potential:

The Church in Mexico and Central America today is a thriving, vibrant, and confident segment of the kingdom of God on earth. Here, descendants of Joseph, 100,000 strong, rejoice in the knowledge of their origins, in the warm and generous support of Church leaders and members throughout the world, and in their glorious future as promised by prophets, ancient and modern.

Most of the Church growth in these lands of Middle America has been tightly compressed into the short span of the last twenty years. In 1952 only the voices of the Mexico and Central America Missions and the Juarez Stake could be heard proclaiming the gospel. Since that time, five other missions have been organized in Mexico and Central America.

As thousands of converts have swelled the ranks of the Church, stake and ward organizations have also been organized extensively, and today Mexico alone has seven stakes.

During the latter part of this period the Church educational system has been expanded to keep pace with the ever-increasing membership. Units of the Church in Mexico are presently served by primary, secondary, preparatory, and normal schools, as well as primary-level and secondary-level seminary instruction.

Other facilities, including a clothing plant, a translation-printing-distribution center, a genealogical branch library, a building department, a real estate and finance office, and a number of health service facilities, have been built to accommodate the needs of the fast-growing Church membership.

Prospects for the future in Mexico and Central America are bright. There is every indication that this marvelous growth will continue.

A recent study on population trends, made by the staff of the Church Commissioner of Education, indicates a possible membership in Mexico of 300,000 by 1990—three times what it is today. Think of the exciting and challenging implications for future leadership, educational programs, real estate needs, building requirements, translation-printing-distribution work, genealogical research, temples, missionary service, fellowshiping needs, and general services!

Approximately one-third of the present total Church membership in Mexico resides in stakes. If that pace of growth continues, then by 1990 as many as 105,000 adults and 51,000 young adults may be needed to supply leadership for a projected 20 future stakes and 200 wards and branches.

How grateful we are for inspired leaders who have provided educational facilities now to prepare young leaders to fill the future needs of the Church membership in Mexico and Central America!

As now projected, the 1990 population may require as many as 140 meetinghouses, averaging three wards or branches per chapel.

By 1992, the need for printed materials in Spanish may parallel the present need for materials in English, and printing and distribution needs may increase as much as 200 percent. The present growth and competence of our translation-printing-distribution services at Editorial Deseret augur well for meeting our projected future requirements.

Genealogical research in the new microfilm library in Mexico City is expanding, and names are being provided for ten annual temple excursions to the Arizona Temple. But this is only a beginning for this magnificent library, where over 90,000 microfilm rolls (11,250,000 pages) of research source material are available to the Saints. This is the largest collection of genealogical microfilm outside Salt Lake City.

As all of the leadership resources, programs, materials, and services of the Church become correlated and activated for the “perfecting of the saints” and “for the work of the ministry,” then the “body of Christ” will indeed be edified, as the apostle Paul said centuries ago. The more than 100,000 Latter-day Saints in Mexico and Central America today look forward to increased membership, expanded Church programs, and continued blessings from the Lord for them and their children through the instrumentality of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

STAKES

Juarez—1,696 members—December 9, 1895 *

Mexico City—5,609 members—December 3, 1961

Mexico City North—4,232 members—May 7, 1967

Mexico City East—5,247 members—November 15, 1970

Monterrey—7,090 members—March 22, 1970

Monterrey East (membership included with Monterrey Stake)—May 7, 1972

Tampico (membership included with Mexico City North Stake)—February 27, 1972

Guatemala City—5,648 members—May 21, 1967

MISSIONS

Mexico—9,106 members—November 15, 1879 *

Discontinued 1889, reopened June 8, 1901

Mexico North—11,118 members—June 10, 1956

Mexico North Central—10,950 members—August 5, 1968

Mexico Southeast—18,091 members—March 27, 1963

Mexico West—10,388 members—November 1, 1960

Central America—9,065 members—November 16, 1952

Guatemala-El Salvador—17,864 members—August 1, 1965

CHURCH POPULATION

 

Mexico

Central America

1953

7721

367

1954

9210

552

1955

no report

855

1956

10,931

1241

1957

12,415

2073

1958

13,068

2685

1959

17,414

3097

1960

17,724

4339

1961

21,178

7259

1962

23,121

10,744

1963

26,353

13,842

1964

39,278

16,570

1965

43,367

19,873

1966

49,524

20,506

1967

54,649

23,334

1968

59,377

24,581

1969

67,965

28,805

1970

67,850

34,214

1971

81,324

31,823

Makeup of today’s membership:

 

3,230

1,040

Melchizedek Priesthood holders

 

8,045

4,233

Aaronic Priesthood holders

 

19,433

7,540

Other male members

 

40,629

15,092

Female members

 

9,897

3,918

Children

Show References

  1.   *

    Date organized