The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it will close its Benemerito de las Americas high school in Mexico City at the end of the school year in June and reopen it as a missionary training center (MTC) this summer.
Elder Daniel L. Johnson, president of the Church’s Mexico Area, announced the change at a Tuesday meeting at the facility in Mexico City. Elder Russell M. Nelson presided at the meeting and was accompanied by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and other Church leaders.
“The future lies before us,” Elder Nelson said. “Now, instead of hundreds being educated at Benemerito, thousands will be educated here at the MTC. Many of them will come from other nations.”
Regarding the announcement, the Church issued the following statement to the news media on Tuesday:
Church leaders announced today that the Church-owned high school Benemerito de las Americas near Mexico City will become a training center for missionaries who will serve in Mexico and other countries of North, Central and South America.
Church leaders made the decision after considering every immediate alternative that could alleviate the demand at the Church’s other missionary training centers around the world, including the MTC in Provo, Utah.
The change will occur following the end of the current school year in June. The first missionaries will enter the new MTC beginning in July. The timing of the change will allow for a smooth transition and help accommodate increasing numbers of missionaries due to the recent change in age requirements.
Elder Nelson gratefully acknowledged the cooperation of Church leaders and members in Mexico. “We extend praise and gratitude to students, staff, faculty, families and graduates. You have made of this place a sacred and special location,” Elder Nelson said.
Church leaders recognized the history of the facility while looking forward to its important future. “This hallowed ground where we stand today will become more sacred with each passing year,” Elder Nelson said. “Better, higher and holier purposes will be served in the future than we’ve ever known before.”
See also: Deseret News: Missionary surge prompts LDS Church to open new MTC in Mexico