The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opening the doors of the Mexico City temple and inviting the public to experience a guided tour of its interior.
After functioning without interruption for 25 years, the temple closed its doors on 31 March 2007 for remodeling. The First Presidency – the highest governing body in the Church – has announced that after 19 months, the temple will open so the public can see it.
Guided tours will be offered from 20 October through 8 November 2008. These tours will be available on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
On Sunday, 16 November 2008, the Mexico City temple will be formally rededicated. Latter-day Saints from the region will attend two dedicatory sessions.
After its rededication, the temple will serve approximately 264,000 members of the Church who live in Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Morelos, Baja California Sur, Michoacán, Hidalgo, Puebla, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí.
The Mexico City temple was the first of 12 temples constructed in Mexico, and was originally dedicated on 2 December 1983.
Temples are considered "houses of the Lord" where Christ's teachings are reaffirmed through sacred ordinances such as marriage that unite families for this life and all eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants with God to serve Him and their fellow man. Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services.
The history of the Church in Mexico City traces back to 1875, when Brigham Young, then president of the Church, sent Daniel Jones along with a small group of missionaries to Mexico City, where they distributed brochures to several Mexican leaders. One of these brochures fell into the hands of Plotino Rhodacanaty, who later became the first member of the Church in Mexico.
On 13 November 1879, the Church’s first congregation in Mexico City was organized with Rhodacanaty as its leader.
Currently, the Church has 212 stakes (similar to dioceses) and approximately 1,120,000 members throughout the country.