Mexico

Country Profile

In 1875, President Brigham Young called a party of six missionaries to take Spanish language materials about the Church from Salt Lake City to Mexico. Upon arriving in Mexico in 1876, the missionaries divided into two groups. In 1876, Helaman Pratt and Meliton Trejo, a Spanish convert, traveled to Hermosillo, Sonora, where they baptized the first five members in Mexico.

In 1885, a group of nearly 400 colonists from Utah arrived at the northern Mexico Casas Grandes River and acquired property. Mexico's first stake (similar to a diocese) was created in Colonia Juárez in 1895. By 1912, more than 4,000 members had settled in Chihuahua and Sonora.

When Rey L. Pratt returned to central Mexico in November of 1917, he found the members had remained faithful in difficult living circumstances. Local Mexican leaders again maintained stability and expanded proselyting work, calling six local missionaries in 1930. In 1946 Church President George Albert Smith visited Church members in Mexico, who then numbered more than 5,300.

On 3 December 1961, the Mexico Stake was created, with Harold Brown as president. Membership numbered nearly 25,000. Church schools were begun in Mexico in 1959. On 3 April 1976, a temple was announced for Mexico City and the completed temple was dedicated 2 December 1983 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. At that time, membership in Mexico was conservatively numbered at about 240,000. Mexico was the first country outside the United States to hold 100 Latter-day Saint stakes.

An historic moment came on 29 June 1993, when the Mexican government formally registered the Church, allowing it to own property. President Howard W. Hunter visited Mexico to create the Mexico City Contreras Stake, the Church's 2,000th, on 11 December 1994.

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