Guadalajara Mexico Temple
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Announced: April 14, 1999.
Location: Avenida Patria 879; Fraccionamiento Jardines Tepeyac, Zapopan, Jalisco 45030, Mexico; phone: 52-333-125-1283; no clothing rental.
Site: 2.69 acres.
Exterior finish: Blanco Guardiano white marble from Torreon, Mexico.
Temple design: Traditional.
Architect: Alvaro Inigo.
Project manager: John Webster.
Contractor: Impulsa Construction.
Rooms: Celestial room, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms, baptistry.
Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.
Dimensions: 77 feet by 149 feet.
District: 18 stakes and eight districts in Durango, Guadalajara, Aguascalientes, irpuato, Leon, Mazatlan, Tepic, Xamora, and Zacatecas.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: June 12, 1999, by Elder Eran A. Call of the Seventy and president of the Mexico North Area.
Dedication: April 29, 2001, by President Gordon B. Hinckley, 4 sessions.
Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley
Our Eternal Father in heaven, Thou great God of the universe, we bow before Thee with thanksgiving and love on this day of dedication. Our hearts reach out to Thee in faith and prayer. We invite Thy Holy Spirit to attend us. Our gratitude unto Thee knows no measure.
We thank Thee for the knowledge Thou hast given us of Thee and of Thy Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank Thee for the Prophet Joseph Smith through whom Thou hast revealed eternal gospel principles and practices, including the ordinances of Thy holy house. We thank Thee for those who have gone before us in this great work. They have given their time, their fortunes, their very lives for the promulgation of Thy cause and kingdom.
We thank Thee for the progress of Thy work in this great nation of Mexico. Move it forward, dear Father. Touch the lives and hearts of great numbers of people who will hearken to the message of truth and come into the fold of Christ. Bring about the miracle of conversion among the great and good people of this land. May those who govern look upon Thy people with respect and with a desire to be helpful. Wilt Thou bless them and the nation for their friendliness to Thy work.
And now, acting in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ whose servants we are, we dedicate and consecrate unto Thee and to Him this the Guadalajara México Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate the grounds on which it stands with the vegetation growing thereon. We dedicate the building from the footings to the top of the steeple with its crowning figure of Moroni. We dedicate the walls and windows that they may stand against the storms of nature and be looked upon with reverence and respect by all who pass this way. We dedicate the interior facilities, the Baptistry, the endowment rooms, the celestial room, and the sealing rooms with their sacred altars. We dedicate all of the halls and spaces, the offices and other facilities in this sacred temple.
Wilt Thou accept of this Thy holy house as the gift of our hearts and hands. Wilt Thou honor it with Thy presence. May Thy Holy Spirit dwell here at all times and be felt by all who come within its portals. May a mantle of holiness come upon this sacred structure. May it stand as a beacon of everlasting truth in this great city. Wilt Thou stay the hand of any who may be disposed to mar or defile it in any way.
May all who enter do so worthily. Wilt Thou seal upon them an endowment of righteousness that will become the guardian of their culture and the lives they live.
Bless the children who will serve in the Baptistry that there may come upon them an understanding of the eternity of Thy work. May they know that they are engaged in that which is holy and sacred and divine in its nature. Having had such experience, may they remain true and faithful throughout their lives, returning often to this Thy house through the years to come.
Bless all who attend as patrons that Thy Spirit may rest upon them, that the covenants of the House of the Lord may be impressed upon their minds, that they may know that in receiving the ordinances of this house they receive that which is most precious above all other blessings. We pray for those who shall serve in this Thy house as workers. May they do so with a spirit of dedication. May they be generous and kind to all they serve. May they know that the service which they give here is service unto Thee.
We pray for the temple president and his counselors and for the matron and the assistants to the matron. We pray for all who will serve in any capacity whatever that this may be a service of great joy. May the solemnities of eternity rest upon them as they administer the ordinances of this Thy holy house.
We thank Thee for faithful tithe payers throughout the world whose consecrated offerings have made possible this and other houses of the Lord. Bless Thy faithful people everywhere. Open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon them. May they feel of Thy love and may Thine encircling arms be about them.
Bless Thy work in all the earth. May it roll forth with majesty and power to touch the hearts of the faithful everywhere.
Now, Father, we express unto Thee our love. We know that Thou dost love us. We love Thy Beloved Son who stands at Thy side. We thank Thee for His atoning sacrifice. All of the blessings of this house rest upon that great divine act that came of the love of the Savior for all mankind.
Accept our thanks, dear Father, accept our love. Accept our prayer as we rededicate ourselves to Thy service and do it all in the name of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Guadalajara: Building traditions of faith
GUADALAJARA, Mexico Guadalajara. It's been called the most Mexican city in all of Mexico. The hub of the venerable state of Jalisco. Home to the mariachi, celebrated "futbol" squads and perhaps the country's most beautiful cathedral.
A place of affable people ever mindful of traditions that symbolize a community.
So perhaps it's to be expected that this land of the "Tapatias," as its residents call themselves, seems to have accepted the Church and its restored message almost reluctantly at times. The first stake in Guadalajara the country's second largest city was not formed until 1975, some 14 years after a stake was created in Mexico City.
Still, those who have accepted the gospel, and persevered, can be counted today among the Church's devout; disciples forged by faith and persistent fellowship.
Juan and Sara Barragan are lifelong members who moved to Guadalajara more than 30 years ago. They found just one branch. While the Church was growing rapidly in many Mexican communities, the work in much of Jalisco seemed to move at a slower pace.
"The Church in Guadalajara was criticized strongly at the beginning, so only members with strong testimonies and faith in the work remained active," said Sister Barragan.
Still, progress was made in the early days of that single branch. Occasionally work opportunities brought faithful members into Guadalajara from other parts of Mexico, strengthening the fledgling congregation. Other times, full-time missionaries found those who would quickly become strong leaders.
Luis Avalos remembers his father, Tomas, telling the story of obtaining a Book of Mormon with the front section missing while working as a tour guide in Mexico City. Later, Tomas moved his family to Guadalajara. Soon they met LDS missionaries who asked the Avalos' to read the Book of Mormon.
"Oh, I've already read this book," answered Tomas Avalos, thumbing through a complete copy. He was baptized in 1959. Luis accepted the gospel a year later at the age of 24. He became acquainted with Elvira Garcia, a member from Mexico City who had served a full-time mission in Guadalajara. They later married.
Sister Avalos remembers the struggles of spreading the gospel full-time throughout the city in 1960.
"Missionary work was very hard in the beginning in Guadalajara and the Church just rented a house for the branch," she recalled. "There were about 40 members then."
While missionary conversions were not always prolific in those years, Guadalajara still offered choice fruit for the full-time elders and sisters.
Emilio Garcia was 30 years old in 1961. His life, he says, "was a disaster."
Then missionaries knocked on his door. Emilio wasn't interested.
"But the [elder] put his foot inside the door so I couldn't close it," he recalled, laughing.
Relenting, Emilio listened to the missionary discussions and felt his life change. Soon he was baptized, ushering in a period of Church devotion and service that exists to this day. Shortly after joining the Church, Brother Garcia was called to serve as a youth leader. He remembers feeling uneasy. He was young in the gospel and already being asked to strengthen others. But he accepted the call and watched as his life shifted from chaos to harmony.
He and his wife, Rosario, and their 10 children traveled to the Mesa Arizona Temple in 1968 to be sealed. A tenth child was born later. Along the way he continued to serve.
Then in 1975 Brother Garcia a tailor by trade was set apart by Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve, as president of the newly organized Guadalajara Mexico Stake. Later he served as patriarch and today presides over the two-month-old Guadalajara Mexico Temple with his wife, Elvira. (President Garcia's first wife, Rosario, passed away.) Much has changed for the Garcias since a persistent missionary placed his foot inside their doorway.
That single stake in 1975 has multiplied. Today there are eight stakes in Guadalajara, including one presided over by Emilio Garcia's son, Americo. Six of those stakes have been organized in just the past two decades.
"Much progress has been made because of hard missionary work and the members' good examples," Sister Avalos said.
Indeed, many have come into the Church via traditional missionary proselyting yet others have accepted the gospel after first feeling the fellowship of strong members.
"Even basketball games at the meetinghouses have attracted a lot of people," Sister Avalos added.
Now members say there's a new missionary in town the Church's 105th temple.
Jose Luis Salcedo, 22, believes a dedicated house of God will prompt miraculous changes in Guadalajara and her neighboring states and cities. A temple, he said, will be a boon to those who receive its blessings.
"The members will change, and when the members change, our society will change," Brother Salcedo said.
The temple will produce better people, form unity among the faithful and forever strengthen families, said President Americo Garcia, who presides over the Moctezuma Guadalajara Stake.
Jose Luis Figueroa knows something of loyal families. Twenty years ago, his sister living in the United States asked the missionaries to visit him. Like Emilio Garcia, Jose was dealing with hard times. His business was failing. Maybe, he thought, the gospel could help. Jose remembers telling himself that he would "try out" the Church for six months. If his life didn't improve, he'd walk.
"That was 20 years ago," said Brother Figueroa, who now serves with President Garcia in the Guadalajara Mexico Temple presidency.
Indeed, the Church in Guadalajara seems to have been constructed with a faithful person here and a willing person there. Now gospel traditions are being built in a city that knows something of tradition.
New temple a sacred blessing, responsibility
Thousands celebrate opening of Mexico's eleventh temple
By Jason Swensen
GUADALAJARA, Mexico Emilio Garcia once learned lessons of temples, sacrifice, and love from a 1,000-mile stretch of highway, thoughtful members and a stack of sandwiches.
In 1968, Brother Garcia used his last centavo to pay expenses for himself and his large family to travel north from their hometown of Guadalajara deep inside Mexico's interior to the Mesa Arizona Temple. All the money they had was used to pay for the lengthy trip. Nothing was left for food.
So with brave hearts and empty bellies, the Garcias made their way across the border to Arizona. Blessings awaited them. Their hunger pangs were eased by a group of kind LDS strangers in Nogales, Ariz., who filled up the family with sandwiches. Soon after, their spiritual needs were satiated inside the Lord's temple.
"I still remember the members in Nogales making us sandwiches when we passed through; they knew we would be hungry," said Brother Garcia, an elegant man who now serves as president of the newly dedicated Guadalajara Mexico Temple. "When we returned from the temple, those same people had a cooler stuffed with sandwiches to take for our trip home."
On April 29, members left the dedication of the Guadalajara Mexico Temple the Church's 105th again feeling filled. Church groups throughout the Mexican states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Sinaloa and other areas gathered at the temple and a neighboring stake center to witness the dedication and listen to counsel from President Gordon B. Hinckley, Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve and other General Authorities.
Following the four dedicatory sessions, hundreds of handkerchief-waving members lined up along the temple grounds saluting President Hinckley and the other departing leaders and welcoming their hopeful future.
"The members here have worked hard for this temple, it is a blessing for all those who have lived the gospel for so many years," said Americo Garcia, president of the Montezuma Guadalajara Mexico Stake and Emilio Garcia's son.
Guadalajaran members called the dedication of Mexico's 11th temple a historic moment adding they were honored to celebrate a special occasion with the prophet and his wife, Marjorie. On the day of the temple dedication, President and Sister Hinckley celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary. The Church president expressed his love for his wife and reminded the Mexican members of the blessings of families and love that can be realized via the Guadalajara Mexico Temple.
Pioneer members like President Emilio Garcia say the work is never easy in Guadalajara, a fertile community often regarded as Mexico's most Mexican city. Indeed, this city that gave Mexico the mariachi keeps a firm grip on religious family traditions forged over centuries.
When Juan and Sara Barragan moved to Guadalajara 30 years ago there was but one tiny branch.
"The Church in Guadalajara was criticized strongly in the beginning, so only members with strong testimonies and faith in the work remained active," said Sister Barragan, a lifelong member. "This temple is a miracle."
While the dedicated Guadalajara Mexico Temple has been open only a few days, the edifice has become the city's top missionary, said President Ruben Torres of the Guadalajara Mexico Mission. The public open house gleaned 840 missionary referrals that have already produced six baptisms.
"Many investigators went through the temple open house then came out crying," President Torres said. "The people would hug and express their love to one another. They recognized the temple as a special place where they felt something they have never before felt."
Libardo Espinoza, a young man of the Estancia Ward, Guadalajara Mexico Union Stake, said he was soon going on a split with the full-time missionaries to teach a family that had wandered into the temple open house.
"It is a blessing to have the prophet of the Lord in our land," said Libardo's friend, Jose Luis Sarcedo. "If we listen to President Hinckley's instructions concerning the Lord's will in our land, the members will change. When the members change, our society will change."
The new temple is located near Guadalajara's commercial district and has already caught the eye of the city's rank-and-file. Ask Guadalajara's many cab drivers for a lift to the new temple in this cathedral-rich city they likely won't need directions. The temple's beauty, they say, has preceded its message.
Guadalajarans regard their new temple as both a blessing and a sacred responsibility. The members first have to live worthy to enter the temple, then be prepared to receive its blessings and teachings, said President Americo Garcia.
"This temple is going to strengthen us. It will help us become better people and better families," President Garcia said. "By simply participating in the spirit of the temple, we will become more united Church members."