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Mexicos 9th temple begins

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Ground was broken for the ninth temple in Mexico on a sun-drenched June 12 in this, Mexico's second largest city of 4 million residents.

At the temple site in the southwest part of Guadalajara, Elder Eran A. Call of the Seventy and president of the Mexico North Area presided, spoke and broke ground at the ceremony that was attended by some 470 leaders and their families.

The temple was announced just two months ago on April 14.

Seventeen stakes and nine districts are in the Guadalajara Jalisco Temple district, but because of the size and location of the temple site only stake presidencies and bishops and their families were invited to the services.

Construction on the temple is expected to begin immediately so the edifice will be completed next year, Elder Call said. A stake center will eventually be built at the site adjacent to the temple.

A heavy rainstorm the previous evening "settled the dust and cleared the air" for the ceremony. A choir from the Guadalajara stakes performed for the service, and among the speakers were Emilio Garcia Lopez, a patriarch in the Guadalajara Moctezuma Stake, who was in charge of the groundbreaking activities; Pres. Juan Lopez of the Zamora stake; Pres. Ruben Castrejon of the Guadalajara Victoria stake; and Elvira Garfias de Avalos, an early member and missionary in this city more than 38 years ago.

Elder Call noted that he also has roots that go back in the history of the Church in Guadalajara.

"What a blessing it is that I was a mission president here just 29 years ago," he said. "We had four little branches here then. Now there are eight stakes."

"This is a great time to have a temple in Guadalajara," he told those assembled. "We have many faithful saints in Guadalajara."

He quoted President Lorenzo Snow, who said, "Surely, this entire continent is the land of Zion, and the time will come when there will be temples established over every portion of the land, and we will go into these temples and work for our kindred dead night and day, that the work of the Lord may be speedily accomplished, that Jesus may come and present the kingdom to His Father."

Elder Call asked that each ward and branch prepare family names to submit to the temple by the time it is finished.