SALT LAKE CITY – More than 125 years after missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first rode into Mexico on horseback, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated a temple in Monterrey, Mexico – the Church’s 110th operating temple worldwide.

Sunday, 28 April 2002, marked the dedication of the 12th Latter-day Saint temple in Mexico – the country second only to the United States in number of temples and number of Church members.

Latter-day Saints in Mexico now total 920,000 – a far cry from 1875 when seven missionaries began preaching there. In 1901 the Church opened its Mexican mission in Mexico City. During the Mexican Revolution (1910-17), the Church withdrew its missionaries, and the members who remained conducted Church activities on their own.

The first temple in Mexico, located in Mexico City, was dedicated by President Hinckley on 2 December 1983. Sunday’s dedication in Monterrey was his 75th temple dedication.

President Hinckley conducted four formal dedicatory sessions during the day, with the traditional cornerstone ceremony taking place outside the temple during the first session.

Plans for constructing the Monterrey Mexico Temple were announced on 21 December 1995. Church leaders conducted groundbreaking ceremonies on 4 November 2000. The temple will serve more than 90,900 members in 31 stakes and districts (similar to dioceses).

Prior to the dedicatory services, an open house was held, accommodating prominent business, government and civic leaders as well as officials from other religious faiths.

For the more than 11 million Latter-day Saints in 162 countries and territories around the world, temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where the teachings of Jesus Christ are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other sacred ordinances that unite families for eternity. Latter-day Saint temples differ from the hundreds of meetinghouses or churches where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities.