The 13th temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico opens for public tours starting Friday, November 13, 2015, and running through Saturday, November 28.
Guided tours will be available on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. There are no tours on Sundays.
The Tijuana Mexico Temple was announced by Church president Thomas S. Monson in October 2010. A groundbreaking ceremony was held August 18, 2012.
After the open house, the temple will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, December 13. Thousands of Church members will be able to participate in each of the sessions in a live satellite broadcast to meetinghouses across Mexico. On Saturday, December 12, a cultural celebration will be held with singing and dancing by youth of the Church who live within the Tijuana Temple district.
After the dedication, the temple will serve the 45,000 Latter-day Saints living in the region, including those in Tijuana, Rosarito, Tecate, Mexicali, Ensenada, San Luis Rio Colorado, San Quintín, San Felipe and Guerrero Negro.
The Tijuana Temple was built with a hacienda architectural style inspired by local designs. Finishes include a mixture of frosted gold, carved and textured clear glass accented with green terracotta and carpets with Mexican and Spanish designs. The floors are made of carved stone and quarried in Europe and China, and the doors and handrails are mahogany with brass hardware.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism, marriage and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside the temple, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve God and their fellow man.
There are currently 148 operating temples throughout the world. Adding the Tijuana Temple will greatly ease the travel difficulties faced by Latter-day Saints who now travel to the San Diego California Temple or to the Hermosillo Sonora Temple.
The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico goes back to 1875, when Brigham Young, then president of the Church, sent Daniel Jones to lead a small group of missionaries to Mexico City to distribute brochures to Mexican leaders. One of these brochures about the Book of Mormon fell into the hands of Plotino Rhodacanaty, who after reading it wrote to President John Taylor, Brigham Young’s successor, to request more information about the Church.
The first missionaries arrived from San Diego, California, in the 1940s, and local families formed a group that met for worship services in the house of a member. On April 25, 1954, the first congregation of the Church was organized in Tijuana, and on May 23, 1976, the first Tijuana stake (similar to a diocese) was established, with Carlos Mendez Zullik as its first president.
Over the years, membership in the Church has spread through the entire country. Today there are more than 1.3 million members of the Church in Mexico in 228 stakes. There are 34 missions in Mexico and more than 2,000 Mexican full-time missionaries serving in Mexico and in various other parts of the world.