“Fifteen New Stakes Created in Mexico City,” Ensign, Jan. 1976, 94–95
It required the setting apart of 45 members of stake presidencies, 288 members of bishoprics for 96 wards, 36 members of 12 branch presidencies, and about 150 high councilors—and when the weekend was over, 5 stakes in Mexico City plus branches of the Mexico Mexico City Mission had been organized into 15 new stakes. In addition, a 16th stake was organized out of the Mexico Veracruz Mission.
Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve presided over the historic event, assisted by Elder J. Thomas Fyans, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve and area supervisor in Mexico and Central America. Along with four Regional Representatives, these brethren spent eighteen hours November 8 and 9 presiding over six stake conferences, and nine hours traveling from one stake center to another. On Friday, November 7, they had interviewed more than 200 priesthood bearers as possible new leaders.
According to Elder Hunter, the massive reorganization was unprecedented. He said it was necessary in order to reduce the size of the stakes, better align them, reduce travel for members, and provide for the rapid growth of the Church taking place in Mexico.
More than a thousand converts are being baptized each month in Mexico. In the first nine months of 1975 there were 3,766 baptisms in the Mexico Mexico City Mission alone. This is all in sharp contrast with early history of the Church in Mexico. The first stake in Mexico was organized in 1895 in Juarez among a group of American pioneers. It took sixty-six years until the first stake among Lamanites was organized in Mexico City in 1961. Since then twenty-four stakes have been created in fourteen years, making a total of twenty-six stakes (and seven missions) in the country now.
The new stake leadership also reflects the youth and vitality of the Church in Mexico. Of the sixteen stake presidents, eleven are converts, four are in their twenties. Five are in their thirties.