“Temples Dedicated in Colonia Juárez and Madrid,” Ensign, May 1999, 115–17
Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Temple
“It was here in northern Mexico that Thou didst reveal the idea and the plan of a smaller temple, complete in every necessary detail, but suited in size to the needs and circumstances of the Church membership in this area of Thy vineyard,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley in his dedicatory prayer for Mexico’s recently completed Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Temple. “That revelation came of a desire and a prayer to help Thy people of these colonies who have been true and loyal during the century and more that they have lived here. They are deserving of this sacred edifice in which to labor for themselves and their forebears.”
A total of about 5,000 people attended four dedicatory sessions held 6–7 March for the Church’s 55th and Mexico’s second operating temple. Located 15 miles from a main highway in a community of fewer than 1,000 residents, the new temple crowns a hilltop above Juárez Academy, a Church school started soon after pioneers established Colonia Juárez in 1885. Also participating in the temple dedication were President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Eran A. Call of the Seventy, President of the Mexico North Area. Prior to the dedication, some 11,000 people attended an open house held 25–27 February.
“This temple is the result of the work of those who went before,” said President Packer. “While it is a fulfillment and a fruition, it is also certainly a great beginning in this beautiful valley where the Saints have been so faithful.” He continued: “Ninety mission presidents from these two stakes have gone out to preach the gospel, and innumerable missionaries. They have undergone sacrifice for generations, and now the Lord has blessed them with a house of the Lord.”
Elder Call, who grew up in nearby Colonia Dublán, said, “It was just a year ago, on March 7, 1998, that we had a groundbreaking on this hill overlooking this beautiful little town. Now, one year later, to participate in the open house and dedicatory service of this beautiful temple is a thrill and a joy.” Describing his experience guiding Chihuahua governor Patricio Martínez and former governor Francisco Barrio and their wives through the temple open house, Elder Call said, “They sensed a very beautiful spirit. It was my privilege to explain to them the different parts of the gospel.”
Madrid Spain Temple
“Who would ever have dreamed just a few years ago that we would have a temple in Madrid, Spain?” said President Hinckley during dedication services held 19–21 March for the recently constructed Madrid Spain Temple. About 10,000 people attended 10 dedicatory sessions, and an open house held 20 February to 13 March drew more than 100,000 visitors.
Also participating in the dedication were President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder David E. Sorensen of the Presidency of the Seventy, executive director of the Temple Department; and Elder F. Burton Howard of the Seventy, a member of the Europe West Area Presidency. Before the temple dedication, President Hinckley and other Church leaders visited Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía at the royal palace on 18 March.
“We thank Thee for this great kingdom of Spain which has been hospitable to Thy Saints,” President Hinckley said in his temple dedicatory prayer. “Bless this land. We are mindful that it was from these shores that Columbus sailed to discover America as foretold in the Book of Mormon. Bless the king and the queen. Bless those who govern in any capacity in this nation and in other nations from which Thy people will come to this House. May they be friendly and generous toward Thy cause and kingdom. Bless this Thy work that it shall flourish and grow in wondrous splendor, touching for everlasting good the hearts of people everywhere.”
Located in the suburb of Moratalaz, the Church’s 56th operating temple is the centerpiece of a complex that also includes a stake center, a missionary training center, an institute, temple patron housing, a distribution center, a family history library, and underground parking. The large temple has four ordinance rooms and four sealing rooms, with the structure measuring 116 feet by 138 feet and containing 45,800 square feet. About 80,000 members live in the temple district, which takes in 12 stakes and 28 districts in Spain, Portugal, and southern France.
“Perhaps some of my most sensitive feelings regarding the dedication concern those who traveled great distances with little means but felt the urgency not to miss the blessed event of the dedication of a temple,” President Monson said. “I have observed an expression of true joy. Members came anxious to be filled with the Spirit and will return to their homes with their hearts overflowing. This is a watershed moment for Spain, when one considers the recent opening of our missionary work in these countries and the phenomenal membership growth that has taken place.”
Elder Holland said: “Spain has been central to the drama and has influenced Western culture for millennia now. To have a beautiful temple—an exquisitely beautiful temple—in this country with such a Christian tradition and historic influence has been truly inspirational.” He continued: “I have been so deeply touched by the love, devotion, and emotion of the members here, such as the sisters who served in the cafeteria and volunteers who have cleaned every aspect of the temple grounds, to say nothing of the temple itself. A sweet sister, in the dark on her hands and knees, washed the marble trim at the base of the fountains of the garden plaza. They are all so grateful for this temple and so moved to realize that this magnificent edifice is for them.”