“President Hinckley Dedicates Temples, Meets Mexican President,” Ensign, July 2002, 74–75
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated two temples in April, one in Texas and one in Mexico, bringing the total number of operating temples to 110. While in Mexico, he also met with Mexican president Vicente Fox.
The Lubbock Texas Temple was dedicated in four sessions on 21 April. “Our dear Father, as we dedicate this house we dedicate ourselves that we may more faithfully serve Thee as those called to work in Thy great kingdom,” President Hinckley said in his dedicatory prayer.
“We invoke Thy blessings upon this community, upon this state, upon this nation. Bless this chosen land that it may remain forever free, that peace and liberty may bless the lives of its people, and that righteousness may reign in the land.”
President Hinckley was accompanied by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and by Elder F. Burton Howard of the Seventy, President of the North America Southwest Area.
The Lubbock temple is the third in Texas, joining those dedicated in Dallas in 1984 and in Houston in 2000. Church leaders have announced plans for a fourth Texas temple to be built in San Antonio. The Lubbock temple will serve 13,545 members in four stakes in west Texas and one stake in eastern New Mexico. Some 4,130 members attended the dedication.
The dedication of the Lubbock temple came shortly after the announcement of the formation of the Texas Lubbock Mission. “I think that people in the area will be much more open to learning about the Church since the dedication of the temple,” said Lubbock temple president Jay B. Jensen. “Approximately 21,000 people attended the temple open house, and many left saying, ‘I know now that what I’ve been taught about this church not being Christian is not correct.’”
The Monterrey Temple
President Hinckley dedicated the Monterrey temple—Mexico’s 12th—in four sessions on 28 April. The event marked the 75th time President Hinckley has dedicated a temple.
“We express appreciation for the many missionaries who have labored in this great nation in teaching the eternal truths of Thy gospel,” President Hinckley said in his dedicatory prayer. “They have served with such devotion that today hundreds of thousands of Thy sons and daughters have entered the waters of baptism and have thereafter walked in faith before Thee.
“We are grateful for the many temples which grace this land. … Marvelous is the work which is going forward in these holy houses. And now to the many others that have been erected, we today add this beautiful edifice.”
Accompanying President Hinckley at the dedication were Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and members of the Mexico North Area Presidency, Elders Lynn A. Mickelsen, Gary J. Coleman, and Adrián Ochoa.
The new temple will serve nearly 91,000 members in 31 stakes and districts in northeastern Mexico. More than 12,600 members attended the temple’s dedication.
The Monterrey temple is the realization of many hopes and dreams for local Latter-day Saints, said Alfa Casanova of the Contry Ward, Monterrey Mexico Roma Stake. “We’ve waited a long time for this,” said Sister Casanova, who in years past traveled 25 hours to the nearest temple in Mesa, Arizona. “Now we can come to the temple often to perform the saving ordinances that we have so long hoped for.”
Some 40,325 people attended the temple open house from 3–20 April, including business, government, and civic leaders as well as officials from other religious faiths.
Meeting with Mexican President Vicente Fox
On the day following the Monterrey temple dedication, President Hinckley met with Mexican president Vicente Fox in the presidential residence in Mexico City. Also attending the meeting were Elder Eyring; Elder Richard H. Winkel, President of the Mexico South Area; Elder Benjamin de Hoyos, Area Authority Seventy; Jeffrey Davidow, U.S. ambassador to Mexico; Javier Moctezuma Baragan, Mexican minister of religious affairs; and Jeffrey Jones, a Latter-day Saint member of the Mexican senate.
The conversation between President Hinckley and President Fox focused on the Church’s efforts to assist people in Mexico—both Church members and members of other faiths. President Hinckley explained the Church’s Perpetual Education Fund, in which President Fox expressed interest. President Hinckley also spoke of a Church-funded instructional program in welding at the Technological University of Santa Catarina in Monterrey. Finally, President Hinckley presented President Fox with a donation from the Church Humanitarian Fund for Vamos México, a charitable organization for needy children championed by Mexican first lady Marta Sahagun de Fox. President Fox gratefully accepted the contribution on behalf of his wife, saying it would be most helpful to her charitable work.