Church History
Mexico: Overview

“Mexico: Overview,” Global Histories: Mexico (2019)

“Mexico: Overview,” Global Histories: Mexico

map of Mexico

A Brief History of the Church in



By the 1870s, the Mexican government’s success in securing religious liberty led Brigham Young to conclude that the time had come to take the restored gospel to Mexico, spreading the Lord’s work among His dispersed people (see 3 Nephi 21:26–27). After portions of the Book of Mormon were translated into Spanish, missionaries baptized the first converts in 1877 in Hermosillo and organized a branch in Mexico City in 1879. In the 1880s, several colonies were also established in northern Mexico by Latter-day Saints emigrating from the United States.

Early Church meetings outside of Utah were often led by missionaries, but events such as the Mexican Revolution and the Cristero Rebellion required local leaders to play a greater role in Mexico. From 1936 to 1946, tensions with returning mission leadership led to a painful schism in the Church in Mexico before members were reconciled. The reunited Saints established the Church more fully in their communities, and, in 1961, a stake was organized in Mexico City.

In 1944 temple ordinances were translated into Spanish, and in 1945 many Mexican Saints traveled to Mesa, Arizona, to become the first in Church history to receive temple ordinances in a language other than English. In 1983 a temple was dedicated in Mexico City, and by the end of 2015 there were 13 temples in Mexico.

Quick Facts

  • Official Name: United Mexican States/Estados Unidos Mexicanos

  • Capital: Mexico City

  • Largest City: Mexico City

  • Official Languages: Spanish

  • Land Area: 1,972,550 km2 (761,610 mi2)

  • Church Area: Mexico

  • Missions: 34 (Aguascalientes, Cancún, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Obregón, Cuernavaca, Culiacán, Guadalajara [2], Hermosillo, Mérida, Mexico City [7], Monterrey [2], Oaxaca, Pachuca, Puebla [2], Querétaro, Reynosa, Saltillo, Tampico, Tijuana, Torreón, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Veracruz, Villahermosa, and Xalapa)

  • Congregations: 1,987

  • Temples: 14 (Ciudad Juárez, Colonia Juárez Chihuahua, Guadalajara, Hermosillo Sonora, Mérida, Mexico City, Monterrey, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tampico, Tijuana, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Veracruz, and Villahermosa)