President's visit cause for rejoicing for LDS in Mexico

Thousands of members in northern Mexico rejoiced in their first view in person of the president of the Church as President Gordon B. Hinckley began an 11-stop visit in this nation.

Just two weeks after an arduous trip traversing the length of the African continent, President Hinckley embarked on a tour to Mexico that began with member meetings in Hermosillo and Ciudad Obregon on Monday, March 9, and Culiacan and Guadalajara on March 10. His was the first visit of the president of the Church to most of the cities.President Hinckley was to travel to Torreon, Leon, Ciudad Victoria, Monterrey, and Chihuahua before completing the tour with a leadership meeting and regional conference in Ciudad Juarez.

The tireless leader was accompanied by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Barbara, and Elder Eran A. Call of the Seventy and president of the Mexico North Area, and his wife, Katherine.

About 3,280 people attended the meeting in Ciudad Obregon, 4,100 attended in Culiacan, and about 10,000 were expected to attend in Guadalajara. Several of the speakers commented on the warm, clear weather during the meetings.

President Hinckley praised the strength of the Church in the area and encouraged members to continue their lives of faith.

He also expressed appreciation to missionaries for their service. He asked them to stand and said, "How happy I am to see you. How wonderful it is that you people have come on a mission. Always remember your mission. After you are through, get an education. You who are from Mexico learn English from your American companions."

He said that the Church in Mexico has matured greatly.

"You are now as strong as any group of members anywhere in the world. You have testimonies. You know the great plan of happiness of God. Do your very best to build and strengthen the kingdom and others. May you be true and virtuous. . . . You are a beautiful people. I love you. I pray for you and we know that you pray for us and we appreciate you."

He encouraged parents to rear their children in righteousness as "they are the future of this country and this Church."

He told the brethren, " . . . love your wives. They are daughters of God as you are sons of God. Be more faithful. Stand tall. Respond to all the calls you have in the Church. You will never be given a job or a calling in the Church that you cannot do. God will bless you. He will bless you and come to your rescue."

He encouraged parents to prepare their sons to serve missions. This missionary service "is an obligation and a privilege," he said.

To the youth he instructed, "Young men, stay away from sin. Young men and women, stay away from drugs and pornography. They will destroy you. They will kill you. Speak in virtue and truth. There is a great future for this Church in this great land of Mexico. You will be a blessing to this country. God will shine on you and bless you. Be good citizens of this great land of Mexico. Keep the commandments. Pay your tithing. He has given promises to those who pay tithing. Have a current temple recommend and carry it with you."

He encouraged members to look at their recommends occasionally to remind themselves of what the recommend stands for.

"You can receive the greatest blessings this Church has to offer. The recommend reminds you who you are and reminds you of your faithfulness."

Local leaders were generous in their descriptions of the impact of the Church president's visit.

Pres. Hugo Montoya of the Hermosillo Mexico Stake, commented, "This has been the most marvelous experience of my life. I hope I will always be able to live according to the goals given us by our beloved prophet."

Pres. Jose Manuel Vazquez of the Los Mochis Mexico El Fuerte Stake said, "This has been a great blessing that will take a while for us to assimilate and know the significance of this great occasion.

"All of our people can now say they have seen our prophet and heard his words. I saw him today and I can say I will never forget this in my life, nor will I ever forget his great words. May God bless him for this wonderful and unforgettable experience."

Pres. Fernando Javier Calderon Q. of the Ciudad Obregon Mexico Stake said, "Today I had the marvelous experience of hearing a living prophet of God. As he was talking, the Spirit of God came to me stronger and stronger than I have ever felt it in my life."

Pres. Jose Manuel Rodriguez A. of the Ciudad Obregon Nainari Stake observed, "We have had the great experience of seeing a man of God. We have heard the words of the Lord through him. I know that God lives, and that this president is His prophet. We will be forever grateful and marvel at the privilege we had that he visited us."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed