Oaxaca Mexico Temple

Read the dedicatory prayer and information about the Oaxaca Mexico Temple

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Announced: Feb. 23, 1999.

Location: Avenida Universidad and Esq. Hacienda de Candiani; Fraccionamiento Real de Candiani, Oaxaca, Oaxaca 68130, Mexico; phone: (52) 951-516-9588; no clothing rental.

Site: 1.87 acres, including adjoining meetinghouse.

Exterior finish: White marble.

Temple design: Classic modern.

Architects: Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services.

Project manager: Jay Erekson

Contractor: Impulsa/Okland Construction Co.

Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms.

Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.

Dimensions: 77 feet by 149 feet.

District 10 stakes, one district, four branches in southern Mexico.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: March 13, 1999, by Elder Carl B. Pratt of the Seventy and president of the Mexico South Area.

Dedication: March 11, 2000, by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency; 4 sessions.

Dedicatory prayer

Done by President James E. Faust

O God our Eternal Father, with thanksgiving in our hearts we gather before Thee on this historic day. We are met to dedicate unto Thee another House of the Lord in this great nation of Mexico.

Acting in the name of Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the authority of the Holy Priesthood which comes from Thee, we dedicate and consecrate this the Oaxaca México Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate it unto Thee and to Thy Beloved Son, and pray that Thou wilt accept it as the gift of our hearts and hands. We have longed for the day when a House of the Lord would be built nearer to us that we might come here often and worship Thee in spirit and in truth, and receive those ordinances, for both the living and the dead, which lead to immortality and eternal life through the great atonement wrought by our Redeemer, Thy Beloved Son.

We pray that Thy Holy Spirit may dwell here, that it may touch the hearts of all who enter here, that its wondrous influence might be felt by all who serve here.

We thank Thee for the restoration of the gospel through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In this last and final dispensation Thou hast restored to earth those saving and ennobling ordinances which are binding upon all who receive them, and which unlock the gates which lead to eternal life.

We pray that we as Thy sons and daughters may utilize this holy house. May we come here frequently and partake of the blessings which are peculiar to this house. Only in the House of the Lord are ordinances administered whose reach goes beyond the veil of death. As we serve may we bring blessings into our own lives, and then extend those blessings into the immortal lives of our forebears who have gone on. Help us to be faithful and true, to walk more nearly in Thy footsteps, to look to Thee and live.

We dedicate this sacred structure and its surroundings. We dedicate the footings and the foundation, the ordinance rooms, and every facility of this beautiful building even to the top of the tallest spire on which stands the figure of Moroni.

Let Thy peace abide here. May this holy house be a refuge from the commotion of the world. May it be regarded as sacred by all who look upon it, and may it never be defiled by unclean hands. Father dear, we pray for the temple presidency, and the matron and her assistants. Grant them strength and vitality to carry on the sacred work of this house. Bless them with a great love for the people who will come here. Bless all who officiate in the temple in whatever capacity. And bless those who come as patrons, that they may come with clean hands and pure hearts to do the work for which this sacred structure has been designed.

When they leave here, having served Thee according to Thy pattern, may they return to their homes with an added sense of their great responsibilities as husbands and wives, and as parents who have a binding responsibility to bring up their children in light and truth.

We pray for this nation of Mexico that its people may be blessed of Thee, that the poverty of the past may be lifted from their shoulders, that freedom and peace and prosperity might be enjoyed.

We remember before Thee the faithful tithe payers of the Church whose consecrations have made possible this sacred structure. Bless them for their faith and faithfulness and smile upon them with favor.

We pray for Thy work in all the earth. May it go forward, "clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (D&C 5:14).

Now dear Father, Thou who art the Almighty ruler of the universe, please hear our pleadings. Accept of our thanks and of our love we humbly ask thee. We ask that Thy Holy Spirit distill upon us and bring peace and love into our hearts, all of which we humbly ask in the name of the Redeemer of the world, even the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Oaxaca Mexico Temple: New horizons open for a faithful people

By John L. Hart

Church News associate editor

OAXACA, Mexico — Dedication of the Oaxaca Mexico Temple opened new possibilities for service among a dedicated people.

Oaxaca Mexico Temple
Oaxaca Mexico Temple | Intellectual Reserve Inc.

The Church's 74th temple was dedicated March 11 in four sessions by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, providing this nation with its fifth temple. The dedication was attended by 18,030 members. This was the first temple to be dedicated by President Faust, who was accompanied by his wife, Ruth, and by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Carl B. Pratt of the Seventy and president of the Mexico South Area, and his wife, Karen, who live in Mexico City, also participated in the event.

At the cornerstone ceremony, President Faust invited a few young men and young women along with a few children to take part in applying mortar to the stonework, which they did with great enjoyment. Afterwards, a choir near the cornerstone area performed with feeling and enthusiasm.

The temple, widely appreciated as one of the most beautiful buildings in this city, is located on a major boulevard near a university in the Candiani sector of Oaxaca, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. With more than a million residents, this centuries old city is known throughout Mexico for its colonial architecture and religious traditions.

As a temple was added to the cityscape, local members enjoyed watching the construction. But after the structure was mostly erected, on Sept. 30, 1997, a three-minute long, 7.6 earthquake struck Oaxaca. Jay Erekson, project manager for Okland Construction Co., was in front of the temple at the time.

"I saw the building shake," he said. "The tower was whipping back and forth about a yard and I watched the windows going in and out of plumb." He said the earth in front of the temple seemed to rise in waves 8 inches high. More than 100 buildings in the city were destroyed by the quake or damaged to the degree that they were later condemned. But the temple, which was built on pilings to accommodate earthquakes, was perfectly square and undamaged when the earthquake stopped.

The new edifice on the isthmus of Mexico has opened the door for frequent temple attendance for members whose pattern of obedience in the past has been demonstrated in their willingness to expend their time and resources in traveling as often as possible to the Mexico City Mexico Temple. Now they will be able to spend their time in attending the temple rather than on trips lasting days.

These members have come from what three decades ago were several small branches scattered over a great distance. The several branches used to gather occasionally for district conference and social events in numbers that often didn't exceed 200. These members gathered again for the dedication sessions. Bus after bus came carrying members of multiple stakes from cities where just branches once existed, and members streamed out in considerable numbers. Among them were those from Juchitan on the Gulf of Tehuantepec, where the women traditionally dress in colorfully embroidered dresses and wear ribbons and ornaments wound in their hair.

President Howard G. Schmidt, who was a temple sealer in the Colonia Juarez Mexico Temple before being called to head the new Oaxaca temple, said that from among the members in the temple district there was an outpouring of volunteers to serve in the temple.

One of the long-time members who hoped to be a temple worker was Cleotilde Alvarez de Melchor, widowed mother of 13 children who lives near the temple. She remembered the members working together to build the first meetinghouse in Oaxaca, which now serves as a stake center. The men, women and youth provided the labor while the Church provided the materials. They worked long and hard to finish the building. When the building was complete, however, local leaders asked each family to donate a small sum of cash so the meetinghouse could be dedicated.

"We sold our television, our watches, rings and our jewelry," she said. They also made and sold food on the streets until the goal of 6,000 pesos was met. Sister Melchor said that from that sacrifice, "We have had more blessings than I can enumerate." One of these blessings, she said, is the new temple, which stands not far from her home.

"I have all the time I need," she said. "I have been interviewed to be a temple worker and I am available. I have no children at home and I want to work in the Lord's house. I have great peace and tranquility and I feel very close to God."

President Israel Rubalcava Lopez of the Oaxaca Mexico Stake, director of the Church Educational System's institute here, said that a number of members planned to receive their temple blessings when the temple opened on Monday. The temple will also help the average of 80 new members stay active who join the Church each year in his stake, he said. Some 10 percent of the less-active members have responded to set a goal for temple worthiness. And the temple will be available for the 300 young people from the three Oaxaca stakes who attend local institute classes.

"They will grow up with the temple," he said.

With family history centers in each stake, this work has also increased as members seek to achieve 1,000 names per ward to submit for temple work. In addition, some 10,658 people attended the open house and many referrals have been received.

"We are very happy to have the temple here," President Rubalcava said.

Blessed in abundance

By John L. Hart

Church News associate editor

OAXACA, Mexico — A grateful woman, Cleotilde Alvarez de Melchor speaks of her many years of service in the Church as one long happy experience, from which she reaped great blessings.

Her blessings are her children, a large family that holds enough callings to almost lead a stake. Among them are a stake president, counselor, bishop, bishop's counselor, stake and full-time missionaries, and Young Women, Relief Society and Primary presidents. All but one of her 11 living children were married in the temple, and all of them have been sealed to Sister Melchor and her late husband, Jesus Melchor. Most of her sons are professionals who gained their preparatory education at Church schools.

A worker in the Oaxaca Mexico Temple, which was dedicated March 11, 2000, Sister Melchor said: "I have so many blessings I am not able to enumerate them. I cannot calculate all the blessings we have received because we kept the commandments. We have been blessed in abundance."

Those blessings began in 1960 when she and four of her oldest children were baptized into the Oaxaca Branch. About 20 members then attended branch meetings. As the branch slowly grew, sacrament meeting was held once in the morning and once in the afternoon so that everyone could be accommodated in the small house of prayer in which they met.

"The families were very kind and we were good friends," she said. "Really, my callings sustained me in the Church."

She was involved in teaching the first years. She also went visiting teaching. She visited several faithful families in a small village about six miles outside of town where no buses were available.

"We walked a lot. We went to the hills, we went on trails. We had great satisfaction from this service, and we became strong as we overcame our problems."

She said that others had more serious problems than she did. One of the struggles she and her husband had, however, was to provide enough food for their large family.

"My husband worked long hours, but we had many deficiencies in the home. I prayed to Heavenly Father, saying 'You gave us many children. Now, please help us to provide for them.' "

She helped by selling clothing, chocolate and other things on the street. Gradually their situation improved.

Some of the highlights for the family were the branch socials. The branch gathered often for dinners, dances, plays and lessons. As the branch grew, plans were made to build a meetinghouse. All the branch members worked together, even the women and youth, in the arduous project.

The women made lunch for the men. "They worked so hard, their appetites were doubled," said Sister Melchor.

Each family was given a sum of money to raise for the construction project, according to its resources.

"We sold our television, our watches, rings and our jewelry," she said. The goal was not insurmountable because "we did not have to pay it all at once."

The Melchor family began to branch out, and Brother Melchor, who was baptized about the time the meetinghouse was built, began building homes and selling them.

Then, said Sister Melchor, "my sons had food in abundance. But the bread of most importance was the Living Bread of the gospel. I affirm that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ and that the Holy Spirit guides us and prepares us to live in the celestial kingdom."

John L. Hart's e-mail:

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