Announced: July 20, 1998.
Location: Av. Ejercito Mexicano 74, Colonia Lomas del Gallo, Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas 89480, Mexico; phone: (52) 833-216-9660; no clothing rental.
Site: 3.73 acres, including adjoining meetinghouse.
Exterior finish: Blanco Guardiano white mable.
Temple design: Classic modern.
Architects: Alvaro Inigo and Church A&E Services.
Project manager: Rodolfo Avalos.
Contractor: PyCSA / Okland Const. 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: Nine stakes and three districts in northeastern Mexico.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: Nov. 28, 1998, by Elder Eran A. Call of the Seventy and counselor in the Mexico South Area presidency.
Dedication: May 20, 2000, by President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency; 4 sessions.
Done by President Thomas S. Monson
O Lord God Omnipotent, our Eternal Father, we come unto Thee with hearts filled with gratitude on this day of dedication. We are met in Thy holy house with appreciation for the presence of this temple in our midst. We know that we have been favored, and we thank Thee for this great blessing which has come to us.
We dedicate this the Tampico México Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unto Thee and to Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We do so in His holy name and in the authority of the eternal priesthood which Thou hast bestowed upon us as Thy servants.
Wilt Thou accept of this Thy holy temple as the gift of Thy covenant children who love Thee and seek to honor Thee. Sanctify this Thy house we humbly pray. Let Thy blessings rest upon it as Thy dwelling place.
We dedicate the grounds with their beautiful vegetation that speaks of Thy divine creations. We dedicate the structure with all of its facilities, including the magnificent baptistry, the endowment rooms, the celestial room, the sealing rooms at whose altars Thy sons and daughters will kneel to partake of the rich and marvelous blessings that carry with them the assurance of eternal family relationships.
May this structure be sacred to all who look upon it that no unrighteous hand may deface it or damage it in any way. May all who enter its portals be clean of body and mind and worthy to receive the blessings herein given. We pray that there may emanate from this Thy house a spirit of love and peace, a spirit divine and holy, which will be felt in this great city.
Bless all who labor herein, whether they be workers or patrons, that they may be clean and free of evil while serving in the sacred work in which they will be engaged.
We pray for the temple presidency and for the matron and her assistants. We pray for those who will serve as ordinance workers, and in every other capacity, and we also remember before Thee the patrons of this temple. May they be faithful in their attendance, and may Thy rich and wonderful blessings rest down upon all who are eligible to use Thy house.
Father, we pray for Thy people everywhere. Strengthen Thy Church wherever it may be established. Bless this great nation of Mexico, its officers and governors at whatever level, that they may be friendly to Thy people and ensure their peace and security. May Thy work grow in this nation in a miraculous and marvelous way. Lift the burdens of poverty from the backs of Thy children and prosper them as they serve Thee in righteousness, walking in obedience to Thy commandments.
We invoke Thy blessings upon all who preside over Thy work throughout the earth. Give them strength of body and clarity of mind, and touch them by Thy Holy Spirit as they seek to do Thy will and lead Thy people in righteousness before Thee.
On this historic day, may a new sense of dedication come into our hearts that we may serve Thee more diligently and walk before Thee more faithfully we humbly pray in the name of Him who is our Redeemer and our Lord, even Jesus Christ, amen.
Sacred hill now site of Tampico temple
By Jason Swensen
Church News staff writer
TAMPICO, Mexico — Jose Ponce remembers finding respite as a 10-year-old boy at the top of a lush hill about a mile from his home in Tampico's twin city of Ciudad Madero. Locals called the spot "Cerro de Conejos," or Rabbit Hill, because it was thick with hares. Young Jose and his neighbors savored their meat, but most left the animals living along the hill alone.
"That was more than 50 years ago, and I think people simply regarded Rabbit Hill as kind of a sacred place," Brother Ponce said. "I would go there to meditate whenever I had been punished by my parents or when I was sad. It made me feel good just being there."
Brother Ponce, now a patriarch in the Tampico Mexico Bosque Stake, returned to Rabbit Hill on May 20. The area is indeed sacred now — the site of the Tampico Mexico Temple, the Church's 83rd temple. President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, presided over the dedication and offered the dedicatory prayer. His presence and counsel during the four-session dedication were the happy realization of a dream for thousands of area Church members.
"I was called to be a branch president outside of Tampico about 15 years ago, less then a generation ago, and the Church was still young here," said Gilberto Castillo. "I was so excited that we could fill every teaching position in the branch, only to realize that those callings left us without any students. Now seeing the Church grow to the point where we can build a temple is a joyous blessing."
A few members lived close enough to walk to the Saturday dedication. Others carpooled or arrived in one of Tampico's many taxis. Some traveled with fellow members several hours via bus to this industrial city on central Mexico's Gulf Coast. All endured the stifling heat with a smile and, often, a dish towel to wipe glowing brows.
A collection of voices from the temple cornerstone ceremony choir greeted President Monson as he emerged from the temple to apply mortar to the cornerstone. President Monson warned the Tampico saints that his efforts with trowel and mortar would be the work "of an amateur," reassuring them with a chuckle that experts would be along later to clean up any mess.
Tampico has claimed a special place in President Monson's heart. In 1972, then Elder Monson organized the first Tampico stake.
The promise of a temple has lived long in the hearts of Tampico-area members. About 20 years ago, there was talk that the Church would sell the land where the temple sits today, Patriarch Ponce said. A wise stake president, President Roberto de Leon Perales, reportedly did not want the Church to part with the plot. "President de Leon told us, 'One day, a temple will be built here.' "
Many say the blessings of the temple began filling the area long before the May 20 dedication. Roberto Cruz remembers feeling overwhelmed when he was asked to serve on the local temple dedication committee as the public affairs director.
"I am a humble shoemaker and I wondered, 'Why wasn't someone with more experience or more intellect called to this position?' " Brother Cruz said. "But I have learned from this experience that the Lord qualifies whom He calls and He has been there to help."
His wife, Ana Bertha, said scores of Tampico-area members had contributed much time and effort to prepare the temple for the dedication. They have found joy in service.
"We have joined our hearts, souls and strength together in this work, but it is still humbling to say: 'Lord, this is Thy house,' " Sister Cruz said.
Brendon Baird of Orem, Utah, recently returned home from the Mexico Tampico Mission. Attending the dedication, he said, was a must. His only regret was that the temple had not been built prior to his mission.
"Having a temple will make the blessings of the Church more attainable to everyone in Tampico; it will be a great missionary tool," he said. "The temple is symbolic of the growth of the Church in Tampico. It is a milestone to the maximum."
While many Tampico-area residents said they will be doing temple work for the first time following the dedication, others marveled at the blessings that will come simply from having a temple in their city. Already, the temple has seized the attention of many Tampico residents curious about the beautiful edifice built on old Rabbit Hill.
"The temple is a light," said Madero stake member Manuel Camacho. "An enormous light for Tampico — and the world — to see."