Church members in Mexico react to President Nelson’s announcement of 4 new temples

Pachuca, Tula, Toluca and Cuernavaca are each less than 30 miles from the center of Mexico City

As part of his Oct. 2 announcement of 18 new temples to be built around the world, President Russell M. Nelson shared a rare insight into the reason for the final four locations he announced. 

After announcing 14 locations during his closing address at October 2022 general conference, President Nelson described an emerging concern regarding members’ access to temples.

“We are also planning to build multiple temples in selected large metropolitan areas where travel time to an existing temple is a major challenge,” he said. “Therefore, I am pleased to announce four additional locations near Mexico City where new temples will be built.”

Temples in Pachuca, Tula, Toluca and Cuernavaca will each be within 30 miles of the center of Mexico City, the country’s capital. 

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This map of the area surrounding Mexico City shows the locations of the current operating temple in Mexico City, the construction site of a temple in Puebla, and five additional cities where temples will be built.
This map of the area surrounding Mexico City shows the locations of the current operating temple in Mexico City, the construction site of a temple in Puebla, and five additional cities where temples will be built. President Russell M. Nelson announced 18 new temple locations, including four in the Mexico City area, during the Sunday afternoon session of the October 2022 general conference on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. | Aaron Thorup, for the Church News

These are in addition to the existing or announced temples in Mexico City, Benemérito and Puebla — all in the same region. 

Lisdebeth Pérez is from Cuernavaca and was shocked to hear the news of a temple being built there. 

“For me and my family, it is great above all to know that one will be built in my city,” she said. 

Cuernavaca is directly south of Mexico City.

Cuernavaca, Mexico
Cuernavaca, Mexico | Adobe Stock

In a video sent to Pérez by a friend immediately after the announcement, members are seen waving their arms in excitement. 

“It is a wonderful thrill that there will no longer be a wait for a tour to the Mexico City Mexico Temple each month, but that it will be easier to visit each day,” Pérez said. “Pure joy.”

Members in Cuernavaca, Mexico, celebrate in this video screenshot after the announcement on Sunday, Oct. 2, of a temple to be built in their city. | Lisdebeth Pérez

Also from Cuernavaca, Raúl Rodríguez shared the emotion that he couldn’t hold back.

“Immediately, my eyes filled with tears of happiness when I heard the Prophet’s announcement,” he said.

Tears of joy would be a common theme among those who shared their feelings after the conference concluded.

The Mexico City metropolitan area is home to more than 22 million people. According to the Church’s Newsroom, nearly 1.5 million members of the Church live in Mexico. 

Tula, México
Tula, Mexico | Adobe Stock

Jonathan Magadan, 22, served part of his mission in Tula, Mexico, and was in the Conference Center for the Sunday afternoon session. He was “so happy” to hear that a temple would be built there.

“The people are faithful. They also serve,” said Magadan, who is from Monterrey, Mexico.

Leticia Mera is from Tula. She said the temple announcement hit her so strongly that her heart stopped for a moment.

“After, I thought about all our ancestors who, thanks to their faith and testimonies, made possible such a huge blessing,” she said.

Church members in Tula, Mexico, celebrate the news of a temple to be built in their city after watching general conference on Sunday, Oct. 2. | Gustavo Ramos

Gustavo Ramos is also from Tula, and he also talked about the blessing of having a temple in that city.

“That news gave me great happiness,” Ramos said. “I’m thankful to our Heavenly Father for blessing the lives of the Saints in these lands.”

Pachuca, México
Pachuca, Mexico | Adobe Stock

As a country, Mexico is home to 222 stakes and 32 missions. When these temples are completed, Mexico will have 24 temples.

Jared Rodríguez Valle, also from Cuernavaca, was watching the final session of general conference when President Nelson showed a trailer for the new season of Book of Mormon Videos featuring the Savior’s visit to the Americas after His Resurrection.

“When people were invited to touch the marks of His Crucifixion, they were both attentive and joyous,” Rodríguez said. “They couldn’t hide their joy. ... That emotion and happiness — to the point of shedding tears — was exactly what I felt when the Prophet announced four new temples in our country.”

Toluca, México
Toluca, Mexico | Adobe Stock

He said the announcement helped him turn his thoughts to how he could do more to share the gospel with friends and neighbors. He said he wants them to feel the joy he feels.

“I thought about my country,” Rodríguez said, “and how the Lord is preparing His Saints for His return.”

Like many others who live in locations that were announced on Sunday, Rodríguez said he couldn’t stop crying. He said he is grateful Heavenly Father has given him “the opportunity to be a part of this — to see with my eyes His hand over my nation and for the influence of the Spirit that testified to me of this marvelous work.”

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