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3 General Authority Seventies lead groundbreaking services for Querétaro Mexico Temple

Construction officially starts for the temple, one of 23 in the Central American country

Led by a trio of General Authority Seventies from Mexico, the Saturday, Jan. 7, groundbreaking ceremony for the Querétaro Mexico Temple marked the start of construction for one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 23 temples in that country, reported ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Elder Adrián Ochoa — a counselor in the Mexico Area presidency who was born in San Francisco, California, but grew up and was educated primarily in Mexico — presided at the services. He offered remarks and gave the dedicatory prayer on the site and construction efforts.

Elder Adrián Ochoa, a General Authority Seventy who is a counselor in the Mexico Area Presidency, speaks during the Jan. 7, 2023, groundbreaking ceremony for the Querétaro Mexico Temple. He also offered the dedicatory prayer for the temple’s site and construction. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

He was joined by Elder Benjamin De Hoyos and Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, both assistant directors in the Church’s Temple Department and natives of Mexico.

The three were accompanied by their wives — Sister Nancy Ochoa, Sister Evelia De Hoyos and Sister Pilar Valenzuela —for the ceremony, conducted under clear skies and a warm winter sun at the temple’s site in Querétaro City. Also attending at the site were special guests — including government, education business and religious leaders — and local Church leaders and members.

Elder Ochoa cited the late President Gordon B. Hinckley, who said that when God decides to build a temple in a city, He not only blesses the Church members there but also all who live in the area.

“God wants to bless this town and all the people who live in the cities that will make up the temple district,” Elder Ochoa said.

After offering the dedicatory prayer, he and his wife, Sister Nancy Ochoa, led guests and Latter-day Saints in turning shovelfuls of soil to symbolically represent the beginning of the temple’s construction, according to a report on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Led by General Authority Seventies Elder Adrián Ochoa, Elder Benjamín De Hoyos and Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela and their wives, leaders and guests participate in the turning of the soil during the Jan. 7, 2023, groundbreaking ceremony for the Querétaro Mexico Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Querétaro temple — a two-story building of approximately 27,500 square feet and a central tower — will be located on a 3.58-acre site at Prolongación Tecnológico Norte 150, Colonia San Pablo, Querétaro, Mexico.

The site where the two-story Querétaro Mexico Temple will be built in the city of Querétaro, Mexico. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Querétaro in April 2021 general conference, one of 20 new locations identified that day.

Located in central Mexico, the state of Querétaro is bordered by the states of Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí and the state of Mexico. The region is known as “El Bajío,” with Querétaro home to some of the fast-growing urban areas in Mexico. It is one of the nation’s top 10 states in economic growth.

Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, a General Authority Seventy who previously serves as president of the Mexico Area, speaks during the Jan. 7, 2023, groundbreaking ceremony for the Querétaro Mexico Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Although the Lord has blessed the El Bajío region with industrial and commercial growth, Elder Valenzuela said, “the Church has grown in an important way. Many people have migrated to the cities that will make up the temple district, and many more have joined the Church since the gospel began to be preached in the area.”

He echoed President Nelson’s invitation to “spend more time in the temple and seek how the temple teaches you to rise above this fallen world.”

Elder Benjamin De Hoyos, a General Authority Seventy who previously serves as president of the Mexico Area, speaks during the Jan. 7, 2023, groundbreaking ceremony for the Querétaro Mexico Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder De Hoyos said the Church is dedicated to building temples throughout the world so temple blessings can be available to a greater number of Heavenly Father’s children. “Everything we do in the Church leads to the work done in the holy temples,” he added.

Mexico is home to 23 temples totals that are operating, under construction or announced, with the Querétaro temple joining ones in Puebla and Torreón that are being built. The 13 operating temples are the Ciudad Juárez, Colonia Juárez Chihuahua, Guadalajara, Hermosillo Sonora, Mérida, Mexico City, Monterrey, Oaxaca, Tampico, Tijuana, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Veracruz and Villahermosa temples.

Announced temples are the Culiacán, San Luis Potosí, Mexico City Benemérito, Cuernavaca, Pachuca, Toluca and Tula temples.

The 23 temples make the Church’s most for a single nation outside of the United States.

A youth choir from the stakes of Querétaro perform a musical number during groundbreaking ceremony for the Jan. 7, 2023, Querétaro Mexico Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Exterior rendering of the Querétaro Mexico Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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