by Elisa Pulido

The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico spans approximately 150 years, depending on what one considers the beginnings of Mormonism in Mexico. When the Mormons entered Salt Lake Valley in 1846, they entered Mexico, and thus escaped both persecution and the oversight of the United States federal government. On February 2 of 1848, at the conclusion of the Mexican American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded Mexican territory south of the 42nd parallel north and west of the Rocky Mountains to the the United States, including what became the Utah territory.[1] In 1875, Brigham Young sent the first missionaries to Mexico, though no converts were baptized at that time. It was during Moses Thatcher and James Z. Stewart’s 1879 journey to Mexico that the first converts were baptized in Mexico City. Two years later, Moses Thatcher returned to Mexico and offered a dedicatory prayer, consecrating Mexico for the future evangelization of the Latter-day Saint gospel.
The growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the first few converts to the one and a half million members residing in Mexico today, was not achieved in a steady stream of proselyting successes. Rather, efforts to establish a Mormon presence in Mexico were interrupted repeatedly by many factors, including tensions between the U.S. Federal government and Mormon polygamists, a revolution, anti-clerical laws, and war. While these interruptions to mission activity in Mexico frustrated Euro-American missionaries and Mexican converts alike, over time the challenges faced by Mexican Mormons created a seedbed for indigenous leadership, which has benefitted both Mexico and the Church at large. This brief essay makes a chronological examination of  both the successes and difficulties encountered from 1875 to the present day by Latter-day Saints in Mexico, both their Euro-American evangelizers and by indigenous converts and their descendants.

First Missionaries in Mexico

 

In 1875, Brigham Young asked Daniel W. Jones and Melitón Trejo to translate selected passages from the Book of Mormon into Spanish. These selections were to be published in pamphlet form used as missionary tracts by the first missionaries to enter Mexico. The missionaries were instructed to preach to indigenous Americans on both sides of the border, while searching for Mormon settlement sites. Young foresaw the need to establish escape routes for polygamists fleeing prosecution and envisioned a string of Mormon colonies from Utah to Brazil.[2] On January 7, 1876, missionaries Dan Jones, Helaman Pratt, Anthony W. Ivins, Robert H. Smith, Ammon Tenney, and James Z. Stewart, crossed the Rio Grande and entered Mexico, just south of El Paso. From there they traveled west through Mexico’s northern wilderness.. Upon their return to Utah, the missionaries recommended desert in the Mexican state of Chihuahua as a site for future colonies.[3] No action would be taken on this recommendation, however, until 1887.
In 1879, the Church appointed Moses Thatcher as the president of the Mexican Mission. That year he travelled to Central Mexico in the company of James Z. Stewart in answer to correspondence received from Plotino Rhodakanaty. Rhodakanaty, a Greek immigrant, political activist and the father of Mexican anarchism, thought he had found the answer to Mexico’s woes in Mormonism’s communal colony building. Within a few weeks, Thatcher had baptized Rhodakanaty, along with a small circle of socialist agitators, all colleagues of Rhodakanty’s.[4] Though ordained an elder and made a branch president, Rhodakanaty soon left the Mormon fold, as the centralized hierarchy of the Church did not allow him the freedom to pursue his own communalist dreams.[5]

The Mormon Colonies in Mexico

 

In 1881, Thatcher returned to Mexico, where he offered a dedicatory prayer on the slopes of the volcano Popocatépetl, thus consecrating Mexico for future missionary activity.[6]  Early evangelizing efforts in Central Mexico were thwarted within six years, however, when, the U.S. government’s pursuit of polygamists in 1887 forced the Mormon Church to abandon its missionary efforts in Mexico and to focus on colony building in Northern Mexico. Located in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora on lands purchased from the Mexican government during the tenure of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, the colonies provided a safe haven for Mormons fleeing federal prosecution.[7]The Mormons agreement with the Díaz regime stipulated that settlers from the U.S. include native Mexican residents as residents of the colonies in order to secure land and water rights.[8]
To help the Mormons comply with this requirement, the Mexican government paid train fares for converts in Central Mexico relocating to the nascent colonies. Due to mismanaged expectations and cultural clashes, the biracial experiment in the colony failed, resulting in the return of the converts to Central Mexico, some, at least, on foot.[9]

Though the Church abandoned polygamy in the U.S. just three years later (1890), the practice of polygamy in the Mormon colonies in Mexico continued.[10] Mormon settlers in Mexico, many of them polygamists, established well-run, crime-free, and prosperous communities. By the turn of the century, orchards and mills thrived, brick homes lined the streets of settlements, and a fine school had been established in Colonia Juárez, the Academía Juarez.[11]


A Missionary Presence Re-established in Central Mexico

 

In 1901, newly appointed Mexican Mission president, Ammon Tenney, returned to Central Mexico, where he attempted to gather scattered converts and to proselytize new members in agrarian villages on the slopes of Popo.[12] Branches of the church were also established in Mexico City (Ermita) and San Marcos Tula de Allende in the state of Hidalgo.[13]
In ­­­­­­­1907, Rey Lucero Pratt became simultaneously the mission president in Mexico and a General Authority of the Church, callings he held for twenty-four years.[14] The Church continued to grow through proselytization until the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. By July of 1912, Mormon missionaries from the U.S., approximately 4500 Euro-American Mormons living in the Mormon Colonies, and some Mexican converts in the northern wilderness had fled the revolution, leaving Mexico for the U.S.[15]

Mexican Mormons in the Mexican Revolution

 

One thousand miles from the northern border, Mexican converts from the agrarian villages around Popo found shelter from revolutionary violence by joining the Zapatista cause under the banner of General Gregorio Rivero.[16] Conversely, members in San Marcos suffered greatly under Zapatistas. Two members, Vicente Morales and Rafael Monroy, a wealthy hacendado (owner of a hacienda), were shot by firing squad on July 17, 1915.[17] The Zapatistas’ harsh treatment of the members in San Marcos can be attributed to the fact that the Monroy family had large land holdings, while a major goal of Zapatista rebels was the redistribution of  farmland to benefit small farmers.[18]
During the Revolution, Mexican converts of many denominations led their congregations  in the absence of missionaries from the U.S., until the violence began to subside (1917-1920). At that point, Euro-American missionaries of many denominations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, returned to Mexico.[19] In 1917, Mexican Mission president Rey L. Pratt received permission from Church headquarters in Salt Lak City to return to Mexico, where he discovered that the Mormon Church had been kept alive by the leadership of native converts.[20] Only about a quarter of the Mormon colonists in Northern Mexico returned at the conclusion of the Revolution.[21] A few, Alma Dayer LeBaron for instance, returned to Mexico in order to practice polygamy uninhibited, though the practice was discouraged by the mainstream Church, and eventually resulted in the excommunication of those continuing to practice plural marriage.[22]

Mexican and Mexican American Converts in Salt Lake City

 

In 1920, Mexican immigrants in Salt Lake City began meeting to together and were formally recognized in January of 1921 as the “Temporary Lamanite Branch.” Four months later, the name of this small Spanish-speaking congregation changed to the “Local Mexican Mission,” and finally to the “Lucero Ward” in 1960.[23]  The first branch president, Margarito Bautista, an indigenous convert from Central Mexico and President of the Lamanite Genealogical Society, presided only briefly, as he returned to Mexico from 1922 to 1924 as a missionary assigned to introduce Mexican converts to family history and temple work.[24]

The Third Convention

 

By 1926, the bloody Cristero Rebellion (1926­–1929) once again forced Euro-American missionaries to flee Mexico. The conflict, between the Catholic Church and the Mexican government, arose over the enforcement of anticlerical laws by the liberal Mexican government in an effort to curb the power of the Catholic Church.[25] The Catholic Church had controlled vast properties and wealth in Mexico, and was often supported by conservative governments. For many centuries the majority of Catholic clerics in Mexico had been born in Spain or France. After the revolution, many indigenous Mexicans wanted to control not only their own political destiny, but they wanted to lead themselves ecclesiastically, free from the control of a Church led by foreigners. Indigenous Mexicans from a variety of denominations were seeking to recover ecclesiastical, political, and social self-empowerment lost to them at the time of the Spanish Conquest.[26] These aspirations were also held by many Mexican Mormons, who, due to the absence of missionaries during both the Revolution and the Cristero Rebellion, had, in fact, led themselves.After the death of Rey Lucero Pratt in 1931, his half-brother, Harold Wilcken Pratt, replaced him as president of the Mormon mission in Mexico. Not surprisingly, in the early 1930s indigenous converts on Mexico’s Central Plateau began holding “conventions” requesting a Mexican Mission president of indigenous extraction.[27] On April 21, 1936, the third of these conventions (The Third Convention) nominated Abel Páez, a member of the District Presidency as the mission president in Mexico.[28] Other goals of Conventionists included the construction of chapels in Mexico, the translation and publication of Church literature in Spanish, and the opportunity for native youth to develop leadership skills.[29] A report of the April 21 convention was sent to Salt Lake City in the form of a petition. In response to this petition, leaders of the Third Convention were excommunicated for “rebellion, apostacy and insubordination” in 1937.[30] At this juncture, Conventionists split from the mainstream church, renaming themselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Third Convention, and taking a third of the Church membership in Mexico with them.[31]
Despite their separation from the mainstream church, Third Conventionists continued to preach orthodox Mormonism to each other and to their neighbors, baptizing many over a period of ten years.[32] Appointed Mexican Mission president in ­­­­1942, Arwell L. Pierce, approached the split with diplomacy and patience.[33] His efforts were aided by an influx of young missionaries from the United States returning from military service at the conclusion of World War II.  Pierce instructed all missionaries to focus their efforts on healing the schism and preventing further rifts.[34] Pierce’s tactics were successful; in 1946, mission president Arwell L. Pierce facilitated the reunification of Third Convention with the mainstream Church at a conference held in Mexico and Tecalco, attended by President of the Church, George Albert Smith. At that time, nearly 1200 members returned to the mainstream Latter-day Saint fold. Pierce attempted to satisfy the desire for indigenous leadership by appointing a Comité de Consejo y Bienestar (a Counsel and Welfare Committee), which included former Conventionists, including Abel Páez, Apolonio Arzate, and non-Conventionists, among them former district president Isaías Juárez and his counselor Bernabé Parra.[35] Post Third Convention, missionary work flourished; the mission expanded to include Guatemala from 1947 to 1952, and, four new missions within Mexico were created between 1954 and 1960.[36]

Splinter Groups in Mexico

 

From the mid-twentieth century onward, Mormon splinter groups established themselves, many of them continuing Mormonism’s early practice of polygamy. A few “Mormon fundamentalist” communities were led by indigenous religious entrepreneurs. In 1947, former Conventionist leader Margarito Bautista, barred from fellowship in the Third Convention due to his promotion of plural marriage, founded a polygamist utopia in Ozumba, on the slopes of Popocatéptl.[37] Though he died in 1961, his indigenously-led colony, Colonia Industrial/Nueva Jerusalén, still survives with over a thousand members.[38] Over time, members of the community have weakened their practice of the communal ownership of property and have made the practice of polygamy optional.[39] Lorenzo Cuautli, a contemporary of Bautista’s, established a similar colony in San Gabriel Ometoxtla in Puebla, which still survives.[40] Daniel Mejía, yet another contemporary of Bautista’s, founded a colony in Cuautla de Morelos, though the colony dissolved in 1946.[41]

In the mid-twentieth century, fundamentalist splinter groups from the U.S., seeking sanctuary from both federal prosecution and the disciplinary action of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also fled to Mexico and established colonies in the states of Chihuahua and Sonora. Members of the Musser, LeBaron, and Allred families have associated with fundamentalists in Mexico, or have established their own colonies.

In the mid 1940s, the LeBarons established a settlement in Las Parcelas.[42] In 1964, Joel LeBaron founded a fundamentalist colony he named Los Molinos in Baja California. Members of the LeBaron family practiced polygamy and laid claim to potent priesthood offices, coveted by competing LeBaron brothers. Joel was shot in 1972 by his brother Ervil, who also ordered the murder of Rulon C. Allred in a power struggle over control of the fundamentalist movement.[43]

Today, Colonia LeBaron is more religiously diverse, less polygamist, and more integrated into the surrounding community. Unfortunately, altercations with drug cartels and arguments over water rights with farmers in Chihuahua have led to further violence for residents. The escalation of violence in Mexico between fundamentalist communities and cartels resulted in the November 2019 murder of three women and six children traveling in a caravan of SUVs near the Mormon fundamentalist colony La Mora, in Sonora.[44]


Growth of Mainstream Mormonism in Mexico: Schools, Temples, Missions and Membership

 

In March of 1944, two years prior to the reunification of the Third Convention, members of the mainstream Church in San Marcos, Tula de Allende, began teaching a small group of students in a home school they named Los Héroes de Chapúltepec. In 1957, the Church funded the building of a larger school on donated land adjacent to the home where these students had been taught. By this date the school had 171 elementary school students.[45] After the construction of this school, the Church formed the Sociedad Educativa y Cultural, S.A., which subsequently built and operated thirty-seven elementary schools for Latter-day Saint children and interested students of other denominations from 1960 to 1974.[46] In 1963, Albert Kenyon Wagner along with his wife, Leona Farnsworth Romney, founded the Centro Escolar Benemérito de las Américas in Mexico City. Though the school initially offered both primary and secondary education to boarding and non-boarding students alike, it gradually evolved into a preparatory school, which operated until 2013, when it was closed and converted into a Missionary Training Center.[47]

Beginning in 2001, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley established the Perpetual Education Fund, a program designed to provide loans to help Latter-day Saints outside the United States pay tuition for education leading to the acquisition of employable skills. The first three countries to benefit from this program were Chile, Mexico, and Peru.[48]In addition to increased educational opportunities for members in Mexico, the Church experienced exponential growth in Church membership in Mexico in the latter half of the twentieth century. Mexico’s first stake (diocese) was established in the Mormon Colonies in 1895, however, in 1961, the Church, with a total Mexican membership of 25,000 members,  began concentrating on the further development of Spanish-speaking stakes (dioceses) within Mexico.[49] That year, the Mexico Stake was established in Mexico City and Harold Brown was appointed stake president.

Brown had been raised in the Mormon Colonies and was a former counselor in the Mexican Mission to Arwell L. Pierce.[50] While imminently qualified, Brown’s appointment continued Euro-American leadership within Mexico’s Mormon hierarchy. Brown did, however, appoint two indigenous counselors: Julio García as first counselor, and former Conventionist Gonzalo Zaragoza as his second counselor.[51] By 1968, the Church’s central hierarchy appointed Agrícol Lozano the president of the Mexico City North Stake, making Lozano the first Latino stake president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico.[52] Eight years later, the Church in Mexico had grown to 175,802 members.[53]

The dedication of the first Mormon temple in Mexico occurred in Mexico City in 1983. In 1997, Church president Gordon B. Hinckley announced the building of smaller temples; one of the first of these was built in Colonia Juárez, Mexico and dedicated in 1999. This smaller design sped the growth of temple building in Mexico. By 2000, nine temples had been built, and in 2020 there are thirteen temples in Mexico with one under construction.[54] By 1986, there were eight missions, eighty stakes, and over 300,000 members in Mexico. Three years later, in 1989, there were over one hundred stakes in Mexico. That same year, the Church appointed Horacio A. Tenorio, the first general authority of indigenous Mexican ancestry, to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.[55] Tenorio had risen through the ranks of the Mormon hierarchy in Mexico, acting as a branch president, bishop, stake president, president of the Mexico Torreon Mission, and twice as a Regional Representative.[56]


General Authorities from Mexico

 

Since 1941, eight General Authorities have been born in Mexico. Marion G. Romney (1897-1988) began his forty-seven years as a general authority in 1941 when he was appointed one of the first Assistants to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Romney was born to Euro-American parents in Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, where he attended English-speaking schools. He spent his first fifteen years in Mexico but did not learn to speak Spanish until later in life. In 1951, he became an apostle; in 1961, he was asked to supervise the LDS Church in Mexico. In that capacity, he oversaw proselyting activities, the construction of church buildings, and the establishment of Spanish-speaking stakes in Mexico for eleven years. Romney also served as a second counselor to two Church Presidents, Harold B. Lee and Spencer W. Kimball.[57] All seven of the other General Authorities born in Mexico have been of native Mexican heritage. In addition to the aforementioned Seventy, Horacio A. Tenorio, Jorge A. Rojas, a native of Chihuahua who had been a mission president in Guadalajara, was appointed to the Second Quorum of the Seventy; Rojas’ term lasted from 1991 to 1996. An educator and businessman, Rojas taught for a period of time at the aforementioned Benemérito School. Rojas is one of several leaders from Mexico, who have held international positions in Latter-day Saint leadership. At the conclusion of his service as a Seventy, Rojas became president of the Guayaquil Ecuador temple.[58]
In 2005, Benjamin de Hoyos, a native of Monterrey, who presided over the México Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mission from 1996 to 1999, became a General Authority Seventy and is currently the South American area president.[59] In 2007, Octavio Tenorio Domínguez, a native of Veracruz, became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, acting in this capacity as a counselor in the Mexico Area Presidency until 2012.[60] In 2012, José L. Alonso was made a General Authority Seventy and is currently an area president over the LDS Church in the Caribbean.[61] Arnulfo Valenzuela, born in Chihuahua, Mexico, became a General Authority Seventy in 2013 and now is a member of the Mexico area presidency.[62] Most recently (April 2020), Moisés Villanueva was appointed a General Authority Seventy.[63]Mexico reached one million members in 2004.[64] In 2020, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is represented in Mexico by over 1800 congregations, with a total church membership of over 1.4 million.[65] Currently, there are thirty-four missions in Mexico; over 40% of these missions are led by mission presidents with Latin American ancestry.[66]


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico in 2020

 

In 2020, international missionaries from the U.S. were recalled from many missions around the globe, including Mexico due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like Latter-day Saints worldwide, Mexican members have seen the interruption of Church meetings and temple worship, due to a church wide cessation of services meant to safeguard the health of the members and the communities in which they live. Historically, national and international chaos has produced instability in Mexico’s Mormon leadership. Today, a century and a half after its founding, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico produces most of its own leaders and much of its own missionary force, a situation which will allow Church leadership in Mexico to continue through the duration of the pandemic without interruption.

Elisa Eastwood Pulido is a historian of religion, with a PhD in Religious Studies from Claremont Graduate University. She taught World Religions at Brigham Young University, Salt Lake Center until 2019. She researches religion at the margins: race, gender, and religion; religion in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; and Mormon studies. Her first book, The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista: Mexican Mormon Evangelizer, Polygamist Dissident, and Utopian Founder, 1878-1961, was published in March 2020 by Oxford University Press.


Endnotes

[1] Matthew Bowman, The Mormon People: The Making of a Faith (New York: Random House, 2012), 115; William H. Gonzalez and Orlando Rivera, “Hispanics of Utah,” Utah History Encyclopedia, https://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/about.shtml.

[2] F. LaMond Tullis, Mormons in Mexico: The Dynamics of Faith and Culture (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1997), 13; Barney T. Burns and Thomas H. Naylor, “Colonia Morelos: A Short History of a Mormon Colony in Sonora, Mexico,” Smoke Signals 27 (Spring 1973): 142.

[3] Tullis, Mormons in Mexico,  18, 20, 30–31.

[4] Bill Smith and Jared M. Tamez, “Plotino Rhodakanaty: Mormonism’s Greek Austrian Mexican Socialist,” in Just South of Zion: The Mormons in Mexico and Its Borderlands, ed. Jason H. Dormady and Jared Tamez (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2015), 55–56, 58–59, 62, 64–66.

[5] Smith and Tamez, 64–65.

[6]  Tullis, Mormons in Mexico, 41.

[7] Ibid, 55.

[8] Ibid, 62.

[9] Simón Zúñiga,  From the House of Joseph to the Land of Restoration (Denver: Bilingual Publications, 2010), 8.

[10] Barbara Brown Jones, “The 1910 Mexican Revolution and the Rise and Demise of Mormon Polygamy in Mexico,” in Just South of Zion, 26. The Reed Smoot hearings in the Senate in 1907 over the continued practice of polygamy by Mormons (Mormons in Mexico included), posed a challenge to Mormon polygamists in Mexico, but did not discontinue the practice. The largest factor in the discontinuance of most polygamy in Mexico was the forced exodus of Mormons in 1912 during the Mexican Revolution. Mormons who returned to the U.S. had to integrate with Mormons who had abandoned the practice for over twenty years, resulting in changing views and practices. See Brown, 27, 33.

[11] LeVon Brown Whetton, Colonia Juarez: Commemorating 125 Years of the Mormon Colonies in Mexico (Bloomington, AuthorHouse, 2010), 33-34.

[12] Elisa Eastwood Pulido, The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista: Mexica

 Mormon Evangelizer, Polygamist Dissident and Utopian Founder (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020), 74.

[13] Tullis, Mormons in Mexico, 75, 77-78.

[14] “Rey Lucero Pratt,” Missionary Database, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionary/individual/rey-lucero-pratt-1878?lang=eng

[15] Barbara Jones Brown, 29, “The 1910 Revolution and the Rise and Demise of Polygamy in Mexico,” in Just South of Zion: The Mormons in Mexico and Its Borderlands, edited by Jason H. Dormady and Jared M. Tamez (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2015). 29-30.

[16] Moroni Spencer de Olarte, “’Ya llegaron los de Tierra Fría . . . ’: Los colores del Zapatismo en la Región de los Volcanes, Estado de México” (Unpublished master’s thesis, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, August 2013), 68.

[17] F. Lamond Tullis, Martyrs in Mexico: A Mormon Story of Revolution and Redemption, (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2018), 67-68.

[18] Ignacio Garcia, “Book Review” review of Martyrs in Mexico: A Mormon Story of Revolution and Redemption, by F. Lamond Tullis, BYU Studies, https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/martyrs-mexico-mormon-story-revolution-and-redemption.

[19] Kathleen McIntyre, Contested Spaces: Protestantism in Oaxaca, 1920-1965. Dissertation, University of New Mexico, January 31, 2013, https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1053&context=hist_etds.

[20] Tullis, Mormons in Mexico, 103-104.

[21] Thomas Cottam Romney, The Mormon Colonies in Mexico, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1938), 250.

[22] Jason H. Dormady, “Introduction: The Mormons in Mexico,” in Just South of Zion: 11-12; Timothy Miller, “The Historical Communal Roots of Ultraconservative Groups: Earlier American Communes That Have Helped Shape Today’s Far Right,” in The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globalization, ed. Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw (Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 2002), 87.

[23] Pulido, The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista, 77; Betty Gibbs Ventura, The History of the Salt Lake Mexican Branch (Salt Lake City, 1998), 178-181; Turley and Christensen, 197. By 2017, 780 Latter-day Saint Spanish-speaking congregations existed in forty-one U.S. states. These church units are populated largely by Latin Americans in general, not only Mexicans.; Jason Swenson, “Humble Beginnings for Beloved Branch,” Church News, August 25, 2000, https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2000-08-26/humble-beginnings-for-beloved-branch-117871.

[24] Pulido, The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista, 81; Lamanite Genealogical Society, “History of the Origin of the Lamanite Genealogical Society, organized in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 13th, 1919.” Available at the Church History Library; Guadalupe Monroy, “Como Llego El Evangelio Restaurado al Pueblo de San Marcos, Tule de Allende, Estado de Hidalgo: He aqui la Historia escrito por I.,” 117. Available at the Church History Library.

[25] Matthew Butler, Popular Piety and Political Identity in Mexico’s Cristero Rebellion, (New York; Oxford University Press, 2004), 146.

[26] Tullis, Mormons in Mexico, 119, 125-127.

[27] Pulido, The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista, 161-163; Tullis, Mormons in Mexico, 117-118.

[28] Enrique Gonzalez, “Acta de la Convención,” Informe General de la Tercera Convención de los Miembros de la Iglesia de Jesu-Cristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Días Celebrada en Tecalco, México, el 21 de abril de 1936 y que fué enviado a la Primera Presidencia para su resolución, (Mexico, D.F.: Comite Directivo, August 1936), 18-19.

[29] “Informe de la Mesa Directiva de la 3a. Convención, a la Primera Presidencia,” Informe General de la Tercera Convención, (Mexico, D.F.: Comite Directivo, August 1936), 19; Tullis, Mormonism in Mexico, 148-149.

[30] Mexican Mission Records, May 6, 1937. Mexican Mission, Manuscript History and Historical Reports, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, LR 5506 2 v. 5 Box 2 folder 2 of 2, May 6-8, 1937.

[31] Elisa Eastwood Pulido, “Solving Schism in Nepantla: The Third Convention returns to the LDS Fold,” in Just South of Zion: The Mormons in Mexico and Its Borderlands,” edited by Jason H. Dormady and Jared M. Tamez. 281.[32] Fernando R. Gómez, From Darkness to Light: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Lamanite Conventions (Mexico City: El Museo de Mormonismo en Mexico, A. C., 2004), 39.

[33] Pulido, ”Solving Schism in Nepantla,” 95-96.

[34] Charles W. Eastwood, Interview, interviewed by Elisa Eastwood Pulido, Redlands, California, August 10, 2014.

[35] Tullis, Mormons in Mexico, 157-158.

[36] Turley and Christensen, 184; Boanerges Rubalcava, “The Church in Mexico and Central America,” in The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992, https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Mexico_and_Central_America,_the_Church_in

[37] Pulido, The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista, 186; Alma de Olarte, “Historia de la Colonia de la Nueva Jerusalén,” Written in Colonia Industrial/Nueva Jerusalén. Available in Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library.

[38] Jason Dormady, “Colonia Industrial Mexicana Nueva Jerusalén,” Secret History: Reflections on Latin America, October 13, 2009, http://latamreflections.blogspot.com/

[39] Moroni Spencer de Olarte, Interview, April 29, 2015.

[40] Dormady, “Introduction: The Mormons in Mexico,” 11.

[41] Pulido, 101.

[42] Esther L. Spencer, “History of Dayer LeBaron,” 71, Kirk Allen Watson Papers, University of Utah, Special Collections. 4

[43] D. Michael Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” in Fundamentalism and Society: Reclaiming the Sciences, the Family, and Education, ed. Martin E. Marty and Scott Appleby (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 247.

[44] Dormady, “Introduction: The Mormons in Mexico,” 11-12; “Tightknit Mormon Community Mourns Women and Children Killed in Horrific Attack in Mexico,” The Washington Post, November 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/11/05/every-family-is-affected-tight-knit-mormon-community-mourns-women-children-killed-northern-mexico/

[45] Tullis, Martyrs in Mexico, 134, 137.

[46] Rubalcava, https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Mexico_and_Central_America,_the_Church_in

[47] “Se celebra el último Aniversario del Centro Escolar Benemérito de las Américas,”  Noticias, 20 Febrero 2013, laiglesiadejesucristo.org. https://noticias-mx.laiglesiadejesucristo.org/articulo/se-celebra-el-ultimo-aniversario-del-ceba

[48] President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Perpetual Education Fund,” Report of the 171st annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 2001,  churchofjesuschrist.org. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2001/05/the-perpetual-education-fund?lang=eng; Turley and Christensen, 208.

[49] “Mexico,” Facts and Statistics, Newsroom, churchofjesuschrist.org, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/mexico

[50] Agrícol Lozano Herrera, Historia del Mormonism en Mexico, (Mexico, D.F., Editorial Zarahemla, 1983), 96; Rubalcava, https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Mexico_and_Central_America,_the_Church_in

[51] Lozano, 96; Tullis, Mormons in Mexico, 159.

[52] Rubalcava, https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Mexico_and_Central_America,_the_Church_in

[53] Turley and Christensen, 191.

[54] Ibid, 196; “Temple List,” churchofjesuschrist.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/temples/list?lang=eng;

The Church Newsroom, Facts and Statistics, Mexico, “Country information: Mexico”, Deseret News Church Almanac (multiple almanacs from various years), Deseret News, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/mexico

[55] Turley and Christensen, 196.

[56] “Elder Horacio A. Tenorio of the Second Quorum of the Seventy,”  Church of Jesus Christ.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1989/05/news-of-the-church/elder-horacio-a-tenorio-of-the-second-quorum-of-the-seventy?lang=eng

[57] Marvin K. Gardner, “President Marion G. Romney, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/04/president-marion-g-romney-president-of-the-quorum-of-the-twelve-apostles?lang=eng.

[58] “Elder Jorge A. Rojas of the Seventy,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1991/05/news-of-the-church/elder-jorge-a-rojas-of-the-seventy?lang=eng.

[59] “Elder Benjamín de Hoyos,” General Authorities and General Officers, churchofjesuschrist.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/leader/benjamin-de-hoyos?lang=eng.

[60] “Elder Octavio Tenorio,” General Authorities and General Officers, churchofjesuschrist.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/leader/octaviano-tenorio?lang=eng.

[61] “Elder José L. Alonso,” General Authorities and General Officers, churchofjesuschrist.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/leader/jose-l-alonso?lang=eng.

[62] “Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela,” General Authorities and General Officers, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/leader/arnulfo-valenzuela?lang=eng.

[63] “Elder Moisés Villanueva,” Leader Biographies, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/elder-moises-villanueva.

[64] Turley and Christensen, 196.

[65] “Facts and Statistics, Mexico, Newsroom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/mexico.

[66] “Country information: Mexico”, Deseret News Church Almanac (multiple almanacs from various years), Deseret News. https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2010-01-29/country-information-mexico-67301.