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Mormon Mexico City Temple Visitors' Center reopens

Published: Monday, Dec. 16 2013 10:00 a.m. MST

The visitors' center is located next to the Mexico City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormon Newsroom

Located in the shadow of the LDS Mexico City Mexico Temple, the Mexico City Temple Visitors’ Center was reopened Nov. 23 after being closed for remodeling.

The 19,000-square foot building is the third largest visitors’ center in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (following Temple Square and Washington D.C.) and features several theaters, missionary teaching rooms and a variety of gospel-themed exhibits.

“The Mexico City Temple Visitors’ Center was completely remodeled with new exhibits that emphasize the Savior Jesus Christ. Each exhibit has been designed to help visitors feel his love and strengthen their faith in him,” said Mark Lusvardi, of the Church’s missionary department.

Excitement has accompanied the recent reopening. Since Nov. 23, more than 20,000 guests have visited the center.

“While this beautiful newly remodeled visitors’ center will bless the lives of many church members in Mexico, it is also a wonderful way for members to introduce their family and friends to the gospel of Jesus Christ. On the first day the center was open to the public, more than 100 of those not of our faith requested missionaries to come to their homes to teach them,” said Brother Lusvardi.

Local leaders are thrilled with the initial response from patrons. The center averages between 55 to 95 self-referrals every day. Several families and individuals have come to the center, requested missionary lessons and have been baptized.

The Mexico City Temple Visitors’ Center “is a blessing for Mexico because it gives an opportunity for church members to come and learn more, to bring their friends and learn the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Mexico Area President Daniel L. Johnson, a member of the Seventy.

“I’ve never seen a visitors’ center as impressive as this center,” he added. “I invite everyone to come; it will be an unforgettable experience.”

Mexico is an anchor in the LDS Church with over 1.2 million members, more than 200 stakes and 12 temples. Appropriately, the visitors’ center features architectural patterns in stonework, glass stenciling and carpet that mirror patterns on the exterior of the neighboring temple.

The visitors’ center is distinctly Mexican. All exhibits are in Spanish and include original media developed specifically for a Mexican audience. It’s the first visitors’ center to include an entire exhibit area designed specifically for teaching gospel principles to children.

Display highlights include the beloved Christus statue of Jesus Christ — along with exhibits on prophets through the ages; gospel messages for children; and an Old Jerusalem-themed theater with various presentations on the life and mission of Christ.

Brother Lusvardi said that among the other exhibits, there is a beautiful new exhibit that teaches about the history of the LDS Church in Mexico. It begins with early leadership and chronicles the history of church members through the years. It concludes with a wonderful story about modern-day church pioneers.

“The level of spirituality in the center is unequal,” said the center’s director, Elder Duane Zobrist. “There are so many tools to bring the spirit into people’s’ lives, including ourselves.”

Elder Zobrist serves at the center with his wife, Sister Sharon Zobrist, along with two additional senior missionary couples and 24 full-time sister missionaries.

“This a beautiful place — it’s spectacular,” wrote visitor Judith Patino. “I shed tears of gratitude knowing in my heart that the church is true and that God’s plan of salvation can make us happy.”

jswensen@desnews.com

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