Dedicatory Prayers for Mexico

Although on 20 November 1879 during a meeting where some of the earliest converts in Central Mexico were baptized and ordained, Moses Thatcher had prayed for blessings “upon all political authorities, upon all government personnel, and upon all the Mexican people, to the end that the Mormon gospel would flourish among all people in Mexico, Central America, and South America,”[1] it was during two later meeting that Mexico was formally dedicated for missionary work. First, on January 25, 1880, Elder Moses Thatcher led a meeting where the land was dedicated both to missionary work and to colonization by Latter-day Saints.  Then, on April 6, 1881 a group of Latter-day Saints, including Silviano Artega, Fernando A. Lara, Ventura Páez, Lino Zárate, Feramorz Young, James Stewart, and at least two other Saints from the region ascended the volcanic mountain Popocatépetl for a special conference.  The spend the day beforehand climbing, with Moses Thatcher noting that evening that: “To mind nothing conveys to the human understanding and so forcibly impresses the human heart with the wonderful Greatness of God and insignificance and puny littleness of man as a contemplation of a glorious work of the Creator like mount Popocatepetl (Smoking mountain, so called by the Aztecs).”[2] In the morning, a “meeting was opened at 8 a.m. with prayer by Elder Stewart, who was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and prayed earnestly for such blessings as we were in need of. Bro. Artiago by his own request followed praying, while tears flowed down his wrinckled cheeks, for the deliverance of his race and people. With both hands extended heavenward, the sun shining on his brown face while the wind played among his gray hair and his knees pressed under his prone body the yielding sand of the mountains, we all rejoiced because of the peaceful, heavenly influence that pervaded our hearts and surrounded us in this hallowed Spot. I never heard any man prayed more earnestly, and though praying in a language which I do no comprehend, yet I seemed to understand by the Spirit, all that he was pleading for.”[3]  After the morning meeting, Moses Thatcher and three others ascended the volcano for another two hours, then Elder Thatcher offered the dedicatory prayer.

First Dedicatory Prayer (January 25, 1880)

We have arranged to go up into a little vacant room whose floor is on the roof of the hotel, and where we have several times previous prayed together and when we wished not to be disturbed have repaired and unto. We get the key that opens the door at the foot of the stairs, and locking every body out and ourselves in, we have a quiet peaceful time of reflection communication and prayer. … To day we especially desired to visit this rom and while here, dedicate this country, the republic of Mexico, counties and states, to the interest of colonization by the Latter Day Saints, and again to the servants of God who are and may be sent to preach and publish the Gospel of peace to the inhabitants of this land and country. We were prevented by the presence of Mr Sherwin, who stayed until the usual meeting time. At 5 pm however we suceeded and entering the room bowed down side by side and humbly besought the Lord God of Israel to hear our prayers and accept our dedication beseeching in the name of Jesus Christ.

I was first in suplication, and did dedicate the land of Mexico to God our heavenly Father and should it be his will, to the colonization, by His Saints of any and or all works thereof: that through them salvation <may> come to many of the inhabitants of the republic, and especially to the remnants of Israel, the poor forsaken Lamanites, who for so many centuries have knew nought but bondage and sorrow. I prayed, that from this hour the fetters which have so long bound their bodys and souls might be by the power of God broken and shaken off: that their leading thoughtful men might have dreams, visions and manifestations to prepare them and their brethren for the truths of the gospel and a knowledge of their fathers, who knew God. That as the coming of the Spanish Conquerors foreshadowed their downfall, so might the coming of the messengers of peace, bringing tidings of great joy, foreshadow their near approaching deliverance and quickly establish, under God, their supremacy. That as the first thoroughly conquered them with the sword, so may the latter even more effectively conquer their hearts with the words of truth and the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. I dedicated unto this end and for the good of God’s servant the lands the water the timbers and all surroundings and prayed that peace might hover over the face thereof, that violence might be removed and revolutions and the shedding of blood removed and that to this end the hearts of government officials and influential men of the nation might be softened and inclined to peace, instead of hardened and given to intrigues and war.[4]

Second Dedicatory Prayer (6 April 1881)

We were far above the perpetual snow lines as indicated on the North and West side of the Mountain and had reached a point probably between 15500 and 16000 feet above sea level. Here crowding close up to the frozen snow under the rocky cliff I read a few selections from the Book of Mormon, refering to the promises made to the remnants of Israel on this Continent, and to the Covenants made with their forefathers, and then bowing down upon our knees I earnestly besought God in the name of Jesus to speedily fulfill these things and bring the oppressed remnants to a knowledge of the truth as understood by their ancester who served the Lord. I dedicated the land to Peace that the seed of Jacob through the loins of Joseph might learn to truth and rejoice in the gospel of their salvation. I dedicated the Mountain upon which we were praying that it might become a holy place of worship when the sons of Joseph Should hereafter upon it, seek the Lord; that they might knock it have the door open, ask and receive. That prophets might arise among the Lamanites to lead the people to the light; that visions dreams and manifestations might be had in their midst; that their bondage might speedily end, their shackels be broken and they be made to rejoice in the freedom of the gospel. Unto this end I prayed for blessing to rest upon the Church, upon the priesthood, upon this mission and upon our administrations therein. I prayed that the day might speedily come when the scepter of power should pass from the hands of the unjust into the hands of the righteous, that the people might not longer mourn under the rule of the wicked; that Zion might arise and shine while God’s Kingdom bore rule. I also remembered our famalies during our absence, that they might be preserved in purity health & happiness.[5]


[1] F. LaMond Tullis, Mormons in Mexico: The Dynamics of Faith and Culture (Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 1987), 36.

[2] Moses Thatcher Journal, 5 April 1881

[3] Moses Thatcher Journal, 6 April 1881, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/MMD/id/29944/rec/4.

[4] Moses Thatcher Journal, January 25, 1880, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/MMD/id/32845/rec/4.

[5] Moses Thatcher Journal, April 6, 1881, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/MMD/id/29947/rec/4.

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