Sharing our Links to the Past
by Wally and Frances Gray

The Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Temple

(Dedicated March 6, 1999.)

The Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley on March 6, 1999. As President Hinckley said in the prayer, "It was here in Northern Mexico, that Thou didst reveal the idea and the plan of a smaller temple, complete in every necesssary detail, but suited in size to the needs and circumstances of the Church membership in this area of Thy vineyard. That revelation came of a desire and a prayer to help Thy people of these colonies who have been true and loyal during the century and more that they have lived here. They are deserving of this sacred edifice in which to labor for themselves and their forebears."

To read the dedicatory prayer of the temple by President Gordon B. Hinckley, go to: Dedicatory Prayer of Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Temple. A photo is included.

The temple is located on a hillside that overlooks the Juarez Stake Academy making it possible for students to look to the temple as their goal and inspiration. Property for the temple was donated by members of the Romney family: Kelly, Meredith and Nelly.

Colonia Juarez

By Viola Turley Haws
and printed in the Theodore Turley Family Newsletter, Volume 14 (May 1999)

Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico is part of our rich heritage, left to us as a landmark - an area where sweat and tears were shed by our brave pioneer ancestors, Isaac Turley Sr., and his two wives, Sarah Greenwood and Clara Ann Tolton, where they and many others settled in 1887. Their church leaders had counseled them to go south of the border to escape the severe persecution in the United States because of their religious beliefs. Colonia Juarez at that time was an unnamed, unsettled and univiting area of boulders, mesquite, and wild growth of trees which they cleared and made into an oasis tucked away between hills on the east and on the west, with the towering Sierra Madre Mountains in the background beyond the hills to the west.

Colonia Juarez had a special destiny, guided by our Heavenly Father, as evidenced by the many missionaries and mission leaders from there, who have served in all of the Spanish-speaking Americas. Through the years colony homes were opened to receive Lamanite young people who desired to attend the Juarez Stake Academy, located at the foot of the hills to the west of the valley. Many people have accepted the gospel as a result of all of those efforts in that land.

And now, Colonia Juarez has a further destiny -  a prophetic destiny it may be said, in the construction and dedication of the Majestic Temple, which will forever be a great blessing to the Lamanite people as well as to the descendants of those first pioneers who settled there, and the countless number of deceased ancestors of the Lamanites who are rapidly coming into the church!

Having been raised in that beautiful Colony, and my family having had close ties to that area, four members of my family and I drove there just a few weks ago, on March 4, 1999, for the very special occasion of the dedication of that Magnificent Temple. We were full of anticipation as we reached the colonies. It was after dark when we started down the dugway leading into Colonia Juarez from the east. When we finally reached the bend in the road that permitted a view of the Colony, the first glimpse of that Majestic Temple sitting on the western hillside, all lit up from its foundation to the statue of the Angel Mornoi atop the tall spire was indescribable! It was breath-taking! I choked back a sob - and through our tears, we stopped to absorb the beautiful sight!

On March 6th as President Gordon B. Hinckley prepared to offer the Dedicatory Prayer, he paused to explain that enroute from a former trip to the Colonies, he had received the inspiration (or revelation) regarding the building of smaller temples, and that because of the great pioneer effort in settling that area, and the good works that are yet in progress there, he felt that the people needed and deserved a temple! So he decided that it should be built on the hillside west of the Juarez Stake Academy where the youth as they study may feel the influence of that sacred edifice and thus maintain an influence for good in their lives.

The dedicatory services were most impressive. It was felt that heavenly choirs might have joined with beautiful harmony rendered by the choirs that furnished the music, and that unseen audiences were in attendance at those memorable services. Many tears were shed by people who felt the significance of that very special occasion - of the dedication of that elegant marble edifice - nothing short of a miracle! It is indeed a monument to the great sacrifices of those courageous and faithful pioneers who gave the best years of their lives, leaving a tremendous legacy for their posterity for future generations!

(About a quarter of a mile over rolling hills to the south of the temple in the town cemetery lie the graves of our three great ancestors, Isaac Turley Sr., and his two wives: Sarah Greenwood and Clara Ann Tolton.)

Dedicatory Prayer of Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Temple
Colonia Juarez Temple Schedule
About the Colonies, the Temple (Includes Photos)
President Hinckley's Comments on the Colonies & Temple Information
Isaac Turley, Sr. | Clara Ann Tolton | Sarah Greenwood
Home Page | Biographical Index


1998-2003 Wallace F. and Frances M. Gray. This web page may be freely linked. To contact us send to