News Release

Church Donates US$1 Million to Hurricane Relief in Acapulco

‘The need is huge,’ says Elder Bednar during Mexico ministry

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with government leaders in Mexico City on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, to discuss ongoing hurricane relief efforts in Acapulco during his ministry in Mexico.

The Church of Jesus Christ is providing a US$1 million donation for hurricane relief efforts in Acapulco, Mexico, after Hurricane Otis, a Category 5 storm, hit the area at the end of October.

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“The need is huge. Very little is left standing. Estimates are that many of all the structures have been seriously damaged,” said Elder Bednar following his meeting with the military generals.

“The leaders were very welcoming, and frankly, they were somewhat surprised at the organization and capacity we have in the Church to be responsive,” Elder Bednar said.

“We described to them what we have already done, what we are in the process of doing, and the things that we might be able to do to continue to assist in that disaster relief,” he added. 

The Church is collaborating with the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), Fundación Azteca, the Mexican Red Cross (Cruz Roja Mexicana), Save the Children and World Vision.

The Church has distributed about 40 tons of food, water and cleaning kits to benefit thousands of families in the state of Guerrero on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

“We should be ever vigilant in our prayers and in providing whatever support we can as we pay our fast offerings [and] contribute to the [Church] Humanitarian Fund,” said Elder Bednar. “Such contributions will bless the people in Acapulco.”

Outreach in Hidalgo

Elder Bednar and his wife Susan traveled to Pachuca in the Mexican state of Hidalgo for an interfaith luncheon on Wednesday.

“There was a spirit of collaboration to ensure that we can work together to protect religious freedom,” Elder Bednar said.

“We are dedicated to the promotion and protection of religious freedom as a human right,” said Cristian Badillo, director general of Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa.

Cristian Badillo, director of Conciencia National, speaks with the media after an interfaith luncheon in Pachuca in the Mexican state of Hidalgo on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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“We have a program on training religious leaders and helping them to create interfaith councils, and we also have a program on training public officials and legislators to protect in the law the religious freedom,” said Badillo.

“It is beautiful that those of us who believe in God, who believe in Jesus Christ, really treat each other like brothers and sisters,” said Catholic Priest Usbaldo Castaño, president of the Interreligious Council of Hidalgo. “Having these interreligious councils has been a very important experience, not only because we work on causes that unite us, but also because it has allowed us to see each other as brothers and sisters.”

Following the luncheon, the Apostle had a meeting with Julio Menchaca, the governor of the state at the Governmental Palace of Hidalgo in Pachuca.

“We talked about the announcement of two houses of the Lord in the state of Hidalgo — one in Tula and one in Pachuca,” he said. “We discussed the benefits and blessings of the two temples not only for the members of the Church but also for the citizens of this state.”

There are 24 temples in Mexico in operation, under construction or announced.

Mexico Missionary Training Center

Elder Bednar helped welcome government leaders and foreign diplomats to the Mexico Missionary Training Center on Thursday during an open house. Missionaries are celebrating the center’s 10th anniversary. Missionaries learn the Spanish language at the facility.

Elder Bednar said one of his first assignments as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was overseeing the Church’s work in Mexico.

“We have been in Mexico frequently, and we love to come back,” he concluded.

The Bednars will travel to Cuidad Juárez on Friday to meet with missionaries and Latter-day Saints in special meetings as Elder Bednar wraps up his ministry this weekend.

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