News Release

More Than 8,000 Participate in International Congress of Families in Mexico

Elder Hugo Montoya, General Authority Seventy and President of the Mexico Area, spoke on the importance of the family in the Church of Jesus Christ

To provide tools to improve family relationships, the International Congress of Families 2024 was held in Guadalajara, Mexico, from March 1 to 3, 2024.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of the principal organizations of this event that brought together 8,000 visitors and featured more than 60 specialists and leaders of several national and international organizations dedicated to strengthening the family.

Elder Hugo Montoya, President of the Mexico Area, said that when it comes to strengthening the family, the sum of our differences makes us one and we can do more, “just like the fingers of our hands.”

On the first day of the congress Elder Montoya spoke in the panel entitled “Why Are We Here?” where other participants included Juan Carlos Flores, Secretary of Education of the State of Jalisco; His Eminence Mr. Cardinal D. José Francisco Robles, Archbishop of Guadalajara; Dr. José Félix Coronel, international director of Redime; and Dr. Allan Carlson, founder of the International Congress of Families.

Elder Montoya referred to the well-known adage “union makes strength” and applied it to the “great project of strengthening families.”

“We appreciate cultural diversity and respect individual differences, but when it comes to strengthening the family, we realize that the harmonious sum of our differences makes us one, and it is in unity that we can do more,” Elder Montoya said.

He also said that “strong families are the basic unit of a stable society, of a stable economy, of a stable culture of values. These principles and values properly taught in institutions, churches, schools, the media, but above all within families, will produce citizens and magistrates who respect laws and institutions, committed to strengthening their communities, families and their nation.”

Furthermore, Elder Montoya stressed, “those values ​​will produce children of God committed to their little brothers and sisters: those who are the most vulnerable and have physical or emotional challenges; those who have different abilities; those who migrate through countries looking for a better future. So, helping others will be a natural consequence of what has been experienced at home.”

On the second day of activities of this congress, Elder Montoya participated in the conversation called “Family and God,” where he shared his perspective on how families can find God today.

The conversation was moderated by Father Guillermo Serra, and other participants included Dr. Sonia Ortega, Philosopher and Theologian from the San Dámaso Ecclesiastical University of Madrid; Adriana Corona, communicator, writer and businesswoman; and Pastor Robert Barriger, founder of the Camino de Vida Church.

Elder Montoya stressed the need for unconditional love within the family. “Against love nothing prevails,” he said. “We must love our children unconditionally. We must respect their agency… but we must love them because Christ loved us first.”

He also shared his memories about the practice of faith in his family and how he invites families in general to strengthen their faith in God.

Reflecting on the challenges facing young people, he said “the answer is Jesus Christ. … He must be the center of our lives. That way young people will find hope in Christ.”

Interest in Family History

FamilySearch welcomed hundreds of visitors to its stand on the exhibitor floor. Most people wanted to know the origin and meaning of their surnames.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.