by Matthew G. Geilman, Church History Department
The Mormon colonies in northern Mexico, like contemporaneous Mormon settlements in Canada, mark a unique moment in Latter-day Saint history when nineteenth-century Saints took the pioneering and colonizing spirit beyond the borders of the United States and established footholds that have blessed the Church for more than a century. Mexico’s Mormon colonies,1 founded near the northern Sierra Madre mountains in 1885, manifest an enduring legacy of faith, sacriﬁce, self-reliance, and contribution to the kingdom of God. Many members of the Church have ties to the colonies, descended from ancestors who lived there or claiming friends who call the colonies home.
If today you were to cross the border into Mexico from El Paso, Texas—or from Columbus, New Mexico—and then drive southwest about three and a half hours through long rural areas of the state of Chihuahua, you would come upon the ﬁrst of the still-functioning Mormon colonies, Colonia Dublán. Having passed through a handful of small towns representative of Mexican culture and architecture—with central plazas and arch-ways, bright colors, picturesque shops, signs in Spanish, tortillerías, and ethnic foods and music all around—you would tell yourself that you were several hours into Mexico. Yet as you entered Dublán, you undoubtedly would be surprised by some of its features—the wide streets in a grid configuration; the beautiful red-brick houses dotting the community.
Typical of many American homes of the late nineteenth century, the brick houses might appear to have been plucked from historic Utah towns and hidden away in northern Mexico, preserved from time. You would pause before the beautifully restored Relief Society building (the Culto Verde), a cemetery with the sign “La Iglesia de Jesu-cristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días”(of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and a number of large structures, including an old adobe mill—no longer in use but a symbol of past industry and determination. You would see a modern white-brick LDS meetinghouse and, behind it, an elementary school that was once operated by the Church but that now belongs to the community. You would also notice, on the outskirts of town, the thriving peach, apple, and pecan orchards in neatly cultivated rows, evidence of an ongoing labor over several generations. You might traverse old abandoned train tracks leading back to the United States, and you might sense the meaning these tracks once held for many faithful people.
As you departed Dublán you would almost immediately drive through Nuevo Casas Grandes, a city of about 100,000 residents; next would come a much smaller and older community called Casas Grandes, home to the ancient ruins known as Paquimé. And if you left Casas Grandes traveling the rural road heading southwest, you would be on your way to Colonia Juárez. The country feeling of being surrounded by valley farms with mountains in the distance might cause you once again to question whether you were in Mexico.
Then as you leave valley farms behind and climb further into hills now seemingly covered with orchards, you might draw in your breath as, rounding a bend, you watch a new valley suddenly come into view. Nestled into the foothills is a thriving, cultivated community of gridded streets, red-brick homes, and mature trees. Your attention is immediately drawn to the majestic Colonia Juárez Chihuahua Mexico Temple on a slight rise overlooking the small community.
Just below the temple you see a cluster of school buildings forming part of the Juárez Academy, a Church school in operation since 1897 and still teeming with students from Colonia Juárez and surrounding towns.
You might correctly surmise that the natural valley surrounding Colonia Juárez has helped preserve the community as an even more isolated and protected site than Dublán. Again, as in Dublán, you feel you have stepped back in time. You see the old scout lodge (what is left of the first meeting house in Juárez), the swinging bridge, and the tithing house. And high on the hill outside town, you see the original aqueduct used to divert water to the orchards.
It still rests on train rails raised upright, and it continues to bring water across the gulley so that trees on both sides of town get needed runoﬀ from the mountains.
If someone were with you in both Dublán and Juárez to attach old homes to families, you might even start to recognize such names as the Whettens, Romneys, Joneses, Calls, Eyrings, and Johnsons. Most of today’s colonists are descendants of original settlers; the others, through marriage, have joined their lives to the legacy of the colonies.
Although generalizations about contemporary colonists are insuﬃcient and unfair, you might find the colonists to be self-reliant, hardworking, and independent, possessing dry wit and down-to-earth approaches to life. You would undoubtedly recognize that they are well-educated, capable people who have learned to live with one foot in each of two worlds.
Indeed, many have dual citizenship in Mexico and the United States. In one moment, a colonist might be speaking to you in English, sounding as if she were from an average Utah community. In the next, she might be addressing a friend in Spanish, clearly underscoring her linguistic and cultural identity as Mexican.
These colonial descendants of Mormon pioneers have a rich and beautiful history. What one observes today in the Mormon colonies remaining in Mexico is the fruit of seeds planted more than 130 years ago. The history also includes the exodus of colonists to the United States during the Mexican Revolution, the return of colonists following the “exodus,” and the eventual building of the temple in Colonia Juárez.
Founding the Colonies: A Dual Purpose
The beginnings of the Mormon colonies in Mexico suggest a paradigm for their entire history, a paradigm emphasizing the purpose and meaning of the original colonies as well as of the colonies’ legacy today. During the 1880s the Saints’ collective need for places of refuge from the federal crusade against polygamy was clearly a motivating factor for colonizing areas of Mexico and Canada. This factor contributed significantly to the founding and growth of the colonies, especially early on.
But from the beginning there were other motivations for settling in Mexico, such as missionary work and expanding the reach of Zion. Long term, these were the enduring principles guiding the history and legacy of the mexican colonies through the present day.
As early as the Nauvoo period, there were indications that the Church eventually would expand south beyond US borders. Brigham Young once stated,
“I look forward to the time when the settlements of Latter-day Saints will extend right through to the City of Old Mexico, and from thence on through Central America to the land where the Nephites flourished in the golden era of their history, and this great backbone of the American Continent be filled, north and south, with the cities and temples of the people of God.”2
As the first missionary party into Mexico was organized in 1874, the dual purposes of proselytizing and of establishing colonies became apparent.
Brigham told the departing elders “that the time had come to prepare for the introduction of the gospel into Mexico; that there were millions of the descendants of Nephi in the land, and that we were under obligations to visit them.”3
In addition Brigham advised the missionaries “to keep a record of their travels and labors and to report to him any places which they thought suitable to establish settlements, giving a careful description of each, and the advantages they oﬀered.”4
Prior to their departure the missionaries were instructed by Orson Pratt to “look out for places where our brethren could go and be safe from harm in the event that persecution should make it necessary for them to get out of the way for a season.”5
In preparation for the mission, portions of the Book of Mormon were translated into Spanish,6 and in 1875 the group of eight missionaries7 began their journey by horseback from Salt Lake to El Paso and on into Chihuahua.8 Soon they had convened the first public meeting of the Church in Mexico, mailed copies of Trozos Selectos del Libro de Mormón (Short Selections from the Book of Mormon)9 throughout the country, and met with political oﬃcials, including the governor of Chihuahua, to discuss purchasing land in the territory.10
The missionaries carefully fulfilled the responsibility to take note of the places they were traveling through. As one example, when they traveled through the Casas Grandes area on their return trip to Salt Lake—the area where colonies later would be established—one of the missionaries noted, “town derives its name (Big Houses) from some prehistoric ruins which are near the present village. . . . Some of these ancient buildings must have been large and several stories in height.”11
Wrote another, “Everything points to the fact that at some time in by-gone generations, quite a prosperous community dwelt here.”12
W. Jones, recorded that because “the district of country we had been passing through [Casas Grandes] appeared to be the most desirable for colonizing, . . . we made diligent inquiries about lands, titles, [and] conﬂicting water interests.” With notes in hand about what they had learned, the party promptly “reported to Pres. Young on our arrival home.13
As Jones had earlier explained to one Mexican oﬃcial, “Our duty was to travel through the country and visit with and explain to the people our principles and make friends with them, in anticipation that some of our people would, in time, come into this country and make homes.”14 Jones later observed that those called to Mexico had gone among the Mexican people “with the spirit of true friends and as colonizing missionaries.”15
One of Jones’s companions declared, “I felt a desire also on our return to have my family with me and remain among them [the Mexican people], as it seemed as though a work of a lifetime was before us.”16
Just a few years later, in 1879, as a direct result of the ﬁrst mission into Mexico, correspondence had opened between John Taylor and a man who had received a copy of the Book of Mormon sent by the original missionaries.17 The decision was made to send Elder Moses Thatcher, a new member of the Quorum of the Twelve, to dedicate Mexico for the preaching of the gospel and to officially open the nation to missionary work.
Elder Thatcher and his companions, James Stewart and Melitón Trejo, traveled to Mexico City and, on November 15, 1879, met in a room of the Hotel Iturbide to oﬀer the dedicatory prayer. In it, he expressed his desire for the Saints to establish colonies in Mexico so that, through their inﬂuence, “salvation [might] come to many of the inhabitants of the republic, and especially to the remnants of Israel.”18 Like the earlier missionaries to Mexico, Thatcher believed that if the Church were to spread through that land, colonies needed to be established there.
So strongly did Thatcher and his companions feel about the rightness of this course that Thatcher was sent back to Salt Lake to propose to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve that the Church pursue colonization efforts in Mexico. Perhaps to Thatcher’s surprise, Church leaders determined that while Mormon settlements might eventually be established in Mexico, the time for such action had not yet arrived.
Knowing that the news would be diﬃcult for his companions to hear, Elder Thatcher wrote a letter expressing his feelings about why their proposal had been rejected. His words provide a great lesson for anyone who has had a spiritual conﬁrmation that subsequently seems unconfirmed or unfulfilled. “Regarding this matter,” he wrote, “I have reflected much since my return. And came to the final conclusion that the Spirit of God prompted us while expressing our views before I left you. But I now understand. . . that when the Elders are inspired to have even a peep into the future, the Holy Ghost[,] by a partial removal of the veil, makes things that may actually, in a natural way, be distant seem very, very close to us. . . . We were only a little overanxious as to time.”19
Elder Thatcher returned to Mexico City and he and his companions met for another prayer, this time on Mount Popocatepetl, to re-dedicate Mexico for the preaching of the gospel of Christ. This time, colonization was not part of the prayer.20 With the benefit of hindsight, both dedications of Mexico now seem relevant.
By the end of 1884 anti-polygamist persecution in the United States had become so intense that many plural families in the Church found themselves in desperate need of relief. Families seemed at constant risk of being torn apart; removed from wives and children, family heads were being sent to prison.
In December 1884 Church leaders in Arizona were assigned via a letter from Presidents John Taylor and George Q. Cannon to look in Sonora or Chihuahua for “a place of refuge . . . to which our people can flee.”21 By February 1885 the first groups of LDS settlers began to enter Mexico, and within a few months hundreds more had crossed the border in search of relief and freedom.22
Eunice Steward Harris recorded, “It seemed there were only two courses for us to choose between and be safe. One was to go to Mexico where all the family could go, but where the prospects financially were not very good, or go to Canada where a man could go and live in peace the principle which we had entered at so great a sacrifice together.”23 Of her family’s transition to Mexico, Amy Theressa Richardson wrote, “Very soon we set out for Snowflake to prepare for our flight, not into Egypt, but to Old Mexico. I tell you the road was not strewn with roses, neither was it all thorns. Going into a strange land among a diﬀerent people and a new government was not a sweet dream. But there was a jolly crew of us and we had many good evenings of entertainment on the way.”24
As LaVon Whetten has pointed out, “to Mexico was certainly not easy. To help put it into perspective, the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, was greater than that covered by the Saints when they traveled from Council Bluﬀs, Iowa, to the Salt Lake Valley.”25 Even for those who, like the Richardsons, traveled from Snowflake, Arizona, the trip could take a month.26 But challenges of the journey paled in comparison to those of finding and purchasing land, and Church leaders who orchestrated the migration.27
Original hopes of purchasing land for the Saints so that they could begin building homes and establishing their lives were soon dashed. Land parcels with clear title were rare, and prospective land deals continually fell through. Repeated official trips by Church leaders to El Paso and Mexico City resulted in little apparent progress. By mid-1885, meanwhile, the number of LDS settlers in Mexico had swollen to several hundred, virtually all of them in temporary camps, and their despair grew as supplies and resources began to diminish.
Their greatest fear was that they would be unable to plant crops before the end of the season. Nelle Spilsbury Hatch stated, “Only those who have hoped and waited can know the anxiety with which these pioneers looked for the announcement that the anticipated purchase of land had been finally concluded.”28
Despite previous agreements made between Church leaders and government officials in Mexico City, at one point local officials issued an expulsion order in response to the alarming number of US nationals entering Mexico. Calamity was averted when Moses Thatcher made an emergency trip to Mexico City to counsel with officials there, but the situation itself evinces the uncertainty and despair of the waiting settlers.29
After several more weeks dragged by, Erastus Snow was impelled to provide strong encouragement. “Do not any of you think that you or the Presidency made any mistake in your coming here,” he declared. “This is a forward movement, and you will stay here and show a willingness to obey the laws of the land. You in this land must not live on each other, but with each other, then you will prosper and be ready for the Savior.”30
Regarding this difficult time, Clarence F. Turley observed, “The Saints were in despair, but with that true pioneer spirit they continued to look to the future with faith,” meeting all hardships “with patience.”31
Finally, by early fall 1885, Mexican lands were secured for the waiting colonists. As LaVon Whetten explains, “A conditional contract had been signed for the purchase of three separate tracts. The colonists were to receive 50,000 acres on the Piedras Verdes River where Colonia Juárez was later founded. In addition, they dealt for 7,000 acres near La Asension where Colonia Díaz was built, and 60,000 acres, chiefly of timber land, in the Sierra Madres.”32
As would be imagined, once property was obtained the colonists immediately began preparing land for the coming spring. But not all eﬀorts paid oﬀ. The following May, Colonia Juarez settlers faced a challenge that would have tested the grit of the strongest pioneer. After spending the entire spring preparing fields and working within committees to construct a meetinghouse, map out the town, and build a canal, the settlers discovered an error in the survey of their land purchase.
They had been working land two miles away from the property they actually owned, merely improving the holdings of one of the largest landholders in the state of Chihuahua.33
Fortunately, the owner allowed them to stay on the land until their crops were harvested and transported. But the prospect of resettling in the small, narrow, rocky valley to which they were compelled to move did not leave them with much optimism.
Nelle Spilsbury Hatch captured well the feelings of her discouraged fellow Saints as they gathered in prayer at their new townsite, negative feelings soon replaced by divine inspiration enabling them to continue forward: “The heavy cloud of depression that settled on the spirits of these valiant colonists when they inspected the new townsite, seemed impossible to disperse. That this narrow, rocky valley, little more than a river bed, should be regarded as the ‘place prepared’ for them was too much for their imagination. Thus depressed, they gloomily bowed their heads at the first gathering to join in a prayer of dedication by Moses Thatcher. But with the first words of the prayer pulses quickened—something stirred within them as they heard that low pleading voice lay their problems before their Maker and ask for strength and wisdom to solve them. As Apostle Thatcher’s fervency warmed, the details of their problems were laid bare, it seemed that a conversation was taking place, that the quiet firm voice was speaking to a divine parent.
Their spirits were lifted and a new vision opened before them. The ‘Amen’ was chorused and they looked out on a changed world. Problems somehow seemed vastly shrunken; barriers seemed but challenges which if taken one by one could be hurdled and be the means of gaining additional strength.”34
The prayer offered by Moses Thatcher marked a turning point for those present. In many ways, his words—barriers seemed but challenges which, if taken one by one, could be hurdled as a means to additional strength— became a kind of thematic rallying point during the years that followed.
The settlers in Mexico were establishing themselves in a land far removed from Church headquarters, and they were immersing themselves in a culture, language, and legal system completely foreign to them. In some cases they were required to farm less-than-desirable land; it was an ongoing challenge to develop strong communities. But they went to work and created something beautiful and enduring.
The industry and vision of these pioneer colonists comprise one of the most inspirational aspects of their story. The settlers outlasted impoverishment and failure—homes and lands lost to persecution, marriage and family threatened by US law, and months of false starts and waning hopes in Mexico—to create prosperous, self-reliant communities in only a matter of years.
Nelle Hatch’s description of Colonia Juárez is representative of what occurred in all the Mexican colonies: “Capitalizing on natural resources and recognizing individual aptitudes for developing them was the answer. It was not long until the community could boast of a sawmill in the mountains, a gristmill below town, a cattle breeding business with butcher shop, tannery, a shoe and harness shop, and dairy as by-products, a co-op store, a tin shop, and a hotel, besides various minor concerns. . . . Industrialism on a small scale gradually changed the aspect of the little town to that of a prosperous, thriving and happy community.”35
The themes of making do and, where possible, making better or making new were fundamental to the pioneer spirit with which the colonists of northern Mexico were fully endowed. As noted in a newspaper in Ciudad Juárez at the time, “It may be said that among the 3,000 souls from the colonies of Díaz, Pacheco, and Dublán there is not a single drunkard, gambler or vagabond. The efforts of all are concentrated for their mutual welfare. They have worked like the ants ardently and constantly. They are not land speculators in disguise but people accustomed to the field—laborers—and among them are some artisans who are masters of their professions. They arrive in the Republic with one wagon or two as the case may be, each with its respective team, [and with their] animals [and] their tools and implements of agriculture and industry which constitute the only capital that many of them possess. But they bring with them something of more value than gold or bank notes and that is the love of labor.”36
That “love of labor” produced cities, homes, businesses, and agricultural success. Collectively, the Mormon colonies were communities of industry and attainment, receiving awards and recognition for the quality of their produce and commodities at regional and national fairs.37 By 1890,in Colonia Juárez alone, 17,000 trees had been planted in orchards and for shade, together with 5,000 grape vines.38
As in virtually all Mormon settlements, education was a primary gift to the rising generations in northern Mexico. Within a short time of their arrival there, the Saints made provisions to school their children. As was true elsewhere, the first classrooms were rudimentary and temporary, but these were soon replaced by comfortable and more permanent structures. In November of 1892, Karl G. Maeser, often called the father Church schools, “visited the colonies and adopted the schools at Colonia Juárez, Colonia Díaz, and Colonia Dublán into the General Church School system.”39
By 1897 the Juárez Stake Academy was created to provide additional educational opportunities beyond the elementary grades, and then in 1905 a beautiful new building was erected, which still stands today as the central building on the Church-owned campus.
Prosperity, the Mexican Revolution, and the Aftermath
In the end, nine colonies were established: “the plateau colonies of Juárez (for Benito Juárez) , Díaz (for Porﬁ rio Díaz) , and Dublán ; [and] the mountain colonies of Cave Valley , Pacheco (for Díaz’s minister of war who had been so friendly to Moses Thatcher) , Garcia , and Chuichupa , all in the state of Chihuahua; [and] the semi-tropical colonies of Oaxaca  and Morelos ” in the state of Sonora.40
From 1885 until 1912 the colonies grew, developed, and experienced prosperity and general security, with their total population reaching as high as 4,000.41 But by 1912, the political environment of Mexico had changed drastically as the country had become engulfed in revolution. Rebellion forces overran the very areas where the colonies were located, placing settlers in continuous peril and difficulty. Although they initially sought to endure the risks and maintain their homes and property, the settlers faced escalating danger.
Not only were they losing land and produce to the rebel forces, they were forced to give up ﬁrearms and ammunition as well. At this point, local Church leaders determined to evacuate women and children immediately to El Paso. Shortly thereafter their hard-won homes, lands, and belongings.
The following years were turbulent and challenging ones for Mexico. Ongoing revolutionary conﬂicts made life in Mexico diﬃcult, and many of the original Mormon settlers never returned, choosing instead to rebuild their lives, once again, in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and even as far north as Canada. Indeed, some of the forces that had impelled them southward to Mexico had disappeared during the twenty-five years of their settlement. Plural marriage was no longer practiced by the Church,42 and the need for refuge from discriminatory law had evaporated. This, combined with uncertainties of life in Mexico, initially appeared to draw this chapter of Church history to a close.
But a relatively small group of the colonists, ultimately just a few hundred in number,43 refused to let what they had built slip away and returned to their homes, some within weeks of the original exodus of 1912. Clearly, these colonists faced very real and constant challenges and dangers. There were perpetual conflicts with Mexican troops, both rebel and Federal. The colonists even had brushes with the infamous Pancho Villa and lived to tell the tale.44 Truly, they weathered storms that few would be able to endure.
Nevertheless, the colonies in Sonora were abandoned in the years following the Mexican Revolution. In Chihuahua, Colonia Díaz had been burned to the ground during the fighting and was never rebuilt. The isolation of the mountain colonies—their distance from good schools, doctors, and businesses—made continuation diﬃcult and growth impossible.
In the end, Colonia Dublán and Colonia Juárez were the only two that endured. To this day, they stand as witnesses of pioneer spirit, industry, and faith. The layout of each community, their red-brick homes, their modern-day pioneers who still call the colonies home—these are vestiges of the past. But they also underscore the colonies’ bright present of new buildings, advanced agricultural practices, fruit co-op installations, and modern schools.
The colonies in Mexico have produced numerous missionaries, mission presidents, temple presidents, and General Authorities—faithful men and women who have served throughout Latin America and the world. The colonies in Mexico were conceptualized with a dual purpose—as launching points for missionary work in Mexico and Latin America and as places of refuge. Over the last century and more, the story of the colonies evinces the fulfillment of both purposes. They have been a refuge for a self-reliant, Zion people who have tirelessly proclaimed the gospel abroad.45
It was on a trip back to El Paso from Colonia Juárez that President Gordon B. Hinckley received the revelation about building small temples, a revelation which has blessed the entire Church.46 One of those small temples now graces the very place that invited the revelation. Perhaps the Colonia Juárez Temple is the greatest witness to the commitment and faith of pioneers who pushed beyond the United States border to fulﬁll foundational prophecies of a worldwide Church. In this sense, the hilltop temple in Colonia Juárez is a beautiful symbolic bridge between the rich past and the bright future of the Mormon colonies in northern Mexico.
- Several helpful books have been written by individuals from the colonies including Nelle Spilsbury Hatch, Colonia Juárez: An Intimate Account of a Mormon Village (1954), Annie R. Johnson, Heartbeats of Colonia Díaz (1972), Thomas Cottam Romney, The Mormon Colonies in Mexico (1938; reprinted 2005), Clarence F. and Anna Tenney Turley, History of the Mormon Colonies in Mexico: The Juárez Stake, 1885–1980 (1996), and LaVon Brown Whetten, Colonia Juárez: Commemorating 125 Years of the Mormon Colonies in Mexico (2010).
- Brigham Young to William C. Staines, 11 Jan 1876, Letterbook 14:124–26, as cited in Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses (1985), 382.
- Daniel W. Jones, Forty Years among the Indians: A True Yet Thrilling Narrative of the Author’s Experience among the Natives (1890), 220.
- James Z. Stewart, report “written by Elder James Z. Stewart, one of the first Latter-day Saint Missionaries to Mexico,” Manuscript History and Historical Reports: Mexican Mission, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Stewart, report.
- The original translation of the Book of Mormon into Spanish was a partial translation of only a hundred pages or so (see n. 9).
- Daniel W. Jones, his son Wiley C. Jones, James Z. Stewart, Helaman Pratt (son of Apostle Parley P. Pratt), Robert H. Smith, Ammon M. Tenney, and Anthony W. Ivins.
- Originally the missionaries planned to enter the state of Sonora, but local residents informed them of ensuing battles among the Yaqui Indians there. Thus, the missionaries went further east to Texas and down into Chihuahua (Jones 250).
- Trozos selectos del Libro de Mormon; que es una narracion escrita por la mano de Mormon, sobra placas tomada de las placas de Nephi . . . . Traducido al Ingles por Jose Smith, Jun. Traducido al Espanol por Meliton G. Trejo y Daniel W. Jones. Impreso para Daniel W. Jones en imprenta del Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 1875.
- Jones 277.
- Anthony Ivins, Journal, 12 May 1876, Church History Library.
- James Z. Stewart, Journal, 12 May 1876, Church History Library.
- Jones 290.
- Jones 268.
- Jones 288.
- Report on mission, 5 October 1876, Manuscript History and Historical Reports: Mexican Mission, Church History Library.
- For information about the conversion of Plotino C. Rhodakanaty, see F. LaMond Tullis, Mormons in Mexico: Dynamics of Faith and Culture (1987), 34–5.
- Moses Thatcher, Journal, 4 December 1879, BYU Digital Collections, 2:48.
- Moses Thatcher, Letter to James JZ. Stewart, 5 April 1880, James Z. Stewart Collection, Church History Library.
- See Moses Thatcher, Journal 6 April 1881, BYU Digital Collections, 3:39-40.
- As cited in Romney 51.
- Tullis 54.
- Eunice Stewart Harris, “Autobiography,” 26 as cited in Tullis 55. Canada as a haven for plural families were among the early settlers of Alberta in 1887, but the Canadian government had outlawed polygamy by November 1888.
- As cited in Johnson 20.
- Whetten 11.
- Turley 25–6.
- Elders Brigham Young, Jr. Erastus Snow, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, George Teasdale, John W. Taylor, and Moses Thatcher were all closely involved (Turley 27).
- Hatch 17–8.
- Romney 57–9.
- Turley 36.
- Turley 36, 29.
- Whetten 16.
- Hatch 23–24.
- Hatch 25.
- Hatch 29.
- From an article published in the “Revista Internacional” of Ciudad Juárez, as cited in Romney 71.
- Hatch 105–111.
- Turley 43.
- Whetten 29.
- Tullis 56.
- For the subject of plural marriage in the colonies, see Barbara Jones Brown, “The 1910 Mexican Revolution and the Rise and Demise of Mormon Polygamy in Mexico,” in Just South of Zion, eds. Jason H. Dormady and Jared M. Tamez (2015) 23–38.
- Romney 235.
- Whetten 57–59.
- For one example of unity in the colonies, see Daniel L. Johnson, “Becoming a True Disciple,” October 2012 LDS General Conference.
- Dell Van Orden, “Inspiration came for smaller temples on trip to Mexico,” Church News, 1 Aug 1998; Richard O. Cowan and Virginia Hatch Romney, The Colonia Juárez Temple: A Prophet´s Inspiration (2009).