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Agricol Lozano Herrera: Mexican Mormon Church Leader

Agricol Lozano Herrera was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormon Church.) He was a Mormon pioneer, being one of the first full-time missionaries in Mexico. The eldest of 13 children, he was born in 1927 in Tula, which was formally Tula de Allende, a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central eastern Mexico.

Mexican mormon leader Agricol Lozano Herrera Agricol’s father, also named Agricol, became a member of the Church after hearing about Mormonism from Agricol’s mother. Agricol’s mother was once an employee of Rafael Monroy who is remembered by Latter-day Saints in Mexico as a martyr of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Monroy became a member of the Church in 1913. He was ordained a Branch President by Rey Lucero Pratt who is often referred to as the “Father of the Mexican Mission,” having served for 23 years as President of the Mexican Mission ad for six years as a General Authority. Monroy was taken prisoner by the Liberation Army of the South (Zapatistas) in 1915. When asked to show his weapons, he held up the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ) and said, “These are the only weapons I carry” (quoted in the Church News, 17 December 1994.) He was executed along with his fellow Latter-day Saint leader, Vincente Morales, in 1915 in San Marcos, Hidalgo, because they refused to renounce their faith.

As a child, Agricol often helped his father in the brick-laying business. He went to Mexico City to become a professional soccer player, but he never made the team. He eventually became a missionary for the Church, serving two full-time missions for the Church in Mexico. After his mission he worked as a custodian at the Museum of Anthropology and History of Mexico. While on a trip to the Mesa Arizona Temple in the 1940’s he heard a sermon from Spencer W. Kimball and decided to pursue a life as a lawyer and an advocate from the indigenous people of Mexico. He received his law degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). For many years he was the Chief Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico and was one of the key figures in getting the Church legal recognition in the country in 1993. Because of his outspokenness he was once imprisoned by the Mexican government.

Agricol was also a poet and his poetry “has been compared to that of Walt Whitman and his full force living of the teaching of the LDS Church to that of Orson Pratt and Parley P. Pratt” (from Deseret News, 5 March 1995.) He is also the author of several books which includes Historia del Mormonismo en México [The History of Mormonism in Mexico] (1983) which is aggressive in its assertion that the Mexican people have a special place as part of the House of Israel as descendants of Lehi in the Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ.) His other writings include: Jesús el Cristo en la Biblia [Jesus the Christ in the Bible] (1983) and La Apostasia [The Apostasy] (1982). In 1980 he wrote Historia de la Iglesia en México [History of the Church in Mexico] which has the same general subject and theme as his 1983 book.

He was the first Latino to serve as a Stake President in Mexico. He became President of the Mexico City North Stake in 1967. Prior to that, he served as a Counselor in the first Stake Presidency in Mexico City. Due to rapid Church growth and division of Stakes from time to time, he was also called to serve as Stake President of other stakes. He also served as President of the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission and as a Regional Representative of the Twelve Apostles. He was also involved with the Church school board in Mexico, and he served as the President of the México City México Temple from 1993 to 1997.

Agricol Lozano Herrera married Maliche Gómez, a native of Tampico, a city and port in the state of Tamaulipas, located in the southeastern part of the state, directly north across the border from Veracruz. They had six children. He died on 29 July 1999.

In a sermon given in Mexico in November 1997, President Gordon B. Hinckley, then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this about Agricol Lozano Herrera:

I like to see Brother Agricol Lozano among us. He is the all-time president of the Temple, he has served during more time than required, and he has done a wonderful work. I want to express to him in front of all of you, the love the Church has for him because of the excellent service he has done, may the Lord bless him because of his service on the Temple. I have been coming to Mexico many times, sister Hinckley said this is her first chance to come to Mexico, I have been here for many times. During the 39 years that I have been a General Authority for the Church, Brother Lozano, in the past years, has been my assistant, my translator, my guide, my protector and my friend.