From Bryan Pratt: Lester B. Whetten was born and raised in the Mormon Colonies in Northern Mexico. He served as the President of the Mexico Mission (later the Mexico City Mission) from 1973 to 1976.

Upon his arrival in Mexico City, he took his counselors and the assistants to a lodge at the base of Popocatepetl, the volcano that overlooks Mexico City. It was there that the first conference of the Church in Mexico was held in 1881, when the land of Mexico was dedicated for missionary work.

The purpose of this retreat was the setting of goals. In reviewing the accomplishments of the previous mission president, President Eran Call, President Whetten noted that two new stakes had been organized during the three years that President Call had served. President Whetten felt that setting a goal of organizing three new stakes would be a sufficiently ambitious one.

That night, President Whetten had a dream in which he saw the organization of twelve new stakes, and the announcement of a temple. He related that the dream, "scared me to death!" However, he felt strongly prompted that the dream was a manifestation of the Lord's will, and related it the next morning to his counselors and assistants. It was agreed that this should be the goal for the mission.

By late 1975, only two new Stakes had been organized in the mission, and President Whetten conceded later that he felt very concerned about the ambitious goals he had set. Then in November, Elder Howard W. Hunter came to divide the 5 Mexico City stakes, which had grown to be very large. Instead of creating 3 to 5 new stakes, as had originally been anticipated, he created 10!

In April of 1976, in a leadership meeting in Mexico, the First Presidency announced that a temple would be built in Mexico City. President Whetten completed his three year mission as President shortly thereafter, with all of the seemingly impossible goals of just three years earlier accomplished.

I remember him speaking of this experience with great reverence and emotion just prior to his release. He was a great and visionary man, and it was a privilege to serve with him.