WWII Survivor, Mexican Revolution Prisoner, and Wife of an Apostle: 3 Inspiring Stories About Faithful LDS Women

María Guadalupe Monroy Mera

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María Guadalupe Monroy Mera was born on December 22, 1885 and spent the majority of her life in San Marcos, Hidalgo, Mexico. After Guadalupe and her sister met missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they yearned to learn more and developed what their mother called an “addiction to the Church of Jesus Christ.”[4] They were baptized in 1913 with their older brother, Rafael, as the first converts in the San Marcos area. A short time later, their mother was baptized, as were three other family members and two servants of the Monroy family. They endured deep persecution as a result.

In 1915, during the Mexican Revolution, rebels demanded that Rafael surrender his weapons and denounce his religion. They vowed that if he did not do this, he would die. Rafael denied having weapons and said, “I know that what I have received [the gospel] is true and I cannot renounce my religion.”[5] Guadalupe entered the scene and argued that her brother was innocent. “They did not listen,” she said, “but rather ordered that I be taken to jail.” Guadalupe’s two sisters were imprisoned as well.[6]

At length, soldiers called out the names of Rafael Monroy and Vicente Morales, a fellow branch leader and close family relative. They answered, “present,” and were gruffly pushed outside. “The rest of the prisoners just stared at each other,” Guadalupe reported. “Our hearts were beating hastily and a profound silence came over the prison. In this condition we found ourselves when we heard the detonation of gunshots and then suddenly another shot was fired. Our fainting and sobbing hearts were exploding. Immediately you could hear the laments of my mother, as she heard the firing of ammunition” which had murdered her son and Vicente. Guadalupe wrote, “The criminal acts of the enraged people were consummated! My mother returned home letting out her bitter and painful cry, while we, the three sisters, waited in jail for the cruelty and infamy of men.”[7]

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On June 11, 1913, Guadalupe Monroy Mera was baptized, along with two of her siblings. From left to right: Rafael Monroy Mera, Jovita Monroy Mera, and Guadelupe Monroy Mera. W. Earnest Young, the missionary who baptized them, is standing behind. 

Years later, emotions were still poignant: “The death of Rafael and Vicente afflicted our souls forever,” Guadalupe recorded. “Our hopes were lost, and all that we could do was cry and search the scriptures for something to comfort us.”[8] Guadalupe’s testimony and appreciation for the restored gospel continued to increase over time. “I have always testified of the joy that has come to my soul in these last days because of the restoration of the gospel by way of Joseph Smith,” she said.[9] Maria Guadalupe Monroy Mera passed away in San Marcos on January 20, 1965.

[4] Most of the information about Maria Guadalupe Monroy Mera’s life comes from a history of the San Marcos Branch of San Marcos, Hidalgo, Mexico, which she wrote in 1934. It gives a detailed account of her family’s history. The original manuscript is written in Spanish, and its translation into English is Barbara Morgan Gardner’s. Maria Guadalupe Monroy Mera, Historia de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los ultimos dias de la rama de San Marcos Hgo, 1934-1936, photocopy of holograph, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. A digital copy is available at “Guadalupe Monroy history of the San Marcos Branch, 1934-1936,” Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, accessed November 29, 2016, www.churchhistorylibrary.org.
[5] “Pratt,” Conference Report, April 1920, 91.
[6] Monroy, Historia, 32.
[7] Monroy, Historia, 33b.
[8] Monroy, Historia, Appendix, 131b.
[9] Monroy, Historia, Appendix, 123.

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Get your own copy of  Women of Faith In the Latter Days Vol. 4This groundbreaking series recounts the lives of women of faith and dedication in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Often in their own words, they share their trials, triumphs, and testimonies.

This fourth volume features women born between 1872 and 1900 whose stories explore a comparatively untapped era in Mormon history. This generation of Latter-day Saint women experienced firsthand the challenges of the Mexican Revolution, World War I, and World War II. They also witnessed the unprecedented global expansion of the Church and the first young women to serve as proselytizing missionaries.

The faith these women exhibited as they rejoiced in blessings and dealt with struggles provides a model for us today in facing our own challenges as we too strive to build lives of faith.

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