Ivins would spend the next twelve years in Mexico with his headquarters at Colonial Juarez, Chihuahua. He was president of the Juarez LDS Stake and vice-president and general manager of the Mexican Colonization and Agricultural Company, under which auspices the Mormon colonies were founded. He was, therefore, the final word in the running of the eight Mormon colonies in the states of Chihuahua and Sonora. Even after he left Mexico in 1907 to become a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church, he continued to take some responsibility for the administration of the Mexican colonies. In 1913 when the colonists were being forced out of Mexico by the effects of revolutionary activity, Ivins wrote to Joseph C. Bentley, one of the colony leaders, "The snow is falling, it is ideal Christmas weather. Were I not worried and harassed over Mexican affairs I would be happy." (AWI to JCB, 12/28/13)
After his return from Mexico, Ivins devoted all his energy to the Church. While he participated in many different areas -- president, Utah Savings & Trust Company; president, Board of Trustees, Utah State Agricultural College; member, National Boy Scout Committee; etc. -- they were all related to his official church position. In 1921 Ivins was chosen to be second counselor in the First Presidency under his cousin Heber J. Grant. In 1925 he was named first counselor, the position he held until his death in September 1934, one week after his eight-second birthday.