Sunday, June 30, 2024

New Stakes Created in Malawi, Mozambique, Vanuatu, and Utah; New Districts Created in Brazil and the Philippines

Before I got through the country-by-country updates, I wanted to point out that there have been at least 28 stakes created in 2024 thus far which was four more stakes than were created during the first half of 2023. This is a significant accomplishment considering the increased standards for the creation of new stakes that went into effect January 1st, 2024. Moreover, there have been at least 14 new districts organized thus far in 2024 - approximately twice the number of districts created for the entire year for 2023 (7) as well as during previous years spanning 2020-2022. This development suggests that efforts to expand the Church's operations into previously unreached or lesser reached areas has returned to levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (there were 21 new districts organized in 2019).


A new stake was created today in Malawi. The Blantyre Malawi Stake was organized from the Blantyre Malawi District. With six branches in the district, it is likely that all branches became wards in the new stake with perhaps just one exception (as new stakes usually have at least five wards). Information on which branches have become wards remains unavailable at this time. The original Blantyre Malawi District was organized in 2011 and has experienced modest growth over the decades. The new stake is the second stake to be organized in Malawi, and the first stake, which is in Lilongwe, was organized on June 2nd. This marks the second shortest time in Church history between the creation of the first and second stakes in a country (the shortest time was in Cambodia where the first two stakes were organized on the same day in 2014). With no more districts in the country and only one mission branch that was recently opened on Mzuzu, there appear good prospects for the expansion of the Church into additional cities now that there are more mission resources that can be repurposed from supporting the districts to national outreach expansion.


A new stake was created in Mozambique on June 16th. The Beira Mozambique Inhamízua Stake was organized from a division of the Beira Mozambique Manga Stake (which was also partially divided to create the Beira Mozambique Munhava Stake in May of 2023). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Cerâmica, the Dondo, the Inhamízua, the Rocha, and the Zona Verde Wards and the Mafarinha Branch. There are now four stakes in Beira - the first three of which were organized in 2015, 2017, and 2023.

There are now eight stakes and two districts in Mozambique.


A new stake was created in Vanuatu on June 18th. The Tanna Vanuatu Stake was organized from the Tanna Vanuatu District. The meeting to create the new stake had 2,700 in attendance, suggesting that there may be enough active members in Tanna to create a second stake in the foreseeable future if there is sufficient leadership and sustained activity rates to merit one. Information on which of the eight branches in the district have become wards is unknown at this time. There also appear to be several member groups that function in Tanna. The new stake is the Church's second stake to be organized in Vanuatu following the Port Vila Vanuatu Stake which was created in 2015. Districts in Luganville and Malakula also appear close to becoming stakes in the near future - both have large numbers of branches and impressive district conference attendance.

There are now two stakes and two districts in Vanuatu.


The Lehi Utah 3rd Stake (Tongan) was created on June 9th from the Orem Utah 2nd Stake (Tongan) and . The new stake includes the following 10 wards: the American Fork 2nd (Tongan), the American Fork 46th (Samoan), the Eagle Mountain 13th (Tongan), the Eagle Mountain 14th (Samoan), the Lehi 31st (Tongan), the Lehi 32nd (Samoan), the Lehi 41st (Tongan), the Lehi 42nd (Samoan), the Saratoga Springs 9th (Tongan), and the Saratoga Springs 12th (Samoan) Wards. 

There are now nine Tongan stakes in Utah. There are now 640 stakes and four districts in Utah.


A new district was created in Brazil on June 23rd. The Ji-Paraná Brazil District was organized from branches in the Brazil Manaus Mission. The new district includes the following four branches: the Ariquemes, the Cacoal, the Ji-Paraná, and the Vilhena Branches. The Cacoal Branch is a newly organized branch in the district, whereas there used to be two branches in Vilhena that were consolidated into one branch. At one time, there was a district in Vilhena may years ago with at least three branches in Vilhena. Many member groups have historically functioning in cities nearby Ji-Paraná, such as in Jaru, Pimenta Bueno, and Rolim de Moura, although it is unclear whether these member groups still operate.

There are now 285 stakes and 41 districts in Brazil.

The Philippines

A new district was organized in the Philippines on June 16th. The Argao Philippines District was created from three branches that were previously assigned to the Talisay Philippines Stake, namely the Argao (organized in 2014), the Moalboal (organized in 2020), and the Sibonga Branches (organized in 1992). The new district compasses the southern third of Cebu Island which is almost entirely unreached in regard to the operation of official branches. The creation of the new district may signal efforts to expand into many small cities and towns in southern Cebu, especially since the creation of the Toledo Philippines Stake from the Toledo Philippines District in 2023.

There are now 130 stakes and 54 districts in the Philippines.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

New Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Missionary Training Center

Yesterday, the Church announced that an official missionary training center (MTC) will open in August 2024 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) to train missionaries in French destined to serve in this region of Africa. Although the Church has previously operated an unofficial MTC in Kinshasa for a couple of years, the new MTC will be housed in a new building with capacity of up to 200 missionaries at a time. This MTC marks the third MTC in Africa following MTCs in Accra, Ghana and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The announcement of the new MTC comes at a time when the Church has experienced a significant consolidation of MTCs worldwide from many smaller MTCs into larger regional ones. There will be 11 MTCs worldwide once the new center opens in Kinshasa. Other MTCs currently in operation are located in Brazil, England, Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand (opened in 2023), and Utah. At one point, there were 19 MTCs throughout the world in the late 1990s, although centers closed in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Japan, Samoa, South Korea, Spain, and Tonga to help conserve resources and provide higher quality training experiences for new missionaries. The Church has also operated an unofficial MTC in India for some time. The new MTC being located in the DR Congo instead of the Africa Central Area Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya is also unusual, as MTCs are usually located in the same city as the area offices.

The new MTC in Kinshasa has been greatly needed for many years. The DR Congo has supplied large numbers of young adults serving full-time missionaries for many years, and the training of these missionaries has been a challenge due to difficulties with securing visas and transportation to other countries. The Church in the DR Congo experiences some of the most rapid growth in the world, and many of these growth developments have been highlighted in this blog. In a couple weeks, the Church will organize two new missions in the DR Congo, bringing the total number of missions in the country to seven. The Church may have as many as half a million Latter-day Saints in the DR Congo by 2040 given historical growth trends. Growth in the DR Congo has come after decades of careful planning and high standards for convert baptism which has resulted in some of the highest member activity rates in the world (usually over 80%).

Sunday, June 16, 2024

New Stakes Created in Utah (5), Idaho (4), the Philippines (2), Argentina, Chile, DR Congo, Ghana, Indiana, Nevada, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe; New Districts Created in Utah (2), Benin, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and the Philippines; Stakes Discontinued in Australia and Utah; Districts Discontinued in Canada, Chile, Guatemala, and Ireland

With many new stakes organized in the United States recently, the Church surpassed 1,700 stakes in the United States for the first time. As of this post, there were 1,705 stakes and 8 districts in the United States.


Five new stakes were created in Utah.

The Salt Lake Utah Central Stake (Tongan) was organized in May 19th from the Salt Lake Utah West Stake (Tongan) which was organized in 2019. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Kearns 9th, the Kearns 13th, the Midvale 14th, the Oquirrh 11th, the Taylorsville 5th, the Taylorsville 6th, and the West Jordan 8th Wards. There are now seven Tongan-speaking stakes in Utah.

The West Jordan Utah Wasatch Meadows Stake (Spanish) was organized on May 19th from various stakes in the Salt Lake County area. More than 1,000 attended the conference to create the new stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Bingham Creek, the Cobble Creek 5th, the Copper Hills 5th, the Mountain View 4th, the Oquirrh Point 5th, the River 9th, the Westbrook 10th, and the Westland 5th Wards - all of which are Spanish-speaking congregations. The new stake is the Church's first Spanish-speaking stake to be created in Utah. There are nearly 180 Spanish-speaking wards and branches in Utah. More information about the creation of the new stake can be found here. This article noted that there are plans to create two more Spanish-speaking stakes and two more Tongan-speaking stakes in Utah in the near future.

The Eagle Mountain Utah Sweetwater Stake was organized on June 2nd from the Eagle Mountain Utah West Stake (organized in 2002). The new stake includes the following five wards: the Cedar Valley (Spanish), the Eagle Mountain 2nd, the Eagle Mountain 7th, the Eagle Mountain 11th, and the Sweetwater Wards. There are now 10 stakes in Eagle Mountain.

The Mapleton Utah Maple Canyon Stake was recently organized from the Mapleton Utah Stake (organized in 1975) and the Mapleton Utah West Stake (organized in 2016). The new stake includes the following nine wards: the Mapleton 4th, the Mapleton 14th, the Mapleton 16th, the Mapleton 22nd, the Mapleton 25th, the Mapleton 28th, the Mapleton 34th, the Mapleton 37th, and the Mapleton 40th Wards. There are now five stakes in Mapleton.

The Washington Utah Coral Canyon Stake was organized on June 2nd from the Washington Utah East Stake (organized in 2008) and the The new stake includes the following eight wards and two branches: the Copperleaf, the Coral Canyon 1st, the Coral Canyon 2nd, the Coral Canyon 3rd, the Highland Park, the Leeds 1st, the Leeds 2nd, and the Sienna Hills Wards and the Washington 10th and Washington 12th (Correctional Facility) Branches. There are now 29 stakes in the St. George metropolitan area.

Two new districts were created in Utah. The Salt Lake Basin District Correctional Facility District and the Wasatch Shoreline Youth District Correctional Facility District were recently organized to accommodate adults and youth who are incarcerated in Utah. The Salt Lake Basin District Correctional Facility District includes the following 11 branches: the Brigham City 27th, the Cache 3rd, the Duncomb Hollow, the Farmington 22nd, the Metropolitan 1st, the Metropolitan 2nd, the Oxbow, the Summit, the Tooele 16th, the Water Tower, and the Weber Branches. The Wasatch Shoreline Youth District includes the following 13 branches: the Alma, the Brigham City 28th, the Cache 4th, the Copper Hills, the Decker Lake, the Farmington Bay, the Lakeside, the Millcreek (in Ogden), the Millcreek (a duplicate name but a different branch located in Cottonwood Heights), the Riverside, the Slate Canyon 12th, the Weber Valley, and the West Ridge Branches. Prior to the creation of the districts, these correctional facility and youth center branches were administered by local stakes or the Great Salt Lake Utah District (Correctional Facility) which was organized in January of 2021.

One stake was discontinued in Utah. The Sandy Utah YSA Stake (created in 2011) was discontinued. Wards in the former YSA stake were reassigned to the Draper Utah YSA Stake and the Murray Utah YSA Stake (which each now have seven wards). This marks the first time a YSA stake has been discontinued in Utah. There are scores of YSA stakes in Utah.

There are now 639 stakes and 4 districts in Utah.


Four new stakes were created in Idaho.

The Meridian Idaho Fuller Park Stake was organized on March 17th from the Meridian Idaho West Stake (created in 1997). The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Cherry Lane, the Haven Cove, the Meridian 1st, the Meridian 12th, the Parkside, the Peregrine, and the St James Wards. There are now nine stakes in Meridian.

The Idaho Falls Green Valley was organized on June 9th from the Iona Idaho South Stake (organized in 2014) and the Iona Idaho Stake (organized in 1973). The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Deloy, the Discovery, the Iona 6th, the Iona 9th, the Lincoln 1st, the Lincoln 4th, and the Old Mill Wards.

The Idaho Falls Pheasant Grove Stake was organized on June 9th from the Iona Idaho Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Berkley Park 2nd, the Lincoln 6th, the Lincoln 7th, the Lincoln 8th, the Red Rock 1st, and the Red Rock 2nd Wards. This marks a rare time in Church history when two new stakes were created from portions of a previous stake (Iona Idaho Stake). There are now 20 stakes in the Idaho Falls area (stretching from Ucon to Ammon). Given significant growth in the area, I will be moving Rigby, Idaho from the less likely locations to have a temple announced to the more likely locations to have a temple announced when I update the temple predictions map in September.

The Preston Idaho East Stake was organized on June 9th from the Preston Idaho North Stake (organized 1884) and the Franklin Idaho Stake (organized in 1983). The new stake includes the following eight wards and one branch: the Glendale, the Mink Creek, the Preston 4th, the Preston 5th, the Preston 8th, the Preston 9th, the Riverdale 1st, and the Riverdale 2nd Wards and the Legacy 3rd Branch.

There are now 142 stakes in Idaho.

The Philippines

Two new stakes and a new district were created in the Philippines. 

The Tubod Philippines Stake was created in March 10th from the Placer Philippines District (organized in 1996). The new stake includes the following five wards and four branches: the Alegria, the Bad-as, the Kitcharao, the Placer, and the Tubod Wards and the Bacuag, the Claver, the Mainit, and Matin-ao Branches. Since its creation in 2006, the Philippines Butuan Mission has had significant success with upgrading many of the districts within its boundaries into stakes. At the time of its creation, the mission had only one stake within its boundaries (Butuan). Now, there are five stakes within the mission located in Butuan (organized in 1989), San Francisco (organized in 2018), Tagum (organized in 2021), Mati (organized in 2022), and now Tubod (organized in 2024). There are four districts remaining in the mission - all of which have enough congregations to become stakes, although only Monkayo and Surigao appear likely to become stakes soon.

The Lapu-Lapu Philippines Stake was created on May 19th. The new stake was created from a division of the Mandaue Philippines Stake (organized in 1989). The new stake includes the following five wards: the Cordova, the Lapu-Lapu 1st, the Lapu-Lapu 2nd, the Maribago, and the Marigondon Wards. There are now seven stakes in the Cebu City metropolitan area, and there appear good prospects for the creation of an eighth stake in the foreseeable future from the Talisay Philippines Stake.

The Pandan Philippines District was created on April 14th from the Antique Philippines District and the Kalibo Philippines Stake. The new district includes the following five branches (provided with the year of creation for each branch in parentheses: Buruanga (2022), Culasi (2015), Ibajay (2024), Pandan (2023), and Tibiao (2023). The new district encompasses the northwestern corner of Panay Island which had no church presence until member groups began to be organized approximately a decade ago. 

There are now 130 stakes and 53 districts in the Philippines.


A new stake was created in Argentina April 14th. The Buenos Aires Argentina Pilar Stake was organized on April 14th from the Buenos Aires Argentina Escobar Stake (organized in 1996) and the Buenos Aires Argentina Sarmiento Stake (organized in 1993). The new stake includes the following six wards: the Del Viso, the Derqui, the Pilar, the Tortuguitas, the Villa Verde, and the Vucetich Wards. There are now 28 stakes in the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area stretching from Zárate to La Plata.

There are now 80 stakes and 25 districts in Argentina.


A new stake was created in Chile on March 24th. The Puerto Varas Chile was organized on March 24th from the Puerto Montt Chile Stake (organized in 1982). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Alerce, the Colón, the Frutillar, the Imperial, and the Llanquihue Wards and the Fresia Branch. The Puerto Varas Chile Stake is technically a reinstated stake, as the stake once operated from 1997 until 2002 when it was consolidated with the Puerto Montt Chile Stake. Given remote distance and now two stakes in the area, Puerto Montt appears a likely candidate for a temple announcement.

A district was discontinued in Chile. The Nueva Tolten Chile District (organized in 2001) was discontinued and consolidated with the Villarrica Chile District which now has seven branches. It is probable that this decision was made to prepare for the creation of a stake in the foreseeable future. 

There are now 79 stakes and 10 districts in Chile.

DR Congo

A new stake was created in the DR Congo on June 9th. The Bondoyi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake was created from a division of the Mwene-Ditu Democratic Repubilc of the Congo Stake (organized in 2019). The new stake includes the following six wards: the Areodrome, the Bondoyi, the Kalubey, the Kamisaany, the Peage 1st, and the Peage 2nd Wards. The realigned Mwene-Ditu Democratic Repubilc of the Congo Stake now has six wards. The first branch was created in Mwene-Ditu in 2008 at the same time as the Ngandajika Branch. However, the Church has grown much more slowly in neighboring Ngandajika, as there is only one stake there which was created in 2023 (which has five wards and two branches). It is also important to note that the population of Mwene-Ditu is much larger than Ngandajika. It only took five years for a second stake to be created in Mwene-Ditu after the first stake was created. If this rate of growth continues, there may be as many as four stakes in the city by 2029. 

There are now 10 stakes in the Kasai Region of the DR Congo - an area which had no stakes in 2010. The first mission in the area was created in 2016 in Mbuji-Mayi followed by a second mission in Kananga in 2023. Both of these cities have had temples announced. The creation of at least two new stakes in Kananga appears likely this year, as the three stakes in the city have a combined 33 wards. Given recent trends in temple announcements, Mwene-Ditu and Luputa each appear likely candidates for temple announcements now, as each city has two stakes and are located in an area of the country that has experienced rapid growth with high convert retention and excellent member activity rates. Moreover, the Church has recently established branches in previously unreached cities in the Kasai Region, including Kamanda and Luiza - both of which had two branches organized in 2023.


A new stake was created in Ghana on March 17th. The Ejisu Ghana Stake was created from the Kumasi Ghana University Stake (organized in 2016) and the Kumasi Ghana Suame Stake (organized in 2013). The new stake includes the following four wards and six branches: the Ejisu, the Kwamo 1st, the Kwamo 2nd, and the Mampong Wards, and the Agona, the Aprade, the Asamang, the Effiduasi, the Onwe, and the Seneagya Branches. Nearly all of the congregations in the new stake were previously part of the Kumasi Ghana University Stake which has experienced significant growth since its creation 8 years ago. There are now five stakes in the Kumasi metropolitan area (six if Konongo is included).

There are now 31 stakes and 11 districts in Ghana.


A new stake was created in Indiana on June 2nd. The Columbus Indiana Stake was organized on June 2nd from a division of the Indianapolis Indiana Stake (organized in 1959), the Crestwood Kentucky Stake (organized in 2010), and the Cincinnati Ohio Stake (organized in 1958). The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Batesville, the Columbus 1st, the Columbus 2nd, the Columbus 4th, the Franklin, the Madison, and the North Vernon Wards. Prior to the creation of the new stake, the Fishers Indiana Stake was the most recently organized stake in the state (organized in 2021).

There are now 13 stakes in Indiana.


A new stake was created in Nevada on May 5th. The Logandale Nevada West Stake was organized on May 4th from the Logandale Nevada Stake (organized in 1912). The new stake includes the following five wards: the Cottonwood, the Hinckley, the Meadow Valley, the Muddy River, and the Pioneer Wards. The revised minimum standards to create new stakes likely enabled the creation of the new stake due to a relatively small membership in the area but with enough active membership to create a second stake. 

There are now 44 stakes in Nevada.


A new stake was created in Nigeria on March 17th. The Onna Nigeria Stake was organized from a division of the Ikot Akpaden Nigeria Stake and the Ikot Akpatek Nigeria Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Asong, the Ikot Anang 1st, the Ikot Anang 2nd, the Okom, and Udo Wards and the Ikot Nkan and the Ukpana Branches. There are now 14 stakes and one district in Akwa Ibom State.

A new district was created in Nigeria on May 12th. The Ifo Nigeria District was organized from three mission branches in the Nigeria Ibadan Mission, including the Ifo 1st, Ifo 2nd, and Owode Branches. The first branch was organized in Ifo in 2022, whereas the Owode Branch was created in 2024.

There are now 72 stakes and 15 districts in Nigeria.


A new stake was created in Zimbabwe on June 9th. The Bulawayo Zimbabwe Masiyephambili Stake was organized from a division of the Bulawayo Zimbabwe Stake (organized in 2005) and the Nkulumane Zimbabwe Stake (organized in 2013). The new stake includes the following five wards: the Emganwini, theFamona, the Nketa 1st, the Nketa 2nd, and Tshabalala Wards. There are now three stakes in Bulawayo. Given distance from Harare, Bulawayo appears a likely candidate for a temple announcement.

There are now 10 stakes and 1 district in Zimbabwe.


A new district was created in Benin on March 31st. The Bohicon Benin District was organized from the Bohicon Branch, and four new branches were created at the special conference to organize the district. These four new branches include the Dassa-Zoume, Parakou, Seme, and Tchaourou Branches (all of which were organized in cities that have never had branches except for the Seme Branch which is located in Bohicon). The conference to organize the new district had hundreds in attendance. The area covered by the new district had less than 100 members in 2019 and had 420 members at the time of the creation of the district. More information about the creation of the new district can be found here.

There are now two stakes and one district in Benin. The creation of 1-2 new stakes in Cotonou appears highly likely in the immediate future, as each of the two stakes have 10-11 wards.


A new district was created in Brazil on June 16th. The Bacabal Brazil District was organized, and it is unclear which branches are assigned to the new district. However, it appears that the new district includes five branches in Bacabal, Codó, Itapecuru Mirim, Pindaré Mirim, and Santa Inês - all but one of which were previously under the direct supervision of the Brazil Teresina Mission. The Church had no presence in any of these cities until approximately 10 years ago, and most of these branches have been organized within the past few years.

There are now 285 stakes and 40 districts in Brazil.


A new district was created in Ecuador on March 17th. The Puyo Ecuador District was organized from three mission branches, including the Macas, Puyo, and Tena Branches. The Macas Branch is the newst branch in the district which was organized in 2023, whereas branches in Puyo and Tena were organized decades ago. The new district is the Church's first district to be organized in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador. Several new branches have also been organized elsewhere in eastern Ecuador, and prospects appear good for the creation of districts in Coca and Nueva Loja in the foreseeable future.

There are now 44 stakes and 5 districts in Ecuador.


A new district was created in Honduras on May 12th. The Intibuca Honduras was organized from three mission branches, namely the Intibuca, the Jesús de Otoro, and the Marcala Branches, which were all organized in 1996-1997. The branches have historically had very few active members.

There are now 31 stakes and 6 districts in Honduras.


A new district was created in Pakistan on March 17th. The Faisalabad Pakistan District was organized from the Lahore Pakistan District. The new district includes three branches, namely the Faisalabad 1st, Faisalabad 2nd (organized in 2024), and the Mian Channu (organized in 2023) Branches. The Church has experienced significant growth in Mian Channu with church services sometimes including several hundred attendees. The creation of the new district came as a surprised, as the Lahore Pakistan District appeared to be the district closest to become a stake in Pakistan before the district was divided. 

There are now four districts in Pakistan.


A district was reinstated in Peru on March 24th. The Huaral Peru District was reinstated (the district previously functioned from 2010 until 2013). The district includes the following three branches and one group: the Chancay, the Huaral, and the Valle Hermoso Branches and the Peralvillo Group. The Valle Hermoso Branch and Peralvillo Group were reinstated. Prior to the reinstatement of the district, branches were under the direction supervision of the mission.

There are now 115 stakes and 18 districts in Peru.


A stake was discontinued in Australia. The Adelaide Australia Modbury Stake was discontinued, and all retained congregations were reassigned to the two remaining stakes in Adelaide. The Church in Adelaide has experienced no growth in regard to the number of congregations in decades, and the stakes were small and appeared likely to be reconfigured into two stakes as a result. 

There are now 40 stakes and 4 districts in Australia.


A district was discontinued in Canada. The Terrace British Columbia District (organized in 1980) was discontinued, and all four branches in the district were reassigned to the Prince George British Columbia Stake (which now has four wards and eight branches). 

There are now 53 stakes and 3 districts in Canada.


A district was discontinued in Guatemala. The Momostenango Guatemala West District (organized in 1993) was discontinued and all four branches in the former district were reassigned to the Momostenango Guatemala Stake (which now has six wards and four branches). It is possible that this decision was made so some of the larger branches in the former district may become wards or because there was sufficient strength in the Momostenango Guatemala Stake to have the stake administer to these branches rather than the mission.

There are now 52 stakes and 11 districts in Guatemala.


A district was discontinued in Ireland. The Limerick Ireland District was discontinued and consolidated with the Dublin Ireland Stake. Two branches in the former district became wards, including the Cork and Limerick Branches, and one ward in the original Dublin Ireland Stake was discontinued (Terenure 2nd). Mission leaders have sought for decades to prepare the Limerick Ireland District to become a stake as it was close at times to meeting the minimum qualifications. Due to the lack of growth in the Dublin Ireland Stake, the reconfiguration of the country into a single stake was likely due to strengthen the stake and also permit the larger branches to become wards. Now, all of Ireland is assigned to the Dublin Ireland Stake.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

First Stake Created in Malawi

The Church organized its first stake in the African nation of Malawi on June 2nd. The Lilongwe Malawi Stake was organized from the Lilongwe Malawi District. All seven branches in the original district were reorganized into wards. Moreover, a new branch was also created when the new stake was organized. The new stake is comprised of the following congregations: the Kalambo 1st, the Kalambo 2nd, the Kawale, the Kasungu 1st, the Kasungu 2nd, and the Presidential Way Wards, and the Chinsapo Branch. 

The Church has had struggles for many years in Malawi with member retention and leadership development. The Church first organized a branch in Lilongwe sometime between 1991 and 2000, but the branch was discontinued in 2002. A branch in Lilongwe was later reinstated in 2007. A branch used to operate in Sitima - a small village approximately 50 miles northeast of Blantyre - from 1999 until 2008. The branch closed due to remote location and challenges with leadership development and sustainability. A branch once operated in northern Lilongwe that was closed in early 2020 (Kauma). The Church has worked for many years to create a stake in Blantyre, but the district has continued to not reach the minimum activity and priesthood standards to create a stake despite there being enough congregations and membership for the district to become a stake. In fact, the first meetinghouse in Blantyre was originally built to become a stake center (even though the building was constructed back in 2005 when there were only 540 members in the whole country).

Despite these challenges, much progress has occurred in the past decade with the Church's growth and stability. Sacrament meeting attendance in Lilongwe was only 30 people in late 2009, whereas today there is now a stake in Lilongwe with five wards and one branch in the city. Additional branches were created in Lilongwe in 2010 (Kauma which was discontinued in 2020), 2013 (Kalambo 1st and Presidential Way), 2016 (Kawale), and 2023 (Kalambo 2nd). Moreover, the Church has organized its first branches in northern Malawi since 2020. Kasungu is a city approximately 65 miles north of Lilongwe were a member group was organized in 2020 that quickly became a branch later that year. A second branch was created in Kasungu in 2022, and both branches have grown sufficiently to become wards in the new stake. The Lilongwe Malawi District was able to meet the more stringent qualifications to become a stake that were implemented for the worldwide Church as of January 2024. Earlier this year, a new branch was created in Mzuzu. Church membership increased by 23.3% in 2023 - the highest annual membership growth rate since 2011 when there were only 1,156 members as of the end of that year. As of year-end 2023, there were 4,776 members. The Book of Mormon translation in Chichewa is nearing completion, as only the books of Mormon, Ether, and Moroni have yet to be translated. 

The creation of the first stake in Malawi, combined with other recent developments in the Church's growth and expansion, signal that there is likely to be significant growth in the country in the near future. Unlike many other neighboring African nations, Malawi's population primarily speaks Chichewa which greatly simplifies translation work and missionary activity. Approximately two-thirds of the population is literate. The population of Malawi is approximately 21 million. Most Malawians are Christian. Malawi appears to be a strong candidate to have its own mission organized, as the country is administered by the Zambia Lusaka Mission and there has been significant recent growth in Malawi. The creation of a separate mission headquartered in Lilongwe may further sustain rapid growth that has recently begun. There are approximately one dozen cities in Malawi with at least 20,000 people without an official Latter-day Saint congregation. Prospects appear favorable to organize multiple congregations in Mzuzu where the first branch was recently organized, as Mzuzu is the third most populous city in Malawi with nearly a quarter of a million people. However, future mission outreach expansion will need to occur in rural communities, as only 18.3% of the country's population lives in urban areas. A temple announcement for Lilongwe is now a more likely possibility given a stake has been organized, although this appears unlikely until there are additional stakes organized.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Tshiluba Translation of the Book of Mormon Complete

The Church recently completed its Tshiluba translation of the Book of Mormon that can be accessed here. Tshiluba is the primary language spoke in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - an area that has experienced some of the most impressive growth in the Church. Tshiluba is spoken by approximately 6-7 million people.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Juba Branch Reopens in South Sudan

Today, the Church reinstated the Juba Branch in South Sudan. The Juba Branch was initially organized in November of 2009, but the branch closed in 2013 due to civil war and political instability. A member group operated in Juba prior to the reinstatement of the new branch. The new branch is under the direct supervision of the Uganda Kampala Mission. The population of South Sudan is approximately 11-13 million people. So far, there do not appear to be plans to assign full-time missionaries to South Sudan.

Prospects for rapid growth appeared favorable in the late 2000s prior to independence. At the time, the Church operated the Juba Branch with groups in additional cities such as Akobo and Nyamlel. There were groups of several thousand who requested baptism but were not baptized due to a lack of church infrastructure in the country, most notably in remote Nyamlel. Official church operations ceased by the mid-2010s due to war. Nevertheless, progress has been made with outreach among South Sudanese living abroad. A senior missionary couple began South Sudanese-specific outreach in Salt Lake City in 2019, and a Dinka/Nuer-speaking branch opened in 2021. The Church has had many South Sudanese converts join the Church in the United States, Uganda, Kenya, and Australia in particular. The first South Sudanese branch operated in Omaha, Nebraska in the mid-2000s, but the branch closed by the late 2000s.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Guinea-Bissau Assigned to the Cape Verde Praia Mission

The West African country of Guinea-Bissau was recently assigned to the Cape Verde Praia Mission. This marks the first time that Guinea-Bissau has been assigned to a mission, as the country has been under the administration of the Africa West Area through the Africa West Area Branch for many years. Guinea-Bissau has a population of approximately 2.2 million. Muslims constitute half of the population, whereas Christians and followers of folk religions comprise most of the other half of the population. The Church reported 45 Latter-day Saints in Guinea-Bissau as of year-end 2013, but there has never been an official congregation of the Church that has operated in the country. More recent membership information is unavailable. The assignment of Guinea-Bissau to the Cape Verde Praia Mission may signal imminent plans to establish an official Church presence in the country.

Guinea-Bissau ranks among the poorest and least economically developed countries of the world. Poverty is widespread and its porous borders have often attracted illegal activity, especially with drug smuggling into Europe. Moreover, the lack of an official United States diplomatic presence in the country has likely deterred area leaders to pursue formal proselytism in the country given the Church has often heavily relied upon American mission and area leaders to expand missionary activity into previously unreached areas. Nevertheless, there are excellent opportunities for growth if missionary work and a formal Church establishment are pursued in Guinea-Bissau, as there is religious freedom, little conflict between religious groups, and widespread use of several languages such as Portuguese, Bissau Guinean Creole, and Pulaar (a Fulani language). Moreover, many Bissau-Guineans have joined the Church in Europe, particularly in Portugal. The assignment of the country to the Cape Verde Praia Mission permits Portuguese mission resources to be utilized in Guinea-Bissau, as there are no other Portuguese-speaking countries West Africa.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Unprecedented Growth in East Africa

Within the past 2-3 years, the Church has begun to experience unprecedented growth in East Africa where countries have historically ranked among the least reached in the world by Latter-day Saints (and among the slowest growth for the Church in Africa). In this post, I will briefly summarize historical growth trends in East Africa, describe current growth trends and significant developments, and offer predictions for the foreseeable future.


East Africa is traditionally defined as containing countries that stretch from Eritrea, South Sudan, and Ethiopia in the north, to Zimbabwe and Mozambique in the south, to Zambia, Madagascar and Indian Ocean nations in the east, and Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda to the west. With a population of approximately half a billion people, East Africa is the most populous region of Africa and has presented many opportunities for growth which have not been taken advantage of by mission and area presidencies for decades. Consequently, extremely few mission and area resources have been allocated to East Africa notwithstanding political stability, religious freedom, and enormous populations that have often been receptive to the Latter-day Saint gospel message in the past 25 years. For example, in 2000 there were only three missions in all of East Africa that were headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya (organized in 1991); Harare, Zimbabwe (organized in 1987); and Antananarivo, Madagascar (organized in 1998). In fact, several of these nations did not have a Church presence established until relatively recently, such as Malawi (2000), Rwanda (2008), and Burundi (presence reestablished in 2010 after a brief period of an official presence in the early 1990s). Several nations today do not have any official branches, such as South Sudan (used to have one branch for a couple years in the late 2000s/early 2010s), Eritrea, Djibouti (used to have a military branch), Somalia (used to have a branch in Mogadishu primarily comprised of foreigners), Comoros, and Mayotte (officially part of France; very small branch used to operate until approximately 10-15 years ago). With only a few exceptions, most of the countries in East Africa have generally reported slow to moderate membership and congregational growth rates. Also, the Church has generally reported a presence in only a handful of cities in most East African countries. Rural communities in East Africa are almost entirely unreached by the Church. The only examples of branches functioning in rural communities in East Africa are in a few isolated locations in Kenya, Madagascar, and Uganda.

The creation of the Africa Central Area with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya in 2020 has been a major catalyst that has appeared primarily responsible for the recent surge in growth that has occurred in most of the countries in East Africa. Prior to the creation of the new area, there were only two administrative areas in Africa: the Africa West Area and the Africa Southeast Area (later renamed the Africa South Area). Although the Africa Central Area also includes Central Africa, the area's headquarters in East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya has appeared to favor greater focus and expansion into East Africa more than Central Africa due to closer geographic proximity. Furthermore, the number of missions in East Africa has increased significantly from 3 in 2000 to 5 in 2010 and 9 in 2020. By mid-2024, the Church will have 11 missions in the area. Another major catalyst for recent growth in some countries has been greater use of local languages rather than English, such as Swahili and Kinyarwanda.


See below for a summary of many of the recent developments in regard to rapid growth in East Africa. Click on the country name that is in bold to access the updated statistical profile on (most profiles have been updated with 2023 figures, and the ones that have not been updated yet will soon be updated).

  • Burundi - The number of branches has doubled from four to eight since January 2024. The Church organized its first branches in four additional cities since January, including Cibitoke (location where a mission president visited hundreds who wanted to join the Church approximately 13-14 years ago but were told to wait until the Church is better established), Gitega, Muzinda, and Ngozi. Never in the Church's history in modern times has the Church in a country gone from official branches in only one city to five cities within so short a period of time. Church membership grew from 823 in 2021 to 1,541 in 2023. The Bujumbura Burundi District was created in 2021, and today there are four branches in the district. The population of Burundi is 13.2 million.
  • Ethiopia - Three new branches were organized in Addis Ababa in 2022 and 2023. A new group was just organized on the outskirts of Addis Ababa in Burayu. The population of Ethiopia is 127 million.
  • Kenya -  Annual membership growth rates have been sustained at 9-10% for 2022 and 2023. Membership grew in 2023 at the fastest rate reported since 2009. The number of wards and branches increased from 54 at year-end 2021 to 69 at present. The Church organized its first branches in six cities/towns/villages in 2023. A third stake was organized in Nairobi in 2023. The population of Kenya is 55.1 million.
  • Madagascar - Church membership increased by 7.1% in 2023 - the highest annual percentage growth rate for membership since 2012. Two new stakes have been organized since 2022, and there are now four stakes and two districts. The population of Madagascar is 30.3 million.
  • Malawi - Church membership increased by 23.4% in 2023 - the highest annual percentage growth rate for membership since 2011. There are now 4,776 Latter-day Saints in Malawi. The number of branches in Malawi increased from 8 to 13 between 2020 and 2023. The population of Malawi is 20.9 million.
  • Mozambique - Church membership increased by more than 6,000 in 2023 to 24,733 by the end of the year - a 34.1% annual increase and one of the largest annual net increases in membership for the entire worldwide Church. Mozambique ranked as the country with the highest membership growth rate in 2023 among countries with publicly released membership totals. Mozambique is also the East African country with the second most Latter-day Saints. However, Church-reported membership comprises a mere 0.073% of the population (one Latter-day Saint per 1,371 people). The number of wards and branches in Mozambique increased by 23.2% in 2023, as there were 13 new wards/branches organized. There are 18 cities with an official ward or branches - 6 of which had their first ward or branch organized since 2022 (and all six of these cities are located in southern Mozambique). Two new stakes and one new district were organized in Mozambique in 2023. The population of Mozambique is 33.9 million.
  • Rwanda - The number of branches has increased from four to nine since 2021, and the first branch outside of Kigali was created in Nyamata in 2022. The Rwanda Kigali Mission was organized in 2022 to service Rwanda, Burundi, and some eastern portions of the DR Congo. Church membership in Rwanda increased from 843 in 2021 to 1,537 in 2023. The population of Rwanda is 14.1 million.
  • Tanzania - Church membership increased by nearly 1,000 in 2023 which was a 32.3% annual increase - the highest reported by the Church in Tanzania since 1998-1999 when there were less than 500 members. The Church reported 3,969 members as of year-end 2023. The number of branches has proliferated from 10 in 2020 to 27 today. Most of these new branches have been organized in Dar Es Salaam where there are now 18 branches. Three new districts have been organized since 2022 in Dar Es Salaam (Chang'ombe), Arusha, and Mwanza. The number of cities with an official branch has increased in the past three years from 3 to 5 with the creation of branches in Moshi (2021) and Dodoma (2023). The population of Tanzania is 67.4 million.
  • Uganda - The Church organized its first branches in three previously unreached cities in 2023 and 2024 (Bukomero, Kalisizo, and Mbarara), thereby increasing the number of cities/towns/villages with at least one ward or branch to 18. The population of Uganda is 48.6 million.
  • Zambia - Church membership increased by 11.2% in 2023 to 5,906 - the most rapid membership growth reported by the Church in Zambia since 2014. A third branch was created in Kitwe. The population of Zambia is 20.6 million.
  • Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe became the first country in East Africa to reach 100 official congregations during 2023, as the number of wards/branches increased from 91 to 100 during the year. Church membership increased by 7.8% in 2023 - the highest annual membership growth rate seen in Zimbabwe since 2013. The Church organized its first branches in five cities between 2000 and 2023, raising the number of cities/towns/villages with a ward or branch to 26. Zimbabwe is the East African country with the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population, at 0.25%, or one Latter-day Saint per 404 people. The population of Zimbabwe is 16.7 million.


Growth conditions in East Africa remain highly favorable, and prospects appear good for continued rapid growth so long as reasonably high member activity and convert retention rates are sustained (and the amount of resources allocated to the area continue to increase). Here is a list of likely developments within the next 2-5 years that I believe are likely for East Africa given recent growth trends and future opportunities for growth:

  • Continued National Outreach Expansion:
    • Prospects appear most favorable in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Madagascar for the opening of many cities, towns, and villages to missionary work and creating branches.
    • Area and mission leadership may begin to expand outreach in countries where there has been little to no expansion in the past decade, such as Malawi and Zambia.
    • Ethiopia appears unlikely to have much outreach expansion until a solid center of strength is established in Addis Ababa and the district becomes a stake.
  • The Reestablishment of the Church in South Sudan: I have received reports that the Juba Branch may be close to reinstatement. The Church recently obtained registration with the South Sudanese government. Conditions for growth appear highly favorable. South Sudanese have been uniquely receptive to the Latter-day Saint gospel message and often join the Church in other countries, including in East Africa such as Ethiopia and Uganda.
  • The Creation of the First Stakes in Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Rwanda: All of these countries appear likely to have stakes organized in the next 2-5 years, as there are emerging center of strengths that are approaching the minimum requirements to become stakes. 
  • Adoption of Kirundi as an Official Church Language in Burundi and Chichewa as an Official Language in Malawi: Based on the most recent information I have received, Church activities and services remain to be conducted in French and Swahili in Burundi. However, Kirundi is the primary language spoken in Burundi. With the establishment of branches outside of Bujumbura, it appears likely that we will see a transition to Kirundi similar to what was seen in the past few years in Rwanda when the official language of Church operations transitioned from English to Kinyarwanda. The Church in Malawi also seems likely to utilize Chichewa as its official language given this is the predominant language spoke in the country, including in both Church centers in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
  • The Creation of More Missions: Locations that appear most likely to have new missions organized in East Africa during the next 2-5 years include:
    • Bujumbura, Burundi to service Burundi (currently assigned to the Rwanda Kigali Mission)
    • Eldoret, Kenya to service western Kenya (currently assigned to the Kenya Nairobi Mission. The Kenya Nairobi Mission will divide this summer to create a second mission based in Nairobi).
    • Lilongwe, Malawi to service Malawi (currently assigned to the Zambia Lusaka Mission).
    • A second mission in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (currently one mission for the entire country). 
    • A second mission in Kampala, Uganda (currently one mission for the entire country).
    • Third mission in Zimbabwe (most likely scenario appears to be a second mission in Harare). 
  • Additional Temple Announcements: The following locations appear most likely to have temples announced within the next five years (although many of these are likely in 4-5 years out and not in the immediate future). I have ordered these from most likely to least likely to be announced.
    • Kampala, Uganda - Uganda is the country with the most Latter-day Saints without a temple announced or dedicated. Kampala appears one of the most likely locations in the world to have a temple announced in the immediate future.
    • Maputo, Mozambique - There are now three stakes in Maputo, and long distance from Beira suggest that a separate temple in Maputo is highly likely. The Church in Mozambique has experienced some of the most rapid growth in the worldwide Church in the past decade. All seven stakes in Mozambique have been organized since 2015, and more stakes appear likely to be organized in the foreseeable future.
    • Bulawayo, Zimbabwe - There have been two stakes in Bulawayo since 2023, and a third stake appears likely in the foreseeable future. Distance from Harare and a mission in Bulawayo both appear to make Bulawayo a good candidate for a future temple.
    • Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania - Similar to the situation with the recent announcement of the Luanda Angola Temple, the Church in Tanzania has experienced rapid growth in both membership and the number of congregations. The creation of two stakes in Dar Es Salaam appears likely within the next 2-4 years. 
    • Kigali, Rwanda - With sustained rapid growth, the creation of a stake appears likely in the next 1-3 years. A second stake may be a possibility by 2028 or 2029. A temple in Kigali appears more likely than in Burundi due to a highly concentrated membership in Kigali that has also been members of the Church longer (and with historically higher activity rates) than in Burundi.
    • Lusaka, Zambia - This location may be a candidate for a temple, but this would be much more likely if there were two stakes in Lusaka. Unfortunately, the Church in Lusaka has experienced no increase in the number of wards since the stake was organized in 2015.
    • Bujumbura, Burundi - A more remote possibility, Bujumbura may have a temple announced by 2029, especially given rapid growth in neighboring cities in the DR Congo, many of which have had branches just recently organized in the past year (i.e., Bakara, Bukavu, Goma, Kavumu, Kalemie) and where most speak Swahili (commonly spoken in the Bujumbura area). 
    • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The most remote prospect, Addis Ababa may be a site for a temple announcement in 5 years, but this will depend on whether the Church can achieve sufficient growth and member activity to create a stake with prospects of a second stake in the foreseeable future. However, the Church in Ethiopia has struggled for decades with leadership development and low member activity rates which have been exacerbated by a lack of a mission in the country until 2020 and difficulties with full-time missionaries becoming proficient speakers of Amharic.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Membership Growth by US State for 2023

See below for a list of annual membership growth rates by each United States state for the year 2023. Previous lists are available for 2017, 2018, the biennial period of 2020-2021, and 2022. It is important to note that annual membership growth rates by state have improved beyond what was seen immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, there were only five states reporting a net decline in membership for the year (there were 22 during the 2020-2021 period, whereas there were 13 in 2018 and nine in 2017). The states that had the highest percentage growth rates for membership in 2023 were similar to the states reported in 2022, including New York (most rapid membership growth rate since 2002) and South Carolina (most rapid membership growth rate since 2007). The Church in Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee continued to report some of the highest membership growth rates in decades in these states. Rhode Island ranked at the top of the list, with membership increasing by over 10% in 2023 (and the highest reported in that state since the mid-1990s). With one of the smallest memberships of any state, Rhode Island is sensitive to even relatively small fluctuations in membership (there were 4,796 Latter-day Saints in Rhode Island as of year-end 2023). California continued to report a net decline in membership (which has occurred year over year since 2014), although this was near zero for the first time in many years (0.05% decrease in membership for 2023). The rate of membership decrease in California was highest during the 2020-2021 period (-2.84%), and membership decline has generally ranged from 0.2-1.0% within the past decade. Membership growth rates in Utah continue to be near historic lows, at a mere 0.78% in 2023. As noted in my analysis for 2022, members moving away from Utah in larger numbers may partially explain low membership growth rates in that state. However, declining birth rates in the Church also likely contribute to slowing membership growth in Utah. Finally, the state with the greatest decline in membership was New Hampshire (-4.92%). However, it is unclear whether this may have been due to membership records or one or more congregations switching from New Hampshire to a neighboring state rather than an actual decline in membership in the area. 

See below for a list of states and the District of Columbia ranked by membership growth rate for 2023:

1. Rhode Island 10.23%
2. South Carolina 3.57%
3. Arkansas 3.46%
4. New York 3.24%
5. Missouri 3.18%
6. Tennessee 3.10%
7. Nebraska 2.80%
8. New Jersey 2.66%
9. Florida 2.61%
10. Delaware 2.19%
11. Georgia 2.08%
12. Indiana 2.06%
13. Iowa 2.05%
14. North Carolina 1.98%
15. Texas 1.93%
16. Oklahoma 1.92%
17. Kentucky 1.86%
18. Maryland 1.84%
19. Alabama 1.78%
20. Wisconsin 1.74%
21. North Dakota 1.70%
22. Massachusetts 1.67%
23. Maine 1.62%
24. Pennsylvania 1.59%
25. West Virginia 1.52%
26. District of Columbia 1.48%
27. Illinois 1.44%
28. Virginia 1.37%
29. Ohio 1.22%
30. Connecticut 1.21%
31. Minnesota 1.18%
32. Alaska 1.11%
33. Kansas 1.11%
34. Michigan 1.09%
35. South Dakota 0.93%
36. Hawaii 0.91%
37. Arizona 0.79%
38. Utah 0.78%
39. Montana 0.68%
40. Louisiana 0.63%
41. New Mexico 0.55%
42. Mississippi 0.49%
43. Idaho 0.47%
44. Nevada 0.45%
45. Colorado 0.32%
46. Washington 0.15%
47. Oregon -0.02%
48. California -0.05%
49. Vermont -0.15%
50. Wyoming -0.16%
51. New Hampshire -4.92%

Sunday, April 28, 2024

List of Countries with the Most Latter-day Saints with One Temple

Below is a list of countries with the most members with only one temple planned or dedicated:

1. Dominican Republic

  • 149,655 members
  • 22 stakes, 9 districts
  • 203 congregations (146 wards, 57 branches)
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple (dedicated in 2000)
2. El Salvador
  • 129,963 members
  • 22 stakes
  • 155 congregations (127 wards, 28 branches)
  • San Salvador El Salvador Temple (dedicated in 2011)

3.  Uruguay

  • 108,060 members
  • 18 stakes, 2 districts
  • 130 congregations (97 wards, 33 branches)
  • Montevideo Uruguay Temple (dedicated in 2001)

4.  Nicaragua

  • 101,907 members
  • 12 stakes, 4 districts
  • 109 congregations (71 wards, 38 branches)
  • Managua Nicaragua Temple (under construction, announced in 2018)

5.  Paraguay

  • 100,121 members
  • 11 stakes, 9 districts
  • 133 congregations (62 wards, 71 branches)
  • Asunción Paraguay Temple (dedicated in 2002)

6. Cote d'Ivoire

  • 63,058 members
  • 20 stakes, 12 districts
  • 262 congregations (154 wards, 108 branches)
  • Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple (under construction, announced in 2015)

7.  Panama

  • 61,980 members
  • 7 stakes, 4 districts
  • 75 congregations (43 wards, 32 branches)
  • Panama City Panama Temple (dedicated in 2008)

8.  Costa Rica

  • 54,473 members
  • 10 stakes, 1 district
  • 80 congregations (60 wards, 20 branches)
  • San José Costa Rica Temple (dedicated in 2000)

9.  Portugal

  • 47,916 members
  • 7 stakes, 1 district
  • 62 congregations (41 wards, 21 branches)
  • Lisbon Portugal Temple (dedicated in 2019)

 10.  Zimbabwe

  • 41,262 members
  • 9 stakes, 1 district
  • 100 congregations (63 wards, 37 branches)
  • Harare Zimbabwe Temple (under construction, announced in 2016)

Some observations about this list.

First, several of these countries appear highly likely to have a second temple announced in the immediate future, including the Dominican Republic (Santiago), El Salvador (Santa Ana), and Cote d'Ivoire (Yamoussoukro). However, most other countries do not appear likely to have a second temple announced for the foreseeable future due to low member activity rates and membership and stakes clustered in the city where a temple already operates, such as in Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Nevertheless, Zimbabwe (Bulawayo), Portugal (Porto), and Uruguay (a city in central or northern Uruguay) are countries with a moderate likelihood of a second temple announcement.

Second, there are major discrepancies in member activity rates among this list of countries with the most members with only one temple, although most of these countries have very low member activity rates. This is well illustrated by significant differences in the number of stakes and congregations between countries with similarly-sized memberships. For example, the Church in Cote d'Ivoire has 63,058 members organized into 262 congregations, 20 stakes, and 12 districts, whereas the Church in Panama has 61,980 members organized into 75 congregations, 7 stakes, and 4 districts. Countries with higher activity rates are more likely to have a second temple announced before countries with a lower member activity rate. 

Third, the top 10 countries with the most members with only one temple tended to have their first temple dedicated either in the early 2000s or announced/dedicated in the late 2010s. This has correlated with periods of an increase in temple construction.

Fourth, most of these countries (seven) are located in Latin America.