Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Branch in Guyana

Another new branch was recently created in Parika, Guyana. The city was opened to missionary work last May and the branch was created earlier this month. Parika is about 20-30 miles west of the capital of Georgetown. There are now at least 15 branches in Guyana.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New District in Peru

A new district of the Church was recently created in Huancavelica Perú. This is the first district of the Church to ever be created in the Huancavelica province. There was originally only one branch in the city that reported to the Peru Lima East Mission until recently. There are three branches in the city/province today. This is exciting considering that few districts of the Church are created nowadays in Latin America. Oftentimes the creation of districts signify growth in areas in which there has not been growth before. There are now 24 districts and 87 stakes in the country.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Stakes in Utah

Yesterday at least two new stakes were created in Utah. The South Jordan Daybreak Stake (had 14 wards and a branch) was split as well as the Pleasant View Utah Stake (had 15 wards). There might have been another stake created as well.

This brings the total number of stakes created in Utah this year to at least seven.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Branch(es) created in Sudan

According to several missionaries serving in the Uganda Kampala Mission, at least one branch has been established in Sudan. It is likely near the city of Wau, where six or seven unofficial congregations are meeting in the name of the Church. The Mission President visited the area last July and distributed Church literature to several individuals and gave them the responsibility to teach others about the Gospel. I will provide more information when it becomes available.

Furthermore, Sudan has been officially added to the Uganda Kampala Mission. The other two countries in the mission are Ethiopia and Rwanda.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Stake Created in Mexico

According to an article posted on the Church's official website, a new stake has been created in Mexico. There were 210 stakes in Mexico at the end of 2007 and one stake has been created so far this year in Pachuca. The article states that there are currently 212 stakes, so one stake was recently created. The article is about the Mexico City Mexico Temple being rededicated next month. Here is the link for the article.


I will provide the name of the new stake once in becomes available.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bringing the Temple to the Saints

I wanted to provide an insight into how available temples are to the members of the Church. At the beginning of October of 2008, an interesting statistic was put forth concerning temples and their availability to members of the Church. The following quotation comes from http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4434621 .

The planning and building of temples in the last 27 years has led to a
remarkable statistic. Elder William Walker, with the LDS Temple Department,
said, "Eighty-two percent of the members live within 200 miles of a temple
worldwide, which is essentially within about three hours of ground

This is a pretty impressive number considering 10.8 million of the 13.2 million members of the Church are this close to a temple. However, that still means that nearly 2.4 million members are quite distant from a Temple of the Lord.

I have developed a ratio to provide an insight into how available temples are to the members of the Church. I take the number of stakes in the Church for a given year and divide it by the total number of operating temples for that given year. Larger numbers indicate more stakes are assigned to each temple (usually meaning that members have to travel further to reach that temple). Smaller numbers indicate fewer stakes are assigned to each temple (meaning that members are closer to each temple).

  • 1945 - 19 stakes per temple
  • 1955 - 25 stakes per temple
  • 1965 - 32 stakes per temple
  • 1975 - 46 stakes per temple
  • 1980 - 68 stakes per temple
  • 1985 - 43 stakes per temple
  • 1990 - 41 stakes per temple
  • 1995 - 46 stakes per temple
  • 2000 - 25 stakes per temple
  • 2005 - 22 stakes per temple
  • 2008 - 22 stakes per temple

I am comfortable to say that temples today are as available to the membership of the Church as they were back in 1945. This may sound counter intuitive, but back in 1945 Church membership was almost entirely in the Western United States, where six of the eight temples of the Church were at the time (seven if you count the temple in Cardston Alberta). Today the country with the most members without a temple (Nicaragua) has 60,000 members, or less than 0.5% of total Church membership. This illustrates that the Church has done a terrific job in making temples more available its members.

The 40 or so small, miniature temples built around 10 years ago kind of throw this statistic off a bit. About two-thirds of these temples serve less than 10 stakes and almost all of them are in Mexico or the United States.

Rapid Growth in Madagascar

New Branch

A new branch was recently created in the port city of Toamasina. There are now two branches in the city with a third branch to be created in the coming month or two. This is a signficant development for the Church in Madagascar because Toamasina is the first city outside the capital with more than one congregation.

New Wards and Background Information

There is one stake in Madagscar in the capital city of Antananarivo which was organized back in 2000. The stake has recently grown to nine wards and a few branches (two branches recently became wards in the past couple months). Missionaries serving in the Madagscar Antananarivo Mission stated that the stake will likely be split into two stakes at the beginning of next year. Most missionaries have several baptisms every week.

Madagascar had 4,160 members organized in 15 congregations at the end of 2007. Membership has more than doubled since 2000 and the number of congregations nearly tripled. Missionary activity began in 1991. According to returned missionaries, most of the congregations have at least 100 people attending a week.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Congregations in Trinidad and Pohnpei


Today a new branch was organized in Trinidad in the city of Port Fortin. A group was organized six months ago. There were almost 30 members and investigators in attendance at this historic event. This is the first branch to be created in the southern part of the country. I believe this is the 11th congregation on Trinidad. Still no word on when a stake will be created for the island.


A new branch was recently created on the island. A group was also created in Nett which I believe is on Kosrae. Both of these islands are part of the Micronesia Guam Mission.

New District Created in Pakistan?

The reason why I pose this as a question is because I don't know if the district which is already in Pakistan was just renamed (from Islamabad to Karachi) or this is a new district (which would be the second in the country).

According to the Church's official website for the Hong Kong China Temple District http://www.lds.org/temples/district/0,11217,1915-1-84-2,00.html, the Karachi Pakistan District is now listed. There has been a district functioning in Pakistan since the mid 1990s and has been named the Pakistan District and later the Islamabad Pakistan District. In 2001 five of the six branches at the time where in the northern part of Pakistan and under the name of the Islamabad Pakistan District. The district was listed under the temple district for the Hong Kong China Temple and was removed a couple years ago (as were other Church units in areas of the world which are not so tolerant to the Church). Considering the majority of the branches in Pakistan are in the northern part of the country, the Karachi Pakistan District seems to be a new district created considering the city of Karachi is about 500 miles away from the closest branch in the north. However, as of 2001 only one branch was in the city. Districts have at least two branches. Another bit of information which supports the fact that this could be a new district is that other Church units in other places in the world which were taken off temple district listings a couple years ago were not put back on the temple district lists.

The Church only has Pakistani missionaries in Pakistan and they meet only with Christian Pakistanis. Pakistan is under the recently created India New Delhi Mission.

If anyone has any information about whether this is a new district of the Church, please leave your commit.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Updated List of the States in the United States with the Most Members Without a Temple

Membership, stakes and districts, number of congregations, and temple(s) state is assigned to are provided below. The numbers in parenthesis indicate how many stakes and districts area assigned to the temple (stake, district). The list includes all states with over 10,000 members of the Church with no temple within the state.

1. Virginia
  • - 83,225 members
  • - 19 stakes
  • - 183 congregations
  • - Washington DC Temple (19,0)
2. Wyoming
  • - 59,970 members
  • - 16 stakes
  • - 151 congregations
  • - Billings Montana Temple (5,0), Ogden Utah Temple (5,0), Denver Colorado Temple (2,0), Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (2,0), Vernal Utah Temple (2,0)
3. Indiana
  • - 40,139 members
  • - 11 stakes
  • - 96 congregations
  • - Chicago Illinois Temple (4,0), Columbus Ohio Temple (1,0), Louisville Kentucky Temple (6,0)
4. Kansas
  • - 32,116 members
  • - 7 stakes
  • - 74 congregations
  • - Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple (2,0), St. Louis Missouri Temple (2,0), Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple (2,0), Denver Colorado Temple (1,0)
5. New Jersey
  • - 30,280 members
  • - 5 stakes, 1 district
  • - 58 congregations
  • - Manhattan New York Temple (4,1), Washington DC Temple (1,0)
6. Arkansas
  • - 25,296 members
  • - 5 stakes
  • - 56 congregations
  • - Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple (3,0), Memphis Tennessee Temple (2,0)
7. Wisconsin
  • - 23,907 members
  • - 6 stakes
  • - 68 congregations
  • - Chicago Illinois Temple (5,0), St. Paul Minnesota Temple (1,0)
8. Iowa
  • - 23,301 members
  • - 7 stakes
  • - 69 congregations
  • - Nauvoo Illinois Temple (3,0), Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple (4,0)
9. Mississippi
  • - 20,377 members
  • - 4 stakes
  • - 44 congregations
  • - Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple (3,0), Memphis Tennessee Temple (1,0)
10. West Virginia
  • - 16,491 members
  • - 4 stakes
  • - 38 congregations
  • - Washington DC Temple (2,0), Columbus Ohio Temple (1,0), Louisville Kentucky Temple (1,0)
11. Maine
  • - 10,160 members
  • - 2 stakes
  • - 32 congregations
  • - Boston Massachusetts Temple (2,0)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Updated List of the Countries with the Most Members Without a Temple

Membership, stakes and districts, number of congregations, and temple(s) country is assigned to are provided below. The numbers in parenthesis indicate how many stakes and districts are assigned to the temple (stake, district).

1. Nicaragua
  • - 59,886 members
  • - 8 stakes, 6 districts
  • - 90 congregations
  • - Guatemala City Guatemala Temple (8,6)

2. Portugal

  • - 38,100 members
  • - 6 stakes, 4 districts
  • - 75 congregations
  • - Madrid Spain Temple (6,4)

3. France

  • - 34,638 members
  • - 9 stakes, 2 districts
  • - 117 congregations
  • - Bern Switzerland Temple (5,0), Frankfurt Germany Temple (2,2), London England Temple (1,0), Madrid Spain Temple (1,0)
4. Puerto Rico
  • - 19,808 members
  • - 5 stakes, 2 districts
  • - 43 congregations
  • - Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple (5,2)
5. Russia
  • - 19,583 members
  • - 15 districts
  • - 129 congregations
  • - Helsinki Finland Temple (0,15)
6. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • - 19,313 members
  • - 5 stakes, 4 districts
  • - 65 congregations
  • - Johannesburg South Africa Temple (5,4)
7. Zimbabwe
  • - 16,969 members
  • - 3 stakes, 2 districts
  • - 45 congregations
  • - Johannesburg South Africa Temple (3,2)
8. Papua New Guinea
  • - 16,060 members
  • - 1 stake, 6 districts
  • - 53 congregations
  • - Sydney Australia Temple (1,6)
9. Thailand
  • - 15,457 members
  • - 1 stake, 5 districts
  • - 39 congregations
  • - Hong Kong China Temple (1,5)
10. American Samoa
  • - 14,514 members
  • - 4 stakes
  • - 36 congregations
  • - Apia Samoa Temple (4,0)

Rome Italy Temple

A temple was announced for Rome, Italy yesterday in General Conference. The new temple has been anxiously awaited by the Italian saints who currently travel to the Bern Switzerland Temple to participate in temple ordinances. The temple might also serve members in countries such as Albania, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus. Isolated members in North Africa will also be closest to this temple. Currently the two districts of the Church in Armenia attend the temple in Switzerland, but I imagine they will be assigned to the Kyiv Ukraine Temple District once the temple is completed.

There are six stakes in Italy, the most recent being organized in Verona earlier this year. There are also seven districts in the country.

On the above map, yellow and green squares indicate wards and branches.

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple

Yesterday in General Conference a temple was announced for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Until yesterday, Pennsylvania was the state in the United States with the third most members without a temple (behind Virginia and Wyoming). The temple will likely serve members in the 10 stakes and one district in Pennsylvania as well as the Cherry Hill New Jersey Stake and the Wilmington Delaware Stake.

With the announcement of the temples in Philadelphia and Kansas City, there are now 70 temples either currently operating, under construction or announced in the United States.

I think the most likely locations for future temples in the United States include
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Rogers, Arkansas
  • Spanish Fork, Utah
  • Layton, Utah
  • Cedar City, Utah
  • Price, Utah
  • Augusta, Maine

Temples are well established in the United States. We are not likely to see many new temples announced in the future outside of Utah until we start seeing more active membership growth and stake creations.

Temple in the Greater Kansas City Area

A temple was announced for the Kansas City area yesterday in General Conference. The district will likey include nine or 10 stakes in the area. The Church has announced the that property for the temple is secured, but has not indicated if it will be built on one of the previously dedicated temple sites in Missouri or on a new plot of land.

The stakes in the Kansas City area continue to grow. The newest stake was created back in 2004 and the Liberty Missouri Stake has the most congregations out of any stake in the area (nine wards and four branches).

Córdoba Argentina Temple

Announced yesterday in General Conference, the Córdoba Argentina Temple becomes the second temple to be built in the country. Currently there are 70 stakes and 39 districts in the country. The new temple will likely serve around 20 stakes and 10 districts in northern Argentina. This makes Argentina the first Spanish speaking country in South America to have more than one temple. It may come as a surprise considering other Spanish speaking countries in South America have more members than Argentina, like Peru and Chile which have over 440,000 and 540,000 members each but only have one temple. At the end of the year for 2007, there were 363,000 members but the Church reported yesterday that now there are over 375,000.

One of the major differences between Argentina and other Spanish speaking countries in South America is that Argentina has systematically seen growth in new congregations being created (an increase of 50 congregations in the past seven years). Other countries have seen a decline in the number of congregations during this time or a little increase in Church units. The only other countries that are Spanish speaking in South America which have seen a substantial increase in congregations since 2000 is Venezuela and Paraguay.

Returned missionaries have reported that Mendoza, Argentina is a likely city to receive a temple in the near future as well. Currently members travel across the Andes to Santiago, Chile to participate in temple ordinances. The new temple in Cordoba also might be a likely temple for members in this city to worship before a closer temple is built. A small temple is also possible in the southern part of the country considering it could serve over 10 stakes and a few districts.
On the above map, yellow squares represent stakes and green squares represent districts.

Calgary Alberta Temple

The Calgary Alberta Temple was announced yesterday in General Conference. The temple will likely serve members mainly in the six stakes in Calgary. The other stakes in Alberta are closer to the other two temples (Cardston and Edmonton) so the temple district for the new temple will likely be just for the six stakes. It is also likely that a new stake will be created in Calgary in the near future considering there are three stakes with 10 wards a piece and a branch or two. New congregations are created in Calgary regularly.

Alberta has over 73,600 members organized in 205 congregations. The last new stake created in Alberta was in Edmonton. The Calgary Alberta Temple will become the third temple in the province and the eight in Canada. Canada's membership stands around 175,000. The last new stake created in Canada was in Quebec in 2006.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Five New Temples Announced

During his opening talk for the Saturday morning session of the 178 Semi-Annual General Conference for the Church, President Monson announced the following temples:
  • Calgary Alberta Temple
  • Cordoba Argentia Temple
  • Kansas City Missouri Temple
  • Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple
  • Rome Italy Temple

This brings the number of temples announced, operating, or under construction to 145.

I will provide further analysis on these new temples announced when I get more free time. Right now I am a bit overwhelmed with school.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

City Opens for Missionary Work in Mozambique

According to several missionaries serving in the Mozambique Maputo Mission, the city of Nampula will open to the preaching of the Gospel in the next month. This will be the first time missionaries have been assigned to a city in northern Mozambique. A branch functioned in Nampula for around a year or so in 2006 and a branch was just created in the city again by the mission president. Angola will have four missionaries serving in Luanda, the capital city, within the next month or so. There is also word that other cities will also be opening to missionary work next month as well. Right now there are 16 branches and over 4,200 members of the Church in the country.