Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another New Stake In Mexico

A new stake has been created in the state of Baja California Sur in México. The Cabo San Lucas México Stake was created from the Cabo San Lucas México District. The new stake consists of the Cabo San Lucas 1st, Cabo San Lucas 2nd, Los Cangrejos, San Jose del Cabo 1st, and San Jose del Cabo 2nd wards as provided by The Cabo San Lucas México District was created back in 1997 and only had two branches back in 2002. Growth has been very strong for a stake to be organized in Cabo San Lucas considering the district was organized only 12 years ago and did not have enough congregations to become a stake until recently. I do not know whether this is due to high numbers of convert baptisms, members moving into the area or a combination of both. Only one other stake is in the state of Baja California Sur in La Paz (which was organized in 1989. With the creation of this stake there are now 216 stakes and 37 districts in México. Four districts have become stakes in México just in the past few weeks and hopefully we will see at least a couple more in the near future.


Brandon Plewe said...

These last few months in Mexico are exciting, but many of these new stakes in Mexico seem to be quite small (5-6 units). I hope that this isn't a repeat of the mid-90s in Chile, where lots of very small stakes were created, but weren't sustainable, and 30+ had to be shut down in 2002-2003.

Matt said...

The current situation in Mexico is completely different than in Chile. The stakes that were discontinued in Chile between 2001 and 2003 were the result of very small stakes created between 1993 and 1998. These small stakes were created in order to give new coverts more opportunities for leadership positions in an effort to decrease inactivity. This resulted in units with far too few active members and resulted in Elder Holland reorganizing most of the stakes in the country. Most of these very small stakes were around the Santiago area and most were created from pre-existing stakes.

The four new stakes created in Mexico in the past few weeks were all created from districts, some of which have been working for years to become stakes. The Area Presidency is very concerned about making sure that the area is ready to have a stake before one is organized. This is evident with the request for the number of active Melchizedek Priesthood holders to increase from 100 to 120 before a stake could be created. The criteria for a new stake to be created is higher than 10-15 years ago in an effort to create stronger stakes of Zion. The reason for why most of these new stakes in Mexico only have five or six wards is because they are being created from districts. When stakes are created from pre-existing stakes they tend to have more congregations.

We have seen new stakes in the United States in the past couple years to all be quite large. Most new stakes in the United States had 5-7 wards within their boundaries up until a couple years ago. The smallest stake created recently in the United States was the Pleasant Grove Utah West Stake (which had six wards) and the largest stakes being organized have up to nine wards. I am not sure why this is occurring; perhaps it is so fewer new stakes are organized (resulting in fewner new Church buildings) to save money. Maybe another reasons is so a new stake can meet the same demands as an older, more established stake in terms of temple assignments, missionary work, and service.