Thursday, January 2, 2014

December 2013 Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access the December 2013 newsletter for  Our monthly newsletters provide a summary of recent church growth and missionary developments and identify recently posted resources on our website.


James Crowther said...

It was announced in my Ward today that On January 19th 2014 that the Iona Idaho South Stake will be created.

This leaves the Idaho Falls Lincoln Stake as 6 Wards and 2 Branches:
Eastview Ward
Lincoln 1st Ward
Lincoln 2nd Ward
Lincoln 3rd Ward
Sandcreek 2nd Ward
Sandcreek 3rd Ward
Fallsbrook Branch
Mesa (Spanish) Branch

The Iona Idaho Stake will include 7 Wards:
Lincoln 4th Ward
Lincoln 5th Ward
Lincoln 6th Ward
Lincoln 7th Ward
Iona 2nd Ward
Iona 5th Ward
Iona 11th Ward

The Iona South Stake will Include 8 Wards:
Iona 1st Ward
Iona 3rd Ward
Iona 4th Ward
Iona 6th Ward
Iona 7th Ward
Iona 8th Ward
Iona 9th Ward
Iona 10th Ward

Ed Clinch said...

I know this is a forum for discussion regarding LDS church growth and we keep it positive and non-bashing, but I wanted to make a comment about a recent "anti-Mormon" article/letter I read at my public library; I do not wish to denigrate or attack anyone, but simply express a few feelings about it, and how it may (or may not) affect LDS growth.

I started observing and reading Christianity Today back in 1997 at a public library in Indiana. I don't read it too consistently to say I am a regular reader, but I also have done searches on-line for related LDS articles and references. It is interesting to read about us from a "mainstream Evangelical" perspective. They refer to the "Church" of Christ in their own unique way.

This last article I read was called something like "Leaving the Mormon Temple", which cover reference got my attention. The woman talks about leaving our faith after her third missionary son ends his full time mission denying facets of the LDS faith and apparently being disciplined for his attitude/testimony.
I don't need or want to get into a blow by blow , but I wonder how the affect of this article prominently placed in this national magazine has on our efforts.
Probably preaching to the choir already, so to speak.
She quotes an LDS hymn and thinks it elegizes Joseph Smith too much, but her overall thesis is that Christ does not have to be worshipped through church activity. I would think that many pastors and priests would be opposed to this view, and yet she freely voices it here in order to distance herself from her former membership as LDS.
Reminds me a little of the irony of the Ghanaian government once forbidding the LDS form legal worship there. And it seemed to backfire in a positive way.

Things to consider, and I don't want to be too distracted by anti rhetoric, but just a few reactions to think about.

Mike Johnson said...

The Oquirrh Lake 9th Ward, South Jordan Utah Oquirrh Lake Stake, was created on 5 January. There are now 9 wards in the stake:

Oquirrh Lake 1st Ward
Oquirrh Lake 2nd Ward
Oquirrh Lake 3rd Ward
Oquirrh Lake 4th Ward
Oquirrh Lake 5th Ward
Oquirrh Lake 6th Ward
Oquirrh Lake 7th Ward
Oquirrh Lake 8th Ward
Oquirrh Lake 9th Ward

The Bluffdale 15th Ward, Bluffdale Utah Stake, was created on 5 January. There are now 15 wards in the stake:

Bluffdale 1st Ward
Bluffdale 2nd Ward
Bluffdale 3rd Ward
Bluffdale 4th Ward
Bluffdale 5th Ward
Bluffdale 6th Ward
Bluffdale 7th Ward
Bluffdale 8th Ward
Bluffdale 9th Ward
Bluffdale 10th Ward
Bluffdale 11th Ward
Bluffdale 12th Ward
Bluffdale 13th Ward
Bluffdale 14th Ward
Bluffdale 15th Ward

Mike Johnson said...

Ed, thanks for sharing. I have been amused on occasion reading Christianity Today. I find some of its contents on the mark and consistent with LDS doctrine and even offering new ideas how strengthen my faith. I find much of it thought provoking. Then I come across things designed to discredit the LDS Church, most of the content of which I don't recognize.

It is called "boundary maintenance," meaning it is done to protect evangelical flocks from poaching by LDS missionaries. They like to impose a creed on us that is partly acceptable, but for many reasons is not. It takes a very strict definition to what Mormons believe. I find that the majority of the former Mormons they feature seem to have a relatively poor understanding of LDS doctrine and practice, based on a few sensational things.

That said, for every person protected by boundary maintenance efforts, another is intrigued enough to investigate the LDS Church. I find that more often then not, "all news is good news" when it comes to getting people to think about Mormonism.

MainTour said...

Thanks for sharing Ed.

A couple of years ago, the brethren talked about the need for members to be prepared to take the opportunity some "Negative Buzz" and turning it into a positive experience.

For example, today's controversial episode about Gov Christie in NJ and has greatly heightened my opinion of him, be watching how he responds to a crisis.

In this case, this might a good time to write a letter to the editor of C.T.

Ed Clinch said...

Looks like Bluffdale Stake is ready to split. 15 wards. What stakes border them?

Referring back to anti-LDS things (more for speculation on how it may spur or sour growth), it is a continual interest to me how and when these happen. Last year with Mitt Romney in the public eye, I think a good book could be put together regarding a lot of that.

I first observed anti-Mormons in person at a play in Kalispell, MT. Later I think I saw a little outside the newly finished Chicago temple in the mid 80s.

In my mission in Chile in the early 90s, the national newspaper (El Mercurio) did an expose on the church and its genealogy vaults. The tone of the article seemed apprehensive or suspicious, but I remember hearing about people in my zones becoming more interested in the faith as a result of that, suggesting that a persecuted religion must have some or "the" truth in it (as heard from a new investigator).

The mainline Protestant magazine Christian Century seems to have less biased anti type articles, which may be more passive in their outreach to begin with, as it seems their attitudes may reflect in their institutions and consequent growth or non-growth.

Competitive faiths sometimes raise the ante on the anti speech.

Mike Johnson said...

The Westbank 2nd Branch (Spanish), New Orleans Louisiana Stake, was created on 5 January. There are now 6 wards and 3 branches in the stake:

Covington Ward
Jefferson Ward
La Place Ward
New Orleans 1st Ward
New Orleans 2nd Ward (Spanish)
Thibodaux Ward
Luling Branch
Westbank 1st Branch
Westbank 2nd Branch (Spanish)

The Park Branch (Care Center), West Haven Utah Stake, was created on 29 December. There are now 6 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Country Meadows Ward
Kanesville Ward
Rose Wood Ward
Stone Creek Ward
West Haven Ward
White Rail Ward
Park Branch (Care Center)
Peach Tree Branch (Care Center)

Mike Johnson said...

Ed, plenty of stakes border the Bluffdale Utah Stake. Two of the 8 Riverton stakes border the Bluffdale stake on the north. The Riverton Utah Stake on the northeast has 7 wards and 1 branch. The Riverton Utah South Stake on the northwest has 10 wards.

To the west, one of the 5 Herriman stakes borders the Bluffdale Utah Stake. The Herriman Utah South Stake has 12 wards.

There are two Draper stakes to the east, and 6 stakes in Utah county (various Lehi, Saratoga Springs, and Eagle Mountain), but they are only close to the branch at the prison, the wards of the Bluffdale stake are well to the north. They also aren't that close to the wards in the two adjacent Draper Stake (Draper Utah River View and Draper Utah Mountain Point).

While any of these stakes could be used, those that would provide wards closest to the concentration of Bluffdale stake wards would be the two Riverton stakes mentioned above.

The area (Riverton, Herriman, and Bluffdale) are growing rapidly. Bluffdale may have the same situation as my stake in Virginia where Sacrament Meeting attendance averages about 65% of the membership. If so, than they might still be well away from the required number of members for 2 stakes (6000) and yet have enough wards and may have enough active, full tithe paying, Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

If they are getting close to meet thresholds, they might want to just wait until 2 stakes can be created. I suspect we might see something in the next weeks or months.

Ray said...


Thank you for the excellent newsletter, as always.
You did a great job of summarizing all that took place in December (a busy month for new stakes!), and I especially enjoyed reading your thoughtful case studies.

The one on Church growth in West Africa was very interesting--activity rates must be quite high to have so many new units and such membership growth.

I was sad to learn from Deseret Book that there would be no 2014 Church Almanac. The word was
that "the information was available online" and I immediately thought of your blog, and others, like These are great sources of information and are updated continually.

Thanks again!

Mike Johnson said...

Unfortunately, the online almanac is a few years out of date.

Matt said...


Most of the information in the Kindle version is current as of mid-2013 whereas the country and regional profiles online are current as of 2011. We will be updating the profiles online sometime in the coming months when I find the time.

Mike Johnson said...

I wasn't aware of a kindle version. I'll have to find it.

The LDS News Almanac has one 2011 story. The country profiles were published in January and February 2010, but the data is for 1 January 2009. They are 5 years out of date. Before that, it is a great source and I have links to it.

Mike Johnson said...

Deseret Book just answered: "Unfortunately No" to my question about whether there is a Kindle version of the LDS Almanac. Matt, could you point me to where it is?

Mike Johnson said...

Sorry, Matt, you were talking about your versions. I had missed that.

I have bought volume 1 of the Kindle.

Matt said...

I have created a link to the Kindle Edition of our new book on the right-hand column of my site.