Wednesday, February 18, 2015

First Stake Organized in Mozambique; New District Created in Zambia; First Stake to be Created in Zambia in March; Second District to be created in Malawi

On February 15th, the Church organized its first stake in Mozambique. The Maputo Mozambique Stake was organized from the Maputo Mozambique District. Information on which of the seven branches became wards in the new stake remains unavailable. Mozambique was the country with the fourth most members without a stake according to year-end 2013 membership data. The Church in Mozambique experienced rapid membership and congregational growth during the early 2000s although this growth dramatically decreased in the late 2000s. Membership and congregational growth has since rebounded in the 2010s as evidenced by the organization of six new branches within the past year and the organization of the first stake.

Click here to access the statistical profile on LDS growth in Mozambique at

Missionaries serving in the Zambia Lusaka Mission report that the Lusaka Zambia District will become a stake sometime in March. The Lusaka Zambia District has diligently prepared to become a stake for several years and has finally reached the minimal qualifications to become a stake. Currently the district has seven branches and most, if not all, of these branches will become wards when the new stake is organized. Zambia is currently the country with the ninth most Latter-day Saints without a stake based on year-end 2013 membership data.

Missionaries also report that the Church recently organized a second member district in the Copperbelt Region of northern Zambia. The Church reopened the Copperbelt to missionary activity during the early 2000s after several decades of no LDS presence in the area. The new district appears to be based in Ndola. No information is currently available regarding what congregations are in the new district. The Church currently reports five branches in the Copperbelt Region. Missionaries report plans to organize additional branches.

Missionaries serving in the Zambia Lusaka Mission report that approval has been given to organize the Lilongwe Malawi District. The Church currently has four branches in the Lilongwe area (Kalambo, Kauma 1st, Kauma 2nd, and Lilongwe). Missionaries also indicate there are plans to organize additional branches in the Lilongwe area within the near future. The Church in Malawi organized its first district in Blantyre in 2011.


John Pack Lambert said...

Very exciting news about Church growth in both Zambia and Malawi, as well as Mozambique. Church history in Zambia is very interesting. The Church had a presence there in the 1950s and 1960s, among whites though. With the end of colonialism those left and the Church ceased to exist for a time. More recent growth has not been as large as in neighboring Zimbabwe, where the Church has had a long constant presence and managed to move from being a Church of the white majority to being mainly black. Elder Dube, who is currently a member of the 1st Quorum of the 70, joined the Church during the period it was still heavily white. He was working as a servant for a church member. At first he felt like he was in a lower social class than the Church members present at the meeting he went to, but discussion of the Book of Mormon which he had been reading made him feel he fit in.

I am hoping for announcements of temples in both Harare, Zimbabwe and Abijan, Ivory Coast this year.

Grant Emery said...

Continuing the conversation from the comments on the previous post ...

With regards to the Provo City Center Temple, I had heard early on that they were considering doing two baptistries. Anyone know if that ended up happening? That would also affect the number of temple workers required.

Is the California Living Church History Mission restricted to just the Mormon Battalion site? Or are there other ones? I've never even been to that one.

On a related note, I hear that they are doing some big changes in some visitors' centers. I heard the Mexico City Temple Visitors' Center will now include a sort of "ride" where you get into a physical boat that takes you through a display (talking about the "storms of life", for example). It sounded a lot like Pirates of the Caribbean to me, but my source was under the same surprising impression. Also, at Temple Square, apparently they are going to completely redo the North Visitor's Center, tearing it down and rebuilding. I know they are going to have a missionary exhibit like that of the DC Temple Visitor's Center. They'll also try to improve street engagement - as I understand it, the Christus will now be facing the street and I think you'll be able to enter the North Visitor's Center from North Temple. Interesting changes headed our way!

MainTour said...

"Is the California Living Church History Mission restricted to just the Mormon Battalion site?"

I've not heard of that. Sister missionaries from the San Diego Mission do a rotation to help serve there in period costume.

Scott S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Anderson said...

It may be just another faith-promoting rumor or story, but here is what has gone around town in Provo to some degree or another.

In 2010, the Provo Temple baptistry began to get very busy, in fact, I had gone to a funeral in a nearby meetinghouse and had seen a letter stating that they had many more coming into the baptistry to do work, three to four times more in fact.

About that time, according to the story, the temple presidency and others began to consider building a second baptistry in the basement on the upcoming winter closure. They then sent the proposal to the presiding bishopric, who passed it on to the First Presiency.

The First Presidency came back saying, 'No, that's not how we do things' or something to that effect, when it came to temple baptistries. That was early december.

I do not know when that came back, some say ten days before, but about that much time is said to have passed before the Tabernacle burned. The fire marshal said it was nothing more than a filmmakers' hot light set to close to some of the very dry woodwork in the building that caused the fire.

Interestingly, even though each temple will have one baptistry, they found a pioneer baptistry (a video about that is on and youtube) was found not too far from the northeast corner of the old Tabernacle, feet basically from where the new temple baptistry will be, that will be the east end of the building, closer to the northeast corner.

John Pack Lambert said...

Are there any current temples that have more than one baptistry?

Mike Johnson said...

John, I really doubt that there are.

If it ever happens, however, it will be in Salt Lake or Utah counties.

Pascal said...

Talking about baptistries, I helped out some younger members of my YSA ward with baptisms yesterday morning. We went to the Ogden Temple and waited for almost three hours outside/inside the chapel. It was my first time going for baptisms since before my Mission so I am not sure if this is a trend or usual or an exception, but getting there and seeing perhaps 150 to 200 youth in front of you waiting to be baptized (not even standing, everyone could be fit into the chapel) was quite impressive. I`m really not worried at all about the future of the Church.

James Anderson said...

A stake president in southern Salt Lake County took his youth one night, and he performed each and every baptism as officiator they performed. The total was 500. The story is in the leadership training video on the Rootstech Family Discovery Day page on

Most temples are saying they get to do five each when they go. Was that the case with this crowded situation?

John Pack Lambert said...

Before my mission when I was at BYU I would go to the baptistry to do baptisms fairly often in the Provo Temple. This was back in 1999-2000. I remember one worker seemed to always be rushing the work, which I always wondered if it was the best way. There was lots of use of the baptistry even then. Probably though the easiest way to use the baptistry more is to have it open more hours. Both the baptistry and the temple were open on Monday morning till maybe 2 in the afternoon for example.

John Pack Lambert said...

In my ward they are trying to exceed the reccomended level from the Detroit Temple by getting lots of family file names from ward members, preferrably from the youth. Also in my ward we have more youth than the baptistry can accomadate at once, so they sent any youth above the limit, I am not sure how they pick which ones since this just became an issue last month and they have only had one baptismal trip since. Well anyway they send those youth to the Family History Center in the stake center on the same property as the temple (which was built 42 years before the temple) and have them do family history research.

James Anderson said...

One way to do baptisms is to contact the temple about their new family visits time for baptisms.

According to an article in the Church News part of, dated December 30th and having to do with the work of salvation generally, all temples are to have a set-aside time for entire families to do baptisms. That RootsTech leadership training also said that it should be posted on the Church website page for a given temple when that would be. However, I'm not seeing it yet.

If that is known, get parents of the youth involved too. It is possible that fathers could officiate, much like that stake president did, where their own teen children were the persons being baptized for the ancestor.

James Anderson said...

Got one more.

Last night (Saturday) at Provo my high priest group leader was assigned to the recommend desk at the baptistry and they had patrons in the hall waiting to go in and even find a seat while waiting their turn to go in for baptisms.

Mike Johnson said...

In the Washington DC Temple on Saturday mornings (when I serve), it is not uncommon to have multiple large baptistry groups waiting at the recommend desk, in numbers far beyond the number of chairs available.

TempleRick said...

Ndola Zambia District
Luanshya Branch
Masala Branch
Ndola Branch