Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Newsletter

Click here to access the November edition of our newsletter for cumorah.com.


mrcuff said...

Twelve Stakes in one month? I wonder when was the last time that many were created in one month.

Bryan Dorman said...

Soubre Ivory Coast District created. That is the fourth one in the region. Daloa and San Pedro are close to stake status

Bryan Dorman said...

Soubre Ivory Coast District created. That is the fourth one in the region. Daloa and San Pedro are close to stake status

Bryce said...

Very interesting reading about expansion into Ghana and Nigeria and also about translation efforts of BoM into Burmese. Also found the analysis of LDS efforts among Arabic Americans interesting as well Matt, I didn't know the majority were Christian, I wonder why more efforts haven't been made in the U.S. with so much material avaiable in Arabic for about 30 years. I also appreciated your hope for outreach to refugees, I have also thought several times since this great migration into Europe and elsewhere began if there isn't a great potential for people to find the gospel who wouldn't have otherwise. Granted their temproral needs will need to come first (was interesting reading about Elder Ballards visit to refugees in Europe), but maybe those who wouldn't have had the gospel brought to them in Eritrea, Libya, Syria, Iraq, etc. will themselves be brought to the gospel elsewhere.

Pascal Friedmann said...

Missionaries in the Germany Frankfurt and Alpine German-Speaking Missions are currently not teaching recent Muslim refugees. I remember serving in the AGSM under the current Mission President, and actually at the time about 20 to 30% of converts in the Mission were former Muslims. I cannot remember ever being truly discouraged from teaching Muslims, although President's permission was needed to teach more than three lessons or to set a baptismal date. Usually this permission was given freely, except in one case where the investigator received death threats (but it was eventually given in that case, too).

In other words, the hesitant approach to "making use" of the large refugee crowds may actually be an Area policy - even if it hasn't been widely published.

Jeff said...

mcruff: 11 new stakes, rather than 12, is the total. Last year (2014) saw two months--May and November--with 10 new stakes each and one month--June--with 13. The months with the highest number of new stakes over the past several years was May 2011, which saw 17 new stakes formed (many of them YSA stakes in Utah).

Ryan Searcy said...

Prediction for the Tijuana Mexico Temple District - 10 Stakes, all from the San Diego Temple District

Ensenada México Stake
Mexicali México Los Pinos Stake
Mexicali México Stake
San Luis Rio Colorado México Stake
Tijuana México Central Stake
Tijuana México Florido Stake
Tijuana México Insurgentes Stake
Tijuana México La Mesa Stake
Tijuana México Otay Stake
Tijuana México Stake

Bryan Dorman said...

Yep, that is how it is going to be. Basically, all the stakes in the Tijuana Mission.

Would not be surprised if the Cabo and La Paz stakes were taken in too (though I think they will remain under the Mexico City Temple District's AOR. Or perhaps Guadalajara's.

Joseph said...

Unit Update

Carajás Brazil District(3 Branches)
Canaã dos Carajás Branch
Marabá Branch
Parauapebas Branch

Soubre Cote d'Ivoire District (4 Branches)
Meagui 1st Branch
Meagui 2nd Branch
Soubre 1st Branch
Soubre 2nd Branch

Hugo Branch, Gilmer Texas Stake (3 Branch, 6 Wards)
Morrison Ranch Ward, Gilbert Arizona Highland West Stake (1 Branch, 7 Wards)
Plano 10th Ward, Plano Texas Stake (1 Branch, 9 Wards)
Revere Branch (Retirement), Salt Lake South Cottonwood Stake (1 Branch, 5 Wards)

YTD 596(12.42/week 47) +6 (Net +3)
Africa 168, 28.2% (1) - Total 1762 (+1)
America North 135, 22.7% (+3) - Total 9329 (+1)
America Central 42, 7.0% (0) - Total 3919 (-2)
America South 53, 8.9% (+1) - Total 6340 (+1)
Asia 18, 3.0% (0) - Total 927 (0)
Europe 27, 4.5% (0) - Total 1716 (+10)(correction from last weeks apparent disappearance of 10 units)
Pacific 46, 7.7% (0) - Total 2727 (0)
Utah & Idaho 107(86), 18.0% (+1) - Total 6913(5698) (+1)

Totals no-sensitive (Net +1)
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,165 546 22,537 7,357 34,196
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,596 10 12,565 2,070 16,462
US n/a 73 124 1,549 7 12,228 1,921 15,902
Utah n/a 15 10 580 1 4,694 330 5,630
Canada n/a 8 7 47 3 337 149 551
Out 15 67 287 1,569 536 9,972 5,287 17,733

With Sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,165 557 22,541 7,448 34,302

When I do a search for all units I get 34762, a difference of 460 units which makes me wonder about the Algorithm that does the spread sheet.

Ryan Searcy said...

According to LDS Church Temples, we just lost the Boise Idaho South Stake.

James Anderson said...

Interesting, given the I-84 freeway in Boise runs along the south part of the city, and the Cole Road exit, where the temple is, is just west of the I-184 exit towards downtown. Experience in US areas is that if temples are nearby, they attract members wanting to be closer. However, I heard one temple president said that they found that the members that lived closest were the least likely to attend for whatever reason.

TempleRick said...

The Boise suburbs (especially Meridian) have become a magnet for LDS members, who traditionally have good-sized families. The large homes, large lots, good schools, and low crime generally suit them better than the neighborhoods near downtown Boise.

We are seeing a similar shift in Pocatello on the other side of the state. The suburban areas continue to grow, but the older neighborhoods are struggling—especially the Central stake. The stake president has expressed the likelihood that wards will need to be discontinued in the near future.

Ryan Searcy said...

That is a similar problem in Anchorage, though slightly different. The last ward to be discontinued (the one I was in) was because many of the ward members were moving out of town, and there wasn't enough people staying or coming in to remain a ward. The Mountain View area was very sketchy for a while, and is now in the process of turning itself around.

Anchorage is a pretty enclosed city - Cook Inlet to the West, JBER (military base) to the North and East, and Chugach State Park to the South and East, so we cannot really expand. There are lots of people who buy old houses or buildings and replace them with apartments. There was a massive trailer park down the street from where I live that has since become a middle school and several apartments. Across the street, there was a massive empty lot that now houses a Wal-Mart and will also have several apartments.

While we don't have much space, there is still a lot of land for development (which environmentalists want to turn into parks - Anchorage alone has nearly 100 parks, and many of them are very large). Many people from Anchorage move out to Eagle River (which is technically still Anchorage) or the Valley (Wasilla, Palmer).

Eagle River has lots of opportunities to expand, particularly in the northern part (land has been purchased there for a new chapel for when the need arises), and the Mat-Su Valley has tons of land for development. Palmer is a very large agrarian community, so many farmers and ranchers. On the other side of the Knik Arm (Settlers Bay, Goose Bay area), there will be lots of development for housing which will emphasize more need for a bridge to Anchorage (a plan is in place, but it being blocked).

Ray said...

Nov and YTD net growth in Church Units

Nov + 29 W&B; + 31 W - 2 B + 6 st + 1 d
US + 20; + 12 W + 9 Br + 2 st
Outside US + 9; + 19 W - 10 Br + 4 St + 1 d

YTD + 378 W&B, up from 335 same period 2014; + 371 W + 7 B + 48 St - 5 Br + 4 temples
US + 125; + 130 W - 5 B + 14 st - 1 d + 2 temples
Outside US + 253; + 241 W + 12 b + 34 st - 4 d + 2 temples

Areas of greatest growth
US + 125
Ut + 50; + 51 W - 1 B + 6 st + 1 temple
Africa + 158 (80% of increase from West Africa); + 102 W + 56 B + 14 st + 5 dist
Brazil + 37
Mexico +21
Philippines + 19

Mike Johnson said...

Joseph, CDL has other units as well, such as church service units and area coordinating councils.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Bronco Mendenhall going to UVA is pretty big news. General LDS growth in the whole state is good and this should make for better public good will and interest and missionary opportunties.
Funny to think that based on this new contract he will pay in tithing as much as he was earning in our tithes at BYU.
GO COUGARS, go Cavs.

Grant Emery said...

Interesting facts about downtown repelling Mormons. I've found it interesting how much of the Church has retained a 1950's affinity toward suburbia. Being the daydreamer that I am (and I think I'm in good company here), I've wondered if there is a way to encourage urban living among Latter-day Saints, even if it only works in Salt Lake City. For example, apartments with more bedrooms and maybe green, yard-like balconies. Pricing would be an issue, but sometimes there are strings that can be pulled to fix prices within an affordable bracket. I sometimes wonder if we'd have greater success in missionary work in large cities if there were more Utahan Latter-day Saints living in downtown SLC (because they control the videos produced, etc.).

An interesting article by Neylan McBaine discusses the advantages of growing up a Latter-day Saint in Manhattan: http://neylanmcbaine.typepad.com/files/seedsoffaith.dialogue.mcbaine-1.pdf. Of course, many of those advantages don't exactly translate to downtown Pocatello. Also, admittedly, when Ms. McBaine wrote the article, she had only lived in Manhattan (growing up), New Haven (went to Yale), Boston (husband went to Harvard), and San Francisco. Now, she lives in Sandy. So, grain of salt.

Joseph said...

@ Mike
It looks like I double added the areas, missions, and temples that time.
as of today the Total from my search is 34171, the No sensitive total is 34196 and the w/ sensitive is 34301

8 Nov
Man Branch, Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission (11 Branches, 4 Districts, 5 Stakes)

22 Nov
Agboville Branch, Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission (17 Branches, 4 Stakes)

29 Nov
Imbé Branch, Osório Brazil District (6 Branches)

YTD 599(12.48/week 48) +3 (Net +1)
Africa 170, 28.4% (+2) - Total 1764 (+2)
America North 135, 22.5% (0) - Total 9329 (0)
America Central 42, 7.0% (0) - Total 3918 (-1)
America South 54, 9.0% (+1) - Total 6341 (+1)
Asia 18, 3.0% (0) - Total 927 (0)
Europe 27, 4.5% (0) - Total 1716 (+10)(correction from last weeks apparent disappearance of 10 units)
Pacific 46, 7.7% (0) - Total 2727 (0)
Utah & Idaho 107(86), 18.0% (0) - Total 6910(5698) (-3)

Totals no-sensitive (Net +1)
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,164 547 22,536 7,358 34,196
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,595 10 12,563 2,070 16,460
US n/a 73 124 1,548 7 12,226 1,921 15,899
Utah n/a 15 10 580 1 4,694 330 5,630
Canada n/a 8 7 47 3 337 149 551
Out 15 67 287 1,569 537 9,973 5,288 17,736

With Sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,164 558 22,540 7,449 34,302

John Pack Lambert said...

I noticed that Bolgatanga in Ghana is listed as among the places the Church has recently reached. Bolgatanga is located 100 miles north of Tamale, which is the northernmost location in Ghana where there are currently branches with a distance of about 10 miles to Burkina Faso and about as far from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, as it is from Tamale. This might be aworkbale stepping stone for the Church entering Burkina Faso, although English being the official language in Ghana versus French in Burkina Faso may make such a transition difficult.

John Pack Lambert said...

Benue State in Nigeria which saw its first 2 branches formed in November had just over 4 million people at the 2006 census. The Tiv are 98.5% Christian and although a majority in Benue state, I have not got a good sense of how large. The Idoma make up another large percentage of the population. 6% of the population of Benue State is Muslim according to recent estimates. In 2013 there were attacks leading to at least 100 killings by Fulani Muslim herders of Christian farmers in Benue State, however these attacks seem to have mainly originated in Plateau State to the north.

Makrudi is the capital of Benue State and the location of Benue State University which has approximately 19,000 students. Makrudi has 500,000 people. Otukpo on the other hand was the capital of the former Idoma Province, I am not sure what time frame, and is the seat of the traditional king of the Idoma and the center of Idomaland. There are an estimated 3.5 million Idoma, many also live in Cross River State. Cross River State is in the Nigeria Calabar Mission while Benue State is in the Nigeria Enugu Mission. The dialect spoken in Otukpo is the standard one for the Idoma. There might be potential for translating The Book of Mormon and other church materials into Idoma.

John Pack Lambert said...

I can see area presidency hesitance towards baptizing large numbers of refugees. These people have recieved aid from the Church and letting them learn the truths of the gospel longer term instead of acting quickly on that aid may be wise. Although President Uchtdorf freely admits his family recieved aid from the Church around the time of their baptism.

Beyond this, where these refugees will end up long term, either staying in Germany, going to another European country or returning to Syria is hard to say. It is also hard to say they will be able to return to a Syria that accepts former Muslims who have become Christians.

I am not convinced that these are good reasons to hold back, but they are facts to consider.

John Pack Lambert said...

Today in my ward three people baptized last month were sustained to recieve the Aaronic priesthood. 2 as deacons since they are either 12 or 13, and one as a priest, since he is an adult. My ward is so big that we are having a Christmas talen show with light refreshments instead of a Christmas dinner because we can't seat everyone. Although to be fair our building has a fairly small cultural hall.

On another encouraging note my girlfriend got endowed last night.

John Pack Lambert said...

In my ward here in Sterling Heights Michigan we have one active member who is a Chaldean. While Chaldean's do not often identify as Arabs, they are closely associated with the Arab population. They are Catholic Christians from Iraq. We had another family in the ward in the past where the husband was Chaldean. His wife was from Swaziland, of Afrikaans ancestry on her father's side and of mixed Swazi and British ancestry on her mothers side.

I know of at least 3 other families/individuals in the stake who are Chaldean. When I was in what is now the Ann Arbor YSA ward we had a sister whose parents were Christian Palestinian immigrants. My mom has a coworker in the temple whose father's family came from Syria.

The Chaldean member in my ward now left Iraq 5 years ago and joined the Church in Idaho.

When my mom lived in Marin County Calfornia in the late 1970s there was a family in her ward where the father was of Lebanese descent.

When I was nine my primary teacher was a man from Mexico whose wife was from a Lebanese family. She had been born in Michigan but her family still ate traditional Lebanese dishes.

I had a roommate at BYU who served in the Morristown New Jesey Mission from 2001-2003. He told me that in his mission in Patterson, New Jersey they gave some missionaries Arabic name tags to help with outreach to the Egyptian community.

About a mile south of my house there is a baptist Church with its name written out in Arabic, and just over a mile south of that is an Evangelical Christian Church with its name written out in Arabic. So there has been some success in Evangelical outreach to Arabs here in Metro-Detroit.

John Pack Lambert said...

One reason so many Latter-day Saints move out of urban core areas is substandard schools. Unlike other yuppies who either lack children or just have one and can afford to private school, most Latter-day Saints have only the public school option and that means leaving central cities.

On the other hand I have known people who avoided the core area of Detroit because living further in the suburbs meant a larger ward and less likely to get truly demanding callings.

It is hard to say that Latter-day Saints have a "1950s affinity for the suburbs" when urban cores like St. Louis, Baltimore, DC, Detroit, Cleveland and on and on have continued to loose population.

To the extent that urban cores are not loosing population it is fueled by Young Single Adults, who if Manhattan having 4 YSA wards is any sign still congregate to urban cores as well, and empty nesters, who are less promient in the LDS population because of two factors, one being larger families means you have children at home longer, the other is larger birth rates past 1970 means the LDS population skews younger than the US population at large.

That said I knew an LDS couple in the Detroit Suburbs who moved to mid-town Detroit once their youngest child left for college and were a much needed added strength to the Detroit River Branch.

John Pack Lambert said...

Williamsburg in Brooklyn has huge numbers of Orthodox Jews, so being highly religious and living in core cities are not unworkable.

One think that also needs to be born in mind is that if Detroit statistics are anything to go by, as the affluent start to move into the revitalized center city areas, the neighborhoods of the city still see those who are moving up the socio-economic latter flee.

Lastly in some cases the housing is literally replaced by office, factory and other such developments. No one lives within the boundaries of the ward Thomas S. Monson was bishop of.

Mike Johnson said...


>>>Lastly in some cases the housing is literally replaced by office, factory and other such developments. No one lives within the boundaries of the ward Thomas S. Monson was bishop of.

It looks like this is true of 5 of the 6 blocks that formed his ward. But, the southwest block does still appear to be residential.

John Pack Lambert said...

I may have been confused, but I thought I had heard a talk where President Monson specifically stated that the ward he had been bishop of had no current residents.

On a related topic at times the decline of regular, geographical wards is parralled by the increase in YSA wards.

On the Arba issue, I thought of two more Chaldean individuals I have known in my stake, although they may not live here anymore. That is not counting at least 2 others I knew who went inactive not long after joining the Church.

I also knew at least 4 women at BYU whose fathers were Arabic, I think primarily of Lebanese descent.

One factor to bear in mind when considering the number of Arab-Americans is that a large number of Arab-Americans are of mixed ancestry. How much someone like say the actress Terri Hatcher identifies with her Arab ancestry is hard to say.

Thus the Arab-American stats are more comparable to the stats of Americans of Jewish descent than the stats on Jews.

This comes up even more when you bear in mind that someone wrote an article on the Sununu vs Shaheen New Hampshire US Senate race as the first race where both contestants were Arabs. The problem is Mrs. Shaheen is not Arab, her husband is, although I believe they both attend the local Marionite Church.

Somehow I don't think if Julie Boye ran against Mia Love people would write an article describing it as two African-Americans running for office.

The point is it is hard to create specified outreach to such a disperate and unnified community. Add to this there are some Arab-Americans who are Christian convert refugees from countries like Egypt.