Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access our May monthly newsletter for cumorah.com that details recent LDS Church growth developments and updated or new resources provided by The Cumorah Foundation.


Mike Johnson said...

Great to see the 2nd Mongolia Stake created. From one missionary (http://mongolianotmagnolia.blogspot.com/) this week:

"On the bright side though we had stake conference where we now officially have 2 stakes in Mongolia. Two members from the Seventy came to Mongolia to do this and so that was really cool! We say Elder Toronto and Elder Gong. They both gave great talks and it was really cool being able to hear from them and to have them create that new stake! SO yea its official!"

Mike Johnson said...

I noticed one missionary stated that the Ulaanbaatar left stake was created. I am curious about "left". In ancient Egyptian, the words for East and left were the same. (Stand next to the Nile as it empties into the Mediterranean with you back to the Mediterranean and you can get their directions. Left = East; Right = West; Front = South; and Back = North. The ancient Israelites were similar, but rotated. Left = North; Right = South; Front = East; Back = West--again stand in Israel with your back to the Med).

I wonder if something similar is happening in Mongolian. Or maybe the missionary just made a mistake.

Ryan Searcy said...

Intriguing. The groups in Jalostotitlan and Arandas are both near the Tepatitlan Branch. I wonder if a district would be created after both groups become branches.

Christopher said...

It is great to see a word there about Honduras. I served my mission there 2004-2006 and the activity rates were quite low. Missionary efforts were almost exclusively focused on baptism rates, with not much interest in activation or retention. Missionaries were actively discouraged from visiting inactive members, as we were told our job is just to baptize. This never sat right with me, and I was a little rebellious on that point. However, after about my first year there, Preach my Gospel came out and the door opened quite a bit to the idea that we were meant to spend time activating members as well as baptizing. I spent a lot of my mission teaching temple prep courses, visiting inactives, helping leadership with ward activities, etc. and had a lot of success that way with activation, as well as with baptizing new members as well. Branches that were limping along at 15 members active on a Sunday tripled, jumping up to 50-70 with the new emphasis on activation. Wards that had only 50 active members on given a Sunday went up to 100-200 by the time I left. When I returned two years later, I was amazed to see small wards had doubled and tripled in their attendance. This growth doesn't show well with statistics because the Church is not making a lot of new wards or branches, but the wards are actually functioning with the amount of members and leadership they should have had in the first place.

Also, the new temple has added a depth of spiritual maturity and growth to those members that doesn't show up in a chart or graph. Talking with a lot of the members and converts I know shows me that there has been exciting progress in that nation.

Mike Johnson said...
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Mike Johnson said...

6 stakes in June and July in the Africa West Area and 6 more from August to December is believable just looking at the districts in the area. There are a number of large districts in the Area, some of which may be close to qualifying as stakes. And then there are the possible 1 to 2; 2 to 3; 3 to 4 stake reorganizations. There are 12 districts in the Area with 8 or more branches.

Ile-Ife Nigeria District: 11 branches
Onitsha Nigeria District: 11 branches

Ekpoma Nigeria District: 10 branches

Kissy Sierra Leone District: 9 branches
Koforidua Ghana District: 9 branches
Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District: 9 branches

Akamkpa Nigeria District: 8 branches
Bo Sierra Leone West District: 8 branches
Daloa Cote d'Ivoire District: 8 branches
Etinan Nigeria Stake: 8 branches
Ijebu-Ode Nigeria District: 8 branches
Yenagoa Nigeria District: 8 branches

Abomosu Ghana District: 7 branches
Adzope Cote d'Ivoire District: 7 branches
Asaba Nigeria District: 7 branches
Asamankese Ghana District: 7 branches
Bo Sierra Leone East District: 7 branches
Ikot Ekpene Nigeria District: 7 branches
Kenema Sierra Leone District: 7 branches
Kpong Ghana District: 7 branches
Ogwashi-Nsukwa Nigeria District: 7 branches
San Pedro Cote d'Ivoire District: 7 branches
Sunyani Ghana District: 7 branches
Twifu Praso Ghana District: 7 branches

Aboisso Cote d'Ivoire District: 6 branches
Ibiono Nigeria District: 6 branches
Monrovia Liberia District: 6 branches
Okrika Nigeria District: 6 branches
Paynesville Liberia District: 6 branches

Agona Ghana District: 5 branches
Divo Cote d'Ivoire District: 5 branches
Etinan Nigeria North District: 5 branches
Gagnoa Cote d'Ivoire District: 5 branches
Ho Ghana District: 5 branches
Obuasi Ghana District: 5 branches
Oron Nigeria District: 5 branches
Soubre Cote d'Ivoire District: 5 branches
Tamale Ghana District: 5 branches

Abakaliki Nigeria District: 4 branches
Asaga Ohafia Nigeria District: 4 branches
Jos Nigeria District: 4 branches
Mbaise Nigeria District: 4 branches

Agbor Nigeria District: 3 branches
Nkawkaw Ghana District: 3 branches
Ondo Nigeria District: 3 branches

There are 62 stakes in the Area:

Aba Nigeria North Stake
Aba Nigeria Ogbor Hill Stake
Aba Nigeria South Stake
Abak Nigeria Stake
Abeokuta Nigeria Stake
Abuja Nigeria Stake
Benin City Nigeria Ihogbe Stake
Benin City Nigeria Ikpokpan Stake
Benin City Nigeria New Benin Stake
Benin City Nigeria Oregbeni Stake
Benin City Nigeria Siluko Stake
Benin City Nigeria Ugbowo Stake
Calabar Nigeria South Stake
Calabar Nigeria Stake
Eket Nigeria Stake
Enugu Nigeria Stake
Ibadan Nigeria Stake
Ikot Akpaden Nigeria Stake
Ikot Eyo Nigeria Stake
Lagos Nigeria Agege Stake
Lagos Nigeria Egbeda Stake
Lagos Nigeria Festac Stake
Lagos Nigeria Ikeja Stake
Lagos Nigeria Yaba Stake
Okpuala Ngwa Nigeria Stake
Owerri Nigeria Stake
Port Harcourt Nigeria East Stake
Port Harcourt Nigeria Stake
Port Harcourt Nigeria West Stake
Ukat Aran Nigeria Stake
Umuahia Nigeria Stake
Uyo Nigeria Stake
Warri Nigeria Stake

Accra Ghana Adenta Stake
Accra Ghana Christiansborg Stake
Accra Ghana Kaneshie Stake
Accra Ghana Kasoa Stake
Accra Ghana Lartebiokorshie Stake
Accra Ghana Ofankor Stake
Accra Ghana Tesano Stake
Ashaiman Ghana Stake
Assin Foso Ghana Stake
Cape Coast Ghana Stake
Kumasi Ghana Bantama Stake
Kumasi Ghana Dichemso Stake
Mpintsin Ghana Stake
Takoradi Ghana Stake
Tema Ghana Stake
Winneba Ghana Stake
Yamoransa Ghana Stake

Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon North Stake
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon South Stake
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Toit Rouge Stake
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Yopougon Attie Stake
Abobo Cote d'Ivoire East Stake
Abobo Cote d'Ivoire West Stake
Cocody Cote d'Ivoire Stake
Port-Bouet Cote d'Ivoire Stake
Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake

Freetown Sierra Leone Stake

Cotonou Benin Stake

Lomé Togo Stake

Margarita Elizabeth Delgado Grijalva said...

Great News about Arandas and Jalos , I lived there and is the most hard preaching area in all Mexico , It was the origin place of the movement call " Cristeros " an old Catolic war vs Goverment . This is the most significant improvement in many years .

Bryce said...

I couldn't help going to Google to see how close Bolgatanga was to the border of Burkina Faso, apparently just over an hour. Also, international border aside, the capital of Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou) is "only" 3.5 hours from Bolgatanga.

Mike Johnson said...

More Mongolia details from Sister Hansen (http://jenniferhansenmongolia.blogspot.com/) Selbe ward is now in the Ulaanbaataar East Stake.

"Yesterday we had our new stake conference!! WOWW it was amazing!! We knew that our Selbe ward had been split, and a new stake was created, but we didn't get details until just yesterday!! Elders Wong and Toronto from the 70 were here to organize the new stake, and it was so wonderful. 5 of our branches became wards. 5!!! Our Selbe ward split into Selbe and Bayngold, and Bayngold is in the same stake, and Selbe is in the new East stake!! Which means until the end of the transfer, Sister Gardiner and I are serving in BOTH stakes!!! WOW! It was such a great day. Elders Wong and Toronto talked about how much the Mongolian members are being blessed, but how they cannot start to rest now. We are SO CLOSE to getting a 3rd stake. It will hopefully happen while I am still here. They talked a lot about the missionaries and members have to be equally yoked and work together, or else we cannot do anything. The members here are so faithful, but they have to work just as hard as the missionaries to find people, to share the gospel with their friends and family, and if they don't work with us, then we can't do anything. We need them, and they need us. It was the most interesting stake conference I've ever been too."

Eduardo Clinch said...

We have some less active Mongolians in my ward who have lived at BYU-Hawaii, one of whom helped translate the Mongolian Book of Mormon. Any ideas to help them?

Michael Worley said...

Vietnam! http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865655507/Church-receives-official-recognition-in-Vietnam.html

Eduardo Clinch said...

I know the previous flooding in and around Houston Texas did not affect the temple or apparently many local LDS chapels, but any word on how the temple and other facilities are fairing now?

The LDS Church is widespread enough now that there could be a blog/newsletter to only report on droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, hurricanes and other natural catastrophes. In my opinion, natural disasters are a necessary nod to organized faiths and the way we have handled them in the past, present, and future is a continued hallmark of how Latter-day Saints should continue to organize and operate.

I hope the ward members of Fort McMurray Alberta are comforted and that their influence is being met in the ways of positive faith.

Really cool newsletter this month.

Bryce .Gillespie said...

Wouldn't it be great to see a 3rd stack with in a year or so of the 2nd being made. I wonder how many countries have had something like that.

Mike Johnson said...

Post on the Mongolia Ulaanbaataar Mission Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/16217207881/?ref=br_rs)

"Sunday, 29 May 2016, at an historic combined gathering, the second Stake in this country was organized, the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar East Stake. It is comprised of the American Denj, Bayanzurkh, Sansar, Selbe, and Sukhbaatar wards, and the Nalaikh and Baganuur branches, with Stake President Adiyabold Namkhai, and counselors Batbold Khishigdorj and Anand Enkhtuvshin."

Mike Johnson said...

2 stakes, 1 district, and 4 mission branches now in Mongolia for a total of 25 wards and branches:

Ulaanbaatar Mongolia West Stake:
Enkhtaivan Ward
Khan Uul Ward
Bayangol Ward
Songino Ward
Tuul Ward
Unur Ward
Jargalant Ward
Khovd Branch

Ulaanbaatar Mongolia East Stake:
American Denj Ward
Selbe Ward
Bayanzurkh Ward
Sansar Ward
Sukhbaatar Ward
Baganuur Branch
Nalaikh Branch

Darkhan Mongolia District, Mongolia Ulaanbaataar Mission:
Selenge Branch
Zuun Kharaa Branch
Shine Darkhan Branch
Khuuchin Darkhan Branch
Erdenet 1st Branch
Erdenet 2nd Branch

Mörön Branch, Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission
Choibalsan Branch, Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission
Oyu-Tolgoi Branch, Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission Branch

John Pack Lambert said...

I think it is high time to have state by state profiles for Australia, Mexico and Brazil as well as the US and Canada.

John Pack Lambert said...

I wonder if the recent creations of new wards in Guatemala show that the Church has moved through the reactivation to stable phase for wards and is now to the point where real growth is moving units above the level they need to be at to operate.

John Pack Lambert said...

I also wonder if these two new groups in Jalisco Stake, and posible dozens if not hundreds of other groups across Latin America and Africa and hopefully in some parts of the US, would have been organized as branches back in the 1990s. Considering that at least one branch was organized in my stake in the 1990s with just one Melchezidek Preisthood holder residing in the branch, I am thinking that this might be happening. So we are now at a point where the ground level growth is often hard to track. Considering that there were 2 branches organized in my stake in 1995 that were folded after about 2 months, this may also be covering a mesiness of ground level growth, where at times groups only last a short time. I imagine in places where groups have been formed by people, especially expatriate business families on shorty term assignments in isolated locations, they come and go a lot.

John Pack Lambert said...

I believe one of the Kumasi Ghana Stakes has 18 units at present, 10 wards and 8 branches. That means in theory they could split two stakes and a district from it, and it would be a large district, or the stakes would have branches as well as the minimum of 5 wards. That is without any more creation of wards or branches and with no boundary changes with the other Kumasi stakes.

Christopher Nicholson said...

@Eduardo Clinch, for the one guy, maybe have someone who doesn't know him personally get in touch with him and be like "Hey, I heard that you helped translate the Book of Mormon into Mongolian! That's so cool! Tell me about it!" etc...

Mike Johnson said...

The Kumasi Ghana Dichemso Stake has 10 wards and 8 branches. The Kumasi Ghana Bantama Stake has 11 wards and 6 branches. That is 21 wards and 14 branches between. This is another place in the Africa West Area, where a new stakes could be created in the near future.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Thanks, it's actually a sister. Her husband, the one I think attended BYU-Hawaii, I guess works 7 days a week and doesn't have time for church.
You inspired me to buy a Mongolian copy, get her to sign it, then give it to the neighbor lady who is Mongolian and maybe never heard of LDS.
We got a plan!

Christopher Nicholson said...

Sorry, I shouldn't have assumed her gender. My bad. That's great to hear though! If the neighbor lady gets baptized I'd better get partial credit on judgment day ;)

Maybe you don't need this anymore, but another thought I had this morning was maybe asking the one who helped with the translation to give a fireside about it. And then invite all the other Mongolians since it would presumably be of interest to them.

John Pack Lambert said...

You should say "I should not have assumed her sex". Gender is a term that should be avoided since it was devised to undermine the importance of biological sex.

Ohhappydane33 said...
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Ohhappydane33 said...
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Christopher Nicholson said...

"Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." - The Family: A Proclamation to the World

John Pack Lambert said...

True, but having read much on the current use of the term, I have come to realize we are best off avoiding it. Although to be fair I think some chose to use gender instead of sex just because the term sex has come to more often refer to sexual acts. When schools that have set up three single stall, unisex bathrooms are sued because they insist on keeping multi-unit bathrooms separated on the basis of sex, while only sex discrimination and not gender descrimination is banned by the Civil Rights Act, precision in language become important. Although arguably there is something more to gender than physical sex, although to be fair I have no real understanding of what premortal gender means.

This actually points out that Mormon thought on this matter is radically different from Niceane Christian thought. We know this because of the clear statement of Heavenly Father, although since Trinitarians speak of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, I guess they do invoke sex. However Mormonisms speaking of Heavenly Mother is rare, and leads to claims that Mormonism teaches that Jesus was married, a position that no recent LDS Church leader has endorsed as a doctrinal absolute. Speaking of Heavenly Mother is also on the rate side, but is clearly present, as are terms like Heavenly Parents.

I wonder if there are cultures where presenting that the Church does teach of a Heavenly Mother would help missionary work.

John Pack Lambert said...

Some posit that in an incresingly unisex culture the LDS Church will not be able to maintain sex specific institutions. Othersposit that with the end of legal definition of marriage as a man/woman institution, the LDS Church will eventually have to follow suit.

Both groups take as their cue the Church's past policies on the role of those of African descent in the Church. However I think they look to the wrong precedents, and misunderstand the precedents that they look to.

To begin with Joseph Smith ordained men of African descent to the priesthood, and the best scholarship on the matter suggests that the total end to ordaining those of African descent to the priesthood relates to Mormons seeking the status of being white. Contrary to what some have written, Idaho did not exclude Mormons from voting as non-Christians, but as non-whites. Idaho was the first state to elect a Jew as governor (Utah was the second), but it excluded Native Americans from voting until at least the 1930s if not later, although many Native Americans in Idaho were Christian.

Clearly 10 years before the 1978 revelation, and from some sources much earlier than that, it was seen as likely that the policy would be changed, when the Lord gave revelation to change it. Why the Lord waited until 1978 to give the revelation is hard to say, but I shy from any easy, quick answer, because it is clear in hind sight from reading Edward L. Kimball's biography of his father that Spencer W. Kimball wrestled with this issue for years.

On the other hand Spencer W. Kimball stated the Church would never stop comdemning homosexual actions. At times the rheotric from the pro-homosexual bahavior campaigns is meant to make it seem this is a very recent phenomenon, ignoring the role homosexuality played in classic Greek civilization among others.

I think a better precedent for the man/woman marriage issue is alcohol prohibition. When alcohol use in the US was legalized, it did not change the Church's stand on the issue. Also, the fact that marriage in the temple is on a different footing that civil marriage, and that the Church's stance on pre-marital sex especially among those who are engaged is out of line at least with the attitudes promoted in the media is a good start.

The issue of maintaining sex specific institutions in an increasingly unisex society is a bit more tricky. However having women participate in the ordiances of the temple was truly radical for the 1840s. Also working as a male pre-school teacher, I have to say some of the claims about society being unisex are overblown and ignore the reality on the ground.

John Pack Lambert said...

I wonder how long it will be until Nigeria has 100 stakes.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I prefer using gender in lieu of "sex", I think because the latter is overused and abused as a word in general, and can lead some of us to be distracted.
Sometimes the word is used to refer to the organ of reproduction.
Sports is a solid field where gender seems to be sacrosanct. I love sports, maybe for other reasons than simple gender.