Saturday, May 20, 2017

Percent LDS by US State

Below is a list of states in the United States provided with the population of the state (according to 2016 estimates retrieved from https://www.citypopulation.de/USA-Cities.html), church-reported membership as of year-end 2016, the ratio of population to Latter-day Saints, and percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population. Click on the pictures below to view these data more easily. You can access historical LDS membership data by US state on cumorah.com here.




55 comments:

John Pack Lambert said...

This week only one new announcement of temple presidents was published. The Figueroas will preside over the Sal Salvador Temple where they are currently 1st counselor and 1st assistant to the matron. They are natives of El Salvador. Th Church seems to be trying to avoid sending people to areas to preside over temples and calling local leaders to do so with very few exceptions.

It will be interesting to see if local of foreign presidents are called for the new temples in Congo, Haiti, Zimbabwe and elsewhere. Also, it will be interesting to see if next year when the Accra Ghana Temple gets a new president if it is a Ghanaian. All the presidents to date have been from elsewhere.

Bryan Baird said...

It looks like a good chance that Nigeria may create 100 wards and branches this year. I was wondering if any other countries in the past has made such a milestone. If this trend continues then we might see 1,000 in Nigeria by 2021 at the earliest.

James said...

And there is this news from the First Presidency: two Russian missions are being combined, and changes are coming as a result of that. In the meantime, President Eyring, Elder Andersen, Bishop Causse, and many others, I'm sure, are in Paris France for the temple dedication. What a wonderful time in which we live! I am doing my best to keep abreast of everything going on with Church news, and you can find all the latest on my blog at the address below. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

99 said...

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1cGthsNalTGt-lpwmtgwuDCWuZZ8&ll=31.609994108929246%2C-85.93764999179689&z=9

Brett Stirling said...

That's an interesting distribution of Church population there. It certainly re-enforces the fact the idea of the MorCor. In fact the chasm between the numbers of the MorCor/California and the rest of the US are so great, in my opinion when viewing global membership distribution, everything outside the core top states should be included in the "outside of the US" figures.

Just a pet hate here, once again we are seeing the Church welfare programme opening new Deseret stores and cannery facilities in Utah. Why are these facilities not made available in the rest of the world? Economic challenges throughout the world has seen many of our members struggle to provide the essentials of life. Western Countries have been hit by significant sustained growth for quite some time, in my opinion the Church would be best to utilise it's missionary force in the 5 English speaking countries at least part time to local charitable causes run by the Church. Why can't there be Deseret Industries centres all throughout the world?

James said...

Brett, I'm sure that the Church has plans in the works to build and maintain such facilities. However, the problem with countries outside the US and the kind of welfare organization that would be necessary to keep it maintained and functioning might not always be as practical in such areas as of yet. That being said I can note in the same breath that there are other well-grounded welfare efforts in some of these same countries. Between the Mormon Helping Hands, those who come on humanitarian building and maintenance missions, and so many other volunteers, the efforts seem to be right where they need to be. If and when it becomes feasible to operate such facilities internationally, it will happen. In the meantime, the nature of other Church efforts in the area can not be underestimated. I had the rare privilege of serving part of my part-time mission working with the Welfare Services program of the Church. The kits, blankets, and other humanitarian efforts that were conducted during that time and even more so since assure that those who are less fortunate around the world will be taken care of as long as the Church has resources to implement humanitarian projects and efforts in these countries. And as a former Welfare Services missionary, I can attest to the inspiration of having such facilities operating everywhere in the US. If the practice that prevailed during my service from May 2006-May 2008 is any indicator, I can attest to how much the humanitarian efforts are blessing people all around the world. I get the frustration that some people express about why such facilities are not available worldwide. But having been part of the program for as long as I was, I can tell you that these supplies are easily dispersed among the rest of the world, and perhaps more easily and more practically that it would have to be to enable such facilities outside the US. Hope that helps.

Brett Stirling said...

The welfare system in Australia and New Zealand is left to the state to maintain. It is not sufficient to meet the needs of Church Members. In New Zealand where Auckland and Hamilton have large concentration of members, a multi faceted non government welfare system is desperately needed for the following reasons:

1) Provides opportunities to serve and gain work experience for youth and long term unemployed in exchange for food and other products such as clothing for families who are teetering on the edge of the poverty line.
2) Provide a meaningful contribution to New Zealand society where $40,000,000 is taken with donations from the community, many who are in the lower socio economic rungs of society.

Mormon Helping Hands are great at doing micro short term projects. The needs of people to move out from long term government welfare dependency requires a long term multi layered programme. The Church no longer maintains welfare farms in Australia/New Zealand removing a valuable resource to feed people during need. If the Church was serious about caring for it's people, it would expand the welfare programme it is so keen to promote on Newsroom worldwide, not just in the core Mormon states.

James said...

I don't know the general situation or attitude of people born outside the United States might be, but again, it is not simply an issue of "expanding welfare programs." What works and is widely accepted in the United States might not work so well for, say, the poorer nations of Africa. I can only speak of my own experience in this regard, but based on my personal involvement in Welfare Services, I can say that the Brethren are constantly deliberating what is best for worldwide relief efforts. At times, the Humanitarian Service Room at the American Fork Deseret Industries (which I was asked to help start up) was the host of projects done at the direct request of the Brethren in Salt Lake. There was a major concern that, with the way these hygiene kits were put together, they would not be widely accepted where they were going to be sent. The border patrols in other nations are very leery of products coming from the United States. For that reason, if they find one thing wrong in one box of a shipment, they would have the authority to reject them and prevent them from getting where they needed to go. So our center at that time was asked to go over 1/3 of the kits that needed a review, while the Salt Lake Center, larger than ours, handled the other 2/3 of the shipment. With how fussy some border patrols can be, it makes sense in that kind of situation to keep the work within the US. In order to maintain such Deseret Industries organizations, including a Humanitarian Service Room like the one in which I worked, they need several things:
1. A constant influx of new material for those in need (no point in having a DI if the supply is not constantly being turned over.)
2. The necessary staffing (those trained in employment coaching and all the various aspects of running a store or any other offices such a facility would offer.)
3. Enough workers to staff such facilities and to do the required work.
4. It has to be built in a central location that is easy for all who need it to access it.

Is the US favored in this regard? Perhaps. It is all well and good to say that the Church should spread its reach, but the fact is that different areas of the world are in different "eras" of Church history. You cannot have a custom, state-of-the-art facility in a nation that might still be in the "late Kirtland" or "early Missouri" phases. The Church is looking for locations that are in touch with modern technology, where such facilities can be operated and maintained by local members, where there are sufficient resources to keep it going, and where all who need the kind of help provided by any one of the facilities. During my time as a Welfare Service missionary, I learned that the Lord is willing to provide for His children in His way, and that this means that what works in Utah or in the United States at large will not always work for nations in other areas of the world.

But I also know and can attest to the fact that the Lord moves upon the leading Brethren of the Church to make the right decisions at the right time. We can talk back and forth until we are blue in the face about how this program or that one should be implemented in places we would like to see them in. While the Lord is no respecter of persons, He is hastening His work in His time, and we would be better suited not to impose our own ideas on Him. After all, even in biblical times, the Lord said His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. And that is more true than ever right now. If and when it is right, it will happen. Until that time, it is not up to us to force His hand. He has said, "I will hasten my work in its time." So it is always the better option to put those things in His hands. As we do so, even though it may be maddening at times for us to see things unfold more slowly in certain places, we can be assured that the Lord, and, by extension, those who are appointed by Him to lead His Church, will not lead us astray. Hope that helps.

Brett Stirling said...

Mate, if you noticed my examples were in Western countries who are most definitely not in as you so condescendingly put it, "in the late Kirtland or early Missouri phases."

I think you hit the nail right on the head in your first sentence, "I don't know the general situation or attitude of people born outside the United States might be." Priorities are being set by white middle class old men who are out of touch with the rest of the world and who are kept at arms length by a corporatised Presiding Bishopbric structure who treat the rest of the world with disdain.

You're right, there is little point in toing and froing over the way the Church priorities things at the moment when it clearly favours those who reside in a particular location.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Brett, I understand some of your concerns thst you are voicing about material support by the LDS Church throughout the world.
The comment about "white middle class old men" is a cannard, I believe, and I think is more ad hominem than factually accurate as to how and how much the Church allocates in humanitarian aid.
In Utah where often a majority of people pay tithes and offerings, there is a substantial effort of their funds to address local and other needs. But do you not think that large percentages of their monies go well beyond their regional domain?
I happen to think that most LDS congregations in extra Intermountain West receive more in source allocation than what they themselves produce, therefore complaining about disparities may seem justified but at the same time is not the real situation. In other words, Utah Saints "donate out" much more than they receive, and the local causes there are a part of their efforts.
Part of the debate between you and James reminds me of Moroni and Pahoran, one or both thinking the other is in better conditions than they actually are.
Poverty and need are everywhere, we know that. Like threats to the safety of Nephites and Ammonites over 2,000 years ago. No lack of that, no question.
Utah will continue to send assistance and help across the world in increasing numbers, and may it ever be so.
And as Australia and New Zealand pay more tithes and offerings, you can be assured that the people there will benefit from even more LDS Church development and humanitarian aid.
But as I have said, I think most countries receive more from Utah as far as donations and funds than these countries themselves allocate. I understand the negative claims, but I think that is in actuality a false line of reasoning. I could be wrong.
But the LDS Church gives more than it receives. And will continue to do so.

Brett Stirling said...
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Brett Stirling said...

All that has and will ever be belongs to the Lord. This territorial attitude towards tithes is doctrinally wrong. Everything belongs to the Lord and therefore should be distributed equally amoung the Lord's people. Utah doesn't give to the world, the Lord's Church does.

Eduardo Clinch said...

The Presiding Bishopric treats the rest of the world with disdain? I can't agree with such statements that strike me as more a political accusation of US government policies than real policy implementations performed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I could be wrong, again, and I am not contesting these points out of blind loyalty or faith, but I really do think places of strong LDS presence give out more than they receive, and Church officers are very generous in how they execute those decisions across the entire earth.

Eduardo Clinch said...

That is not an argument of territorialily when it comes to paying tithes. It is an affirmation of the true doctrine of the Lord's way of allocating funds where they are needed. Those who have help those who have not, and I question questioning those who have the charge to do so.
Do you feel like local bishops are equally biased, myopic, and unfair as you claim that the top general authorities are? It seems like a very negative posture, yes, but worse than that, incorrect.

Brett Stirling said...

You made specific reference to Utah Saints providing...and Utah Saints receiving. You also stated the following: "And as Australia and New Zealand pay more tithes and offerings, you can be assured that the people there will benefit from even more LDS Church development and humanitarian aid."Once again, tithes and offerings are the Lord's. It shouldn't matter which part of the global membership needs something, it should be just given, not from the Utah Saints, or the wherever they are located Saints. But from the Lord's Church.

The Presiding Bishopbric and their representatives who govern Church assets are constantly calling into question local needs with buildings and other resources. That wasn't just a random statement. That was based on decades of a disdainful approach to local leaders in the "mission field" from those who are based in Church HQ.

Eduardo Clinch said...

It seems as though you think the LDS Church has an unlimited amount of sources and funds, and therefore acts selfishly, miserly, or maliciously wayward and US or Intermountain West biased in its approach to building and supporting the global faith.
I am sorry you have that jaundiced opibion. If you write a case study of your "decades based" collection of evidence, a general authority will review your submission and very possibly engage you. I think either you and/or he will be edified from such an exchange.
Best of luck with doing that, I see it as a tremendous opportunity for instruction; someone will learn the truth and knowledge and potentially practice will improve.
Go for it, unless you see yourself or others standing to not benefit.
Again, I see you as Moroni (Captain) railing against Pahoran (Governor).
And of course we are not talking about such dire circumstances as theirs. Again, sorry that you believe Church policies are so inwardly niggardly. I would like to see your case study, too.

Brett Stirling said...

And you seem to think that a) The Church doesn't have enough to spread as generously as those used in Utah and b) The Church has the mechanisms for input from the grass roots to the highest level. You are mistaken on both levels.

Your condescending analogies belies your ignorance of Church history abroad. Do your own research. Ask any Church Facilities office in the mission field and compare to those in Utah and you will hear how the Church does not distribute resources equitably.

Michael Worley said...
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Michael Worley said...


Brett deserves our respect. He is our brother in Christ.

However, as this is a discussion forum, I think he would find it appropriate for me too add my own thoughts without disrespecting him.

Brett refers to the "corporatised Presiding Bishopbric structure who treat the rest of the world with disdain. "

Given Brett's argument, I think it is interesting that Gerald Caussé is not an American citizen--or at least, he wasn't until he was a general authority-- and he's the Presiding Bishop.

Brett also said: "Ask any Church Facilities office in the mission field and compare to those in Utah and you will hear how the Church does not distribute resources equitably."

I'd love to hear facts behind this. But when you have the greatest congregation of members in Utah, the study must be based in--as Brett said-- equity, not equality. Further, in the past 5-10 years, the U.S. units have been subject to strict restrictions on building new chapels, rules that favor places out of the U.S. like Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

Further, I would like to see how Brett's analysis comports with the Perpetual Education Fund, self-reliance efforts, and BYU Pathway Worldwide, institutions largely--and, in the case of the PEF, exclusively-- designed for the international church. It seems to me the church is reaching out in a lot of ways in terms of equity for its international members.

R. Jofre said...

Please people abstain of making enemies between saints. Brett is voicing a concern, and many of those concerns are voiced all over the world by bishops and stake presidents. For whatever reason the Church doesn't have all the programs found in Utah, and that is just a fact. Facts are reality. Even right in the United States (Iowa) the Church doesn't provide food for a healthy diet for those in need, and that is just a fact. Why? I don't know.

I notice that the concerns voiced by Brett are very similar of what people dislike about overly centralized governments, like the one in Chile. The system the Church has today is in no way mandatory and it will evolve. Unfortunately we can't know as of yet when and what will it evolve to.

In my case I have no idea what the brethren in the presiding bishopric think. In my experince people think what they can, what they want, and what their limitations allow, wich is unavoidable.

My best regards to all of you.

Ohhappydane33 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael Worley said...

From Facebook:


New Stake Created - Tomball Texas Stake - 22nd in Houston Area
On Sunday, May 21, 2017 The Klein, TX Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ was divided and the new Tomball Texas was created. It is the 22nd in the Houston area...

The new Tomball stake is comprised of the following wards: Inverness, Gleannloch Farms, Parkway, Champions, Magnolia 1st, Memorial Springs and Tomball 2nd. Samuel Bikman of the Tomball 2nd Ward has been called to serve as the Stake President, with David Peterson of the Gleannloch Farms Ward as First Counselor and Matthew Strader of the Champions Ward as Second Counselor.

The newly called Stake Presidency of the Klein Stake is Robert Ellis of the Wimbledon Ward as President, Richard Hogan of the Wimbledon Ward as First Counselor, and Marshall Blackham of the Klein Ward as Second Counselor. The wards now included in the Klein Stake are as follows: Klein, Kleinwood, Windrose, Wimbledon, Inwood, Fallbrook Branch, Olde Oaks, and Silver Pines.
The changes were presided over by General Authority Seventy Elder Von Keetch and Area Seventy Elder Leonard D. Greer. A new Stake Center for the Tomball Stake is in progress.

Eduardo Clinch said...

"Abstaining making enemies between Saints" is good advice, thanks for the counsel. I guess we can all sound condescending when standing by or defending practices and policies, or principles or doctrines that we find are good or worth defending.

I believe the LDS Presiding Bishopric is doing the best that they can and follow Church doctrine accordingly. If there is evidence to the contrary, please show it. Take it up with the general authorities, they are not stones. If your case is correct and compelling, than good on you: you have truly made the world a better place.

That is not meant to come across as glib, snide, or condescending: that is my honest view. Use your knowledge to make things better, if it is really true.

Me calling into question those views and stating the contrary may make me an enemy to some. I don't wish to be anyone's enemy, but if you disagree with me and have to resort to personal attacks and enemy justification to my "online character", so be it. I find that rather irrational; we are discussing ideas and facts and opinions, it is not about our personal reputations but the matters we discuss. Hard to separate sometimes, I know, but we are above the apes, after all. We are capable of separating our ideas and opinions from the people that we are. And those personas of ours are even further from whom we are purported to be in the blogosphere and Internet.

Again, as I stated from the beginning response, I do understand the claims that that there are accusations of unfair equities across the world, some favors going to centralized leadership of the church in places like Utah, where about 10 percent of the LDS population and perhaps 20 percent of the church's full tithe-payers inhabit.

Territoriality is the world used to describe some kind of unfair nation that in Brett's words is "counter-doctrinal". Okay, right. The doctrine of the Church of Christ is help the widow and the orphan, no matter if they are in Iowa or Auckland, Bophuthatswana or Port-au-Prince. Got it. Or East Salt Lake City.

Local LDS Bishops across the world have a lot of autonomy and discretion to apply these funds. I would love to see the numbers of Church Facilities offices globally and compared to those in Utah. Please provide. Anecdotes are welcome, too, because they do indicates trends and true systems. I know a few, which indicate to me the LDS Church is helping a lot of people as the doctrine of Christ requires.

If you find the leadership of the LDS Church generally or locally is at fault, submit your cases to them and to the rest of us. Do it cogently and without too much ire, because the facts are more poignant and convincing than the vitriol.

Thanks for putting forth real arguments to consider and act on: validity and the Spirit of improvement and change is what the Gospel can energize throughout the world. It's through all of us, no one is in a vacuum.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Sorry for the typos: word and notion. Irritating, I know.

Hey, and I could be very wrong. My words, thoughts, deeds, beliefs. I could be dead wrong. That is my way of saying I am stating my thoughts; I don't think I am better than anyone, but I might be right. And the bigger point is, my defense of LDS policies and doctrines is right. Not so much about me, it's about the subject-matter at hand.

John Pack Lambert said...
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John Pack Lambert said...

I grow sick of the falsd dichotomizing of "Urah" and "The Mission field". In the 21st-century thus makes no sense.

I also hage to patience for those who attack the fact the presiding bishopric tries to run the Church in a fiscally responsible way.

Lastly anyone who actually took thd time to listen to Bishop Causse's talks nnows he is a deeply spiritual man.

John Pack Lambert said...

Here in Michigan we had a Deseret Jndustries development specialist who helps with job placementcand training. We also have sevewal other under celebeated activities. Not all Church initiatives get press.

The US veing treated as a whole for some Church purposes makes sense. BYU and BYU-Idaho attendance nationalize much of the membership outlook. Movement throughout the US is very common. Whike some people spebd most of their lives in one place I have a strong suspicion that YSA gravitate to Utah but not so much after a cerrain age. The YSA units in DC and NYC areas have strong elements of people who moved from elsewgere for school and work probably reflecting bational distribution.

However the stories are complex. I knew a guy who grew up un Northern Idaho who insisted the Church was bigger here in metro-Detroit than in northen Idaho. Even in Urah Grand County historically and Wasatch County presently have lower percentagws of Church members than are present in some parts of surrounding stares.

John Pack Lambert said...

I actually analyze the,Church differently thab some. The historic Mormon corridor is in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, and Idaho. A secondary prong exists in eastern Oregon and LDS settlements were formed in Colorado, Monrana, Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. There was also a unit migeation of Mormon farmers from Idaho ti and,area outside Gridley Califirnia in 1908. This is why Gridley in 1935 got a stake the first in California not in a major urban center.

To xall some of these concentrations Mormon corridor ignores that Utah, Arizona and Nevada have long been among the top population growth states. Also with the cintinued LDS expansion in Texas not focused in Gilmer this is not Mormin corridor phenomena.

John Pack Lambert said...

I jnow thd Ch7rch has an area welfare office/bishops stoeehouse in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. I am guessing the Church operates such facilities at all aewa headquarters and probably sime other facilities as well.

The Church has full time CES employees scattered throughout the world.

Considering that the biggest expenditure of the Church is chapels I am guessing per capira spending in Utah us lower than some other areas, at least on that, especially if we focus only on urban counties. Utah often sees 3 wards in one chapel. There aee no chapels in the Detroit mission so heavily used and the only one I know of in Lansing Mission is the Lansing Stake Center and it only is used that much vecause the YSA ward meets there and not the institute building. East Lansing also has two student apartnent buildings iwned by the LDS church. A member in Michifan donated tge money to build and operare these buildings in the early 1970s.

John Pack Lambert said...

Actually the 1970s divestment from running hospitals by the LDS Church us an example of trying to equalize spending world wide.

John Pack Lambert said...

I question the claim the Church does not privide food in Iowa. In all places dast offerings exist. Where a bishops storehouse us not present the bishop xan allocate fast offering funds to purcgase food.

It is cheaper to do thus locally tgan through a bishops storehouse. In Michifan the Church cut bishop's storehouse deliveries because the drivers were exceeding allowed hours.

The Church gas a cgronic shortafe of senior missionaries to staff all its operations. At times local service missiobarues are used for some of these operations but that is a limit on many of them. It is true we used to gave a full time director at the local bishops storehouse here in Michigan but when tgey ended canning peachescand rethought some other thinfs the position was elimanated.

I gace to,admit I wish here in the USvwe did FSY confeeences like are done elsewhere instead of EFY.

John Pack Lambert said...

It us the whole council on the distribution of tithes not just the presiding bishopric that makes thd centeal decusions on how tithes are used.

Some generak authorities, such as Michael J. U. Teh spent their careers working in a Church Area Office.

The crntralized dustribution of tithing money is nandared by revelation. New revelation could alter the nethod but nothing less.

That said the decision tocwithdeaw from scouting for boys 14 and up seems to be driven by an attempt to maje a Churchcwude unified youth system.

John Pack Lambert said...

It us the whole council on the distribution of tithes not just the presiding bishopric that makes thd centeal decusions on how tithes are used.

Some generak authorities, such as Michael J. U. Teh spent their careers working in a Church Area Office.

The crntralized dustribution of tithing money is nandared by revelation. New revelation could alter the nethod but nothing less.

That said the decision tocwithdeaw from scouting for boys 14 and up seems to be driven by an attempt to maje a Churchcwude unified youth system.

John Pack Lambert said...

I question the claim the Church does not privide food in Iowa. In all places dast offerings exist. Where a bishops storehouse us not present the bishop xan allocate fast offering funds to purcgase food.

It is cheaper to do thus locally tgan through a bishops storehouse. In Michifan the Church cut bishop's storehouse deliveries because the drivers were exceeding allowed hours.

The Church gas a cgronic shortafe of senior missionaries to staff all its operations. At times local service missiobarues are used for some of these operations but that is a limit on many of them. It is true we used to gave a full time director at the local bishops storehouse here in Michigan but when tgey ended canning peachescand rethought some other thinfs the position was elimanated.

I gace to,admit I wish here in the USvwe did FSY confeeences like are done elsewhere instead of EFY.

R. Jofre said...

John, I claimed that the Church didn't provide food for a healthy diet in Iowa. There is food, just not for a healthy diet, like fresh produce and fruits. If I'm not mistaken there were tomatoes and onions, but maybe only tomatoes, plus a lot of processed food, that after a while makes you less healthy. Again that is just a fact and I can see several reasons for the kind of food provided, including cost, preservation, maybe even some state laws. A diet based mainly on processed food ends up deteriorating your health, and again that is just a simple fact.

James said...

What it comes down to is this, I think: It is all well and good to suggest and to assert that the Saints elsewhere in the world are just as faithful and deserving of equivalent blessings of the Lord. But here's the thing: When determining how to distribute the resources of the Lord's Church and to move along His work, the primary concern is whether or not there is sufficient member support to warrant having such institutions. The Deseret Industries, as one prime example of which there has been much discussion, is so prevalent in Utah and other locations in the United States primarily because of the efforts of local Latter-day Saints to keep each store going. I doubt, for example, that a Humanitarian Service Room could have been opened and could still be maintained were it not for the fact that local member support for the DI in general and the HSR in particular would be enough to keep it going.

So it is as well with temples. My wife and i discussed in depth today her missionary service in Vienna Austria. Intrigued by the discussion, I did some research on that country. Rather than progressing in the gospel, it has retrogressed, with a dramatic drop in unit numbers (probably corresponding directly to a lack of proper missionary and member fellowshipping support for any new converts, which seem to be few and far between). As I calculated the distances between Vienna Austria and the nearest temples in Europe, it hit me: Austria would be a great candidate for a temple in terms of logistical distance between it and its nearest temple. But with the lack of sufficient support to staff the temple and keep it running, it might not make the cut until the Lord turns the tide, and, more importantly, until the message of the gospel spreads sufficiently and the people are accepting enough of that message to keep the temples closest to them busy enough on the work done by those units.

If anyone feels to complain about their lands and fellow Saints not receiving the blessings that are afforded to other Saints in the LDS strongholds like Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Africa, and South America, then they should first ensure that their lives and the lives of those living in their lands are sufficiently in tune with those blessings in general, and with the will of the Lord as expressed by the leading Brethren of the Church in particular.

James said...

And the face of Church leadership has changed a lot of late so that more countries are having the first General Authority Seventies called from their lands. As already noted, the Presiding Bishopric cannot be accused of having a "Utah or US first" mentality, especially at the moment, in view of the fact that our current Presiding Bishop is a native French citizen, and is the first General Authority Seventy called from that land. He has served in a wide variety of capacities, both before and even moreso since his calls as a General Authority, first to the Seventy in 2008, then the Presiding Bishopric in 2012, and to his current calling as Presiding Bishop, which he has held since October 2015.

The Council on the Disposition of the Tithes, which, as noted each April General Conference, is composed of members of the First Presidency (including our German-born President Uchtdorf), the Presiding Bishopric (including the French Bishop Causse) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. And by the way, to a man, the other 14 apostles and the other 2 in the Presiding Bishopric have all had international experience in their service as General Authorities. The face of Church leadership may indeed be mostly those born in the US (although that is not as true as it was even 15 years ago), but the Church is reaching out in a variety of ways to the international membership of the Church, and are evaluating the best ways to allow the gospel to progress,

The task for us, therefore, is to strengthen our local units by our faith, to extend our reach as far as we can as individuals, to trust that the Brethren are called of God and will not lead us astray, and to rely on our knowledge that following their counsel is the best way to peace and happiness, not only in our individual, familial, or congregational needs, but with the Church as a whole.

There is so much more that goes on with these types of decisions and deliberations than I'm sure any of us can possibly understand. So as we trust that these men are being guided by the Lord's "higher ways and thoughts", we can be comforted to know that the Lord knows what needs to be done in all areas of His Church, and that the Brethren, who only act as they are directed (for if it were not so, the Lord would remove them from their places), will not lead us astray.

Brett Stirling said...

Thank you for your non personal measured response. I can only respond to my experience in Australia and New Zealand:

- in these two countries the perpetual education scheme and BYU pathways are practically irrelevant given higher education is both accessible and affordable due to high central (NZ) and Federal (Australia) subsidies and loans.
- what we no longer have that we once did have is welfare farms.
- what we could use in a challenging global economy are Deseret industries to provide the following:

1. Work experience opportunities for new TL the job market youth, long term unemployed and rehabilitating people who have served a sentence in a prison.
2. Provide opportunities for people to serve and donate resources to a charitable organisation they feel comfortable with.
3. Provide a community outreach programme to engage members, missionaries and friends in long term local solution to community issues.

The short to long term education needs of local people are met by government in these two countries. Generally the very basic welfare needs are met, however there is a widening gap between those measures and basic modern living costs, especially with governments needing to find cost cutting measures quickly.

For everyone wanting to have hard facts over anecdotal evidence, I'll get that to you when the Church releases its financial figures.

Brett Stirling said...

Thank you, it's difficult for people to objectively look outside their current worldview if they haven't or don't experience it.

Michael Worley said...

Brett:

Thanks for mentioning you are talking about Australia and New Zealand; that helps me narrow my concerns with your comments. I don't know as much about the situation in those nations.

Jim Coles said...

I think something that would be beneficial to go worldwide is the justserve.org website. I have referred several non member friends to this website who are looking to serve in some way. I recently heard a commercial by the church on the radio for this website, while on business travel in Nebraska.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I hope that James' words are taken as heartfelt and well meant, as I interpret them. Well spoken.
I believe millions or even billions of people take the truest words ever uttered by our Saviour and Master Jesus the Messiah as high handed and condescending. So beware of how you judge, criticize, and condemn. I am in the same boat so I will make sure I am on my knees praying for God's forgiveness tonight and forever, in the name of His Son, but ultimately only that will redeem and anyone else.
But, to the facts that we share and (hopefully) rationally and less vitriolically discuss, myself included, it is supremely important that we all constructively inform and educate ourselves, and I hope that my disagreeing or debative arguments should be attacks on persons, but simply questioning or respectfully refuting ideas and statements that I cannot agree with, or simply seriously doubt.
Anyway, I appreciate all those who have shared input on this forum, and as to my comparison to to Moroni and Pahoran, they were wanting and working towards righteous goals albeit heated and emotional misunderstandings and feelings involved.
The Book of Mormon is so cool.
So is the Lord and His Restored faith.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Correction: should NOT be taken as personal attacks or cheap shots or mean spirited threats, but simple rhetoric, conjecture, and perhaps some gained knowledge and even some glimpses of wisdom.
But that remains to be seen.
A young man from my stake in Northern Virginia was just called to the Torreon, Mexico Mission. Looking at the map, I predict there will be a temple announced there in the next 4-5 years. Probably more there than Durango,but then again there are a lot of big expanses without temples in that part of Mexico.

James said...

Thank you, Eduardo, for your comments above. I certainly hope everyone knows I mean no offense by anything I post, and I am sick at heart that anything I have said previously might have been interpreted that way. What I was trying to say is that the Church, being in different phases in different parts of the world at different times has to operate to assess local needs and evaluate what kind of programs might work in each part of the world. As I understand it, that was part of the reason why Church areas were established, with General Authority Seventies' supervision, to examine local needs, to assess what is needed, and to make recommendations to the apostles regarding what needs to happen in those areas. And with the changes in area leadership announced recently, it seems that those well-versed in what is going on with those areas, including some called as General Authority Seventies, have been assigned to those areas. So I am sure that the Church is fully aware of what challenges and roadblocks the members in each area are facing. I am equally sure that the work of the Lord will continue to roll forward uninterrupted, in the right way, in every area of the world.

With all that said, I did want to note that I have been blogging a lot lately, and especially today with Church news that has recently come out. I welcome anyone who would like to read my blog to do so, and to comment on my posts, if you so desire. For about a month or two, to deal with someone who was trolling my blog, I enabled a program that somehow eliminated the problem but worked too well, as it prevented those who regularly commented on my blog from doing so. I have dealt with that problem now. So please, give a visit, and, if you would like, post a comment on anything. The address follows below. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

James said...

I would also add for myself that I cannot help but have the mindset of a "Utah" or "US" Saint, because the fact is that, much as I would like to do so, my current health and financial situation do not afford me the pleasure of extended travel beyond my limited frame of reference. With all my heart, I have a particular love for the French language and people, and I wish I could have had the privilege of traveling to France to be in attendance for that temple open house and subsequent dedication. But when it comes right down to it, all I can do is strengthen my local units. This I have tried to do through a lifetime of health challenges that have limited my exposure to the world as it is.

One privilege I did have, of which I have often spoke with great fondness on this blog's comment threads, is my part-time missionary service. I earlier spoke of my experience setting up the Humanitarian Service Room, which came from my calling as a Welfare Services missionary. I also had the wonderful privilege of working two shifts in the temple to which I was assigned. In this assignment, I not only received many new missionaries preparing to serve in various parts of the world and couples who were preparing to be married, I also was the "go-to" guy for foreign language patrons. I know what you might be thinking, so I will put that to rest right now: I had no skill in any language other than my native English tongue, and French, which I had studied for three years in High School, and of which I refined my skills through the help of a fellow worker. But I grew tired of seeing so many foreign language patrons come through, and no one being able to help them. So, I volunteered for one language after another. By the time I concluded my six-year tenure as a temple worker (which I discontinued mostly due to the ill health of myself and my wife, whom I had met during my service, whom I married, and with whom I continued to serve as long as we could), I was able to serve patrons at the veil who spoke the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, and Thai. I also prepared to serve patrons in Italian, but it was later decided to just do those in English at our temple.

James said...

Over time, my health issues resolved themselves enough to allow me to find and take two job opportunities, both with different branches of the same company, in the customer service industry. But both times, my health failed, and I had a moment where I became unreliable enough that they had to let me go. I bear no ill will to that company. I was grateful for the opportunity.

But both times, my health took a beating. And this latest time, the circumstances surrounding my job loss stemmed primarily from the fact that my team leader, who did not fully understand my plight nor sympathize with my situation, had not been relaying my messages to her to management.

In the meantime, my health crumbled big time. For the last 2-3 months, I have been in the absolute worst health of my life. My current issues have been recurring infections and depression and anxiety. And in the process, my wife and I have moved, and we are now living in a unit where the leaders and members are not fully cognizant of nor sympathetic to our situation.

We have not been able to attend Church or the temple in months. We have heard from many who seem to feel we have become inactive on purpose. In a situation over which we have little or no control, we are barely keeping afloat. So in my case, I have turned to blogging as a method to cope with everything, and that course has been sanctioned by my doctors. I am constantly doing my best to deal with our circumstances, but it has not been easy.

But recently I realized that some of the things I have been doing have been self-defeating. I am working through things as best as I can, but it has not been easy. So I come from the perspective of one who has always, with the exception of the last few months, been able to rise above the odds, get things done, and live a full life in spite of my circumstances.

I have usually been able to share my perspective and experiences with positive results. At times, though, my perspective and experiences have been discounted and downplayed. I cannot prove this, but I have been told that, on my best days, my regular pain is equivalent to what most people term as their worst migraines. And on days like today when I am sick on top of everything else, my ability to function is severely limited.

I have risen above it as best I can, taking time to blog about significant Church-related developments, but things are not easy right now. So I can understand in that sense how it might seem to members in certain areas of the Church that the Church leadership is not fully aware of their unique challenges and difficulties, and of what might best meet their needs.

But I have cultivated throughout my life a knowledge that our Church leaders are called of God, and that, as imperfect as they might seem at times, they are doing their best to stay in touch with the needs, problems, and circumstances of every Latter-day Saints. Will it be perfect? No, but these men and women are doing their best, and I gladly sustain them. That is why I get so weary and impatient when someone implies that these men and women are completely out of touch.

While not always aware of every nuance and every challenge faced by every member, lifetimes of a wide variety of experiences that have prepared them for their current assignments. And the fact that every decision that is made only comes after study, discussion, and sufficient input from people who do have experience in issues with which they themselves might not be familiar or might be out of their scope of experience. No such decisions are made without extensive prayer, discussion, and input.

James said...

And so, we can take comfort in the knowledge that, even in cases like today's news that President Monson will no longer actively attend meetings, there are councils in place to ensure that the work of the Church will go on uninterrupted, even though President Monson is now not taking as much of an active role. We need not fear.

And as for myself, during the time when I have not been able to do much else, I have been learning so much about myself, my general attitude, and my marital relationship. Things are on the right track. If I can just get past my current health issues, I am more than ready to get back to living life as fully as I used to.

Thanks for letting me rant. Hope this helps everyone to understand where I am coming from. Thanks to you all for the inspirational conversations. They have been a very grounding influence on me during this difficult time. Thanks again.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Have your doctors been able to correctly diagnose and treat your conditions? I had a mystery illness during my mission which about 18 years later recurred (most likely) and a doctor was able to figure out that it was either Epstein Barr virus or cytomegalovirus. Sounds like your afflictions are considerable so hang in there.
It is hard to know why this happens and how to deal with pain and infirmity, but I think there is always a health professional or fellow sufferer who can have some of the answers.
I pray that your suffering is lessened and vital health may return to you. Do you know, for instance, how many other people deal with these same symptons? How rare or common it is?
Anyway, God will bless you for your faith and forbearance.
Like the Saints who suffered malaria in Nauvoo, we shall press forward.

James said...

In a way, yes. Right now, I am currently dealing with an oral infection and it is the height of allergy season as well. We had discovered I had a hormonal imbalance, with which I have struggled for the last few years and for which I had been treated until I had to change my PCP. But my new PCP tested me for that again, discovered a recurrence of the problem, and prescribed treatment, which has helped. Also, my neurologist was the one to diagnose my depression and anxiety, and the recommended treatment has been to increase one medication I take that helps with those things. She also recommended counseling, which I am doing, and I hope to make strides through that as well. We additionally determined that other medications I was on had outlived their usefulness and were doing more harm than good. So I have reduced one of those so I am taking half as much, which has helped to reduce many of the symptoms I was having, but it has not helped me deal with my lifelong headaches. The problem is that I have also been dealing with other health conditions (including a general illness (complete with a persistent intermittent fever and some pain that is not covered by the medications I have left). I keep meaning to call my new PCP about some of this stuff, but I have also had low energy, and trouble eating and sleeping well enough. So most days, especially lately, by the time I am able to try to call my doctor, their regular office is closed. The good news is, I am seeing my neurologist again in about 2.5 weeks, so we hope to get some answers there. And I am sure that if I can get a decent night's sleep tonight, I will be able to talk to my doctor's office tomorrow about some of this stuff. As part of dealing with my overall health issues, I realized last week that some of the things I had been doing were self-defeating, and I am trying to change those things. It's a work in progress. It's not easy, but I have had hard times before. The key here, I believe, is to keep my head up and try to take care of myself.

I also know that my wife has not been in good health either for years, but she has been able to push past it better than I can to get stuff done. I also know that part of the problem with me is that I am not doing all I can to help her. I know I am feeling overwhelmed most days, but she needs me to do so much more than I have been doing. Her patience is absolutely angelic in nature. I know I probably don't deserve someone as wonderful as she is, and I feel so bad most of the time because I know I am dwelling on how I am feeling when I should be able to push past it and do more to help her. Prior to our meeting and marrying, my parents had believed they would be taking care of me the rest of their lives, so they never taught me the skills I would need to help my wife. I am not a typical man, because I cannot fix things around the house or help out much with what needs to be done. And because I dwell so much on how I am feeling, I am not doing what little I can do to help her. I know that's part of the problem. For myself, I also know that I am in a vicious cycle of repeating negative thoughts and not pushing myself to do what I can.

James said...

So it's a difficult situation. I have been told by my doctors, by the counselor, and by my wife that I just need to do what I can when I can. But in some ways, I have convinced myself that if I cannot do something well enough, I shouldn't try to do it at all. I know that in a lot of ways, I am living by fear instead of faith. And that's another thing I need to change. But with how much I have let myself deteriorate, especially physically, spiritually, and as the priesthood bearer in my home, I am constantly letting fear of failure prevent me from doing what I can.

When I have prayed, I have felt confident in my abilities. But that has generally melted away as I continue to wallow in my circumstances rather than trying to better myself, fix what I can, accomplish what needs to be done, and all that goes along with that. The counselor has promised to work with me to get me back to where I used to be as a teenager and young adult prior to marriage. My family keeps commenting on the fact that I am nowhere near the person I was before I had a surgical procedure that took away some of my short-term memory and my personality. Somewhere along the line, I stopped fighting. I still make an effort to blog as I am able to, but aside from that, I have not been living up to my potential for years.

So it is a struggle. I am doing my best to work through it, but with how much I let myself go in all the important ways, it will take a lot of work to get me back to where I need to be. I am doing the best I can, or rather, the best I think I can, which are two different things. I need to get back on track in so many ways. The key for me, I think, will be to allow myself the time I need to fix it all, to say nothing of doing more of what I can to control the situation. I will work it out. I have been habitually letting fear get the better of me. So I need to fix that.

Hope that's not too much detail. Thanks for asking.

John said...

@Eduardo: I had a companion who visa waited, then served in the Torreon Mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

The rant that started this whole duscussion seems particularly uninformed about the way that the Church welfare system operares.

The new cannery opened in Harrisville replaced one in Ogden. It did increase capacity 80%. However to view this is a blessing only to Utah is to misunderstand what is going on. While there are 6 full time positions they are not developmental job positions. This is not DI though canning.

The products made at this cannery will be distributed to all 113 bishop's storehouses.

At least ine list I read claimed there are bishop's storehouses in Temple View New Zealand and in Australia. This would still leave most of both countries outside of the affected region depending on distribution laws.

I know here in Michigan we also have the LDS family services, LDS employment services and Deseret Industries Development officer located in the same building as the storehouse or by some understandinfs part of the storehouse. This does provide 5 or more paid jobs but is not intended asva way to employ people who would otherwise lack a job.

The DI development officer has only been a position for naybe 10 years.

Another phase, ysing the stirehouse as a place bishops can call on to contract services to help members has just even been conceptualized in the kast few months. In that plan bishops would call on the storehouse for an electrician or lawyer to help a person in need (I knew bishops on my mission who would help non-members, at least one of our investifators got a job at DI she didnt get baptized while I was in that area) and the person called on would be paid through fast offering funds. I am not sure how the pay would compare to the open market.

Brett Stirling said...

@jack pack lambert. Your arrogance is overwhelming. BTW - can you not express your thoughts more concisely and in one post rather than spamming this blog constantly. My rant as your so condescendingly put it was not uninformed. Your ill thought rhetoric is lacking in data and hard facts. This is an attack on prioritising and of a lack of support for the temporal needs of Church members outside of the US.

There are no bishop storehouses in Oceania! The Church welfare system of farms, canneries, DI stores, Church Employment offices is a multi pronged approach to welfare. Rather than rely on your misinformed hearsay, here is the information for you in black and white.

https://providentliving.lds.org/find-a-welfare-location?lang=eng

There are employment centres only. I suggest if you're going to start pontificating on the extent of the welfare project, you might want to check your facts. The bulk of the multi layered Church welfare system in based in the US, largely in Utah. So before you climb back on that high horse of yours and respond with your inevitable spam responses, please provide some hard data and facts on how canneries in the US provides daily assistance to the worldwide membership.

James said...

Brett, I am sure that John meant no disrespect or offense to you. If I may say one thing, I see an underlying theme surrounding the comments you have made. You see the opportunities that Utah- or US-based Saints have in abundance in terms of welfare, and you wonder why more is not being done in your own land. I can understand your frustration in a way. Right now, I am having some severe health challenges that are limiting my ability to function, which has resulted in irregular Church attendance. That "inactivity" as some in my ward have termed it, has not been voluntarily entered into. My wife and I would love nothing more than to get back to regular Church attendance. On Easter Sunday, we were hauled in for a meeting with the ward EQ President and one of our home teachers, the purpose of which seemed to be to call us to repentance and exhort us to be faithful to the degree they expected. I should also mention that in the course of that discussion, they downplayed and disregarded what we told them we had been going through. Anyone who had gone inactive of their own free will and choice would have seen such a meeting as a reason to never darken the door of a chapel or temple again. In spite of the fact that practically no one else in our ward understands our current challenges and some have gotten the wrong idea about us, we have others who have gladly ministered to our needs, including our good bishop. My point in sharing this with you is to give you some advice: If the imbalance you say you are seeing between how the general Church leadership could better administer Church programs in your area that are easily administered in Utah and the United States, the best thing you can do is to take these concerns to your local Church leaders. They will do their best to either find an answer for you, or to pass your query along to someone who will be able to give you a satisfactory answer, even, if necessary, to the leading brethren. When those proper channels are gone through, this concern will be able to be properly dealt with. I pray the Lord's blessings on you as you try to get your concerns resolved.

James said...

I was also recently reminded of yet another element involved in all of this: governmental regulations. In places where the Church is not as well known or respected, leaders of nations look with a suspicious eye on the Church's efforts to expand their outreach. As hard as it is to accept, the US is the best hospitable environment for organizations like that. And, as I previously mentioned, leaders at Church headquarters and those based in area headquarters worldwide are constantly evaluating conditions in each area in which the Church is established, and making the best determinations they can. That is one reason the apostles and other Church leaders that are able to do so travel so much. It is a chance for them to hear local concerns and expand their understanding of the factors involved. So there is more to it than most people realize.