Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access our August 2017 monthly newsletter for detailing recent LDS growth developments and new resources added to our website.


Alex said...

This is it! The 100th stake in the Philippines will be created on September 9-10. Watch the video here. There will be a cultural celebration on Saturday and a special conference the day after. An Apostle will also grace the said celebration. Cheers!

Mike Johnson said...

While Statistics Finland published the 2009 Finnish membership in religious community data, it did not collect this data nor ask census questions that produced it.

I thought that the Finnish data was closest to LDS records because the LDS church had the slowest growth in Finland compared to other locations Matt pulled up. Stability might have led to the closer numbers than in other areas.

Statics Finland simply did a data pull on the Population Information System, which is maintained by a national Population Registry Centre and local registry offices. The registry in its current form was set up in 1969, but the National Lutheran Church and the Greek Orthodox Church in Finland had responsibility from 1970 to 1999 to maintain the data on religious affiliation, when that responsibility was moved to the local Registry offices. Reading the description of the Population Information System, it isn't clear when and how religious information is now updated, other than it is like all other data in the system as the responsibility of local registration office. It is likely that information is collected at birth and would only change after that should an individual make a request for a change. 79.9% are registered in National Lutheran Church and 17.7% have no religious affiliation indicated. 1.1% are registered with the Greek Orthodox Church in Finland and in third are the Jehovah's Witnesses at 0.4%.

Jim Coles said...

Another stake created in Lehi, Utah. That's 2 stakes created last Sunday that will potentially be in the Saratoga springs temple district.

Jim Coles said...

Any thoughts on how many and what stakes would comprise the Saratoga Springs Temple District?

99 said...

Eagle Mountain Utah Cedar Pass Stake
Eagle Mountain Utah Central Stake
Eagle Mountain Utah East Stake
Eagle Mountain Utah Nolen Park Stake
Eagle Mountain Utah North Stake
Eagle Mountain Utah Silver Lake Stake
Eagle Mountain Utah West Stake
Lehi Utah Jordan River Stake
Lehi Utah Jordan Willows Stake
Lehi Utah YSA Stake
Saratoga Springs Utah Crossroads Stake
Saratoga Springs Utah Israel Canyon Stake
Saratoga Springs Utah Mount Saratoga Stake
Saratoga Springs Utah North Stake
Saratoga Springs Utah South Stake
Saratoga Springs Utah Stake

Total: 16 Stakes 0 Districts

This is just a give-or-take prediction

99 said...

It looks like a few days after I posted earlier on this blog about Korce Albania possibly getting a branch, it actually happened. What a coincidence.

Bryansb1984 said...

My guess would be the stakes west of I-15.

John Pack Lambert said...

Today in Southfield Ward we had a couple visiting from the western part of Michigan, where the wife was born in St. Kitts but raised in Cameroon. We also had a young African-American couple there with their three children, the oldest is 5. They are meeting with the missionaries, they first did so a few years ago in another ward. Hopefully they will be baptized long before any of their children can be.

One of the sister missionaries in Southfield Ward was born in Pohnpei, an island state with a population of about 35,000. Pohnpei is part of the Federated States of Micronesia, which largely correspond to what was once called the Caroline Islands. In the case of Pohnpei I believe there is a stake there. I mentioned to this sister missionary that there was a missionary in my mission from Yap, I went on exchanges with him multiple times, I think we were in the same zone for 3 transfers or so. She in turn told me her father had served his mission in Yap.

However this sister actually has lived in the US sisnce she was two months old, and left on her mission from Bountiful, Utah. She has on occasion returned to Pohnpei for visists though.

John Pack Lambert said...

I noted that St. Vincent and the Grenadines got another branch. This is an exciting development. However, it is a bit sad to me that we do not have a stake there yet. At times I have had great hope for the Church in that land. Part of me wishes the Church would put more resources into growth in small eastern Caribean nations. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has 150,000 people, and is part of a multi-island, multi-national mission. Tonga has 103,000 people and a mission all its own.

The reason that I have always had great hopes for the Church in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is that in 1980 Ebenezer Joshua joined the Church there. The LDS Church almanac I believe called him the "first prime minister of that nation", which is notquite right, at least not exactly.

This is because St. Vincent and the Grenadines, like Canada and many other British colonies has a complex multi-step process on the road to full indepdence. Although in some ways the process in the British West Indies is more like what things would be in Canada if the Canada Dominion had failed, and after a few more years Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Coloumbia, Ontaria and all the other provinces had become fully indepdent nations.

Of course, maybe expecting the Church to pour resources into St. Vincent as it did into Tonga is a bit much. Also, this may ignore how the Church reached its present state in Tonga. Both as a missionary and a mission president John H. Groberg was one of about 4 foriegn LDS missionaries there. His only companion as a missionary, Feki, was only a priest, since at that time in Tonga the Church did not ordain unmarried men to the Melchezidek priesthood. The rise of the Church in Tonga is a result of cultural adaptation more than we sometimes realize. Also, as mission president basically all the missionaries that Elder Groberg presided over were married men assigned as missionaries in comapnionships with their wives, and able to do this because they were farmers who did farming on the side at their locations of service.

So it was not so much that the Church poured a large international missionary force into Tonga as that it used local resources and built from a center of strength.

Back to Brother Joshua. He was the first chief minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines starting in 1956 when they were granted more autonomy. He served through 1967. It was in either the later year or in 1969 that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was granted associated state status with the United Kingdom. This was essentially the same set up as Niue has with New Zealand today. Associated State status gave the countries full control over their constitutions and internal affairs, but foreign relations and defence were still controlled by the UK. This is essentially the status that Canada was under from 1867 until at least 1901.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was made a fully indepdent nation only in 1979.

I am trying to develop a better Wikipedia article on Ebenezer Joshua, both from the perspective of his political role and his conversion to Mormonism. The former is currently way to much controlled by references to a song by a US-based folk singer who spoke ill of Joshua in the 1960s largely because he was an interloper who did not understand the broader issues involved in the politics of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and its move towards indepdence.

The later is still a very short mention, mainly dependent on statements from the Church almanac and maybe the Encyclopedia of LDS Church History.

John Pack Lambert said...

Brother Joshaua, the former primer of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was in the branch presidency of the Kingstown Branch for part of the 1980s. His LDS funeral was viewed by between 30,000 and 40,000 Vincentians.

John Pack Lambert said...

My take away on the Finland data, is that it does not neccesarily reflect current identification. People have to proactively work to alter it. This may mean that on baptism into the LDS Church they would be likely to do it, but it is hard to know how likely. On the other hand, it does not appear that many people who fully disafiliate from religion delist themselves on the registry from religion, so this makes it non-comparable to other items.

In Sterling Heights Ward elders quorum on the first Sunday of the month we have a quarum member tell us their biography, with an emphasis on the spirtual aspects. The brother who did so today spoke of his baptism, and subsequent inactivity, emphasizing at multiple points that he never doubted his belief, even though he did not regularly attend church. Actually the later is an underestimate. He moved multiple times, but his records never reflected this move. I don't doubt he spoke the truth, but it does show that inner conviction and outer action often do not match.

Eduardo said...

What do you mean "the later (or latter?) is an underestimate?
When it comes to Spanish speaking Caribbean, DR has done well, Puerto Rico ok, and we have great hopes for Cuba. English and Dutch has been less than impressive generally, and I have been hoping for more dynamic growth in the French islands, maybe along the lines of West and Central Africa.
French seems to be a huge growth language of our and other churches.

John Pack Lambert said...

To be fair the Church is growing very fast in areas of West Africa where English is an officoal language (e g Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone). The Church is bigger in Sierra Leone than Benin and in Nigeria than Ivory Coast so high percentages are not quite there.

I think there is quite a bit of potential in the English-speaking Caribbean. Jamaica has a stake, and so does Trinidad. The pull forces to the US and Great Britain are strong though. The first Church members in Jamaica who meet for a few years in the late 1970s without the Sacrament and who named a son Spencer after president Kimball later moved to the US. I think the dad in that family had been the disteict president.

I know the Church has many black members in London. I am wondering how nany could go on missiins to the west Indies to teach theur cousins.

I am not sure what percentage of black members in England are from Nigeria, from eksewhere in Africa or from the Caribbean.

James said...

As far as the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple District goes, as I understand it, that will be composed of the 8 stakes in Eagle Mountain, the now 15 stakes in Lehi, and the 6 stakes in Saratoga Springs, for a total of 29 stakes, which is not bad compared to the size of other temple districts here in Utah. That said, I did want to note one thing: The Lehi Utah YSA stake has units that are based in American Fork, and if I am understanding things correctly, those American Fork YSA wards will still be part of the Mount Timpanogos Temple District once the Saratoga Springs Temple is dedicated. I got that information from friends of mine who still attend the American Fork YSA 1st Ward (which used to be the American Fork 34th Ward of the AF Utah East Stake). If that information is incorrect, then it is not known by anyone in that ward. Just wanted to note that, FWIW.

Also, given that Church news has slowed (but not necessarily stopped) in the last few days, I wanted to note that I have been doing more work on my own blog. And I have several additional projects which I hope to post at some point this week. You can find those latest posts at my blog address below.

In the meantime, I would like to thank Matt again for the amazing newsletters the Cumorah Foundation puts out at the end of each month. It is wonderful to see the Church progressing so well on a month-by-month basis. Thanks to all of you who will take time to read this.

John Pack Lambert said...

Ghana saw a new branch, South Africa a new ward and the US I think 3 or 4 new wards.

With the level of growth in Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, Lehi I doubt that the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 and others involved have made an offivial decision on the Saratoga Sorings tempke district boundaries.

My actual experience is that de facto temple district boundaries often cut across stake lines. We have 3 cases of that with the Detroit Temple and I doubt we are the only ones. Some Yorktown New York stake members may at times find it more convenient to go to the Hartford Temlle while on the other hand in parts of the Newburgh New York Stake it may be more convient to go to the Manhattan Temple.

The extre is the East Brunswick New Jersey stake is assigned to the Philadelphia Temple but the East Brunswick New Jersey branch is assigned to the Manhattan Temple. My guess is that the reality on the ground is that the East Brunswick Stake is pulled both ways.

John Pack Lambert said...

While it might be thought that the East Brunswick YSA branch is a case of a unit in a YSA stake being an outlyier, it is slightly more complex than that. East Brunswick Ward is situated so that most people will save about 15 minutes to half an hour to go to the Manhattan Temple, although I am not sure how the travel times posted were calculated and how much they reflect actual travel time. The same is true of the New Brunswick (Spanish) Ward, a Spanish-speaking branch coterminous with the East Brunswick Ward.

the far south of the East Brunswick Ward may have a closer connection to Philadelphia. On the other hand I am not sure which is a better destination by public transit.

Eatontown 1st Ward and Eatontown 2nd (spanish) branch are also coterminous, and more like a 10 to 15 minute edge for Manhattan. However it is longer to either. In the case of to Philadelphia because it is further east and to Manhattan because you have to go around up through East Brunswick area to get to it.

With the exception of the small narrow neck at the north end of Freehold Ward, the remaining 5 wards and 3 branches are all clear wins for Philadelphia.

My guess is that East Brunswick YSA branch has significant sections of its population in East Brunswick because of Rutgers and in Princeton because of Princeton, with a general additional spread throughout the stake. Interestingly enough the East Brunswick Stake has 4 Spanish-speaking units and one YSA unit, but the YSA unit covers the whole stake, while 2 geographical wards (North Hanover and Freehold) and the Stafford Branch at the south end of the stake are both not within the official designated boundaries of any Spanish speaking unit.

Sometimes official designated specialized unit boundaries and functional boundaries do not correspond however. For exmple the LDS maps show the boundaries of the Ann Arbor YSA ward as essentially coterminous with the Ann Arbor Michigan Stake. At least when I was there we had several members who lived in the boundaries of the Westland Michigan Stake, and then we had the members who lived in Toledo, who should have gone to the Bowling Green YSA ward, but refused to associate in a YSA ward full of undergrads, and who were my hometeachers who never, ever hometaught me. That is what you get when you allow people unreasonably outside the ward boundaries. The old gaurd has been displaced since I was there by new leadership, that follows guidelines and has the ward have its top age be 30 instead of 35 (we still had a lot of members age out), and respects boundaries a bit more. However Westland Stake probably still has several members there.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the other hand in the Bloomfield Hills YSA ward we did get a few Westland Stake members, but not many, and over time from when I was first there in 2002 until I was most recently there in 2011, the trend was in general loosing Westland Stake residents to Ann Arbor YSA ward.

We always had many residents of Grand Blanc Stake among the members, often filling a large portion of the leadership. At present the sister missionaries assigned to the Bloomfield Hills YSA ward have as their only clear area to officially proselytize in the campus of Oakland Univeristy, which is in the boundaries of the Grand Blanc Stake. On the other hand, welll under half of Grand Blanc Stake's area is really within reasonable travel of the Bloomfield Hills YSA branch. The 5 wards in Grand Blanc Stake that are at least partly in Oakland County are generally potential sources of members, although Grand Blanc and Lapeer Ward really only at their southern ends, and the east end of Lake Orion Ward is also a long way out.

The two wards in Grand Blanc Stake not at all in Oakland County present travel times of 45 minutes or more, in good traffic. We did occasionally have active members from Flint Ward, although they were more often irregular attendees at activities who went to their home ward (when I was there there was a Flinto and a Burton Ward, they have since merged). I can't recall anyone from Blue Water Ward who would come more than sporadically.

So I can't say for sure what is going on with the boundaries of Spanish-speaking units in the East Brunswick Stake.

John Pack Lambert said...

My best guess is that East Brunswick YSA branch is split about half and half with half living closer to the Philadelphia Temple and half closer to the Manhattan Temple. There might be a general pull to Manhattan for NYC YSA stake wide temple trips. I may also be underestimating the percentage of EBYSA branch members who work in NYC, so that they may be likely to attemd the Manhattan Temple even if they live clearly closer to the Philadelphia Temple.

Of course, that factor means that actual temple attendance and assigned temple district in Utah can non-conforming in lots of unexpected ways. There are probalby people who live in Layton or further north in the Ogden Temple district who at least occasionally go to the Salt Lake Temple because of working in downtown Salt Lake City, and probably cases of the same for people who live in the Payson Temple district, the latter being a case of people attending a temple further than 6 termples from them.

I know when I was at BYU I was in wards that did ward temple trips to both the Salt Lake City and the Manti Temples. This may have in part been promted by those temples doing endowment sessions in a different way than all other temples.

On the other hand I have known people who live less than 2 miles from Salt Lake City Temple who will on occasion attend Jordan River or Bountiful Temple because the Salt Lake City Temple endowments sessions end up being longer, and are more taxing, especially on the elderly.

coachodeeps said...

Layton stakes are assigned to the Bountiful Temple. Members attend that temple most regularly, but due to the proximity of other temples, cam and do attend elsewhere. This is either due to travel for work, to see a different temple, or because Salt Lake and Manti do live sessions. But, for the most part the members will attend their assigned temple.

Jim Anderson said...

Workers at Provo City Center noticed an uptick of those attending from the Salt Lake Valley because word got around that due to its location, you could much more easily get to it than the two other temples that were there to take the load.

It is just blocks off a major freeway, Oquirrh Mountain is beside a 'freeway' that had lights every mile although they have now begun to construct interchanges. But the ordinance room capacities are smaller than City Center, and Draper while similar, is well away from major roads

JSA said...

Guayaquil Ecuador Fortin Stake (2105004)
31 de Octubre Branch (2095149)
Elvira Ward (1452975) Barrio Elvira
Fortin Ward (464597) Barrio Fortin
Nueva Prosperina Ward (1887971) Barrio Nueva Prosperina
Nuevo Paraiso Ward (2095572)
Sinai Ward (499447) Barrio Sinai

Los Chillos Ecuador San Rafael Stake (2104539)
units not showing yet.

both stakes created 3 September 2017

John Pack Lambert said...

Today's new unit report has 4 new wards in the US, 1 new ward in the Phillipines, a branch made a ward in Brazil and a new branch in Nigeria.

James said...

Hey, John! Just wanted to note that I was basing the number of potential units for the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple District based on what has been reported on the page for that temple on the LDS Church Temples site. That said, I fully recognize that most potential temple districts are just that--potential, and that nothing is solid until the Brethren make it so. And, as we have seen for Orem, my current city of residence, it was part of the Mount Timpanogos district for a while, but when Provo City Center was dedicated, the city of Orem was merged back in to the Provo Utah Temple District. I don't know how (if at all) the construction and dedication of the Saratoga Springs Temple might affect those of us living in Orem right now. I have heard that there is an equal chance that we could then go back to the Mount Timpanogos district, or that we could remain with Provo. The only certain thing in this Church is that nothing is set in stone until the Lord inspires the Brethren to make an official announcement. For my part, no matter what happens with future temple developments, I am grateful that I can witness and report on these things the way I have done and hope to continue to be able to do. I look forward to all that will happen with temple-related developments going forward. I have said it before and I will say it again: there is almost more Church and temple-related news than one person (or several people) can report on as fully and as effectively as possible. It is wonderful to have so many good things happening Church-wide, and I feel very blessed to be able to contribute to ongoing discussions as I can.

Jim Anderson said...

As far as temples go, we may be in for another surge in attendance--we don't know what Elder Bednar will say Sunday night but he has told us to read Doctrine and Covenants 128:17-18 and the cat's out of the bag that he will focus on family history that night.

Mike Johnson said...

This weekend we are having an area seventy come to our stake conference. Both the Stake and the Ward announced him as a general authority coming.

After a missionary activity Thursday night, our ward mission leader invited an investigator to stake conference and explained that a general authority was coming to address us.

I asked him afterwards, why do we seen to ignore the area seventies and refer to them as general authorities. He made a coupe of insightful comments I wanted to share. First, all he had heard was that the visiting authority was a general authority. Second, he is sent by Salt Lake regardless of where he might live and we should respect that. And then he asked: "aren't area seventies just members of the area presidencies?"

Right now, there is one area seventy who is a member of an area presidency. He is Elder Alexey V Samahkin of Russia and is the second counselor in the Europe East Area Presidency.

I find this calling amazing. Like Bishops and Stake Presidents they put in lots of time on their own each week while they continue their careers (except for the few that are retired). To replace the 285 Area Seventies, the Church would probably need at least 150 more general authority seventies.

They preside over typically 2-3 coordinating councils of stake and mission presidents and can be authorized by the First Presidency to call Stake Presidents.

James said...

Hey, Mike! I don't know how closely, if at all, you might have followed area seventies since they were first sustained as such in 1997. A look at those who were called at that time is illustrative, to be sure. We had one future apostle (David A. Bednar), one future Senior President of the Seventy (L. Whitney Clayton), a few other men who would, at differing intervals and for different lengths of time, also serve in the Presidency of the Seventy (Walter F. Gonzalez, Donald L. Hallstrom, Juan A. Uceda (who was sustained in that instance without his middle initial)), and 18 men who would, at various times, go on to serve as General Authority Seventies (Douglas L. CaLlister, Enrique R. Falabella, Daryl H. Garn, Eduardo Gavarret, Larry W. Gibbons, Christoffel Golden Jr., C. Scott Grow, Ronald T. Halverson, Keith K. Hilbig, Won Yong Ko, Adelson (now Adilson) de Paula Parrella, Wolfgang H. Paul, Wayne S. Peterson, Jose A. Teixeira (who was sustained under the additional last name of da Silva), Octaviano Tenorio, Robert S. Wood, Jorge F. Zeballos, and Claudio D. Zivic.

So one future apostle and 21 future General Authority Seventies were among the first group sustained as area seventies. And if we extend that to every subseuqnt group of new area seventies sustained, the number of future apostles and/or future GA seventies (including members of the Presidency of the Seventy) multiplies even more.

With that in mind, I think it is safe to assert that we will continue to see many new apostles drawn from among general authorities, area seventies, and the Church at large, and that there will be quite a few new General Authority Seventies from among the ranks of the current area seventies (or those who have previously served as such).

Before I went off on that tangent, I was trying to make the point that, where the Church once had entire area presidencies composed of area seventies who, due to residing and working in those areas, had a unique understanding of and approach to the way the work of the Church progressed in such areas.

But over time, the notion of area seventies serving in the presidencies of the areas in which they reside have become the exception rather than the rule. I am glad that Elder Samaykin can serve concurrently at this time as both an area seventy and as the second counselor in the presidency of that area. Because he has resided and worked within this area for as long as he has, he will be an effective asset in helping the president and first counselor of the area understand how unique the situation and challenges of that area are to those who, like him, are living within it. I hope the Church will return more fully to this practice that was once so much more commonplace.

Mike Johnson said...

Thank you James.

I have followed area seventies closely. I don't we have ever had an area president who was not a genera authority, but it used to more common for area seventies to serve as counselors in the presidencies.

I think area seventies form a very important layer in the Church but we often blur that level.

John Pack Lambert said...

While I would hope people will heed and be moved by the words of the sustained prophets to action, Elder Bednar, and many others of the aposltes (especially President Nelson) have urged temple and family history work often. Elder Scott was also a big advocate, not that I would say any of the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 have ever discouraged it.

So while Elder Bednar's statements may cause some increase, I am hesitant to hope for a surge.

John Pack Lambert said...

Of late, most new stakes are organized by one area seventy and one general authority seventy. When an apostle is involved, often three men preside.

In fact when my stake got a new stake presidency the people doing the reorganization were Elder Lansing, an area senventy, and a general authority whose name I forget.

I have to admit I find it odd how so many church members do not put in the minimal amount of time to get church terminology right.

My impression is that some members of the second quorum of the seventy in the early 1990s were essentially pilot area seventies. I somewhere got the impression a few maintained their old homes and may have only served on a church service instead of full time basis.

I don't expect to be able to read a fully, well written account of this until the 2030s at the earliest. OK, I am still disgruntled at Russell Stevenson's false advertising of his book as going through 2013, when it mentions neither of the Black African general authorities, does not mention Ebenzer Joshua, the black chief minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, at least not in the index, and makes more mentions to Sonia Johnson than Gordon B. Hinckley, and only one passing mention on two pages to mention Emmanuel Abu Kissi. Of course what do I expect from someone who compares Brigham Young to Stalin and embraces the lies of talking of microagression.

John Pack Lambert said...

Russell cares so little about the actual history of black members, instead of stupid theoretical talk, that hesays "In 1979, Dr. Emmanuel Kissi joined the Church". Actually that part shows how this is not a "Global History" as Stevenson claimed. Any Global history would not that Kissi joined the Church in the United Kingdom and then returned back from his medical education to Ghana.

He spends a measly paragraph on Dr. Kissi. Ignoring the work Kissi did in establishing a medical clinic. Ignoring Kissi being called to a mission presidency, being acting mission president, being a regional representative of the 12 and an area seventy, ignoring Dr. Kissi's contriution of a full length history of the Church in Ghana.

If the index is anything more than half-baked, then the book title is a lie and it is a half-baked book with little to show it could have been published any later than 1992.

Yes, I am mad that a book with a title mentioning "Global" and an end date of 2013 ignores the calling of the great Elder Joseph W. Sitati. There is no way to write a history of black Mormons and ignore him.

Of course Stevenson is more in the vein of Prince. His goal is to write down controversial things, as opposed to report the truth and give you any sense of what the past was really like.

John Pack Lambert said...

Elder Quentin L. Cook has also been an area seventy.

One main reason that present area presidencies are much more composed of general authority seventies than at some times in the past is that there was a near halving of the number of area presidency members. This was in part accomplished through elimanating the postion in the US/Canada areas.

It was also accomplished through taking 9 Latin American areas down to 5. Asia/African and the Pacific have only seen a net reduction of 1 area (the Australia area, merged back with the Pacific Islands).

However with more and more general authority seventies from all over the world, area presidencies will often consist of men with deep expeirience and knowledge of the area.

Mike Johnson said...

Elder Lansing is from Richmond, Virginia. He was recently released after 5 years or so as an Area Seventy.

Saturday sessions of conference yesterday were wonderful. Much of the adult session was on family.

The Accountant said...

Here are a couple good links to area seventies

One thing I find interesting is the BYU president is an Area Seventy as well as the Senator Gordon H Smith. I didn't see anything about the former BYU-I president being an area authority so it appears that the call to be a president of the a church school is separate from the call to be an area authority. I just noticed other church school presidents were area authorities in the past so i thought it was the calling that came with the school position.

Link on Church areas and the countries they cover

The Accountant said...

So in 2002 Area Seventy could be presidents of an area. See the link below.

In 2003 the church changed this policy and General Authorities only could be Presidents of Areas and the counselors could be Area Seventies.

I knew I had seen Elder C.Scott Grow as a president of the Idaho area when he was an Area Seventy but now that I found it, I can't believe that was 15 years ago. Holy smokes time is flying.

Also notice who are the president of some of the areas back then: 3 future apostles, Elder Cook, Anderson, and Rasband.

Mike Johnson said...

Accountant, thank you for the information and reminding me that C Scott Grow was an area president as an area authority. As soon as I saw it, I remembered that. Also, Enrique R. Falabella was president of the Central America area. Both subsequently became general authorities.

Gordon Smith was a US senator from 1997 to 2009 and became an area seventy in 2012.

James said...

I was going to say: I know (because I have followed changes in area leadership extensively) that at one point area seventies could serve as area presidents, and that at one point in the early 2000s, several area presidencies were made up entirely of area seventies. I was not aware that an official policy had been enacted between now and then that only GA Seventies could serve as area presidencies. That does make sense.

But it has also been interesting to see things evolve and change with those area leadership assignments. The Church began with just a handful of GA Seventies serving on-site in area presidencies. Since that experimental period ended, the Church has expanded and consolidated, then expanded and consolidated those areas again. And now, of course, since 2004, we have had areas in the US and Canada under the direct supervision and jurisdiction of members of the Presidency of the Seventy. And while we do not necessarily have area presidencies for those 15 areas, it has been interesting for me in the last couple of weeks to go over updated lists of general authority assignments and to see how certain Brethren among the General Authority seventies are area assistants in areas within the US and Canada. In regards to Wikipedia, I am working on fine-tuning such a list to add to what is on the page devoted to General Authorities, including the area assignments of the apostles, which has been interesting to study.

The one thing that bugs me about the Wikipedia page for area seventies is that no one but myself has done any sweeping changes to it after every General Conference. There will be additions and revisions, that is true, but the significant changes every six months have been left to me to make. That has not ordinarily been a problem, but it was just last month when I got back from an eight-month self-imposed break from my work on Wikipedia. To my surprise and dismay, no one has really touched the area seventies page in my absence. So I am hoping that in the two weeks or so between now and next General Conference, I will be able to update my own list of area seventies, and then use that to massively update the Wikipedia page.

But that is a sidenote. I am grateful that area seventies have been part of Church government worldwide for over 20 years now. And I am grateful as well that the Church has done so much to expand the number of those rendering that part-time service. As I said above, I have not updated my list in about a year, but at the last update, I remember that there were several of the 6 Quorums of the Seventy that have been close enough to having 70 members that I wonder if the Church will split any of those off into additional quorums. The scriptures provide an option for creating as many of those quorums as may be necessary, "even until seven time seventy", but it is interesting to note that, between the almost 90 General Authority Seventies and the just under 250 Area Seventies that were serving as of my last updated count of that number last year, there are around 340 Seventies total. That number is getting even more close to the 490 that would be serving if we had 70x7 seventies. And we have seen that the Church has created 8 Quorums of the Seventy at this point. I for one will be very intrigued and excited to see what happens with the number of seventies and how many quorums they will comprise in the coming years. Just wanted to share those thoughts, for what they may be worth to any of you.

James said...

@Mike Johnson: Thanks also for letting me know how closely you have followed area seventies. For several years (from at least 2004-2014 or so), I faithfully kept an updated list of area seventies, making the necessary changes every six months. Over the last several years, I have tried to continue to update that list every six months, but as life has gotten in the way, and particularly as I have turned my focus to other projects, I am lucky to be able to have time to do those updates once a year. I know that I brought my list up-to-date shortly before last April's General Conference, and I had started the updating process after the last changes were announced, but between other projects coming up and dealing with the health issue that both my wife and I are struggling with, I have not yet completed that update. I need to get back to it. Hopefully, I will be able to get that done prior to when the next changes are announced two weeks from tomorrow. I have enjoyed doing it; but as with a lot of things lately, my motivation to get it done this time comes and goes. But I will work on it. Whenever I do such updates, I keep a running total of the number in each quorum and the total number currently serving. For a while, I was regularly updating the Wikipedia page for Area Seventies. But I have not touched that page personally since May of last year, when I updated that section with the changes announced in April 2016. And it seems as though no one is taking on that responsibility while I have not been able to. So I will have that to take care of as well, which I hope to be able to do by the end of this year, if not before. I also know that there has been a time or two within the last several years when I have noticed a discrepancy on the Church's official list of area seventies and that those missing changes were fixed once I pointed that out. One of the things I have enjoyed most about that process is being reminded which states, nations, and cities are in which area. But compared to others, I am sure what I have done in that regard is just a drop in the bucket. Just wanted to offer that additional information about my personal record of area seventies. Hope you enjoy keeping track of those changes as much as I do.

Gracie said...

Another reason we have often attended Jordan River, Bountiful and Oquirrh Mountain Temples -- while assigned to the Salt Lake Temple: Salt Lake endowment sessions only start once an hour! If you jump into the car at just the wrong time you can spend a long long time sitting in the chapel wondering why they rotated everything in the room 90 degrees in the last remodel. We don't mostly attend our assigned Salt Lake Temple, and with number 2 choice, Jordan River, down; we're going to Bountiful most of the time recently.