Saturday, September 9, 2017

New Stakes Created in Ecuador (2), Utah (2), Brazil, and Canada; Stake Discontinued in South Korea

Two new stakes were organized in Ecuador last Sunday.

The Guayaquil Ecuador Fortin Stake was organized from a division of the Guayaquil Ecuador Juan Montalvo Stake and the Guayaquil Ecuador Prosperina Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Elvira, Fortin, Nueva Prosperina, Nuevo Paraiso, and Sinai Wards, and the 31 de Octubre Branch. There are now 14 stakes in the immediate Guayaquil metropolitan area.

The Los Chillos Ecuador San Rafael Stake was organized from a division of the Los Chillos Ecuador Stake and possibly another stake in the Quito metropolitan area. Information on which congregations are assigned to the new stake remains unavailable. There are now eight stakes in the Quito metropolitan area.

There are now 39 stakes and nine districts in Ecuador.

The Church organized two new stakes in Utah on August 27th.

The Lehi Utah Central Stake was organized from a division of the Lehi Utah Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Lehi 1st, Lehi 5th, Lehi 6th, Mill Pond, Spring Creek 1st, Spring Creek 2nd, and Spring Creek 3rd Wards.

The Eagle Mountain Utah Nolen Park Stake was organized from a division of the Eagle Mountain Utah Stake, Eagle Mountain Utah Cedar Pass Stake, Eagle Mountain Utah East Stake, and the Eagle Mountain Utah North Stake. The new stake includes the following nine wards: the Chimney Rock, Eagle's Gate 1st, Eagle's Gate 2nd, Kennekuk, Parkside, Rock Creek, Rush Valley, Sundance, and Willow Springs Wards.

There are now 586 stakes and one district in Utah.

A new stake was organized in Porto Alegre, Brazil on September 3rd. Members report that the name of the new stake is the Porto Alegre Brazil Viamao Stake. However, information on which stakes were involved in the creation of the new stake and what wards have been assigned to the new stake remain unavailable.

There are now 267 stakes and 40 districts in Brazil.

The Church organized its first young single adult (YSA) stake outside of the United States on August 27th. The Lethbridge Alberta YSA Stake was organized from the three original Lethbridge stakes and the Cardston Alberta Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Cardston YSA, Lakeview YSA, London Road YSA, University Heights YSA, Victoria Park YSA, Westbridge YSA, and Westview YSA Wards.

There are now 50 stakes and three districts in Canada.

South Korea
The Church discontinued a stake in the Seoul metropolitan area. The Seoul Korea Dongdaemun Stake was discontinued and retained wards were reassigned to the Seoul Korea East Stake. The Church in Seoul has experienced one of the most widespread restructurings of stakes and wards of any city in the world during the past decade as 25 wards and branches have been discontinued since 2011. Moreover, the Church has also discontinued five stakes in the Seoul metropolitan area during the past five years. Church leaders and local members report no significant changes in the number of active members in these congregations or stakes during the past decade. Rather, these stake and congregation consolidations have been motivated by an emphasis to reduce meetinghouse operational costs and organize wards with larger numbers of active members comparable to wards within the United States. Historically, most wards in Korea have had between 50-100 active members.

There are now 12 stakes and five districts in Korea.


L. Chris Jones said...

I love Ecuador. Awesome growth. I served in the Prosperina stake.

Christopher Nicholson said...

I thought the issue with Korea was that active members kept emigrating even though church leaders had asked them not to. So that's not the case after all?

L. Chris Jones said...

I bet that emmigration may be part of it. There are probably many contributing factors. But it sound like numbers are staying stable overall.

Mike Johnson said...

Immigration may be one of the reasons the wards have been getting smaller in active membership.

I can't help wondering if we are seeing the backside of large membership increases in Korea in the 1960s and 70s and smaller conversion rates in recent decades. The Church points out that most converts are in the 15 to 25 age range.

99 said...

I notice how there are many instances recently where the church consolidates wards/branches to reduce meetinghouse operational costs.
That seems like it would decrease member growth by limiting the church outreach, does it not? For example, the Ogaki Ward in Japan (a country with similar trends to that of Korea) was discontinued earlier this year, and members were assigned to the Gifu Ward. These cities are about 30 minutes away by car. Contrary to what's supposed to happen, there may not be much members from Ogaki willing to make the longer drive to Gifu, especially when they had one much more closeby, and so the number of inactive members would increase. It would be more difficult to teach the gospel to non-members and inactive members in Ogaki. There may be a dependent group there but we can't find those on So instead of discontinuing entire wards that are further from other meetinghouses, I don't see why they shouldn't be reorganized as branches instead.

Christopher said...

They announced officially that they are building the fourth chapel in the town of Raymond Alberta. Very likely it will be Stake Center size in anticipation for splitting the stake here in Raymond, which is at 10 very large wards plus a care center branch, and it just keeps on growing. A lot of young families moving home and new developments in town make a stake split at some point in the next 5-7 years very likely. Not bad for a small town of 3700!

Mike Johnson said...

My grandmother was raised in Raymond. Good to see it growing.

Mike Johnson said...

Why does the Raymond Municipal Census consistently report higher numbers for the Town of Raymond than Statistics Canada? Statistics Canada shows Raymond as declining in numbers while the municipal census shows it increasing. The municipal census shows 4,202 for 2016 up from 4,139 for 2011. Statistics Canada has Raymond declining from 3,743 in 2011 to 3,708 in 2016.

I note that this is very common in Alberta municipalities that their municipal censuses are routinely largely than Stats Canada.

Andrew Matishen said...

New ward in Syracuse UT yesterday. New stake coming in a year or two for the western part of the city. Building is approved.

JSA said...

South Jordan Utah Garden Park Stake (2098865)

Garden Park 1st Ward (1828770)
Garden Park 2nd Ward (433454)
Garden Park 3rd Ward (463507)
Garden Park 4th Ward (562750)
Garden Park 5th Ward (2001608)
Garden Park 6th Ward (532339)

September 10 2017

OC Surfer said...

As for Korea, my understanding for the lack of growth is due in part to the Anti-Mormon rhetoric taught by other Christian Churches in Korea, since Korea is over 30% Christian.

Another issue is that often Church members in Korea (and Japan too) often lack social skills, social awareness, and can appear "nerdy" or rigid, which deters those with better social skills, or social status to stay active in the church or join the church in the first place.

The Church in Korea and Japan needs to make welcome and accepting to all, including "the cool kids".

OC Surfer said...

As for Korea, my understanding for the lack of growth is due in part to the Anti-Mormon rhetoric taught by other Christian Churches in Korea, since Korea is over 30% Christian.

Another issue is that often Church members in Korea (and Japan too) often lack social skills, social awareness, and can appear "nerdy" or rigid, which deters those with better social skills, or social status to stay active in the church or join the church in the first place.

The Church in Korea and Japan needs to make welcome and accepting to all, including "the cool kids".

Christopher said...

I believe it has to do with municipal boundaries that are defined differently depending on municipal reporting and Statistics Canada. A lot of dwellings that are not in town proper but still part of the municipality are counted by our municipal census but not Stats Canada.

coachodeeps said...

The newest set of Meet the Mormons should help. One includes a family of pop singers from Japan that are widely known and loved.

"“The Entertainers” features the story of four siblings who make up the Japanese pop singing group Bless4. They talk about keeping Church standards in the entertainment industry and one of the sibling’s struggle with an eating disorder."

John Pack Lambert said...

If people lack the faith to drive the extra 30 minutes to another chapel, they lack the faith needed for salvation.

I have seen the other side of the quation, continued wards or branches where there is not the active membership to justify it. This leads to strain on families, with high pressure callings wearing family members thinner and thinner. It leads to some callings that really should be filled by those with strong, firm beliefs in the central tenats of the gospel, filled by those who teach false doctine, as I have seen with Sunday school classes.

John Pack Lambert said...

Consolidating wards and branches leads to either A-active members having to fill fewer callings or B-active members filling fewer demanding callings. This leads to more opportunities to connect with the community because of less time demand from the Church. This leads to the networking of deep relationships needed to build the Church sustainably over the long term.

In fact, even eliminating buildings is a plus in this analysis. If you half the amount of time any member will spend cleaning the chapel in a given period, you double the amount of time they have to connect with friends and neighbors and share the joy of the gospel.

I could even present statistical analysis that shows the amount of time consumed by church meetings, in the chapel for things such as cleaning, and travel time will in some cases go down if people are moved to a consolidated location.

John Pack Lambert said...

I came across an article in BYU studies by Khumbulani D. Mdletshe yesterday. Elder Mdletshe is an Area Seventy in the Africa Southeast Area. He grew up in an all-black African suburb of Durban, a place called KwaMushu.

Elder Mdletshe joined the Church at age 16 in 1980. That was the same year as Moses Mulangu, who had been waiting about 12 or more years. That is intriguing because one would have thought that Mulungu would have been baptized immidiately after the 1978 revelation, and in fact in 1969 in any other mission of the Church besides the South African one, a man living as close to existing wards as Muhlungu lived would have been baptized.

Here is a link to a BYU Studies article by Jeffrey G. Cannon and Richard E. Turley Jr. that explores the Muhlungu issue indapth. While they do not repeat the uncritical claim of some sources that law prevented Muhlungu's baptism, they do not take Russell Stevenson's view that baptizing and integrating black Africans would have not had consequences for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

While Cannon and Turley point out that some Protestant missionaries were expelled from South Africa because it was thought they had an anti-apartheid position, they do not consider two other issues.

The Church seeks political neutrality, and it seeks political neutrality of missionaries in a hyper way. This is why the anti-missionary anti-proposition 8 adds were so bigoted, and why the claims of King Anthony, oops I mean Justice Kennedy, that laws like Proposition 8, as opposed to their opponents, were motivated by "animus" are so ludicrous.

Being hyper politically neutral on the part of missionaries has also produced anti-Mormon screeds that try to paint Mormons as having been collaborators of Hitler. No one has yet given good deep analysis of why these positions are so precauratious, and of why it was so crucial that when the Church in Mexico spoke out on the issue of how marriage should be defined, Benjamin de Hoyos was the Area President, and not some foriegner, least of all some gringo.

John Pack Lambert said...

Elder Khumbulani D. Mdletshe of 3rd Quorum of the Seventy deals with issues of the priesthood restion and reactions thereto in a much more personal way in file:///C:/Users/Unclejohn/Downloads/55-4mdletshereflectionafricanconvert.pdf at BYU studies.

This is a very intriguing story. If I had been the branch president involved, I would have just let the young men keep the suites and thought that was the best course of action. However either from understand the meaning of the symbolism of his acts, from being lead by the spirit, or from being not affluent enough to afford to lend a suit permanently the branch president actually did the action that would make Elder Mdletshe see the good in those of other races the most.

In his BYU Studies article Elder Mdletshe relates the surprising fact he was able to be a member for five years before his mission without ever hearing of the priesthood restriction. It is very saddening that he had a companion who spewed such racist ideas, but considering that in 2001 I had a zone leader who stated "I would not want to be a black man because I would not want to be cursed" and in 2000 I had a missionary companion who displayed the Confederate Flag on the wall of our bedroom, I should not be surprised at all. Or considering the ignorant, racist spew that came out of the mouth of Randy Bott in 2012.

Elder Mdletshe was lucky to have had Ed J. Pinegar as his mission president. President Pinegar was wise in not trying to give an answer to a question he did not know the answe to, but answering with a faith in what he knew.

His course to BYU-Hawaii and BYU was very good. Not knowing all the circumstances of why he did not marry the woman he fell in love with at BYU it is hard to say anything concrete, but I still do not see why she could not have gone with him to South Africa, but maybe I am too much an optimist for biracial marriage (not that I know the race of the woman he fell in love with while in the US). Considering that in 2010 only 0.7% of married white men in the US had black wives, it may be very easy to be an optimist on inter-racial marriage with no connection to reality.

Elder Mdletshe's comment about persistently hearing mention of the "Curse of Cain" in Old Testament classes is interesting. My only exposure that I can definitely think of to this issue is when Sister Camille Fronk (now Olson), my New Testament teacher at BYU, denounced the false claim that anyone had been neutral in the War in Heaven, and attempts to imply it had any meaning here.

However I have come to dislike Darius Gray's presentation on Black's in the Scriptures becuase it is built around the unsupported claim that the descendants of Ham were black. He seems to also imply the descendants of Ham correspond to black Africans. I do not think the Bible supports such a narrow view, and in fact the literal text of the Bible says that the descendants of Israel are among all nations of the earth.

I much more trust Marvin Perkins argument that "black" in the scriptures does not mean what we think it does. In the Book of Mormon the "skin of darkness" is closely connected with the "scales of darkness" on the Lamanites Eyes. Unless we think the Lamanites in some way more resembled snakes than other humans, we have to take these lines as figurarive, not literal. Then of course there were the Amilicites who literally put a mark on themselves.

John Pack Lambert said...

The most moving scene in Elder Mdletshe's article is about when Preisdent Monson made a comment to him and two other new Area Seventies at the close of their first General leadership meeting connected with general conference "“Brethren, I would like to tell you that I worked with the man who gave the priesthood to all men." Considering that President Monson performed the sealing of Joseph Freeman, the first man of African descent to be ordained to theMelchizedek preisthood after the 1978 revelation (this was in June 1978), to his wife and I believe two sons, this is arguably President Monson under-speaking his role in those events. The sealing I mentioned was done in the Salt Lake Temple in July of 1978, and may have been the first temple sealing involving a spouse of known and publicly acklowledged African descent. Sister Freeman was from Hawaii, and at least partially of Native Hawaiian descent, so this is why I use such complex language.

Considering even South Africa would not get a temple until 1985, Brazil not until late 1978 and other factors, the Freeman family, as residents of the Salt Lake Area, had a fairly easy time getting to the temple for those days.

Of course, the Church did make inroads among Afircans and African descended populations in Europe. My primary teacher when I was 11 was just about to get his mission call in June 1978. With the Revelation he hoped to go on a mission to Africa. Instead he was called to the Netherlands. However, as he shared with us on at least one occasion, he had multiple opportunities to preach the gospel to students and others who were either from Africa or of African descent. This may have been more common in the Belgian than Duthc part of his mission, although somehow I think that Congolese students and others were more likely to have been studying and resident in the Flanders portion of Belgium, which would have at the time placed them in the seperate Belgium Brussels Mission. Since we are dealing with a story I heard 25 years ago, I can not really say much more than that.

MainTour said...

Hi John Lambert -

To address your comment about the anti-prop 8 messaging from leftist groups targeting all churches that still support traditional marriage, Elder Christoferson of the 12 is leading a large Southern California regional broadcast and discussion about Religious Freedom and how members need to find constructive ways to better engage in society to setback the hate messaging from the left. More details on this can be found at

John Pack Lambert said...

For the first time this year a ward in Nigeria has bwen downgraded to a branch. However it looks more like a branch was split off from a ward, but the name was given to the branch and the ward got a new name.

John Pack Lambert said...

A few years back here in Michigan the local chaper of the J Reuben Clark law society and the metro-Detroit BYU alumni association sponsored with the Wayne State University Kaw Schoool a conference on religious freedom. I still have to say some of the non-Mormon speakers there showed ignorance of the law. The stupidest statement was a call to limit the spread of the Hosana-Tabor doctrine (the Lutheran man who waz the jnitial defense attorney in the Hosana-Tabor case was a speaker, he attributed his victory to guidance by ghe Holy Ghost. He probably would have lost due to inadequate pleadings otherwise. Another speaker was Hannah C. Smith, the Becket Fund employed LDS lawyer who became the lead counsel in the case once it went to higher courts. Anyway one of the law professors there said allowing churches to call custodians ministers should be avoided. Not only did the rhetoric there avoid the real issues in allowing suits, but it should a failurd to understand Amos v. The Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Amos may be the most important case directly involving the LDS Church in the last quarter of the 20th-century. Although the seminary credit and missionary tax exemption cases are other contenders, althoughin the later the Church was not actually a plaintiff and in the former I dont think the Church was either.

In Amos the Supreme Court upheld the exemption to civil rights laws against discrimination on the basis of religion for churches. Specifixally the C of the PB hax fired a janitor at the Deseret News for not having a current temple reccomend.

This should have worked in Hosana-Rabor sing the plaintiff was fired for not folliwing the relifious sentiments of the school. However some courts ignore 5his precedent.

Michael Worley said...

Amos involved different issues than Hosanna-Tabor, so the ministerial exception was not at issue at all in Amos. Both cases are good, but one involved a statute and one the First Amendment-- a massive difference in law.

That said, I'm grateful for both cases and I'm saddened whenever they are ignored.

JSA said...

Additional staked created on September 10 2017

South Jordan Utah North Shore Stake (2098857)
North Shore 1st Ward (1574973)
North Shore 3rd Ward (1986988)
North Shore 4th Ward (2061872)
North Shore 5th Ward (2083507)
North Shore 6th Ward (2040085)
North Shore 2nd Ward (2007878)

Anonkoua Cote d'Ivoire Stake (2104458)
Anonkoua 2nd Branch (2076306)
Anonkoua 3rd Branch (2076314)
Banco Branch (2076330)
Bocabo Branch (2076349)
Celeste Branch (2076357)
Sodeci Branch (2028972)
Agnissankoi Ward (2052717)
Anonkoua 1st Ward (334022) la Paroisse d'Anonkoua 1
Assomin Ward (2028964)
Avocatier Ward (2053276)
Sagbe Ward (343021) Paroisse de Sagbe

Anonymous said...

In addition to the creation of the Lethbridge YSA Stake, the Lethbridge North Stake was created this summer. The Lethbridge West Stake disbanded, and its wards were assigned to either the Lethbridge Stake and the newly formed Lethbridge North Stake.

Also regarding municipal and StatsCan census numbers, StatsCan doesn’t count students in their profiles, and municipal censuses do, or at least that’s the case here in Lethbridge.

99 said...

>If people lack the faith to drive the extra 30 minutes to another chapel, they lack the faith needed for salvation.

It may seem like that for those in USA and Canada but in other countries, transportation is an issue. I know someone who joined the church in Japan in her teenage years and she was able to go to church because it was a few blocks away from her home. The rest of her family is nonpracticing Buddhist or Shinto. If that ward was discontinued and the next closest meetinghouse was 20 km away, perhaps it would be difficult even for the faithful youth (such as her) to attend, especially in a country in which smaller religions are viewed with skepticism. Just throwing this out there as an example.

Also, we shouldn't expect much growth in Japan for a while; the Church was already in its decline there and now it's receiving bad publicity. I won't go into detail but the prospect of church growth in Japan is even more unfavorable now.

99 said...

There is an increasing amount of urbanization in Japan (people moving from rural areas to the cities) and an aging population, and as many of us know, the country's population is declining. Church growth will likely only get worse from here.

30 minutes may not seem like a lot but I've been looking at some of the church's recent unit changes in Japan (mostly discontinuations) and from what I can tell some closed locations are making the church nearly inaccessible from the original location. For example, the Joetsu branch was discontinued and its closest and assigned location is Nagaoka, which is 50 miles away. If it were a temple, that wouldn't seem like a lot, but this is just to attend weekly sacrament. Add to that how many of Japan's long-distance highways are tolled so to avoid tolls would be nearly 2 hours just getting to church.

Even in the city where a temple was created, Fukuoka, the church fares poorly and the city only has one ward. That's pretty bad for a city with more than a million inhabitants, even by church standards. About 55 miles south in Kumamoto is a city of about 700,000 inhabitants and 4 wards in 2 buildings. Now that's good. There are prefectures (pretty much equivalent to states in the US) with only one branch.

Very off topic but this is just my thoughts on the church in Japan, since South Korea's growth prospects were mentioned

Paul said...

What's the bad publicity in Japan?

Alex said...

We're blessed to hear from Elder Andersen to preside our special conference for the creation of a new stake from the re-alignment of current Manila, Makati and Makati East Stakes.

Mandaluyong Stake
Mandaluyong 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and San Juan (From Manila Stake) Wards

Makati Stake
Mandaluyong 4th, Makati 1st (from Makati East Stake), 2nd, 3rd, 4th.

Also this coming week another stake will be organized. The Calasiao Philippines District.

James said...

How wonderful it is to hear of such fantastic growth on a Church-wide scale. We are in an interesting era. The Church was for a long time criticized as being just a "Utah" or "United States" Church. I remember well how wonderful it was when I learned that membership outside the US and Canada had become lower than Church membership elsewhere in the world. And I think, in so many ways, we have seen the attitudes and perspectives of the Church and its leadership change with the extensive growth as well. What I mean by that is that I have observed recently how more talks in General Conference and at other Churchwide events have been prepared to a greater extent for application by a worldwide audience. The growth we have seen in recent weeks bears out the idea that there is something in the teachings of the Church that is truly impacting people from every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

And yes, before I get carried away, I don't by any means want anyone to think I am implying that we have reached the summit regarding any facet of Church growth. The Church still in some ways has a long journey to continue to bring it out of obscurity and out of darkness. What I have observed in reflecting on recent growth is that the Church is prospering quite well in some areas (with Africa and South American springing instantly to mind as prime examples), while growth in the US and Canada has slowed, to a certain extent.

And one other thing I have observed that may be affecting all of this is that because many of the Saints here in the "Mormon corridor" have it so easy, their hearts are not as open to the plights of their struggling brothers and sisters as they may have been at one time. I have before spoken on these comment threads about how my wife and I have been struggling off and on for several years with very difficult personal, health, and financial challenges. And in the area of the Church in which we currently find ourselves, we are surrounded by a ward and stake that seems by comparison to have not had anything challenging happen in their lives. So whwen we have reached out to the members around us for understanding, compassion, and support, we instead have been subjected somewhat to the notion that, if we were just a little more faithful, we would be able to rise above everything and get back to where we need to be. And it seems that no one we have talked to has real-life experience with hardship to the degree that we have experienced in the last 18 months or so. And none of them seem to have real, genuine, personal testimonies, but seem to be living off borrowed light. I am beginning to understand now why we were brought to this area. The Lord knew that we could be a great influence for this ward and stake, once we get past the current hardships. So, for the moment, we will just continue to muddle along and hope that one day, it will all make sense, and that those ward members who do not understand our circumstances now may one day be in a position to do so. But I do worry that it might take something quite catastrophic and challenging in the lives of these people for that to happen.

James said...

Sorry. Hope I didn't offend anyone. The point I am trying to make is that members who live on borrowed light and who may have things easy now may find that they can only be "good Mormons" when things are easy, and may have their faith challenged at some point by a future crisis. I have seen before how at times, if such people are lulled into a sense of false comfort, they are not prepared when the storms of life come upon them, as they are sure to do at some point. So maybe the Lord brought my wife and I to this area because He knew the ward and stake members could learn from us, if they were of a mind and heart to do so.

Again, I am sorry for interjecting my personal musings and experiences into these conversations. All that aside, I would like to thank those who continue to contribute to the conversations on these blog post topics. I am always inspired and uplifted by my participation and following these threads. Hearing the examples and testimonies of each of you has had a profoundly inspiring impact on me.

I would just like to end this comment by noting that I have been busy as always with my own blogging efforts. With my thanks to Matt for continuing to allow me to share updates about and links to those posts, I would like to invite any of you who would like to do so to read and comment on any of my posts that may interest you. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on my musings and reports, and I hope to continue to be inspired by any interactions either here on this blog or there on mine. Thanks again to you all.

Anonymous said...

Four more units in California have been discontinued. I don't see much growth coming out of the Golden State anytime soon either.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Church continues to move forward with force and power in Nigeria, a country becoming more and more important to the world. Although the number of Nigerian nationals who are members in other countries (Spain, the UK, the US and Italy with probably some more) is more than is often recognized.

Nigerian impact on the LDS Church should not be underestimated.

Mike Johnson said...

People continue to flee California. As somebody who once lived in California, I understand that.

Levi said...

I anticipate having more wards in Idaho than California within the next three years.

James said...

Hello again, everyone! I appreciate the chance to catch up on comments that have come in since I last checked this post. It is awesome to be able to be part of such inspiring conversations, and I hope my contributions, such as they are, continue to add to rather than detract from the topics under discussion. Regarding people fleeing California, that I do appreciate. Here in Utah, many of the drivers we encounter day-to-day that do not seem to be aware of the driving laws have California license plates. I do not know what may be causing such a mass exodus, but I appreciate that it is happening. In the meantime, Levi's statement above led me to check where the two states (Idaho and California) stand in terms of Church units. Here are the results of that as well as my thoughts on the data:

Idaho: 1,124 Church units (59 of which are branches)
California: 1,296 Church units (142 of which are branches)

In terms of those units, I count 4 wards discontinued in California during the last six days while Idaho saw one branch discontinued and one branch upgraded to a ward. So I do see now (where I couldn't before) that Arizona and Idaho are indeed progressing more significantly and speedily, perhaps because some LDS members have relocated from California to Idaho and Arizona. I apologize profusely for speaking without informing myself on such things.

As far as Nigeria, I agree, there has been outstanding and significant progress. I have before mentioned the three cities (Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Benin City) that I was considering for the most likely possibility for Nigeria's second temple. And in that regard, my study has solidified Lagos as the most likely possibility for that honor.

In addition to continuing to post comments here and doing research on several random subjects relating to Church news and developments, I have also continued to post regularly on my own blog. Recent posts that I have most enjoyed putting together are those describing recent temple-related developments and the possible time-frames for future temple-related events, and the final version of my predictions for next general conference (which includes speaking order, potential changes in Church leadership, and the final list (for this conference) of my temple site possibilities). I welcome anyone and everyone who would like to do so to give my blog a visit and post any comments you might have on anything I have worked on recently. Thanks in advance!

David Todd said...

I saw from a friend on Facebook that the Midway, Utah stake will be split next month and two new wards will be created.

John Pack Lambert said...

While I think I will live to see the day there is a temple in Port Harcout, it will not be a soon day. It is only 35 miles or so from Port Harcourt to the temple in Aba. True there are temples much closer than that in Utah, and Abia and Rivers states combined, the two states involved here, have over 8 million residents. However there is much more demand elsewhere.

The fact that Benin City has more stakes than Lagos continues to make me think Benin City will get a temple first, but I could be wrong.

Eduardo Clinch said...

It's not possible to judge someone's "salvation" based on their intent and capability to attend church. Having said that, God judges us in His own ways that I am not sure I understand. I pray for His mercy continually.
I know people in Chile who walk a half hour to church, many more who stop attending in such circumstances.
Attending on a hot day provides its challenges, especially with elderly, youth, sick, and the incapacited (those in wheel chairs or with crutches, limps, other physical or mental impairments.
Then there are the cold and rainy days of the winter. We wear beanies, scarves, and gloves over our winter coats and boots. Sacrament and Sunday school is trying in such conditions, especially for the above mentioned.
But, the faithful go forward. We should be empathetic and pray that God is merciful to each person and people in their respective cultures.
And the work goes forward.
Despite many challenges, which tend to be more testimony-related (knowledge and doubts) more than that of the strictly economic or physical challenges of nature and circumstance.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Comment about LDS killed in terrorist attacks in Europe: the last major attacks by jihadis in Europe that have killed and injured US people have unfortunately hurt and killed Church members.
The only American killed in the Barcelona attack this year was a less active male, age 42, I believe. Prayers to the family.
The man killed on the London bridge in April was visiting missionary temple workers, a member, from Utah.
The missionaries hurt in the blast in the Belgian airport in 2016 were three US elders, including an older male, plus the French sister (I think) who I understand has gone on to serve her mission in Ohio.
I am not saying to not travel or go abroad, but pray to be protected like Nephi and Lehi, the sons of Helaman.
And there is no guarantee of absolute safety in any corner, so be vigilant and look out for your neighbors. Do your hometeaching and your priesthood and other callings. Be a watchguard.

John Pack Lambert said...

Last night in the adult session of stake conference with Elder Rendel K. Bennett, a general authority seventy, we had a unique format. I am not sure how much is larger trends and how much was Elder Bennett.

Side note, Sister Bennett visited my fiancee earlier in the day along with Sister Parsons, the stake president's wife, and Sister Leidich, the stake relief society president. This was one of multiple stops, largely during the time of the priesthood leadership meeting.

The adult session was in a large part in the format of priesthood leadership stake conference meetings (well the one I have been to), but a little more so.

Elder Bennett opened with a few remarks, saying it would be guided by the spirit, and they only had 15 minutes worth of talks for a two hour meeting. He underestimated that a little, but they had not programmed a full set of talks. He also encouraged people to text those they felt inspired to reach out to, get up and leave to go to the hallways to make a call, or even leave early to find the missing sheep, the last like then Bishop Monson did to find one of his priests, who turned out to be hiding in the oil pit in a garage. Elder Bennett didn't mention that story, but it comes to mind.

The first speaker was a woman from one of the wards in the stake who talked about how she was inactive for 6 years, was a single mom at the end of this period, and had decided to start coming back. She was living with her parents going to the ward she grew up in, I am not sure how much that matters to the discussion. She met a man who wanted to date her, she told him flat out she wanted to marry a member of her church. He responded "what is your church, how do I learn more about it."

She talked some with this man. It was her mom though who first invited him to church. He had visible tatoos and she feared he would be judged. However things went well, possiblly because it was fast and testimony meeting, despite some missionaries fearing that Sunday.

She then sat in on the man taking the discussions. They got married, he adopted her child, and they all got sealed in the Detroit Temple.

After she got done, Elder Bennett got up, called up her husband, and did a question and answer session on what people could do to help more, what they did that helped, etc.

My favorite was the question "what could people do or say wrong." The brother who 3 years later is now ward mission leader responded "don't focus on what you might do wrong. You can always apologize for something you said that came out wrong. You can't apologize for doing nothing."

After the exchange Elder Bennett had them go and sit down.

John Pack Lambert said...

More on the stake conference

THe next speaker told of her joining the Church, how when she was in college a man she had known when they were both in high school invited her to a college party. She noticed he was different, asked "what makes you different", he said "because I'm a Mormon." She had only ever heard of Mormons moving west, never in the hear and now. She didn't enquire more, but went home and looked up "what do Mormons Believe" on the internet. Luckily the first sight she found was She later asked this same man if she could get a copy of the Book of Mormon, go to church with him, etc.

As a show of how much Elder Bennett was lead by the spirit not knowing beforehand where he would go, as opposed to pre-planning the meeting and then doing it in a style that made it seem like it was disorganized, he invited up this sister's husband. He then asked a question assuming he was the man mentioned in the talk, and the sister had to explain that the man mentioned in the talk was someone else.

Elder Bennett was not the only one to have assumed that the man mentioned was the husband. Although I could not help remembering two other converts, one a former stake president I had and one a counselor in our last stake presidency whose daughter was the only person I ever had three classes with in the same semester at BYU, who both were largely converted at about age 18 by a woman who at least they were in love with, however much the person who they thought they were in love with felt the same way, who ended up marrying someone else. I don't remember all the details of my former stake president, but the man who was in the stake presidency, on the high council assigned to my ward many years earlier, and whose daughter I knew both in Michigan and at BYU, and I knew at least another daughter and son in the family, he was very much in love with the woman who introduced him to the church, and about ready to ask her on a date maybe a week after he was baptized when she showed up to Church with her fiancee. It was a trial of his faith at that moment, a trial he survived.

After the two talks I mentioned, Elder Bennett also opened the meeting up to general comments from people to share what actions they had been impressed to do.

The later half of the meeting was more focused, well except we were over halfway, and after the talk on outreach to family and temple we had another open comment moment. The last three talks, by the stake president, Sister Bennett and closing remarks by ELder Bennett were squeezed into less than 35 minutes, along with the closing hymn and prayer.

Elder Bennett also gave his wife a hug as she was returning to her seat after speaking. I cannot recall if this is normal proceedure.

John Pack Lambert said...

I decided to look at the map for the Aba Nigeria Temple. Looking at the map I am thinking Lagos may get a temple before Benin City.

First off I was trying to figure out if there was a temple location likely east of Lagos. I am convinced I will live to see the day when either Uyo or Eket has a tmple. This could draw the 10 stakes in Akwa Ibom State and the 2 stakes in Corss River State. 12 stakes is enough to have a temple, espefcially when there are also 3 districts in that area.

However Eket is only 67 miles or about a two hour drive from the Aba Temple. Eket is at a point for the Akwa Ibom stakes, with noting south-east from there, other than the Orom Nigeria District. The travel calculator I used says it takes precisely 2 hours to go from Eket to the Aba Nigeria Temple. On the other hand Uyo is only 45 niles from the Aba Temple, but it takes 1 hour 51 minutes to get there. I have no clue why the travel time does not go down more. Uyo is also the only place in Akwa Ibom state with multiple stakes. Due to the mouth of the Cross River meaning you have to go north from Calabar before you can start going east, Uyo would be a better place for a temple than Eket for the two stakes in Calabar and the one district in Cross River State. However the 45 miles from Uyo to the Aba Nigeria Temple are 2 less than from the Provo City Center Temple to the Salt Lake Temple, although there are 5 temples between in the latter model. Also it is only 49 drive from Provo City Center Temple (at least under some conditions) to Salt Lake Temple, as opposed to the 1 hour and 51 minutes from Uyo to Aba Nigeria Temple. You can easily walk from the City Center Temple to the Frontrunner Station, and take that to a point where you can walk to the Salt Lake Temple. I have no idea if there is public transit from Uyo to Aba, and no idea how long it would take, or how close it would get you to the Aba Temple, or how expensive it would be.

John Pack Lambert said...

I found one bus company in Nigeria that has terminals in both Aba and Uyo. They also have a terminal in Lagos. The Lagos to Aba journey appears to cost about $18 per person (depending on what the current exchange rate is), which seems low, but one has to bear in mind income in Nigeria is low, so this can be a big expense.

I could not figure out how much the Uyo to Aba journey costs, but I would say under $20 per person for certain, hopefully a lot less because it is less of a journey. No clue how far it is from the terminal to the temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

Benin City has 6 stakes and 49 wards. Lagos has 5 stakes and 42 wards. However There are at least 2 other stakes almsot certain to be assigned to a Lagos Temple, and the stake in the nation of Benin is likely as well. On the other hand Only the Warri Stake looks likely to be sent to a Benin City Temple.

Overall I would guess 10 stakes for a Lagos Temple, and 7 for a Benin City Temple. However in both cases there are stakes close to splitting, and districts close to upgrading. Lagos might also be an easier temple to get to for the two stakes in Abuja than is Aba, so that might put Lagos to 12 stakes. Ibadan Stake, not too far from Lagos (2 and a half hours drive), has 11 wards and 1 branch. Abeokuta Stake, 64 miles from Aba, has 10 wards and 5 branches. So both those stakes are quite probably close to splitting.

John Pack Lambert said...

I came across a blog from a missionary couple in 2005 mentioning taking the first Twi (pronounceed like Tree) language copies of the Book of Mormon to missionaries and members in assin Foso. Assis Foso first received a district in 1987. This area people use and read English little comparied to Accra, and Twi is the language taught in schools.

The district in Assin Foso was upgraded to a stake in 2011. Today there are 9 wards and 8 branches in the Assin Foso Ghana Stake, making it one of the largest in the church by unit count, and if a few of those branches can be upgraded to wards it will likely be split.

The Accountant said...

In recent light of the two natural disasters in the Southeast US and how the church is leading the charge to love their neighbor I can't help but wonder how this will translate to new favorability in the eyes of those that are not members of the church. I once heard that public affairs is the forerunner to missionary work. Will this translate into any interest in learning more about the church from those that are served. What friendships or relationships will begin to grow because of this outreach effort. What seeds that were planted long ago will now blossom with these personal tragedies. I am struck how these two storms have devastated hundred of thousands of peoples lives. Their personal possessions have been swept away and they are left with out anything but the clothes on their back. With that being said, it makes me wonder if the natural disasters playing out across the earth to bring the divine hope God wants them to have. It is always hard to know if any of this comes directly from God because disasters are part of the world we live in.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Bloomington IN just had a stake conference with a new stake presidency, 2 of the three are from Terre Haute, which is a change of pace for the regular location of them being dominated by B-town and the eastern side of the stake. Perhaps Terre Haute will finally develop into a stronger location for the Saints. We can hope.

John Pack Lambert said...

Well Benin City stakes just got three more branches and another ward. I still hope both Benin City and Lagos have temples announced next month.

The Nogales Mexico District just received its 7th branch. I am hoping it will soon be a stake.

Another Spanosh-speaking branch was organized in New Jersey.

5 new wards have been organized in Utah. They were in Provo, Orem, Highland, West Jordan and in or near Tremonton.

james anderson said...

Any info on the Nogales district? Nogales, Sonora supposedly has as many as 150,000 residents, and the tourist area is in the bottom of a narrow canyon, so many think it is quite small. The American side is largely in the wider part of the same canyon and has about 25,000 and the units there are associated with the Sahuarita Arizona stake.

Michael Worley said...

4 New Nigeria units (as John mentioned) and 3 new branches in Sierra Leonne this past Sunday

7 a week is not bad at all!

Eduardo Clinch said...

I visited a few parts of Eagle Mountain last month; it spreads to the other side of the mountains, which I now presume is "Eagle Mountain". It took a good while to get there in car from Saratoga Springs, longer than I expected. The populations of Utah are going far and wide. I would think Toele would be a good new spot for a temple. I forgot how to spell Toelle, sorry.
I predict that side of the Oquirrhs (east) will be the next part of Utah to get a temple announced. Two weekends to go.
Northern Chile still needs a temple, as does southern Argentina.

John Pack Lambert said...

Have we even done our conference pre temple predictions. Freetown, Lagos and Benin City top my list.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Any news on how the Mexico City Temple weathered the quakes? I know it was closed for a while and the Church re-structures many buildings in order to stand up to major earthquakes, like they did for a Los Angeles historical stake center around 2002-3.
I know Puerto Rico is rebuilding now due to the storm; how close are they to having their own temple?
I recall President Hinckley proclaiming the Lord would "shake the nations" and a few days later central Italy was hit hard.
Time to be humbled and help our fellow man. Pay tithing and donate what we can, including prayers and time.

James said...

Thanks to you all for the ongoing inspiring comments. I would just like to note a couple of things: John, if my memory is serving me correctly, Matt usually has his list of potential temple locations out well in advance of the week before when they might potentially be announced. This might be an indicator that Matt is suggesting that no temples will be announced this go-round. Time will tell.

And while Matt hasn't yet explored the possible future temple sites that could be announced in a week and a half, the more I have read about Elder Wilson's statement regarding the 80 temples that could potentially be announced within the next 15 years, the more convinced I am that we will at least see 2 or 3 this time around. If Elder Wilson is taken at his word, which may or may not be wise to do, then the Church would need to announce either 4 or 5 temples every year between now and April 2032 (which marks 15 years since that statement was made). As I have before stated, since the 5 temples announced during the last General Conference were announced prior to the time when Elder Wilson made the statement, so that means that an additional 4 or 5 would need to be announced by or before April of next year. Food for thought.

In the meantime, for what it may be worth to any of you, I was advised recently that, barring anything unexpected, President Monson is not anticipated to speak or even be in attendance at all for the upcoming General Conference. Since that tidbit came to me less than 24 hours ago, I had to reevaluate and redo my General Conference Predictions. For any who would like to do so, you can find all of my General Conference predictions in a single blog post, to which I post a link below. Enjoy, and please let me know your thoughts.

James said...

Oh, and Eduardo, I forgot to mention this, but if the information for which you are looking about Mexico is not featured on the English language version of the Mormon Newsroom, you can find the Mexico Mormon Newsroom fairly easily. In fact, let me save you some trouble. The link below contains the English Mormon Newsroom latest news updates on the Mexico earthquake.

And here is the link I found to the Mormon Newsroom for Mexico, where even more information is featured (most if not all of it is in Spanish).

Hope that helps answer your questions, Eduardo.

james anderson said...

We will also likely wake up tomorrow (September 21st) to see another ugly hurricane disaster, as the back side of Maria is still dumping huge amounts of rain on Puerto Rico. The storm trashed the entire power grid and that could be down for 4 to 6 months. River deptch guages, which give us water depth information even during floods, have also in places failed or have been washed away. We don't yet know about even the road network--how many bridges were washed out or segments destroyed by landslides, etc.

I think also no temples this time, about three will be dedicated next year so I will call about that many in April. We could be surprised though.

John Pack Lambert said...

I just notcied a ward in the Huntington Park California Stake was renamed. That was the Downey 1st ward to Paramount Ward. Downey 2nd and Downey 3rd wards have not had renames reported. I wonder if they will occur soon.

james anderson said...

Probably, but the rename probably is because Downey and Paramount are next to each other and the ward may cover predominantly or centrally Paramount

phxmars said...

My guess is that Downey Wards were discontinued.

99 said...

Very late, but another insight in California (I live here currently):

Owning and maintaining so many meetinghouses is costly, so as the church continues to sell them off, we see more inactive members. I know people around me who travel to worship (other sects/religions) 40 mins away every week, so that may be less of an issue for investigators/new members, but for existing members, when the local chapel is taken down and the next closest one is even 20 minutes away, it may be perceived as a slap in the face. Our ward, the stake center, has several hundred (400-500) registered members but sacrament turnout is normally about 100-130. Because of high living costs, some active members, especially the older folks, move east to Arizona, Utah, etc. So it all comes down to politics, really. Perhaps if our taxes and other expenses weren't so high, there would be less people moving out. There is still a net gain population increase in California, however. Food for thought.
The city where a new temple may be built here based solely on the # of wards is Bakersfield. It is 108 miles away from its assigned temple in Los Angeles. The stakes are looking pretty big with a combined 28 wards and 1 branch between 3 stakes, which means 4 stakes could have 7 wards each in them and 1 remainder branch. It looks like Bakersfield hasn't had any stakes discontinued recently so if this 4th stake happens it may be grounds for a new temple??? Other than this is likely a Mormon exodus out of California into the Corridor. Perhaps it should be noted that the Temecula area is not looking too shabby either.

OC Surfer said...
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OC Surfer said...

I also live in California. In addition to some people moving out due to a higher cost of living and taxes in California, who is replacing those that are moving out?

As California becomes more diverse, our church is often viewed by others as a "white church" and not a church for them. It amazes me some stake leaders don't see the demographic shift taking place. For instance in Cerritos Stake, Cerritos is 30 percent Korean, 20 percent Chinese, 15 percent Indo-American and yet there is nothing that reach out. No Korean, Chinese, or Hindi units or missionaries.

Likewise in nearby Cypress Stake, which includes Cypress and Buena Park, Buena Park has the largest Korean church in the U.S., with over 30,000 followers, and yet in the Cypress Stake where Buena Park is now half Korean, there is not Korean outreach, no Korean branch, nothing.

Also in California, the population is more single than married, a lot of stakes have non-existent singles programs for different ages, to better reach out to singles.

It just seems, there's not a lot of effort or care to help replace new members with those that have moved out of Califoria.

The "Brady Brunch" mentality of church culture, no longer applies or seem relevant to a lot of people. There needs to different approach in reaching out to those who don't fit the "Brady Bunch" mold.

John Pack Lambert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Pack Lambert said...

I have known multiple members who were Korean, Filipino etc who had joined the Church in California.

I also challenge the notion of no outreach. It is just not resource effective to start outreach on the backs of young missuonaries. Between returned missionaries fluent in those languages and large numbers in various ethnic groups who speak English there is lots of room for outreach.

If the outreach is not occuring it is because of lack of vision on the part of every member in every congregation. The charge to share the gospel with all people is one we took upon ourselves at baptism so we need to stop blamings others and look inward to our own shortcomings.

MainTour said...

About the concept of missionary outreach in California - the church handbook of instructions places the onus on each ward council to devise an appropriate mission plan for their community. But I fear that many don't know how to do this.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Church news noted 4 new stakes in Utah. Were two of them indicated in this blog post? Utah is not slowing down. Good to see.
A gentleman from Zimbabwe today (northern Virginia) commented how even having electric lights helps preventing evil spirits from having prevalence. Interesting.

twinnumerouno said...

News today from Colorado- it was announced that the Craig Colorado Stake will be created on October 15 by Elder Claudio Costa (accompanied by an Area 70 named something like Evenson/Evanton (James, is he on your list of Area 70's for the North America Central Area?)). This will be a division of the Meeker Colorado Stake, which will be re-named the Rifle Colorado Stake. My bishop, who read the announcement in an email from the stake president, said our ward in Rangely will be part of the Craig stake. According to the high counselor, his ward in Meeker will also be in the Craig stake. He also said there will be units in stakes to the east that are moved into both stakes. More details when I get them, probably after the conference is over.

John Pack Lambert said...

In Southfield Ward today a man from Caneroon who was baptized yesterday was confirmed today.

twinnumerouno said...

Okay, I was curious so I looked up other units on the statistics page. I could see the Vail and Frisco wards being transferred to the Rifle stake (from Golden). I am more doubtful about the Granby branch going to Craig, as it seems like Golden would be significantly closer still. I do not see any units in Silverthorne, Kremmling or Walden. (I looked for the latter in the Laramie Wyoming stake and did not see any units that looked closer, I think Saratoga is still closer to Laramie.)

I also do not see any wards in the 2 Grand Junction stakes that would obviously move to Rifle.

twinnumerouno said...

The meetinghouse locator shows Silverthorne going to Frisco. Both Walden and Kremmling are in the Granby branch, so there must not be many members in that area for such a large area to be a branch.

Stan Brown said...

Saratoga Springs Utah stake will be split at stake conference in two weeks.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Our northern Virginia ward has a missionary soon to be in the Denver South Mission. Good to hear about the growth, thank you.

How many states have two or more temples now? As many as don't have any?

Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Hawai'i, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, New York, Florida. Am I missing any? That is 15 by my count.

States without? Less than 12, right?

twinnumerouno said...

For anyone who's interested, I think this is how the units would break up based on what I was told, plus a map (I will try to make this my last post on this subject until the stake conference in 3 weeks, in the interest of not boring people who have no interest in rural Northwest Colorado :-) ):

Craig Colorado Stake:
Baggs WY Branch (already in the stake)
Craig 1st Ward
Craig 2nd Ward
Granby Branch (maybe- if transferred from Golden stake)
Meeker Ward
Rangely 1st Ward (my ward)
Rangely 2nd Ward
Steamboat Springs Ward

Rifle Stake:
Aspen Branch
Carbondale Branch (Spanish)
Eagle Valley Ward
Frisco Ward (maybe- if transferred from Golden)
Glenwood Springs Ward
Grand Valley Ward
Rifle 1st Ward
Rifle 2nd Ward
Vail Ward (likely to be transferred from Golden)

So possibly 6 wards, 2 branches in Craig and 1 ward more in Rifle.

Oh, a couple more notes: if all 3 of those units are transferred out of the Golden Stake it will leave that stake with only 5 wards. Does anyone know of other units that could be involved in the change?

twinnumerouno said...

Eduardo, Denver South is the mission that our local missionaries are in, and we've had quite a few who initially thought it weird to be in a small town like Rangely, but who later said that it was their favorite of all their areas. Maybe we'll get your ward member sometime.

twinnumerouno said...

I believe you got all the states with more than one temple.

States without a temple:
Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
That's 14 states without temples (if you don't count DC or the territories).

Of course, a number of these are pretty close to existing temples.

James said...

Hello, everyone! Thanks for the great discussion. I love the fact that there is so much discussion on these important topics. I am grateful to hear of the new stakes that are soon to be created. I have been hoping that the final weeks of this year are full of stake creations, including some we cannot currently hope for or anticipate. As to the question directed to me by twinnumerouno, the name of the North America Central Area Seventy in question that will be participating in the creation of the afore-mentioned stake conference is James E. Evanson. So you were almost correct. It will be very interesting to see what happens in terms of stake creations for the remainder of this year.

In between now and then, we do have the other 5 General Conference Sessions. Speaking thereof, I have been somewhat surprised by the fact that Matt has not posted his list of temple predictions for this General Conference. Maybe that will be coming this week. As previously noted on my own blog, if Elder Wilson's statement is taken at face value (when he said that 80 or so temple sites are under active consideration for a subsequent announcement within the next 15 years), that works out to an average of 5 new temple announcements between now and April 2032 (which will be 15 years exactly from the time the statement was made). And, as I have also noted, for this year, that average 5 does not include the 5 announced in April by President Monson. I know that many of you have (quite correctly) observed that not all of those current 80 will make it to an announcement, and that some will be dropped and others added as time passes, but the potential possibility that 5 new temples may, on average, be announced every year for the foreseeable future is neat to think about.

In terms of General Conference news & events, for any who would like to do so, I invite you to check my blog during General Conference weekend, where, all going well, I will provide regular updates on the events of the conference. I have even done several blog posts in the last week or so leading up to General Conference, including a couple about the Women's Session. I again include a link to my blog for any that would like to follow along with all of this. Thanks again to you all.

James said...

Sorry. Forgot the link.

L. Chris Jones said...

How many of those have the temple close to the border? Isn't the Nouvoo temple across the river from Iowa. Or Kansas City MO is across the Kansas border. Any other temples in border cities?

L. Chris Jones said...

I also think parts of New Jersey are in the same metropolitan area of Manhattan and Philadelphia. What others am I missing?

99 said...
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99 said...

There are many temples in border cities depending on what may be your definition.

1. The St George Utah temple is 8 miles from Arizona.
2. The St Paul Minnesota temple is 12 miles from Wisconsin.
3. The Winter Quarters Nebraska temple is 1.5 miles from Iowa.
4. The St Louis Missouri temple is 18 miles from Illinois.
5. The Reno Nevada temple is 12 miles from California.
6. The Portland Oregon temple is 19 miles from Washington.
7. The Monticello Utah temple is 18 miles from Colorado.
8. The Logan Utah temple is 19 miles from Idaho.
9. The Louisville Kentucky temple is 10 miles from Indiana (by tolls)
10. The Washington DC temple (Actually in Kensington, MD) is 3 miles from the District of Columbia, if it may be considered a border.
(11.) The Tijuana Mexico temple is a little less than 6 miles away from California.
(12.) The Ciudad Juarez temple is 4 km from Texas.

*Chicago, and Memphis as cities are on state borders but their temples are a bit far, and Detroit and Asuncion are on international borders but their temples are quite far from them.

Not a complete list but I looked mostly at USA temples.

twinnumerouno said...

Memphis is just across the Mississippi River from eastern Arkansas, and is also near the border with Mississippi. Philly is near Wilmington in northern Delaware. Winter Quarters is just across the river from the western side of Iowa (so Iowa has a temple just across the border in two directions). The St. Paul and Chicago temples are both fairly close to Wisconsin, though Chicago is farther than St. Paul.

Those were really close (except Chicago), some others are not right on the border but still not a long way away. For example, Boston is not far from the southern part of New Hampshire, and possibly within 2-3 hours of extreme southern Maine (with ideal traffic conditions), though it is a long ways from the northern and eastern areas of those states. Hartford and Boston will be both be fairly close for members in Rhode Island, I believe. Washington DC is close to some of the stakes in northern Virginia. (Some of these will be dependent on traffic, of course, and may not actually be close in practical terms- I don't know enough about those areas to address that aspect of it.) Not sure if I missed any.

So it looks like only South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia do not have a temple close to at least parts of the state- maybe Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island also depending on how we define close. (Montreal may be close enough to northern Vermont to count, too.)

twinnumerouno said...

99, to add to your list,
13) Vernal Utah is about 30 miles from Colorado also.
14) Manhattan is not going to be far from New Jersey- not sure the actual distance.

I might figure out some others later.

James said...

99, I am curious about how you were able to calculate some of those distances. Because I have been to St. George personally, I know that the St. George exit is indeed 8 miles from the border separating Utah and Arizona. But with the others, I was wondering if you used a particular city to find those distances. At any rate, the distances mentioned in so many comments above does solidify the idea that there will likely be a need for several new temples within the US, even if some of them do not get announced for a while. So the only question is, which possibilities are more imminent? I know I have 12 possibilities on my list for the near future (including 3 for Utah alone), but it will be interesting to see how, when, and where other temples are announced, both within the US and in other areas of the world.

As I have noted previously, whether or not we take Elder Wilson's statement about the 80 temples that could potentially be announced within the next 15 years or so at its face value, it does seem obvious that the Church will be making more temple announcements with greater regularity in the future, with some at least being announced during both General Conferences each year, and even a few here and there in the six months in between. That is wonderful to think about, however it is considered. While recognizing that the list of those potential sites may see both certain locations eliminated and others added, if even half of those 80 do make it to an announcement during the 15-year period indicated, that would still be a huge development.

James said...

It will be wonderful indeed to see if and how all of this comes about over the next several decades, and I for one continue to fervently hope and pray for continued significant progress on temples currently announced or under construction, and for the announcement of several more such temples all over the world. I have also quite accurately observed that with all of the Church and temple-related news happening on such a regular basis, all of it is so much more than any one person can keep track of at one time. And in that respect, I am grateful for sites like this one, the LDS Church Temples site, and all other LDS outlets that share such news. And

I am also grateful for my opportunity, such as it is, to make my own contributions in reporting such news and developments. If there is one thing I have observed in doing so, it is that the Lord truly is in control of how and in what manner His work rolls forward. And while it is vitally important to remember that no unhallowed hand can stop that work from progressing, it is perhaps even more important to remember that no unhallowed hand can help to move it forward either. For those of us who have a testimony of the truthfulness of this work, it is our responsibility to ensure that our hands remain clean and that our hearts remain pure.

I have found in my current situation (as I have been dealing with more health-related issues right now than I have at any other point in my nearly 31 years of life) that, by immersing myself in things that inspire and uplift me, like reading and responding to the comments on this blog, and by sharing my own thoughts on my blog, I am a lot happier than I would otherwise be. So for that reason, I would like to again thank you all for letting me participate in and contribute to these ongoing conversations. Hope you all know how much you inspire me. I likewise hope that, in some small way, as I share such thoughts and perspectives, my comments may in turn be helpful and uplifting to any who might need such an influence in their lives. Thanks again.

Nathanial Warenski said...

It looks like the Viamão Brazil stake may have been posted twice (41 and 46). Can anybody confirm?

L. Chris Jones said...

I was looking at border temples next to temples states. But true many others are close to a temple outside their state.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Memphis Tennesse Temple is extremely close to the border with Mississippi. From parts of Rhode Island it is under an hour's drive to the Boston Temple. The lowest travel distance from Rhode Island to the Hartford Temple would seem to be 63 miles from Foster as opposed to 77 miles to Boston from the same location. However it evidently takes 3 minutes more (1 hour 18 as opposed to 1 hour 15) to drive to Hartford Temple.

Actually Westerly, Rhode Island is only 75 miles from the Hartford Temple, and clearly less travel time. The Westerly Rhode Island branch is part of the New London Stake, which is assigned to the Hartford Temple, while the rest of RHode Island is in the Providence Stake and assigned to the Boston Temple.

On really close locations, we get 5 miles from Camden, New Jersey to the Philadelphia Temple, and some parts of Camden are closer to the temple. From Claymont, Delaware it is a 29 minute drive (over 25 miles) to the Philedelphia Temple. The same program says it is 31 minutes to go from Detroit to the Detroit Temple, and the location plotted in Detroit is closer to the temple than where my fiancee lives in Detroit.

OK I was wrong about Memphis Temple, it is north-east of Memphis proper. However it is 28 miles from a point in Mississippi to the temple. 23 miles and 37 minute drive from Olive Branch, Mississippi.

From West Memphis, Arkansas to the Mepmphis Temple is a drive of 27 miles that is estimated to take 35 minutes. There are people who regularly drive longer than this to go to church on Sunday.

twinnumerouno said...


I would also include
15) Cardston Alberta- within a few miles of Montana (if Canada is included)
16) Spokane Washington temple- 13 miles from Idaho per Google maps
17) Afton/Star Valley Wyoming- about 30 miles from Idaho
18) Nauvoo Illinois is 9 miles from the closest bridge to Iowa, but is closer by boat/plane if that is possible
19) Memphis temple is less than 20 miles from Arkansas border, according to Google maps.
20) Detroit temple is 37 km (about 22 miles) from Ontario border, same source.
21) the Kansas City temple is less than 15 miles from the Kansas border, ditto.
22) Boston is a little under 30 miles from the New Hampshire border, same source.
23) Philadelphia is about 3 miles from New Jersey and 25 from Delaware, ditto.

Some of those drives may take a long time depending on traffic, esp. 19-23, but it seems like they should be included.

Oh, I figured out that my 14), Manhattan is about 3 miles from New Jersey also. (I think I'm getting a little obsessed here.)

phxmars said...

Montreal is 1 1/2 hours from VT.

twinnumerouno said...

One other quirky, random observation about the 14 temple-less states, made in the capacity of a map-lover :) :
With the exceptions of Kansas and Rhode Island, the states on that list come in pairs- that is, they border another state on the list (Iowa and New Hampshire each border two of the others).

MainTour said...

Instead of looking at templeless cities - how about looking at templeless metropolitcan/city areas. What is the biggest city (or county) by population with out its own temple?

L. Chris Jones said...

I think the next states to get 1st temples are either Arkansas or Virginia. What do you think?

L. Chris Jones said...

I think Matt at one time had a list of metro area and whether they at temples or not.

phxmars said...

Top metro areas in US w/o temples. My first guess was Pittsburgh. Other than San Juan, I would think Pittsburgh still is the furthest. Tamp has Orlando, Baltimore as DC, Cleveland has Columbus.

17 Tampa--St. Petersburg, FL 2,441,770
19 Baltimore, MD 2,203,663
21 San Juan, PR 2,148,346
25 Cleveland, OH 1,780,673
27 Pittsburgh, PA 1,733,853
28 Sacramento, CA 1,723,634
29 San Jose, CA 1,664,496
30 Cincinnati, OH—KY—IN 1,624,827
34 Virginia Beach, VA 1,439,666
35 Milwaukee, WI 1,376,476
37 Austin, TX 1,362,416
38 Charlotte, NC—SC 1,249,442
39 Providence, RI—MA 1,190,956
40 Jacksonville, FL 1,065,219

Ohhappydane33 said...

Sacramento has a temple, San Jose is close enough to Oakland.

Levi said...

Now take that list and cross reference it with how close their current temple is, how many stakes are in that metro area, and how many/ if there is a mission headquartered out of that metro area.

John Pack Lambert said...

Another 6 wards and branches were formed in Benin City stakes.

99 said...

For my mini-list I used Google maps to find the distance between the temple and a major highway crossing into another state. For example, if you're familiar with St George, I hit the distance between the temple and the Arizona side of the southbound I-15 (36°59'59.6"N 113°37'27.8"W are the approximate coords if I wasn't able to make myself clear by text)

99 said...

Since Providence, RI was mentioned, I was wondering if anyone noticed how the only English branch in the city was discontinued recently and so there is only a Spanish ward in Providence? English speaking members must now go to Pawtucket or Warwick. The church in Providence appeared to be a rented spot in the middle of the city, but I guess it's now vacated. There must be some kind of reason why the English branch didn't double up the building with the Spanish ward though, because says the Spanish ward still has the building to itself.

Michael Worley said...

John, 7 wards and branches-- not 6. ::)

Hal Bright said...

99, I have never been to the Providence chapel, but several of the inner city converted chapels are difficult for a full size ward (over 150) to operate in for various reasons, usually parking and/or the lack of a cultural hall or biggish room other than the chapel. I was in the neighboring Hartford stake for years and when they divided the Providence Stake I wondered where the Stake Center would be (still do not know the answer...aahh the Warwick chapel, a 1 1/2 ward chapel). All the RI chapels are 1 ward buildings, so I wonder if they stream their stake conference?

Michael Worley said...

Dane, I agree with you about San Jose.