Saturday, November 18, 2017

New Stakes Created in Sierra Leone (2), Arizona, India, Kentucky, and Montana

Sierra Leone
Last Sunday, the Church in Sierra Leone organized its first two stakes in the second most populous city of Bo. The Bo Sierra Leone North Stake was created from the Bo Sierra Leone North District, and the Bo Sierra Leone West Stake was created from the Bo Sierra Leone West District. The two stakes were created in a combined stake conference that was attended by 1,945 people. Local members in the Bo Sierra Leone North Stake report that all seven branches in the district became wards when the stake was organized. Thus, the new stake contains the following seven wards:  Batiama, Bo, Gbonda Town, Kortugbuma, Nduvuibu, Njaie Town, and Yemo Town. Information which of the seven branches in the Bo Sierra Leone West District became wards in the new stake remains unavailable. 

The Church in Bo has experienced some of the most rapid LDS growth ever reported in the worldwide Church. The Bo Sierra Leone District originally serviced all branches in the city of Bo until the district divided to create the Bo Sierra Leone East District in 2014. The two Bo districts divided to create a third district, the Bo Sierra Leone North District, in late November 2016. Four of the seven congregations in the Bo Sierra Leone North Stake have been organized since 2015, whereas four of the seven congregations in the Bo Sierra Leone West Stake have been organized since 2014, and two of the five branches in the Bo Sierra Leone East District have been organized since 2015. The Bo Sierra Leone North Stake was created less than one year after the original Bo Sierra Leone North District was organized. Never in the history of the Church has a district so quickly been organized into a stake. To make this feat even more impressive, one of the districts that the Bo Sierra Leone North District was created from also became a stake at the same time. The Bo Sierra Leone North Stake is also the first predominantly Mende-speaking stake in the Church. Of the seven wards in the new stake, five wards are designated as Mende speaking. No LDS materials have appeared to have been translated into Mende.

There are now four stakes and four districts in Sierra Leone.

The Church organized a new stake in Gilbert, Arizona on November 12th. The Gilbert Arizona Superstition Springs Stake was organized from a division of the Mesa Arizona Boulder Creek Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Elliot Groves, Highland Groves, Highland Ranch, Highland, Meadows, Monterey Park, Redfield, and Towne Meadows Wards.

There are now 114 stakes in Arizona.

The Church organized its first predominantly Hindi-speaking stake in the worldwide Church on November 12th. The New Delhi India Stake was organized from the New Delhi India District. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Dwarka, New Delhi 1st, New Delhi 2nd, New Delhi 3rd, and New Delhi 4th Wards, and the Noida and Pitampura Branches. The new stake is the Church's first stake to be organized in northern India and within the boundaries of the India New Delhi Mission.

There are now four stakes and three districts in India. The Church has previous organized stakes in India in Hyderabad (2012), Bengaluru (2015), and Rajahmundry (2016).

The Church organized a new stake in Kentucky on November 5th. The Elizabethtown Kentucky Stake was organized from a division of the New Albany Indiana Stake, Crestwood Kentucky Stake, and Louisville Kentucky Stake. The new stake includes the following five ward and five branches: the Brandenburg, Elizabethtown, Glasgow, Radcliff, and Sulphur Well Wards, and the Bardstown, Campbellsville, Lebanon, Leitchfield, and Shepherdsville Branches.

There are now eight stakes in Kentucky.

The Church organized a new stake in Montana. The Billings Montana South Stake was organized from a division of the Billings Montana Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Blue Creek, Canyon Creek, Laurel, Monad, Red Lodge, and Shiloh Wards, and the Absarokee Branch.

There are now 13 stakes in Montana.


Bryan Baird said...

I am curious to see what stakes and/or districts are planned for 2018.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Very cool stuff about the Bo, Sierra Leone growth. My nephew from southern California served part of his mission there, and left the country with one transfer to go as all the missionaries were being evacuated for Ebola. Was that 2015? Or '14? Regardless, perhaps the illness scares have actually helped Church growth in West Africa.
It has been said before, but the influence of other African nationalities within Ghana and Sierra Leone have had really profound and dynamic effects. Nigerians, South Africans, to a degree dozens of African nations have helped the converts and units grow tremendously. Great to see, temples will come. To Cape Verde, too.

Skyline said...

We've seen impressive growth in Africa in the recent years, with the opening of branches in Senegal, Mali, and Guinea. Could the Church possibly open a branch into countries such as Burkina Faso, the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau in the foreseeable future? Although on cumorah, an article states that prospects in these countries are mixed/bleak, that was in 2014 and the same was said for Senegal and Mali. Maybe even Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome e Principe are possibilities.

David Tilton said...

The new stake in Tonga was organized today, Sunday, 19 November 2017. (We are 20 hours ahead of Salt Lake City.) It's called the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Capital Stake. I do not yet have a list of the wards and branches.

intectus said...

Hi Matt, do you know where I could find time series data on LDS membership broken into US and international segments? I've been able to find such data going back to 1990 (, but I'm interested in going back further.

Thanks, and apologies for adding this comment to an unrelated blog post. I wasn't sure how else to contact you.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I wonder how the New Albany Stake was affected by this new Kentucky stake creation. It is exciting to see stakes becoming smaller, because it means stake members spend less time traveling and more time focused on further growth. I will check

Unknown said...

I'll take out a facebook ad for a free Book of Mormon in Sierra Leone. Any other takers? Anything else I can do to help?

Eduardo Clinch said...

With all the massive spaces of Montana I am sure it great to have a new stake to reduce some travel time.
In southern Indiana Tell City and Jasper are pretty far from New Albany but I guess the new Elizabethtown Stake still affected it. Not sure how to track changes over time.
News today in northern Virginia: there is a new YSA ward formed in the Oakton Stake which will meet at the Oakton Stake center near Vienna.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Lehi Utah YSA stake now has 13 wards. This seems like it might be worth splitting, possibly with some realignment with the next stake to the south.

Johnathan Whiting said...

A Facebook group from my mission just posted the new boundaries for the realigned Kentucky stakes:

Johnathan Whiting said...

Try this link if that last one doesn't work:

Jim Coles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Coles said...

So I started to post about the new stake in Costa Rica and a new temple being announced. Then I realized I got my countries mixed up. But then I thought any additional stakes in Costa Rica could help in Nicaragua getting its first temple

James Anderson said...

/with the San Jose Costa Rica Temple doing not more than 11 sessions a week at present and if more than that maybe one or two more, I would say it will be a lot more time before another one close by. Nicaragua, yes in the short to mid term.

Fredrick said...

Nicaragua is part of the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple district, not the San Jose Costa Rica Temple district. Right now the Honduras Temple serves 43 stakes, 9 districts and operates at 6 sessions per day, five days a week. Having said that, I believe the Church might want a few more stakes in Nicaragua before a temple is announced there.

Bryan Baird said...

Since I used to live in the Baltimore Washington Area I found it pretty cool and interesting that 3 wards were created on the same day in the Washington DC YSA Stake on Nov 19, 2017.

John Pack Lambert said...

I really expect to see Nicaragua have a temple announced next year. Of course, I have expected that for a while, but stake creation in both Honduras and Nicaragua over the last 2 to 3 years makes such a development seem very likely.

OC Surfer said...

Albuquerque has been approved to create a Midsingles Ward 31-45. Should start in the next few weeks.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Bryan, not tracking your 3 new wards as you stated it. I understand that that there is a new YSA Ward called Wolf Trap based in Oakton. Is there another announcement of others?

Michael Worley said...

Also wards in Bull Run and Eastern Market.

Bryan Baird said...

No just the 3, though on others wards names have changed, ie Glenn Dale YSA Ward now Waldorf YSA Ward. (I used to have a dentist in Waldorf, Maryland years ago.) Plus I don't know if the Stake is gonna split anytime soon, I live in Orem now and the YSA Stakes have at least 12 wards.

Gordon said...

Another new ward: Strathmore Ward in Washington DC YSA Stake

Bryan Baird said...

So that makes a total of four. Has there been a time where at least 4 or more wards were organized in the same stake in the same day?

Gnesileah said...

The Port-Bouet Cote d'Ivoire Stake had four wards and two branches created on a single day last April.

The Cocody Cote d'Ivoire Stake had four wards and one branch created last February, over the course of two Sundays.

Nine of the Rexburg Idaho YSA Stakes had 12 wards created between them in June 2015, over the course of two Sundays.

So the four new wards in the Washington DC YSA Stake being created at one time is a very rare and exciting development!

John Pack Lambert said...

Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria, which I believe is the Nigerian state with the most stakes, has seen several wards and branches switch stakes. Etinan North was only able to be made a stake by taking a ward from another stake. It has the minimum 5 wards, but also 6 branches. Another stake drew in more wards and now has 11 wards and 1 branch. That stake looks to be nearly ready to be divided.

Bryan Baird said...

My count for Africa wards and branches including Madagascar and Cape Verde is 1,992 is there someone that can confirm it is my count off?

Ray said...

Bryan, There are 1,954 wards and branches in the African Southeast and Africa West Areas. There are 42 more in Cape Verde, although those for statistical purposes are included in the Europe Area. In addition there are 3 or 4 branches in north African countries, such as Egypt, that are included in the North Africa/Middle East Area. This being the case, there are no doubt at least 2000 wards and branches now in Africa.

John Pack Lambert said...

I went through the entire list, back to 2011, of stakes formed and discontinued. From this I realized that during this time period California has only had 4 stakes discontinued, Arizona has had 3 stakes discontinued. Utah has had over 10 discontinued. However to be fair, Utah and Arizona have had many new stakes formed, both well over 15, while California has only had 2 new stakes formed. So only California is in the negative. However the negative for California is 2 Spanish-language stakes. True, if those stakes remained others stakes might not have survived. So since the start of 2011 the number of stakes in California has gone from 156 to 154. This is pretty stable. Especially considering that the number of wards lost seems to have been more. Back in October 2009 there were 158 stakes. It looks to me, based on 2 stake being elimanated in 2008, 3 in 2007 and 2 in 2005, while only 2 stakes were formed in 2006-2008 (one of which was the Tongan speaking stake in Oakland), that the peak number of stakes at the start of 2005 was 162. That appears to be the highest number for California. It peaked at 160 or 161 stakes at some point in 1992, then fell by 5 from the middle of 1992 through mid-1993. However 2 new stakes were also organized in 1993. Also 2 of the stakes elimanated in December 1992 were in the San Fernando Valley on the same day a new Spanish-speaking stake was formed in that area.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Good research. Despite all the move- aways from California, with some 40 million people, seven temples, over a dozen missions, the Church is still inevitably adding growth to the faith. There has been attrition, similar to places in Utah, in neighborhoods where non-LDS peoples have filled in. This presents many missionary opportunities in Utah and every where else. In the modern ways of the Church diaspora, diversity is the key to the restoration. Like the lesson in priesthood proclaims. The whole world offers the answers to the ancient prophecies of how the Lord's people move and develop; missionary calls continue to shine a light in where the Church will fill the earth. California has played a large part of this since the 1840s.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have been reading up on Ghana. Some estimates say that 45% of the population of the country is Muslim, however others place it at 50%. However the attitudes and positions of Muslims in Ghana are very different than in the Middle East. Ghana is the nation where the Ahmadiyya Muslim form the largest percentage of the overall Muslim population. Ahmadiyya reject spreading the faith through violence, and are viewed as non-Muslims by many Sunni Muslims, somewhat similar to the treatment by some other Christians in regard to Mormons.

While Islam is most pronounced in the north of Ghana, where the LDS Church has little presence, there are Muslims throughout the country. I have to wonder if many Muslims in Ghana have joined the LDS Church. The same processes through my mind for Ivory Coast, which is slightly more Muslim.

James said...

I am glad to read the discussion that has taken place here about future temples. After a month-long hiatus from it (during which I covered other subjects), I got back to working on the series of posts on my blog about future temple possibilities in each geographical area of the Church. Having previously covered Africa, I recently completed two more covering the Asia Area of the Church, one of which discussed the current temple districts in that area, the other of which explored the possible future temple candidates within that area. I invite any who would like to do so to read and comment on either or both of those. I look forward to the feedback.

L. Chris Jones said...

How do you take out a Facebook ad like that?

Eduardo Clinch said...

A friend of mine who lived in Singapore said that maybe 10 years ago a general authority promised if all the necessary members would pay their tithing, they would acquire a temple.
So far no such thing.
Yesterday our northern Virginia ward baptized our first adult male, a father from Colombia, the first since 2011. I am not sure of another adult male convert in the ward before that. There have been a number of adult females and minors since 2010, some, Latin American, some African American, an Afghan-American, a Filipina, and a few Caucasions.

John Pack Lambert said...

So they were Lazgians or Ossetians? Using the term "Caucasian" as a standin for "white" is just as bad as saying "Negro" instead of black, or "Mongoloid" instead of Asian. It perpetuates the false tri-racial diachotomy, and at its heart is based on the false ideas of pure races, that the Caucuses have the highest concentration of such, and that racial instead of ethnic classification makes any sense at all.

My ward our most recent convert, baptized 2 weeks ago, is a man with the last name of Musetti. I am drawing a blank as to his first name. He is rougly about 50. The majority of converts in my ward are adults, and males may outnumber females. Within the last few years we had one couple where both the husband and wife were baptized. I can think of two couples from 2013 to the present where the husband was baptized and the wife was already a member, one of which has since gotten sealed in the temple (sadly they moved to Texas since). The man who is now the young men's president and used to be 1st counselor in the bishopric introduced one of his fellow engineers to the gospel a few years back, maybe 2013, and he was baptized. He also has since moved away.

In fact since May of 2012 we may have had more adult males than adult females get baptized.

In my fiancee's branch, I can think of at least 3 adult males baptized over the last 3 years, and only 2 adult females, but I know there have been more.

During the time I was regularly going to the mid-singles magnet ward basically from November of last year until Sepetember, I keep telling myself I will go a few more times, but never have the energy to get up early enough on Sunday. Anyway, in that time I think 5 adult males were baptized, I think as many as adult females. All the baptisms of immigrants, one from Ghana and the other from Cameroon, were adult males. Another adult male was the son of an adult female who had been baptized, I think he was 21.

I also want to say back when I was in the YSA ward more adult males got baptized.

On the other hand in my fiancee's branch there is a significantly higher number of active adult females among the mainly African-American residents of the Detroit part of the branch. In fact the only Euro-American member I can think of in the Detroit part of the branch in an adult male who was recently baptized.

My ward our event yesterday was the funeral for a member who I didn't even realize was currently living in the ward, that is how rarely he comes to church. He grew up in the ward and was living with his parents. His wife is a convert, she joined when they were living in another ward, but they have not been to church for a while. The funeral was so well attended we filled the whole parking lot. I'm hoping the widow will start coming to Church again.

Alex said...

The General Authority who made the promise to the Singaporean Saints was Pres Hinckley in 2000. The requirement was for missionary work as well as tithing. He said,
I said to one of the brethren tonight, 'How much does it cost you to go to Hong Kong to go to the temple?' He said, 'Oh, between 500 and 800 Singaporean dollars.' That's a lot of money, isn't it? Bless you for what you have done. The Lord bless you for the fact that you have made that sacrifice and taken advantage of that great and marvelous opportunity of going to the temple in Hong Kong.
"I want to throw out to you the challenge of promoting the growth of the Church in this area to a point where someday we can have a Singapore Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You live among those for whom a great work needs to be done in the house of the Lord, a great vicarious work. If it gets done, you're going to have to do it. I believe with all my heart that within this great city somewhere we could locate a temple. I don't know how the design will be; land is terribly expensive. But we built a temple on very expensive land in Hong Kong, and you're familiar with that. We could do the same here.
"Hurry along. Bring people into the Church. Bring them in with love. Bring them in with kindness. Bring them in with the example of your lives. So live the gospel that they will see in you something of wonder and beauty and be encouraged to inquire, study the gospel, and join the Church and thus build the membership here so that the time could come in the not-too-distant future when we might have a sacred house of the Lord in this part of the earth."

James Anderson said...

They were told about the same thing, tithing, in about 2007 or 2008 in Tucson, and along with that went sacrament meeting attendance. Five years later they announced it and another five years and one stands there.

Basically then general faithfulness to those in particular have to hit a certain level--a certain percentage, that indicates the members are strong enough to have a temple.

A factor that got the one for Ivory Coast was family history and the submission of names for the temple. There that was among the very best in the world despite members having to cross a war zone on the way to Ghana.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Sorry, the Caucasians are Anglo-Saxon or white or general European-Americans.They are non-Hispanic whites, as sometimes a thousand different classifiers would label for their unlimited sundry purposes.
I don't know if you have ever worked with law enforcement but if you get an APB or BOLO for a 6 foot Caucasian with a tatoo on his right wrist and long hair, you don't get all offended by people talking Mongoloid or Negro or wondering if said perpetrator or subject is from Armenia or Georgia. So no, I beg to differ with your apples and oranges.
Who knows, maybe agencies no longer use Caucasian for a descriptor as white, but I don't think it is used for offense, obfuscation, or any type of descrimination other than describing the origin and look of a type of human being.
But who knows, I guess Mongoloid has gone passe with the politically correct, so I could see Caucasoid/Caucasian becoming as outdated as Negroid/Negro.
And does the United Negro College Fund still exist? Maybe not.

OC Surfer said...

Bosque SA Ward, Albuquerque New Mexico North Stake
Starts January 14, 2018.

Mike Johnson said...

The Sierra Leone Freetown Stake is being split in two weeks according to a missionary serving in that mission.

Mike Johnson said...

John and Edward, I agree with John. While it is true that many of use in the United States and probably elsewhere have had the term "Caucasian" used as a pseudo-scientific word for somebody with European heritage or white skin, it is pretty well known to be a misnomer. The gene for light skin almost undoubtedly emerged in Northern Europe and not in the Caucasus Mountains as postulated. As an aside, Anglo-Saxon is only a small subset of those of European descent.

Mike Johnson said...

The Bo Sierra Leone West Stake has 5 wards and 2 branches:

Kandeh Town Ward
New London Ward
New York Ward
Njagboima Ward
Sewa Road Ward
J Quarter Branch
Simbaru Branch

Mike Johnson said...

This is what I have for the Church in Sierra Leone:

Bo Sierra Leone North Stake:
Batiama Ward
Bo Ward
Gbonda Town Ward
Kortugbuma Ward
Nduvuibu Ward
Njaie Town Ward
Yemo Town Ward

Bo Sierra Leone West Stake:
Kandeh Town Ward
New London Ward
New York Ward
Njagboima Ward
Sewa Road Ward
J Quarter Branch
Simbaru Branch

Freetown Sierra Leone Stake:
Belliar Park Ward
Congo Cross Ward
Dwarzak Ward
Freetown Ward
Goderich Ward
Hill Station Ward
Lumley Ward
Mount Aureol Ward
New England Ward
Tengbeh Town Ward
Wilberforce Ward
Lungi Branch
PZ Branch
Upgun Branch

Kissy Sierra Leone Stake:
Grassfield Ward
Kissy 1st Ward
Kissy 2nd Ward
Kontoloh Ward
Wellington 1st Ward
Wellington 2nd Ward
Calaba Town Branch

Sierra Leone Freetown Mission:
Koidu Branch
Moriba Town Branch
Mogbwemo Branch
Mosenesie Junction Branch
Moyamba Branch
Sierra Leone Freetown Mission Branch

Bo Sierra Leone East District:
Gbondo Town Branch
Lewabu Branch
Messima Branch
New England Branch
Torkpoi Town Branch

Kenema Sierra Leone District:
Burma Branch
Dauda Town Branch
Hangha Road Branch
IDA Branch
Kenema Branch
Kpayama Branch
Nyandeyama Branch
Simbeck Branch

Kossoh Town Sierra Leone District:
Allen Town Branch
Forut Branch
Grafton Branch
Ibo Town Branch
Jui Branch
Kossoh Town Branch
Lumpa Branch
Waterloo Branch

Makeni Sierra Leone District:
Makama Branch
Rogbaneh Branch
Teko Road Branch

1 mission, 4 stakes, 4 districts, 29 wards, and 36 branches.

L. Chris Jones said...

Amazing time in the West African Countries.

John Pack Lambert said...

Kossoh Town and Kenema Districts both have enough units to make a stake, assuming that at least 5 are ready to be wards and they have enough extra Melchizedek Priesthood holders to run a stake.

While Kenema District dates to 2012 while Kossoh Town District dates to 2014. However Kossoh Town is only 10 miles from Freetown. I believe it was part of Freetown District before being seperated. Kenema is actually the second largest city in Sierre Leone, larger than Bo.

Kenema has 200,000 people to Bo's 175,000. The fact that the church has 2 stakes and a district based in Bo when in has under 200,000 people is quite impressive. My ward here in Michigan has just over 200,000 residents in its boundaries.

John Pack Lambert said...

Kenema District in Sieree Leone just had its 9th branch formed. I do have to wonder if the Church will follow the Bo plan there and split the district before making a stake. I expect a stake to be formed outright though, but I could be wrong.

John Pack Lambert said...

With the split of the stake in Freetown that will give Sierre Leone and Liberia combined 7 stakes. I now have placed Freetown as my number 1 pick for a new temple announced at general conference in April, above either Lagos or Managua. Manaugua is close enough to Tegucigalpa that a temple there is not a supper top priority, also crossing the border is evidently not a problem. Still, Nicaragua does have 12 stakes, with one district (Esteli) possibly close to stake status. The other 4 districts do not look to be close to stake status.

Lagos Temple would serve 8 stakes that are very far away from the Aba Temple, which is under 11,000 square feet and serves 44 stakes, so it is a prime candidate for a temple location.

Even though the Accra Temple is slightly bigger, serves only 43 stakes (although I guess 44 by the end of the year), and already has a temple being built that will relieve some pressure. However Freetown is over 900 miles drive from Accra, and it takes over a day to get there, crossing multiple international boundaries. It is still over 900 miles from Freetown to Abijan, although it would take 22 hours of driving, a little less but still an awful lot, and crossing boundaries can be difficult, and quite possibly some roads are sub-par.

Managua to Tegucigalpa is a mere 238 miles, still a six hour drive, but a lot easier, and my general impression is that comparitevely roads in Latin America, at least main roads between major cities, are much better than some of the roads in countries like Sierre Leone, which has not fully recovered from the ravages of Civil War. Revise what I said before. It is 917 air miles from Freetown to Accra. The land trip is 1242 miles, which would take 1 day 8 hours of driving. While it is 2100 miles from New York City to Salt Lake City, it would also take 1 day 8 hours of driving time to make the trip. The drive from Freetown to Accra would take you right through Bo and then Kenema. The fastest route avoids Liberia entirely, evidently because there are no significant highways going from Pendembu in Sierre Leone to Zorzor in Liberia, which would if they did exist cut many miles off the trip distance. The trip also passes through Daloa, the quintessential fast Church growth city in Ivory Coast.

Instead of going through Liberia the route goes through Guinea. Among other places Macenta is crossed, which evidently was ground zero for the Ebola out-break in West Africa. The trip also takes one through Nzérékoré, Guinea, the second largest city in that country, where mainly Chriastian and Muslim ethnic groups had a clash in July 2013 that left 54 dead. Another city passed through is Guéckédou, Guinea which only had 80,000 inhabitants in 1996, but 220,000 in 2008. Most of the growth was fueled by those fleeing civil war in either Sierra Leone or Liberia. All told the over 1000 mile journey does not look to be easy, since you have to cross 3 international borders.

Lagos is an almost 9 and a half hour drive from Aba, 373 miles. It is only 288 miles to the Accra Temple, but the distance calculation program I used said that would take 9 hours 29 minutes as opposed to 9 hours 20 minutes. I have no clue if the program calculates in time crossing international boundaries, or if it is just worse road conditions and that the trip to Aba involves skirting the edge of Benin City on a possible ring-road route. Some of the 8 stakes that would formed the core of a Lagos Temple District, such as the Abeokuta Stake, are based in cities where one can get to Aba Temple in less than 9 hours. Not by any means quickly, but a distance where you could leave late Friday and make it back Saturday night for Church, especially if you pooled resources as a ward and got a bus and had at least two drivers so you could cut down on stopping times.

There is probably commerical bus service from Lagos to Aba. While I highly doubt there is any such thing from Freetown to Accra.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Even though Cote de Ivoire will have a closer temple to Sierra Leone, Freetown surely will get it's own temple imminently. I hope Liberia will manage it's own sooner than later, too.

Mike Johnson said...

John, thanks about Bo (I see the 2015 census was released last summer) and about the Kailahun Branch.

As the capital and largest city and with the international airport, Freetown would be the logical choice for a temple. But, I can't help wondering about Bo. Two stakes and a district centered in Bo with the now 9-branch Kenema Sierra Leone District to the east and three adjacent direct-report branches (Moriba Town, Mogbwemo, and Mosenesie Junction) to the west of Bo (a potential new district?) and the Koidu Branch to the northeast of Bo and Bo being about half way between Freetown and Monrovia, Liberia. Of course, there will be three stakes and a district in the western area around Freetown.

With Kenema growing as fast as it has both in population and with the Church, the ideal location for a temple might just be in Bo instead of Freetown.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Speaking of April, I guess we will wait until then to know who the next apostle will be. For some prophetic purposes it would be interesting if the next one were Latino, because we have plenty of scriptures that refer to the restoration of the peoples of the Book of Mormon, who are descendants of Lehi and/or Mulek, and therefore will have a more prominent place in the Latter-day Gospel.
I don't say that to be politically correct or to call for diversity for modernity's sake as previous discussions have run, but in the spirit of ancient and modern prophecies being fulfilled, it may be the time for these descendants to go forth in greater part.
As always, we don't know the mind of the Lord, but we are promised that those who seek will find. Interesting to live in these times, the dispensation of the fullness of times.

R. Jofre said...

Eduardo, nowhere in the scriptures says that Latinos are descendants of anyone named in the Book of Mormon. While Joseph Smith was commanded to preach to the descendants of the Lamanites, which he did in Ohio and neighboring states.

James Anderson said...

That is correct, it doesn't name a particular people that any given apostle might be called from, but given sheer numbers now, that time when it may happen could be closer.

John Pack Lambert said...

Latino and Hispanic mean many different things. One view of scholars is that the events described in the Book of Mormon occured in southern Mexico and possibly into what is now guatemala. Some then ask "what of the plates being in New York." The most standard theory to work this out is that Cumorrah in New York was so called after an earlier Cumorrah, and after the battle Moroni's "I wonder witheversoever I will"" involved traveling thousands of miles. Considering he lived for I believe over 20 years after the last battle, he had way, way, way more than enough time to travel, and considering his statement that the Lamanites put to death every Nephite who would not deny the Christ, staying anywhere near the Isthmus of Zapotapec seems unwise.

On the other hand, the population sizes in the Book of Mormon a-if the story of Sharon and Jacob makes any sense, the Nephites had been joined by large numbers of non-Nephites. High Nibley theorized the survival of people who were part of the generalized Jaredite civilization. 2-The numbers and size of the populations in the Book of Mormon are far exceeded by the postulated populations of the Americas at the time. 3-God speaks to us in our own language, God in the doctrine and Covenants referring to the Native Americans as Lamanites only says that this was the understanding of the past that Joseph Smith had, it should not be taken to say that either the Delaware or any other group that Oliver Cowdery and associates visited or anyone else has a descent that mainly traces to Lehi. 4-On the other hand, the realities of genetics mean that if we knew everything, we could probably trace the ancestry of almost anyone who had ancestors on the American continent before 1500 to Lehi. 5-However some have argued a close reading of the Book of Mormon almost requires post Book of Mormon but pre-Columbian migrations to the Americas on an impactful level. Some amount of migration from Asia probably happened during this time frame, although how large is extremely hard to say. 6-"Latino" does not neccesarily mean the individual has Indigenous Americans ancestry. In cases of people from Argentina and Uruguay this is rarely the case, in cases of people from Chile often not the case, and in cases of people from the Dominican Republic African ancestry is most pronounced. In many ways how people in the US, especially in the western United States, and also often the mid-west, think of Latinos/Hispanics is basically thinking of Mexicans and consciously or sub-consciously imposing the same ideas on all Hispanics. Mexicans have a national image of being a people descended both from Europeans and the indigenous American population. The reaility of any one person's ancestry is more complex. My Mexican sister-in-law, though clearly of Nahuatl descent and alsot European, may also have some Chinese ancestry.

While there are several Latin American general authorities I could short list for the apostleship, I do not known how much indigenous American ancestry any have. My general guess is Elder de Hoyos probably has some, but probably more European. My guess for Elder Uceda, who is my top guess, is some native ancestry, but still probably more European. My guess for Elder Fallabella is all European ancestry, same with Elder Joaquim Costa and Elder Zivic. My guess for all the Brazilian general authorities is that they all have fully European ancestry, I am very sure with a few like Elder Joni Koch and Elder Aidukaitis. On the other hand with Elder Costa and Elder Soares it might be possible if one searched their ancestry fully they might be part African, but indigenous American would surprise me.

Of course if you want to go fully children of Lehi Taniela B. Wakolo might be the top candidate. How widely the descendants of Hagoth spread across the Pacific is hard to say, but Fijian is a very similar language to the Polynesian languages.

BYULAW said...

R. Jofre--I believe Eduardo may be referencing the Introduction to the Book of Mormon.

"The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C. and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians."

About ten years ago they modified the introduction to the Book of Mormon to indicate that the Lamanites are "among" the ancestors of the American Indians (I believe it used to omit the "among" part prior to ~2007). Anyway, the point is that if the Introduction of the Book of Mormon is to be considered "inspired" or official church doctrine then some American Indians are descendants of the Lamanites. So technically speaking, you are correct in that it doesn't say that "Latinos" are descendants of anyone named in the Book of Mormon. I think the connection Eduardo may have made is that in his mind he equates "Latinos" with having ancestors that were "American Indians." Perhaps some of those with Mestizo (sorry I don't know if that is politically correct to use this word--I mean no offense) heritage could be considered among the descendants of the Lamanites based on their American Indian ancestry. It is my understanding that many in Latin America could be classified as Mestizo for having mixed heritage that includes American Indians. That's a long winded explanation for saying that in a way Eduardo isn't too far off by saying that Latinos are descendants of the Lamanites but his statement was probably over simplified and broad.

With respect to any prophecy about the prominence of the descendants of the Lamanites--that is also probably an oversimplification. I suspect Eduardo is referencing the lost tribes of Israel and how those of the tribe of Ephraim are primarily responsible for leading the latter day work of the Lord but that other tribes will be gathered in the last days. The only tribe I can think of that would be associated with Latinos is maybe Manasseh. However, not all those with American Indian ancestry come from the tribe of Manasseh, the tribe in which some Lamanite descendants pertain to since Lehi was of the tribe of Manasseh, because Ishmael was of the tribe of Ephraim. So, even if an apostle is called from Latin America that wouldn't necessarily mean they are of a different tribe.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Right, there is definitely the Title page of the Book of Mormon, which itself is translated by Joseph Smith.
That "they are not cast off forever". Latinos, especially in large parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Central America, South America, have the blood of the natives that are the remnants of the Lamanites, Nephites, and Mulekites. They are among the lost tribes, like most Europeans, to include the tribes of Ephraim, Manassah, Judah and Benjamin.
Have you read Enos lately? Hard to deny the truthes uttered by the Lord there. Those who have ears to hear

Eduardo Clinch said...

The original 12 apostles in the Old World were all of the tribe of Judah. Those chosen in the New World were possibly a mix of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Mannasah.
The majority of Latin Americans hail from the tribe of Mannasah, and their time is prophesied, like in Doctrine and Covenants 47:24. The time is now, in my opinion. I have been wrong about a lot of things in my life, and a Filipino or Hispanic or Polynesian or other non-Euro priesthood leader may not be called as apostle in the next few months, but I do believe the scriptures are clear that the restoration of these ancient peoples will occur. And I think it will be naturally reflected in leadership. Sooner or later.

John Pack Lambert said...

The old intro to the Book of Mormon also described the descendants of Lehi as the "principal" ancestors of the indigenous people of the Americas. The word "principal" has been removed in the most recent additions.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am of the tribe of Dan. There seems to be a general assumption that most Church members are of the tribe of Ephraim. However I am less than convinced that current information on these matters is actually known.

Unknown said...

The Lord will call whom He will. But BEWARE of arbitrary calls for diversity. Hyper inclusiveness and diversity for diversity's sake has left a wake of frayed, diluted churches ...

Michael Worley said...

A Christlike people should be able to accept both diversity and the lack thereof in their leaders. We should be circumspect in being both inclusive and loving the commandments of God and his church's policies. Ironically, over-exclusion can, in the words of another commentator, fray and dilute the sharing of Christ's message.

James Anderson said...

Two things on social media and one that is making headlines this morning.

A video has surfaced about the 'LDS feminists' that may be associated with the Huffington Post, and it begins with B-roll shots of the Provo City Center Temple. Haven't seen the content otherwise so I can't say for sure what the content is.

KUTV and several others are reporting a story including an image of an ISIS terrorist with a burning San Diego Temple in the background, other reports indicate the police in the area have beefed up patrols because of that same image, and it is said to be circulating online through various media, social and otherwise.

Frank said...

A new stake was created in Las Vegas Yesterday. It was created primarily from a division of the Red Rock stake as well as 2 wards moving from the Meadows stake. New Stake is the Desert Foothills stake. I think that brings the total number of stakes in the Las Vegas Valley to 27. The Las Vegas Temple District also includes 3 outlying stakes.