Monday, December 18, 2017

Historical Growth Milestone Reached in Nigeria - Net Increase of 100+ Wards/Branches in One Year, 600+ Congregations in Nigeria

The Church in Nigeria organized its 100th new ward/branch for the year 2017 on December 10th. Additionally, this milestone coincided with the Church in Nigeria reaching 600 official congregations (i.e. wards and branches) for the first time - only one year after the Church reached the 500 wards/branches milestone in December 2016. Information on previous congregational milestones in Nigeria can be found here. Prior to 2017, the largest increase in the number of wards/branches in Nigeria occurred in 2016 when there was a net increase of 46 wards/branches. Of the 101 new official congregations organized in Nigeria thus far in 2017, only 28 are wards. Nigerian states where new wards/branches have been organized in 2017 include Rivers (20), Edo (14), Akwa Ibom (11), Delta (9), Abia (8), Cross River (7), Abuja [Federal Capital Territory] (5), Ebonyi (5), Ondo (5), Benue (4), Imo (3), Lagos (3), Oyo (3), Plateau (3), and Anambra (1). Thus far in 2017, the number of congregations has increased by slightly more than 20%.

There are three main mechanisms that are driving this recent surge in new ward/branch creations in Nigeria. The first mechanism has been the organization of new branches in cities, towns, or villages where no previous LDS presence operated. These congregations generally have very few members on the records and only recently met the minimal number of active members and priesthood holders to be organized into branches. Accelerated congregational growth in these situations reflects national outreach expansion rather than increases in the number of active members warranting the division and creation of new units. The second mechanism for congregational growth in 2017 has been the division of wards/branches due to increasing numbers of active members. This has been the traditional method the Church has employed to organize new congregations, and appears to have been primarily responsible for the creation of most new wards organized during 2017 as wards require more active and nominal members to operate than branches.

The third and most significant mechanism that has driven accelerated congregational growth in Nigeria in 2017 has been the implementation of a "church planting" approach to growth. More specifically, in this approach stake and mission leaders emphasize the organization of small congregations that assemble closer to the homes of members and populations targeted for proselytism in order to spur greater growth. This tactic of "planting" smaller branches in lesser-reached urban areas has seen tremendous success in West Africa as a whole almost wherever it has been implemented because it improves the accessibility of the Church to the general population. Rapid growth has been achieved in certain West African cities where this tactic has been implemented such as in Daloa, Cote d'Ivoire; Cotonou, Benin; and Kumasi, Ghana. The Church in 2017 has most widely implemented this tactic in Benin City, Edo State and Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Stake leaders in Benin City recently reported that initial efforts to organize branches in lesser-reached urban areas in 2015 and 2016 has not only helped to improve activity rates and member participation for members who live within the boundaries of these new units, but has also drawn larger numbers of converts. Nevertheless, the Church in Nigeria has not reported accelerated membership growth during the past few years based upon the most recent statistics available. For example, LDS membership in Nigeria increased by 7.7% in 2016, 9.3% in 2015, and 10.0% in 2014. Thus, LDS congregational growth rates in 2017 may be between one-third and one-half of membership growth rates for 2017 given recent historical averages. There were 152,903 members in Nigeria as of year-end 2016.

See below for a list of all 101 new wards/branches organized in Nigeria thus far in 2017. You can access maps for LDS congregations and other church growth-related topics here:

Abiriba Branch
Adeyemi College Road 2nd Branch
Adonte 2nd Branch
Afaha Ward
Agho Branch
Akpabuyo Branch
Akpaju Branch
Akugbe Branch
Akure 3rd Branch
Akure 4th Branch
Aladja Branch
Amamong Branch
Amapu 2nd Ward
Amasiri Branch
Amayam Ward
Amufi Ward
Anantigha Ward
Asaga Ohafia 2nd Branch
Ayeabam Branch
Azuabie Ward
Bassa Branch
Bie-Ama Branch
Big Qua Town Ward
Bukuru Branch
Byazhin Ward
Choba 2nd Ward
DLine Branch
Dopemu Ward
Ediba Ward
Edobor Branch
Ekae Ward
Elekahia Ward
Enechi Akuma Branch
Erediauwa Branch
Eziala Branch
Farin Gada Branch 
Gwagwalada Branch
Idogbo Branch
Ikot Essien Etok Ward
Ikot Nkan Branch
Ikot Udoabia Branch
Ikpe Ward
Imota Branch
Isah 2nd Branch
Isiama Branch
Itim Branch
Jakande Ward
Location Branch
Lokogoma Ward
Madalla Branch
Makurdi 2nd Branch
Makurdi 3rd Branch
Mayne Avenue Ward
Mgbuoba Ward
Ndon Utim Ward
Nkwagu Branch
Nsukwa 2nd Branch
Nyanghasang Ward
Oboama 2nd Branch
Ogbomosho Branch
Ogbuebule Oboro Branch
Oghogho Branch
Ogidi Branch
Oguola Branch
Ogwashi-Uku 4th Branch
Ogwashi-Uku 5th Branch
Ogwashi-Uku 6th Branch
Oke Itunu Branch
Okocha Ward
Old GRA Road Ward
Olodo Branch
Olokoro Branch
Ondo 2nd Branch
Onne Branch
Orogbum Ward
Osisioma 3rd Branch
Ossissa Branch
Otukpo 2nd Branch
Otukpo 3rd Branch
Ovbiogie Branch
Ovwian 2nd Ward
Owoseni Ward
Ozizza Branch
Ozuola Branch
Pere-Ama Branch
River-Rine Branch
Rumuepirikom Ward
Rumuokwurushi Ward
Rumuola Branch
Rumuwoji Branch
Sabongari Branch
Sogho Branch
Ugbor 2nd Branch
Ugep 2nd Branch
Umuahia 4th Branch
Umuosu Ubakala Branch
Upper Owina Branch
Uya Oro Branch
Uyo Road Branch
Woji 2nd Branch
Yaba 2nd Branch 

41 comments:

John Pack Lambert said...

There are still 2 weeks left in the year and it is not totally clear that all December 10th let alone 17th ward and branch creations have been publicized.

A year ago it was pointed out all countries with more units than Nigeria have an MTC.

This might be a strong argument for one in Nigeria, but with a new, large state of the art MTC just built in Accra Im not sure there is a pressing need. MTCs are distributed in interesting ways, with at least the Europe area having 2 while the Provo MTC is the only one in 10 areas. The South America South Area also has 2 MTCs. As does the South America Northwest area. No country has multiple MTCs, but some of the multi MTC areas saw a 2nd MTC established in that area. On the other end of the spectrum there is no MTC in mainland Asia with the one in Manila being the only one in all of Asia.

Interestingly enough the Asia North area used to have two MTCs but now it has none.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I presume that most of the unit growth has taken place among Igbo speaking Nigerians. They tend to be Christian to begin with.
However, perhaps Yoruba and other smaller languages have had a faster growth late of late. I would like to see Nigerian membership by language.
I also presume that Hausa has the fewest members, located as more northern and Muslim. How many Nigerian states are majority Christian versus Muslim?
The 10 percent growth in 2014 séems to be translating into robust unit expansion now, perhaps members of 3-4 years are making strong pioneers to grow further in new areas.
Great to see, I now believe the hype of a new temple or two for Nigeria.
Back in 2011 I gave away some Igbo Books of Mormon and a Bible, in Virginia. I wonder if any of those friends related some of that knowledge back to their home partners. I bet social media has helped this information and growth. So exciting.

Bryan Baird said...

If the pace continues Nigeria could have at least 1,000 by 2020.

Michael Worley said...

Thanks, Matt.

Anyone know how many branches in Nigeria have been upgraded to wards this year? I believe there's 30 (offsetting the branch-heavy creation list) but I'm not sure.

Chidiebere Joshua said...

The igbos have three missions operating in there territory, porthacourt, owerri and enugu missions,......there are stakes I hope could be divided, e.g the owerri stake, one of the oldest in the area..... Proud to be igbo

Adam said...

As a comparison, what has been the increase in number of congregations in the US this year?

Mike Johnson said...

One of the reasons many countries in West Africa are experiencing phenomenal growth is because people are being guided by the spirit to the truth.

Here are two entries from September in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission facebook account:

"There are many areas of the country that are part of the "MISSION Branch" (areas where there are no organized Branches) Moyamba is a city about 5 hours away from Freetown. 3 September, there were 89 people gathered for the creation of the Moyamba Branch. The new Branch President is Edison Bannister and the Relief Society Pres. is Betty Rogers. So many families are waiting to be baptized. Missionaries will go there in a few weeks- to teach and baptize a number of people (some have been waiting several years to be baptized)"

"We had an historic day in Sierra Leone 17 September, three Branches were organized on the same Sunday! We began at 9am in Mogbewmo, with Pres. Conteh called to be the first Branch President. The rains kept some away, but we took a photo after Sacrament Meeting when skies cleared. Then at 11am, we arrived at Moriba Town, where 118 had gathered. We joined them for a Sacrament service where Pres. Jumu was sustained. The final Branch was Mosenesie Junction at 1pm, and Pres. Bundu was sustained there. Some of these faithful people have been attending meetings with the "Latter Days" for over a year, anxiously waiting till missionaries could come and officially teach and baptize them. We are so grateful that day has come!"

4 branches were created west of Bo in September 14 days apart. But, we see that people were being prepared for a year or more for missionaries to come. It could be a member family moves to an area and shares the gospel with others there. Perhaps somebody from a small village goes to a larger place, joins the church, and returns to share the gospel to their village. Or perhaps there are unknown individuals spreading the gospel.

In many cases, branch creation occurs because a mission becomes aware of an unreached area being reached by other means.

Church planting is a term in the Protestant world when a young minister, after spending some time as a junior minister in a larger church, moves to a new area and with support from the parent church begins trying to organize a new church. The parent church planted the new church by training the new minister and then supporting that minister in building from scratch a new church. Obviously, that isn't happening here. The Church organizes branches when there are sufficient members. They can send missionaries into a new area to try to convert enough to start a branch. It is really hard to run a Church program with insufficient numbers of members and members who have little understanding of how things function. I think one reason things grow in an area is because sufficient numbers of members live in an area to organize them. The Church can't direct people to move to an area. The closest thing to a professional clergy (CES, which of course disdains the association--but they are paid for learning and sharing doctrinal matters) aren't sent into virgin areas but into areas where there are enough members to form seminary and/or institute programs.

About the only way Church leaders influence growth in a new area is by sending in missionaries, but over and over again, they send in new missionaries into an area because there is an interested population already there--members have moved in or people already there learn about the gospel and want to learn more. The Church program requires more people than most religious groups, who only need a minister--even if part-time--and that is about it to get something started.

John Pack Lambert said...

Of the 6 states in Nigeria that saw growth of more than 5 wards/branches this year, 4 of them (Rivers, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Cross River) are firmly in south-east Nigeria. However my research suggests to me that only Rivers and Abia states of these are primarily within Igbo land. Akwa Ibom state probably has some Igbo, but they are not according to the Wikipedia article among the 6 most common ethnic groups. I wish there were some numbers of ethnic group proportion in Akwa Ibom state, but The Ibibio, Anang and several other groups are prominent. The Ibibio are the most numerous, and number in all over 4 million while Akwa Ibom state has just over 5 million inhabitants. However that is all the Ibibio in Nigeria, and some live in Cross River State and probably elsewhere in the country. Etinan which just got a second state is a mainly Ibibio city. Cross River State that has seen 7 new wards and branches is the main area of the Efik, so I am guessing the Church is growing with that ethnic group. Calabar which just got a 3rd state with its second stake still being very young, is the main city of the Efik.

Delta State is about 1/3rd Igbo. However Ogwashi-Ukwa which saw the creation of 3 branches is an Igbo City. Like Edo State, Delta State also has many Edo and speakers of closely related languages. Edo would seem to me a language more Church resources could be used in.

Efik is one of the recently announced langauges for Book of Mormon translation. Yoruba is getting a triple combination. Igbo already has a triple combination available. That is the current extent of scripture availability in the native languages of Nigeria. Hopefully the anticipated new languages of translation to be announed in the coming months will include more from Nigeria. Edo would to be seem the next top contender, although this may depend on how much of the population of Benin City is mono-lingual in Edo. Ibibio also would seem a good language, with such Church growth in Akwa Ibom.

Ibibio had 1.5 to 2 million speakers 20 years ago. It had a written form in pre-European contact times. The Wikipedia articles says nothing of a literary tradition, mainly just neglecting this issue. Wikipedia under covers this issue of language. However my general impression is that a lot of reading by Nigerians is done in English. A big question is to what extent are there people literate in Ibibio who would understand the gospel much deeper and fuller if they could read of it in their native language. I am sure there are some and that they would be helped, but have no clue how many.

This issue of literary culture is such that I could see reasons to create temple endowments in languages that do not have sciptural translations.

To finish off this rambling post, is the total number of translated languages for the endowment public knowledge, or is this not made public?

Gnesileah said...

@Michael, by my count, 22 branches in Nigeria were upgraded to wards during 2017. By comparison, there were 42 during 2016, 18 in 2015, and 27 in 2014.

@Eduardo, of the 101 Nigerian units created thus far in 2017, 17 are designated as Igbo speaking, 80 in English, and one each in Anaang, Ibibio, Idoma, and Ikwere.

Nine are located in Abia State, 10 in Akwa Ibom, one in Anambra, four in Benue, eight in Cross River, nine in Delta, five in Ebonyi, 14 in Edo, five in the Federal Capital Territory, three in Imo, three in Lagos, five in Ondo, three in Oyo, three in Plateau, and 19 in Rivers.

@Adam, I am showing 190 new wards and branches in the United States (not counting territories) during 2017, plus 39 branches were upgraded to wards. On the flip side, 189 wards and branches have been discontinued this year, and five wards were downgraded to branches.

@John, Efik has had Selections of The Book of Mormon available since 1982. I am glad they are getting the full version. Twenty-two congregations are Efik speaking.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Yes, I was going to comment that English seems to be ubiquitous across much of Nigeria, which would be advantageous to spreading the Gospel and reading materials.
I have read a few books by Chinua Achebe, which I think he wrote in original English. Maybe Nigeria is becoming more English compliant in the modern age, and I bet social media helps this trend.
Did Ivory Coast grow faster percentage-wise this past year?

John Pack Lambert said...

In Nigeria many of those who can read and write are fluent in English. There are also many who have little literacy and can only function in languages such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Efik and so on.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Wikipedia article on Nigerian English is very uniformative. It does not really say clearly how widely the language is used.

James said...

I hadn't realized there has been that much growth and such a huge increase in the number of Church units established in Nigeria. But it somehow doesn't surprise me. The Lord seems to be enabling His Church to prosper as never before, particularly within the continents of South America and Africa. Thank you for this amazing report, Matt! I have been feeling for a while that Nigeria could get a second temple sooner rather than later, and based on the content of this post, such a temple seems to be a most imminent prospect for the near future. Recent personal research I have done on such a prospect points to two potential locations that could get a temple in the very near future: Lagos and Benin City. I have both on my personal list for the future, but would welcome any thoughts from any of you about which might be more likely. With the two being 195.7 miles apart, I see the potential for both to get a temple at some point, perhaps within the 15-year period Elder Wilson referenced in late April this year.

That said, a lot of the posts Matt has done in the last while have continued to help mold my thoughts on potential future temple prospects. My analysis of such options continues, and I only have 5 of the Church's 25 geographical areas left to cover. For any who would want to comment on any of the posts I have done on that subject up to this point, or on those of the final 5 areas (which I hope to have covered before the end of this year), I include a link to my blog below.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

My thanks to Matt for allowing me to share such posts on the comment thread here, as well as for allowing all of us such a great opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas about ongoing and potential future Church growth developments, especially those related to temples that could potentially be announced in the near future. Things that have been said here, either by Matt in his posts, or in the exchange of comments responding to them, have helped a lot in molding my thoughts on such prospects for the future. And for that, I thank you all, especially you, Matt. Hope you know how much we all appreciate you tracking such developments and your always very thorough analysis. Keep up the great work!

John Pack Lambert said...

Could we get a list of largest size of the Church by number of congregations starting with the US and going down at least for maybe the top 20 largest.

Enugu Mission, which covers Igbo areas, and Enugu is where the first missionary couples in Nigeria had their residence, although the worked mainly with teaching congregations in rural areas and small cities to the south and east of Enugu, is clearly one of three Igboland missions. Yet at the same time it covers the northern 3/4th of Nigeria. While the northern third of the country has virtually no Church presence, there is some presence in the central part, in Abuja because of its capital status drawing people from all over the country, and then in mining regions like Jos.

Nigeria is made up of 36 states plus the capital territory. 9 states have Sharia law apply to all matters. Conversion away from Islam in some is treated as a capital crime. Another 3 states apply Sharia law in personal matters only to the Muslim population. The remaining 25 states and the capital territory do not apply Sharia law at all. Of those 25 states and the capital territory, the majoirty fall within the boundaries of the Nigeria Enugu Mission, as do the 12 states with some form of Sharia Law.

However even in a state like Kaduna, which fully applies Sharia Law, there are non-Muslims, many of whom are Christians.

Kaduna state had over 6 million people in 2006, so possibly many more today. While the Fulani and the Hausa, both overwhelmingly Muslim, are the main ethnic groups in this state, there are 59 ethnic groups in Kaduna State. Only 10 of them have articles on Wikipedia. The Ham or Hyam people were first reached by Christian missionaries in the decade from 1900-1910. Today about 85% of that population group is Christian, 75% of the population being Evangelical Christians. The Ham number 175,000, so this is over 150,000 Christians just from one ethnic group in Kaduna State.

John Pack Lambert said...

Another group in Kaduna State, the Adara also know as the Kaduna, number about 350,000. 55% of that population is Christians, but my source on this, the Joshua projects (here [https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/12404/NI] is their entry on the Adara), does not state what religion the remaining 45% follows. Elsewhere in that article, it does mention some Adara being Muslim while others practice the Adara indigenous religion. Some of the Adara people live within the Abuja capital territory.

What is clear is there is huge potential for growth in the Nigeria Enugu Mission.

On another note a branch was discontinued in Canada and a ward in California. At this rate Idaho will soon have more church units than California.

L. Chris Jones said...

I saw that a ward was created and one discontinued in the same stake in Duran Ecuador.

Gnesileah said...

Congregations / Country
14,226 United States
2,089 Brazil
1,987 Mexico
1,218 Philippines
763 Argentina
747 Peru
601 Chile
601 Nigeria
496 Canada
440 Guatemala
327 United Kingdom
309 Australia
303 Ecuador
303 Ghana
261 Japan
255 Bolivia
250 Colombia
246 Venezuela
236 Honduras
224 New Zealand
211 Cote d'Ivoire
195 Dominican Republic
183 South Africa
181 Democratic Republic of Congo
168 Tonga
164 El Salvador
159 Germany
157 Samoa
139 Spain
139 Uruguay

Bryan Dorman said...

Of that list you put, every country that is above Ghana on the list has at least two temples, either functioning or at least announced. Below Ghana, Japan has three temples, Columbia two, South Africa two, and Germany two. Above Nigeria, all countries but two (Chile and Argentina) have at least three temples.

Ray said...

Gnesileah, Thanks for that list. The CDOL reporting by country only shows ward and branch totals, and I've been wanting for a long time to rank countries by total congregations, so this is a great help. Also fascinating to see the changes of the last 12 months, from a high of +101 to a low of -12 for South Korea.

coachodeeps said...

Nigeria is above Ghana but only had 1 temple functioning with none announced.

Skyline said...

I consider the number of congregations in a country a slightly more accurate indicator of growth than official membership data alone. I say slightly because, depending on the location, ward weekly sacrament attendance can range anywhere from 20-300. And there are also branches that can only put up one-digit attendance, as well as branches that have triple-digit weekly attendance that are (perhaps temporarily) confined to branch status because of their district and distance from stakes. On the other hand, I say more accurate because, as many of you know, Church statistics put up total membership as opposed to active membership who attend services. This may give members a false impression that there are now 15 million active members, when this is unfortunately far from the truth. So it seems to me that the country with the 2nd most (active) members is Brazil, not Mexico.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the other hand Nigeria is above Canada which has 8 temples.

John Pack Lambert said...

I just learned that David W. Eka, the first stake president in Nigeria (of Aba Stake), and possibly the first Nigerian to be an Area Seventy (he was an area seventy, I am just not sure if he was the first) was born in Etinan. That is the city that just had a second stake created in near record time after the stake became a district.

John Pack Lambert said...

Have there ever been any Ecuadorian general authorities? Nigeria has the most congregations of countries that have never had a general authority called from them, followed possibly by Ecuador, and then for sure Ghana.

itsumademoheiwa said...

This article is definitely looking at the glass half full. When you look at the total net increase in wards and branches in 2017 it appears to only be a little over 100 total. That seems to show that most if not all of the growth in the LDS church in 2017 was in Africa. (sorry to be that guy with the glass half empty).

Eduardo Clinch said...

Itsuma: either you or me do not understand this article post right.
Nigeria, one country of 55 odd African countries alone, added 100 units this year! One country! One year!
This is not accounting for the dozens or hundreds of other LDS units created in Africa and the rest of the world in 2017. I know there has been some unit attrition in California, parts of Europe and Latin America and whatnot, but the glass is more than half full when it comes to Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa, and much of LDS growth in many parts of the world.
Or am I misunderstanding something?
Gospel is growing.

Michael Worley said...

Hmmm... itsuma has a point. Year end 2016 stats showed 30,304 W+B. Rick's site shows 30,405 today. Nigeria being +101, the rest of the world is +4. And with West Africa as a whole probably being +150 or 200, the statistics are starker.

I think that there was some systematic consolidation to increase the size of international units, but I'm not sure of a good way to quantify that.

Ray said...

To Itsumademoheiwa and Michael Worley: The 2017 increase in wards and branches is far more than 100! In fact, through Dec. 23 wards and branches were up by 198, just 2 under 200. The increase through Dec. 19 was 206 (up 281 wards and down 75 branches).

2016 stats showed 30,304 W+B, but the 2016 year-end figures reported in the CDOL was 30,209, since 95 units are in sensitive countries which do not report to the CDOL. Rick's figure of 30,405 is 2 units less than the CDOL figure, but the CDOL number is the one I use. In addition there are about 100 more in sensitive countries (China, Pakistan, and several others), which would put the current total closer to 30,507.

True, growth in Africa has led the Church in 2017 (an increase of 212 through Dec. 23). Without Africa's growth, congregations would have registered a slight decrease. The biggest slowdown is the US, which as of Dec. 23 was down by 1 unit, whereas in the last decade or so it has almost always grown in excess of at least 100 W+B. So far in 2017 California has lost 41 W+B and Utah is up 39 (but was up 44 W+B as recently as Dec. 12).

L. Chris Jones said...

My mission president from Ecuador (B. Renato Maldenaldo) was an area seventy for a few years in the early 2000s.

Matt said...

Yes, you need to take into account all of the sensitive units (approximately 100) that are not reported by Rick's site. There has been an increase of approximately 200 wards/branches in 2017. The Church has reported a net increase of 200+ congregations outside of the United States for the past four years. To contrast, there was only one year between 2000 and 2013 when the net increase of wards/branches exceeded 200 for outside the United States. The main driver for slower congregational growth for the Church as a whole during 2017 has been stagnant congregational growth in the United States. As a result, the Church in 2017 reported the smallest net increase of wards/branches for the entire Church since 2011 when there was a net increase of only 124 wards/branches.

Ray said...

Matt, thanks for the clarification. It's good to see the numbers in perspective and that growth outside the US has been so consistent in recent years.

Mike Johnson said...

We have somebody every year comparing TempleRick's current numbers with the Church's numbers the last year and not realizing that there are a number of sensitive congregations and drawing a conclusion that growth has substantially slowed.

itsumademoheiwa said...

Actually, while I concede, I did not know, 100 not yet reported units still need to be added to the 2017 total, my point still stands. Most of the net growth in the entire LDS church appears to be in Africa exclusively!

Mike Johnson said...

esUnless things have changed, Ray, you can select whether to include or not include the sensitive units in CDOL. They are in it, but are excluded by default.

TempleRick somehow has a feed from CDOL, which he uses to update his database.

I do believe that much of the congregational growth is from Africa.

John Pack Lambert said...

We also have to bear in mind that unit combinations are not always bad things. The goal of the gospel is to lead people to Christ not have the most congregations. In a stake in Washington 2 branches were discontinued to give members less demands of Church callings and increase their time for community involvement.

John Pack Lambert said...

Are you sure these numbers are measuring the same thing? Not all reports consistently include sensitive units.

John Pack Lambert said...

Actually Brazil has also seen net growth, and so clearly has Utah. Also stake growth has occured in other places which is generally a truer measure of growth than the vageries of local congregations.

John Pack Lambert said...

I was asking about general authorities though, not area seventies. Ghana and Nigeria have also produced many area seventy.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Also, back to what I understand to be Itsuma's original comment: the "glass" is overflowing in Nigeria.
Was the comment supposed to be about the worldwide Church, which this post does not address?
The state of Virginia has added three new stakes in the last year and a half. While wards and branches have been retracted the last few years in many places, 1. Nigeria is doing great, and 2. I see general evidence of LDS Church growth everywhere, or in all regions of the world.
Side question: has General Conference announced statistics as they normally do this past year?

Bryan Baird said...

The previous years stats ie 2017 will probably be announced in April 2018 usually both may 2018 ensign or on the Mormon newsroom site.

James said...

While some of you may not be aware of this, there are two primary ways in which the Saturday Afternoon Session each April differs from its counterpart in October. First, the Saturday Afternoon Session in October General Conference typically sees one more speaker from among the General Authorities or general officers of the Church in October than we typically see in the April General Conference. That is primarily because the time that would have otherwise been given for an additional talk from one of our leaders is taken up by the Secretary to the First Presidency and the Managing Director of the Church Auditing Department, wherein they respectively present the Statistical Report and Church Auditing Department Report that is put together at the end of each calendar year. And the Church waits for that to be done until the April General Conference because that allows those reports to be presented Churchwide at the same time. And in view of the Church's desire to ensure that all of us are so advised about how our tithes have been used in the previous year and about the growth the Church has achieved at the end of each calendar year, because it takes the Church time to have its' annual audit done and to ensure that the Churchwide unit information will be accurate at the time those things are presented, it is not possible or practical at all for the moment (if it ever will be so) for the Church to release such information at any point prior to the April General Conference, it makes sense that they are waiting each year to present those reports in a setting where most (if not all) of the Church's members can be given such information at the same time. I hope that clarifies the reasons for which the Church reserves making that information public until each April. Depending on how and if worldwide technology ever advances to the point where the Church could have statistics updated and audits completed in real time and could have the exact information available in a subsection on the Church's website for all members to access whenever they are curious about where all of that stands at any given moment, but until that happens, it is easy to see why the Church does not release that information until it is provided during the April General Conference of every year. Hope this information is helpful to anyone who reads it.