Monday, April 30, 2018

April 2018 Newsletter

Click here to access the April 2018 newsletter for detailing recent church growth developments.

We are also in the process of updating country LDS statistical profiles on So far, most countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, and Oceania have been updated with 2017 numbers. Click here to access the database for LDS statistical profiles, almanac country entries, and the LDS International Atlas.


R. Jofre said...

Second branches in Dakar and Istanbul. That is such great news. Thanks, Matt.

Bryan Baird said...

I'm kinda surprised no new stakes or districts were reported in April, I'd at least thought maybe one or two might.

Jason Allred said...

With stake growth rate outpacing the ward/branch growth rate last year, I had expected there to be a slow down in stake growth this year, giving ward/branches a time to "catch" up. On the other hand, they may want fewer units per stake. However, pulling enough active MP holders for all the stake callings is hard on wards if a stake is small.

I wonder how the dissolution of HP groups will affect unit creation. I see 3 possible benefits:

1) The change could either strengthen wards with "more men to go around" which could "breathe life" into wards and help with activation, indirectly helping unit growth.

2) Or the extra men could be used in stake callings, allowing stake growth to continue, even with fewer wards per stake.

3) Or the need for fewer men in a ward could be used to stimulate ward growth rate directly by reducing the required number of MP holders for ward creation. That would allow ward/branch growth rate to catch up to stake growth rate faster.

Each has benefits.

John Pack Lambert said...

The new president of the Colonial Juarez Mexico Temple Juan de Dios Fajardo Laranva is ethnic Mexican as was his predecessor Helaman Flores Cano. I think Presidente Flores' name is properly written with an acent mark.

Eduardo Clinch said...

The sizes of respective stakes can influence how the church grows and interacts. I have always thought (some papers related to it from 2001-2002 that I wrote while at UCLA) that the smaller the stake and the consequent distances between wards would help all members and priesthood holders grow in time and efficasy.
If a stake president and the high council and other stake officers are closer to their constituents everyone benefits. Young men, young women, everyone. Missionaries, converts...

Eduardo Clinch said...

As an example, when stake presidencies and other stake leaders become more gospel "ministers" than only administrators (no slight against that, every organization needs them) people, perhaps especially new members and less active members returning in full fellowship have extra friends and influences to guide them in the right direction. This is a powerful and highly organized method of teaching, associating, and yes, ministering as Christ would, that really no other faith on earth has. The smaller the geographic stake the better, and this trend hopefully continues.

Cory Ward said...

Recently the Church was featured in a morning program in Chile. It's not unusual for the church to be featured in television programs, but this one is nearly 18 minutes long. I found it interesting to see the cultural differences in media perceptions of the church compared to how it is perceived by the media in the united states. The main topics were about not dating until 16 and having to be worthy to enter temples. The segment was genuine unlike some US new sources that seem to have antagonistic undertones.

Skyline said...

Just asking, were there REALLY no changes in stakes this past month? Or was it because the church unit update site was taken down?

The Chatelain's said...

I'm not able to the site at all

twinnumerouno said...

Something must be going on with the site, I can't get to it either.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Ugh! What has happened? Is this the real start of the apocalypse?

Matt said...

Rick's site has periodically had issues where it has been down for part of the day or one or two days. I imagine he'll have it back up tomorrow.

Christopher Nicholson said...

It's still down. Last time it was down like this, just recently, he was doing updates. Which unfortunately included taking down most of the unit information.

I must admit I'm not going to get excited about accelerating stake growth anymore if it's just going to be canceled out by stagnant growth the next year.

John Pack Lambert said...

I just noticed that the Be One Event is "First Presidency Sponsored" This is the event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Official Declaration 2. We have come a long way from 15 years ago when it was sponsored by the Genesis Group, and held in the Tabernacle. This event I believe will be held in the Conference Center.

On the other hand, one of the articles they link to on Black Pioneers, the story of Samuel Chambers, a slave from Mississippi who was baptized at age 13 in 1844, and next had contact with the Church when he arrived in Utah in 1870 leading a wagon company consisting of his wife, child and his wife's sister, her husband and three children, comes from the Ensign in 1974. Brother Chambers is on par with Vincenzo di Francesca in having stayed faithful to the Church in isolation.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Thought I made a comment about Papua Nee Guinea... South Pacific...

R. Jofre said...

This I found today...

"May 7, 2018

Due to a server failure, the website is not available. The level of data loss is anticipated to be high, in which case the website would be permanently discontinued. Thank you for your support."

Very sad news indeed.

Grant Emery said...

I saw that too. But it's interesting that it switched from .com to .org. Not sure what that means exactly.

James Anderson said...

The Church announced, late today, a clean break with Scouting as a sponsoring entity od BSA, and will introduce a new program, also discarding Young Women Personal Progress as well, a new Church-run program for both boys and girls is forthcoming.

Brett Stirling said...

I was chatting to Rick yesterday and he told me that as well. Very sad. As he said to me yesterday, it would take an extraordinary amount of time to recreate 20 years of hard work. A mammoth task and extraordinary dedication by a wonderful man.

L. Chris Jones said...

It had worked under both .com and .org for a while. it is sad to see it go.

L. Chris Jones said...

Wished he had a backup. that was a great resource that I have followed for many years.

Nephi said...

That is to bad that Rick didn't have a back up of all this data. Maybe Rick can do a go fund me account and we can all contribute so he can hire someone to recreate his work.

Karen Farnbach said...

Tell Rick to check out the WayBackMachine (, an internet site that takes shots of web sites to archive how they looked. I checked and they did a pull on April 23rd with most of the data. May not be able be files that can be copied but has much of the text and some pictures so it could be a start for recreating. - WKF

Ohhappydane33 said...

In the space of just a few weeks, Temple Rick's site has gone from the preeminent go-to source of Church Unit and growth, to complete and utter implosion. First, it was that updates would no longer be as frequent, then the Church Legal Department came down on him for apparently disclosing too much information, and now he has lost all of the data? Something seems odd and or off about all of this.

Brett Stirling said...

It was backed up, the server backup with the hosting company has been corrupted.

Anonymous said...

Someone please get this to Rick:

Karen Farnbach said...

Have Rick check the website "WayBackMachine". Takes shots and archives web sites from time to time so people can see how they use to work. Checked and they did some pulls for ldstemples as late as April 23rd. may be able to retrieve or at least download the text to make the restoration go faster.

Gnesileah said...

Rick is aware of the Wayback Machine, but he also lost six other websites, some of them for businesses, so his priority is getting those recreated and back online first. There is still the potential the host will be successful in recovering the data, fingers crossed!! If not, he acknowledges that perhaps the timing with everything else that has happened recently is God's way of preparing him to channel his energy into another direction. We both definitely feel the sense of great loss and change, and it will be tremendously sad to see the site be retired.

James Anderson said...

That was the link above, but the basic Wayback Machine is how you can get anything, the founder ws here this year for Roostech and said there it is a great way to find elusive data that was on now-defunct genealogy websites, for example.

Brandon Plewe said...

The Wayback machine can show you your HTML, but Rick's site, like most these days, was database-driven, and can't store the database. Anyone want to download Rick's pages, write a program to scrape the data off them, and rebuild the database for him while he is busy with more pressing matters?

Grant Emery said...

I'd be willing to help scrape data. I'd just need someone to teach me.

J S A said...

Bora Bora Tahiti Stake (2117959) Created 29 April 2018
Haamene Branch (217980)
Hipu Branch (354813)
Anau Ward (368180)
Cumorah Ward (54313)
Faanui Ward (2020475)
Maupiti Ward (54828)
Vaitape Ward (55573)

Eduardo Clinch said...

Yay! A new Stake!
Now that LDS Temples is down we need this site more than ever.

Gnesileah said...

Here is an incomplete list of other unit changes that have occurred during the last few weeks:

Africa Southeast Area
Beira Mozambique Stake: Matacuane Ward created
Cape Town South Africa Stake: Masiphumelele Branch created

Africa West Area
Abengourou Cote d’Ivoire District: Agnibilekrou Branch created
Benin Cotonou Mission: Kpalime and Tsevie Branches created
Liberia Monrovia Mission: Totota Branch created

Asia North Area
Daejeon Korea Stake: Sejong Ward organized from the Sejong Branch
Seoul Korea East Stake: Jangwi Ward discontinued

Caribbean Area
Paramaribo Suriname District: Uitkijk Branch discontinued

Europe Area
Coimbra Portugal Stake: Figueira da Foz Branch discontinued
Friedrichsdorf Germany Stake: Wetterau Ward renamed the Wetterau 1st Ward; Wetterau 2nd Ward created
Hannover Germany Stake: Halberstadt Branch discontinued
Madrid Spain Stake: Madrid 7th Ward created
Rome Italy West Stake: Flegreo Ward organized from the Flegreo Branch

Europe East Area
Bulgaria Sofia Mission: all nine branches transferred to the Bulgaria/Central Eurasian Mission (ahead of the July 1, 2018 handover date); mission discontinued (but Bulgaria/Central Eurasian Mission will transfer headquarters from Istanbul to Sofia)
Irkutsk Russia District: Angarsk Branch discontinued
Russia Yekaterinburg Mission: Almaty and Astana Branches transferred from the Central Eurasian Mission (now Bulgaria/Central Eurasian Mission); Russia Yekaterinburg Kazakhstan Mission Branch created (with Turkish identified as its official language...for now)

North America Northeast Area
New York New York YSA Stake: Queens YSA Ward organized from Queens YSA Branch
Westchester New York Stake: Westchester 3rd Branch (Spanish) discontinued
Chesapeake Virginia Stake: Elizabeth River and Nansemond River Wards organized from the Bennetts Creek, Deep Creek, and Portsmouth Wards (net loss of one ward)

North America Southeast Area
Cartersville Georgia Stake: Kennesaw YSA Branch transferred from the Powder Springs Georgia Stake
Columbus Georgia Stake: Pine Mountain Ward organized from the Pine Mountain Branch
Savannah Georgia Stake: Parris Island Military Branch created
Leesburg Florida Stake: Sumterville Ward organized from the Sumterville Branch
Hopkinsville Kentucky Stake: Cunningham Ward created
Fayetteville North Carolina West Stake: Anderson Creek Park Ward created

North America Southwest Area
Albuquerque New Mexico Stake: Montaño Ward (Spanish) organized from the Alvarado Park Branch (Spanish)
Albuquerque New Mexico East Stake: Valle Vista Branch (Spanish) discontinued
Albuquerque New Mexico North Stake: Valle del Norte Branch (Spanish) discontinued
Albuquerque New Mexico West Stake: Bosque Branch (Spanish) discontinued
Rio Rancho New Mexico Stake: Coronado Branch (Spanish) discontinued
Fort Smith Arkansas Stake: Massard Creek Branch (Spanish) discontinued

Pacific Area
Adelaide Australia Modbury Stake: Modbury Ward renamed the Gulfview Heights Ward; Golden Grove Ward renamed the Tea Tree Valley Ward; Port Augusta Branch discontinued
Pago Pago Samoa Stake: Laulii Branch created

South America South Area
Fernando de la Mora Paraguay South Stake: Tres Bocas Branch discontinued