Saturday, September 16, 2023

Monthly Newsletters - May 2023, June 2023, and July 2023

See below to access monthly newsletters for August's monthly newsletter should be available soon as well.

Monday, September 11, 2023

New Temple Predictions - September 2023 Edition

I have updated my temple prediction map in preparation for General Conference later this month in September. The size of the Church in a specific geographical area (i.e. number of stakes and districts, the number of wards and branches), the age of the oldest stake in a specific geographical area, church growth trends, the distance to the nearest temple, traffic/transportation, the square-footage of the nearest temple, the historical number of weekly endowment sessions scheduled at the nearest temple, and member and missionary reports regarding member activity, temple attendance, and convert retention are variables used to identify prospective sites for future temple announcements. Altogether, there are 216 potential temples on the map (which is just 1 potential temple site lower than the total number of potential sites identified in February 2023. The following 12 locations have been added to the temples prediction map with this current update - all of which are less likely temples:

  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Joinville, Brazil
  • Ponta Grossa, Brazil 
  • Rigby, Idaho
  • Richfield, Utah
  • Tremonton, Utah
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Umuahia, Nigeria
  • Uyo, Nigeria
  • Victorville or Lancaster, California

Three potential temples sites were transferred from the less likely temples list to the more likely temples list. I also provided with the reasoning why this change was made. These sites include:

  • Bo, Sierra Leone (rapid growth in stakes and congregations - likely the city with over 100,000 people with the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints on the Afro-Eurasian landmass. There were approximately 223,000 people in the city per 2021 census figures, and currently there are 27 wards in the city, or one ward per approximately 8,259 people. The average ward or branch in Sierra Leone had 321 people as of year-end 2022, indicating that Church membership for Bo may be as high as 8,667, or 3.9% of the city population. Latter-day Saints are one of the largest Christian denominations in Bo. There are three stakes in Bo (all organized since 2017) with the strong possibility of 1-2 new stakes being created in the immediate future).
  • Lehi, Utah (steady growth in the number of congregations and stakes in the area).
  • Osorno, Chile (recent progress with branches maturing into wards in the area, long distance from the nearest temple in Concepcion).

The following 10 locations appear most likely to have temples announced this coming General Conference. As always, your prediction lists are welcome and encouraged.

  1. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  2. Spanish Fork, Utah
  3. Angeles or Olongapo, Philippines 
  4. Colorado Springs, Colorado 
  5. Kampala, Uganda
  6. São José, Brazil
  7. Viña del Mar, Chile 
  8. João Pessoa, Brazil
  9. Santiago, Dominican Republic
  10. Maracaibo, Venezuela

See below for the map of likely and less likely new temple sites:


Sunday, August 20, 2023

New Stakes Created in Brazil and Texas; Two Stakes Discontinued in Hong Kong


The Church organized a new stake in Brazil in Rio Grande do Sul. The Gramado Brazil Stake was organized on July 23rd from the Gramado Brazil District (created in 2005). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Canela 1st, Canela 2nd, Gramado 1st, Gramado 2nd, and  Taquara Wards and the Nova Petrópolis Branch. The new stake is the Church's fourth new stake to be created in southern Brazil in the past few months.

There are now 285 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil


The Church organized a new stake in the Texas Panhandle. The Amarillo Texas East Stake was created on August 13th from a division of the Amarillo Texas Stake (organized in 1981). The new stake includes the following five wards and three branches: the Bishop Hills, Borger, Childress, Pampa, and Tascosa Wards, and the Estacado (Spanish), Dumas, and Perryton Branches. There are now four stakes in the Texas Panhandle - the other two of which are located in Lubbock (organized in 1967 and 2014). 

There are now 79 stakes and 2 districts in Texas.

Hong Kong

The Church discontinued two stakes in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong China Kowloon East Stake (created in 1980, discontinued in 2006, reinstated in 2016) and Hong Kong China Lion Rock (organized in 2016) were discontinued and consolidated with neighboring stakes. Nine wards were discontinued as part of the reorganization. Now, there are four stakes and one district in Hong Kong - the same number of stakes and districts that operated from 2006-2015. There are now 21 wards in Hong Kong - the fewest number of wards in Hong Kong since prior to 1987. Church membership has been in decline in Hong Kong since 2020. It is unclear how much of this decline (the Church has historically experienced slow membership growth or stagnant membership growth during the past couple decades in Hong Kong) is attributed to tightening political freedoms in this special administrative region of China during the past few years. However, there was a major emphasis by the Asia Area Presidency in the mid-2010s to create smaller wards which resulted in the reinstatement of a previously closed stake and the creation of a sixth stake in 2016. Click here to access membership and congregational data in Hong Kong. Member activity rates in Hong Kong have numbered among the lowest in the world, with 12-14% of membership regularly attending church in the late 2010s.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Newsletter Update

As some of you have commented, monthly newsletters for have not been posted since our most recent edition in April 2023. This has been due to many things in my life at the moment that have limited my time to write them. However, I am hopeful that these newsletters will be completed and posted in the coming weeks. There have been many significant developments in recent months that will be covered in these newsletters.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

New Stakes Created in Brazil (3), Utah, and Nigeria; New Districts Created in Ghana, Tanzania, and Turkey; Stakes Discontinued in England (2) and Utah


Three new stakes were recently created in Brazil.

The Ponta Grossa Brazil North Stake was created on July 2nd from a division of the Ponta Grossa Brazil Stake (created in 1980) and the Ponta Grossa Brazil Campos Gerais Stake (created in 1997). Two branches formerly assigned to the Brazil Curitiba Mission were also assigned to the new stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the América, Campus, Castro, Esplanada, and Ponta Grossa 2nd Wards and the Telêmaco Borba and Tibagi Branches. The new stake is the Church's third stake in Ponta Grossa which has a population of approximately 351,000 people.

The Curitiba Brazil Campo Comprido Stake was organized on July 16th from a division of the Curitiba Brazil Iguaçu Stake (created in 1984) and the Curitiba Brazil Novo Mundo Stake (created in 1994). The new stake includes the following five wards: the Campo Comprido, Campo Largo, Ferraria, Jardim Gabineto, and the Solene Wards. The new stake is the Church's 14th stake in the Curitiba metropolitan area. The Church most recently crated a new stake in the Curitiba area in 2018.

The Jaraguá do Sul Brazil Stake was organized on July 16th from a division of the Joinville Brazil South Stake (created in 2014) and the Navegantes Brazil Stake (created in 2020). Currently, only the following three wards and one branch are assigned to the new stake per the Church's meetinghouse locator website, namely the Baependi, Jaraguá do Sul 1st, and Jaraguá do Sul 2nd Wards and the Barra Velha Branch, suggesting that the creation of additional congregations in the new stake is probably imminent or other units from nearby stakes will be reassigned to the new stake. This has been a similar trend in the Church recently to create a new stake and later have branches advance into wards or create new wards to have the stake had more units (such as recently in Nairobi, Kenya and in Lomé, Togo). 

There are now 284 stakes and 40 districts in Brazil.


Two new stakes were created in Utah on June 11th. The Saratoga Springs Utah Quailhill was organized from the Saratoga Springs Utah Mount Saratoga Stake (organized in 2016) and includes the following six wards: the Lexington Green, Quailhill 1st, Quailhill 2nd, Quailhill 3rd, Quailhill 4th, and the Talus Ridge 1st Wards. The Saratoga Springs Utah Riverside Stake was created from the Saratoga Springs Utah Mount Saratoga Stake, the Saratoga Springs Utah Saratoga Hills Stake (organized in 2017), and the Saratoga Springs Utah Springside Stake (organized in 2020) and includes the following seven wards: the Neptune Park, Riverside 1st, Riverside 2nd, Saratoga Springs 10th, Sunset Haven, Thunder Ridge, and the Wander Wards. This marks a rare instance when one stake was divided as part of creating two additional stakes (although there are a couple instances in Church history in modern times when one stake was divided to create two new stakes without any other stakes being involved in the process). 

One stake was discontinued in Utah. The Salt Lake Jordan Stake (organized in 1977) was discontinued. Of the five wards in the former stake, only the Jordan 8th Ward (Spanish) was discontinued. The remaining wards were renamed and reassigned to the Salt Lake Jordan North Stake, the Taylorsville Utah North Central Stake, and the Taylorsville Utah South Stake. 

With these changes, there are now 629 stakes and 2 districts in Utah.


The Church organized a new stake in Nigeria. The Nsit Ubium Nigeria Stake was created from a division of the Ukat Aran Nigeria Stake (organized in 1999 and previously called the Nsit Ubium Nigeria Stake until renamed the Ukat Aran Nigeria Stake years later) and the Uyo Nigeria South Stake (organized in 2016). The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Ekpene Ukim, Ikot Ekwere, Ikot Esen, Ikot Eyo 1st, Ikot Eyo 2nd, Ikot Eyo 3rd, Ikot Ubo, and the Ndikpo Atang Wards. The new stake operates within one of the first areas in Nigeria where an official Church presence was established, with many villages and small towns having branches organized in 1979. Rapid growth has occurred for the Church in this area of Nigeria in recent years, particularly to the north in Uyo during the past 2-4 years, with the division of both remaining Uyo stakes appearing imminent (the Uyo Nigeria Stake currently has 12 wards, whereas the Uyo Nigeria Ibiono Stake currently has 11 wards and 2 branches). 

There are now 69 stakes and 15 districts in Nigeria. Currently, there are approximately 14 stakes that appear likely to divide in the immediate future due to large numbers of wards. Thus, the number of stakes in Nigeria appears likely to surpass 80 within the next 1-2 years.


A new district was created in Ghana on the border with Togo. The Dzodze Ghana District was created from four mission branches in the Ghana Accra West Mission. The new district includes the Aflao, Akatsi, Dzodze, and Penyi Branches - all of which have been organized since 2015. This area of Ghana on the border with Togo and in the southern Volta Region has long been a lesser-reached area of the country by the Church notwithstanding relatively close proximity to Accra.


A new district was created in Tanzania, marking the third new district created in Tanzania during the past 12 months. The Mwanza Tanzania District was created from three mission branches located in the Mwanza area, including the Buhongwa, Mwanza, and the Nyegezi Branches. There are now four districts in Tanzania.


The Church recently unassigned Turkey from what was previously known as the Central Eurasian/Bulgaria Mission to the Europe Central Area. Branches in Turkey are now organized into a district called the Europe Central Area District. The district includes the following seven non-sensitive branches: the Adana Military (English), Ankara, Antalya, Isparta (Persian), Istanbul 1st, Istanbul 2nd (English), and Izmir Branches. The Church previously operated a branch in Gaziantep which closed in early 2023 and appears now to function as a group. Reports from local members indicate that no full-time missionaries have been permitted to serve in the country for multiple consecutive years, and that Turkish-speaking missionaries in Germany now teach and prepare prospective converts via online teaching. This appears to mark the first time a district has ever been organized in Turkey. There were 658 members in Turkey as of year-end 2022. Some of Turkey outside of the new district is assigned to the Europe Central Area Branch.


Two stakes were discontinued in the London area in June, namely the London England Wandsworth Stake (organized in 1978) and the Maidstone England Stake (organized in 1978). One ward in the Maidstone England Stake (Selsdon) was reassigned to the Crawley England Stake, whereas the remainder of the wards in the former Maidstone England Stake were reassigned to the Canterbury England Stake (which now has 11 wards). However, three of the wards in the former London England Wandsworth Stake were discontinued. 

There are now 41 stakes in the United Kingdom.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Missionary Developments From Recent 2023 New Mission Presidents Training Seminar

The Church News recently published articles regarding comments Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made during the recent 2023 New Mission President seminar in regard to recent missionary developments in the global Church. These included:

  • The number of full-time, proselytizing missionaries serving worldwide increasing from 57,000 in April 2022 to 67,800 in early June 2023 (click here for article). This time frame was provided because President Nelson reemphasized the need for young men to serve full-time missions in April 2022 in General Conference. The last time the Church had this many members serving full-time missions was in 2016 when there were 70,946 full-time missionaries serving at the end of the year (which was at the tail-end of the double-cohort of full-time missionaries caused by the lowering of the minimum age for missionary service). There were approximately 67,000 or fewer full-time missionaries serving between 2017 and 2022.
  • The number of full-time, proselytizing missionaries serving worldwide is anticipated to reach as high as 72,000 by the end of 2023 (click here for article). This increase has occurred even though there is a smaller demographic of mission-aged young adults in the Church (which is supported by historical children-of-record annual increase numbers, which did not surpass 100,000 until 2008), suggesting an increasing percentage of young single adults serving full-time missions. Although it is unclear what the current percentage of young men serving full-time missions is, "Researchers found that in the early 1940s approximately five percent of young men served missions and that this statistic increased to 20% in the late 1940s and 30% in the early 1960s. Between the early 1960s and early 1980s the percentage of young men serving missions varied from 25-35% and was 32% in 1981 (click here for reference). 
  • Recently, the number of weekly mission applications received that require processing by apostles for mission assignment has increased from approximately 150-200 to up to 300. Typically, two apostles complete the weekly processing and assignment of mission applications. However, as many as four apostles have been required to complete this weekly task due to the influx in applications (click here for article).
  • Convert baptisms for the worldwide Church were up 25% during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022 (click here for article). If this rate continues for the rest of the year (i.e., if there are 25% more convert baptisms in 2023 compared to 2022), there would be 265,215 convert baptisms for the year - the highest reported by the Church since 2014 when there were 296,803 convert baptisms.

It is unclear what particular age/gender demographics or world regions are driving recent increases in full-time missionaries serving and higher numbers of convert baptisms than what has been seen in recent years. It will likely take years before we begin to see congregational growth rates and the creation of new stakes accelerating if these recent trends are continued. The increase in convert baptisms is unsurprising given missions have returned to "business as usual" with strategies that often result in the greatest growth of the Church, especially with the opening of previously unreached cities to proselytism and creating new congregations in these locations (which primarily occurs in Africa, the Philippines, and Latin America). Moreover, increases in full-time missionaries serving should produce higher numbers of convert baptisms. However, the most interesting and positive development with these few statistics shared by Elder Cook is that the percentage of young single adults serving full-time missions appears to be increasing - something that could have some major long-term impacts on general church growth trends, particularly those in regard to natural increase. Moreover, if these trends are sustained, we will likely see many new missions organized in 2024 to help accommodate this increase, and it appears most likely that these mission resources will be allocated to more productive areas rather than creation new missions in less productive areas with greater preexisting Church infrastructure (which occurred in many areas of the world in 2013 when huge increases in the numbers of full-time missionaries serving required a fast solution to find a place to put them all). 

Sunday, June 11, 2023

New Stakes Created in Utah (3), Oklahoma (2), Peru (2), the Dominican Republic, the DR Congo, Ecuador, Idaho, Mozambique, North Carolina, Togo, and Washington; New District Created in the DR Congo; Stakes Discontinued in Utah (4), Florida (2), England, and Oregon; Districts Discontinued in Russia (3), Romania (2), Australia, Belarus, and Fiji


There new stakes were created and four stakes were discontinued in Utah.

The Lehi Utah Cold Spring Ranch was created on March 19th from the Lehi Utah Holbrook Farms Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Cold Spring Ranch 1st, the Cold Spring Ranch 2nd, the Evans Farm, the Hardman Farms, the Holbrook Farms 2nd, and the Holbrook Farms 3rd Wards. There are now 20 stakes in Lehi.

The Eagle Mountain Utah Porter's Crossing was created on April 16th from the Eagle Mountain Utah East Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Brookhaven, the Chilton Park, the Kiowa Valley, the Liberty Farms, the Porter’s Crossing, the Ranches Parkway 2nd (Spanish), the Skyline Ridge, and the South Pass Wards. There are now 10 stakes in Eagle Mountain.

The West Haven Utah North Stake was created on May 21st from the Ogden Utah West Stake and the West Haven Utah Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Riverbend, the Wilson 2nd, the Wilson 3rd, the Wilson 4th, and the Wilson 5th Wards and the Park (Care Center) and Water Tower (Correctional Facility) Branches.

The Salt Lake Foothill Stake (organized in 1957) was discontinued. The stake had five wards and one branch prior to its closure. One of the five wards was discontinued, and the retained congregations were reassigned to the Salt Lake Hillside Stake (renamed Salt Lake Wasatch Stake).

The Salt Lake Cottonwood Heights Stake (organized in 1978) was discontinued which had six wards and one branch prior to its closure. Three wards closed as part of the stake consolidation. Retained units were reassigned to the Cottonwood Heights Utah Brighton Stake, Salt Lake Butler West Stake, and the Salt Lake Cottonwood Stake.

The Sandy Utah Crescent Park Stake (organized in 1987) was discontinued which had six wards and one branch prior to its closure. Two wards closed when the stake was discontinued. All retained congreations were reassigned to the Sandy Utah Crescent North Stake (which was renamed to Sandy Utah Dimple Dell Stake).

The Kearns Utah Western Hills Stake (organized in 1981) was discontinued. The stake had five wards prior to its closure, and none of the wards were discontinued. Wards in the former stake were reassigned to the Kearns Utah Stake and the Kearns Utah Central Stake.

There are now 628 stakes and 2 districts in Utah.


Two new stakes were created in Oklahoma on May 7th. 

The Gore Oklahoma Stake was organized from the Broken Arrow Oklahoma Stake (organized in 1978) and the Fort Smith Arkansas Stake (organized in 1978). The new stake is essentially a reinstatement of the Muskogee Oklahoma Stake which operated from 1983 until 1991 and which is the only stake to have ever been discontinued in Oklahoma. The new stake includes the following five wards and three branches: the Gore, Henryetta, McAlester, Muskogee, and Sallisaw Wards and the Eufaula, Poteau, and Talihina Branches.

The Owasso Oklahoma Stake was organized from the Bartlesville Oklahoma Stake (organized in 2014) and the Broken Arrow Oklahoma Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Claremore, Elm Creek, Lake Valley, Pryor, and Ranch Creek Wards and the Skiatook Branch. There are now three stakes in the Tulsa area

There are now 11 stakes in Oklahoma.


Two new stakes were created in Peru.

The Trujillo Perú Jerusalén Stake was organized on April 30th from a division of the Trujillo Perú Esperanza Stake (organized in 1998). The new stake includes the following five wards: the Arévalo, the El Milagro, the Jerusalén, the Los Robles, and the Nuevo Trujillo Wards. The new stake marks the first time since 1998 when a stake was organized in the city (there were three stakes created that year in Trujillo). There are now eight stakes in Trujillo.

The Iquitos Perú San Juan Stake was organized on May 21st from a division of the Iquitos Perú Nueve de Octubre Stake (organized in 1995). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Avianca, Los Delfines, San Juan, Santa Clara, and Secada Wards and the Nauta Branch. There are now four stakes in Iquitos. The Church previously operated five stakes in Iquitos from 1995 until 1998 when two of the five stakes were discontinued (Iquitos Peru Mi Peru and Iquitos Peru Sachachorro - both of which did not operate in the area of the new stake in Iquitos but instead functioned in central and northern areas of the city). A temple was announced for Iquitos in April 2023.

There are now 115 stakes and 17 districts in Peru.

Dominican Republic 

A new stake was created in the Dominican Republic. The La Vega Dominican Republic Stake was created from the La Vega Dominican Republic District and a portion of the Santiago Dominican Republic East Stake on December 18th, 2022. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Conani, Jarabacoa, La Espanola, Los Framboyanes, Moca, and Primavera Wards. The new stake is actually a reinstated stake, as a stake previously operated in La Vega from 1998 until 2009 when it was discontinued and divided into three districts (La Vega, Bonao, and Cotuí). With seven stakes in the Santiago area now, the region appears likely to have a temple announced given distance to Santo Domingo.

There are now 22 stakes and 8 districts in the Dominican Republic.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo)

A new stake and a new district were created in the DR Congo. The Ngandajika Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake was organized from the Ngandajika Democratic Republic of the Congo District on March 12th. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Kabanda, Kabidimba, Mboka, Ngandajika, and Tshioji Wards and the Kalubanda and Kasonji Branches. The original district in Ngandajika was created in 2016, and the first branch in the city was organized in 2008. 

The Kisangani Democratic Republic of the Congo District was created on April 1st. All six branches in the city that previously reported directly to the Democratic Republic of the Congo East Mission now pertain to the new district, including the Kabondo, Kisangani, Lubunga, Makiso, Mangobo, and Tshopo Branches. The Church created its first branch in Kisangani in 2015.

There are now 27 stakes and 3 districts in the DR Congo.


A new stake was created in Ecuador. The Riobamba Ecuador Stake was created from the Riobamba Ecuador District on May 21st. All five branches in the former district (organized in 1992) became wards in the new stake, including the Bellavista, the Guaranda, the La Joya, the La Primavera, and the Los Álamos Wards. The area has appeared to have been preparing for some time to become a stake, as evidenced by the discontinuation of the short-lived Guaranda Ecuador District which operated from 2016-2019 with only two branches (which were merged into a single branch). 

There are now 44 stakes and 4 districts in Ecuador.


A new stake was created in Idaho on March 26th. The Caldwell Idaho Snake River Stake was created from a division of the Caldwell Idaho Stake and the Caldwell Idaho East Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards and one branch: the Caldwell 16th, the Caldwell 4th, the Caldwell 6th, the Homedale 1st, the Homedale 2nd, the Marsing 1st, and the Marsing 2nd Wards and the Jordan Valley Branch. There are now three stakes in the Caldwell area.

There are now 138 stakes in Idaho.


A new stake was created in Mozambique on May 14th. The Beira Mozambique Munhava Stake was organized from a division of the Beira Mozambique Stake and the Beira Mozambique Manga Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Mananga, Manga Loforte, Maraza 1st, Mascarenha, Munhava, and Pioneiros Wards, and the Maraza 2nd  Branch. The new stake was primarily made from the Beira Mozambique Stake which had 145 men sustained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood at the time of the conference. Moreover, the Church organized two new wards and one new branch when the new stake was created - all located within the newly organized stake. There are now three stakes in Beira (the two previous stakes were created in 2015 and 2017). A temple was announced for Beira in 2021. 

There are now six stakes and one district in Mozambique.

North Carolina

The Church organized a new stake in North Carolina on March 19th. The Wake Forest North Carolina Stake was organized from a division of the Raleigh North Carolina Stake and the Raleigh North Carolina South Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards and two branches: the Falls Lake, Franklinton, Henderson, Knightdale 1st, Wake Forest 1st, Wake Forest 2nd, and Zebulon Wards and the Creedmoor and Knightdale 2nd  Branches. 

There are now 20 stakes in North Carolina.


A new stake was created in Togo on May 7th. The Lomé Togo Agoe Stake was created from a division of the Lomé Togo Be Stake (organized in 2013), the Lomé Togo Tokoin Stake (organized in 2017), and a mission branch (Tsevie). The new stake includes the following three wards and five branches: Agoe Nyive, the Apedokoe, and Kélegougan Wards, and the Adetikope, the Adidogome, the Djagble, the Sanguéra, and the Tsevie Branches. It is highly likely that not all branches that have become wards have been updated in the Church's meetinghouse locator or the advancement of more branches into wards will occur in the immediate future (similar to what was seen in Nairobi, Kenya earlier this year when a third stake was also created in that city). 

There are now three stakes in Togo.


A new stake was created in Washington on February 26th. The Richland Washington South Stake was created from the Kennewick Washington Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Badger Canyon, the Badger Mountain, the Grandridge, the Meadow Springs, the Rancho Reata, the Temple Meadow, and the Willowbrook Wards. There are now seven stakes in the Richland area.

There are now 60 stakes in Washington.


Two stakes were discontinued in Florida in May. The Fort Lauderdale Florida Stake (organized in 1970) was discontinued and retained units were reassigned to the Coral Springs Florida Stake (organized in 1994) and the Miami Lakes Florida Stake (organized in 1998). The Miami Florida South Stake (organized in 1992) was combined with the Miami Florida Stake (organized in 2015). The Church in South Florida originally had four stakes between 2008 until 2014 when the Boynton Beach Florida Stake was organized followed by the Miami Florida Stake in 2015 (there were five stakes between 1998 and 2008 until the Spanish-speaking stake was discontinued in 2008). Each of the stakes had few congregations after the creation of these two stakes, and consequently, it appears that the Church has sought to strengthen the stakes by essentially reverting back to having only four stakes again in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. 

There are now 32 stakes in Florida.


The Church discontinued a stake in the London area in May. The Watford England Stake (organized in 1996) was discontinued and congregations in the stake were reassigned to the St Albans England Stake, the Thames Valley England Stake (was previously called the Reading England Stake), and the London England Hyde Park Stake. Local members report plans to discontinue two additional stakes in the area by mid-2023 in order to reduce the leadership burden on a small number of active members in the area. This marks the first time the Church in Europe has ever gone through a significant redistricting of stakes on this scale. Thus far, there have not been any significant consolidation of congregations, however. The Church in the United Kingdom has experienced steady decline in the number of congregations for decades, and these changes are unsurprising given this trajectory and efforts to create stakes with larger numbers of congregations with more active members than historical averages. The discontinuation of the Watford England Stake marks the second time a stake has been discontinued in the United Kingdom.

There are now 43 stakes in the United Kingdom.


A stake was discontinued in Oregon. The Milwaukie Oregon Stake (organized in 1979) was discontinued. Three of the five wards in the stake also closed, and the retained units were reassigned to the Oregon City Stake and the Portland Oregon Stake. The Church in the more central areas of Portland has experienced a rapid decline during the past decade. There has only been one other instance of a stake being discontinued in Oregon, and this was the Portland Oregon East Stake in 2015. 

There are now 34 stakes in Oregon.


The Church discontinued three districts in Russia, including the Samara Russia District (organized in 2015 but previously operated and was reinstated in 2015), the Volgograd Russia District (originally organized in 2002, discontinued in 2013, and reinstated in 2015), and the Vladivostok Russia District (originally organized in 1996, but has gone through periods of being discontinued and reinstated). Branches in the former Samara Russia District and Volgograd Russia District were reassigned to the Saratov Russia Stake, whereas branches in the former Vladivostok Russia District now report directly to the Russia Novosibirsk Mission. The discontinuation of these districts has appeared to be the result of consolidating limited leadership and the closure of many branches in recent years which has accelerated as a result of religious freedom restrictions and the current war in Ukraine. 

There are now three stakes and three districts in Russia. In contrast, there were 3 stakes and 10 districts in 2018.


The Church consolidated its three districts in Romania into a single district in early 2023. The discontinued districts were the Bucharest Romania District (organized in 1982) and the Cluj-Napoca Romania District (organized in 2009). The Brașov Romania District now has 15 branches. A similar change was made in Poland in 2020 and may signal efforts to try to strengthen local leadership and perhaps create a stake at some point, although only a couple of branches appear large enough to become wards. The Church plans to reinstate the Romania Bucharest Mission (originally organized in 1993) next month after it was discontinued in 2018.


The Church discontinued the Norwa Australia District (organized in 1992) which has had three branches for many years. One branch closed as part of the changes (Ulladulla) which had only approximately 10 active members as of the mid-2010s. The two retained branches were reassigned to the Canberra Australia Stake which previously had only four wards and one branch (and has had this few units for decades). Moreover, the Norwa Branch was advanced into a ward, resulting in the realigned Canberra Australia Stake having five wards and two branches now. 

There are now 41 stakes and 6 districts in Australia.


The Church discontinued the Minsk Belarus District which had two branches prior to its closure. The Vitebsk Branch closed as part of these changes. The Minsk Branch was reassigned to the Moscow Russia Stake and became a ward. There are now no districts in Belarus.


The Church discontinued the Korovou Fiji District (organized in 2017) and the five branches in the district were reassigned to the Lautoka Fiji Stake and the Nausori Fiji Stake. No branches were discontinued as part of this district discontinuation.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

UPDATED: List of the Countries with the Most Members without a Stake - June 2023 Edition

Below is an updated list of the countries with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake. Membership totals are as of 2022 and congregational and district totals are current. Estimated membership for mainland China and Pakistan is provided as official statistics are unavailable. The number of branches in mainland China is not provided due to the sensitive nature of the Church in that country. Previous lists of the countries with the most members without a stake can be found here.

  1. China - 12,500 members? - 12 districts
  2. Malaysia - 10,829 members - 25 branches - 5 districts
  3. Guyana - 6,645 members - 12 branches - 2 districts
  4. Belize - 5,534 members - 12 branches - 2 districts
  5. Pakistan - 5,500 members? - 15 branches - 3 districts
  6. Malawi - 3,872 members - 12 branches - 2 districts
  7. Armenia - 3,546 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  8. Romania - 3,082 members - 15 branches - 1 district
  9. Tanzania - 2,999 members - 22 branches - 3 districts
  10. Cameroon - 2,721 members - 15 branches - 2 districts
  11. Bulgaria - 2,398 members - 7 branches - 0 districts
  12. Eswatini - 2,198 members - 6 branches - 1 district
  13. Poland - 2,184 members - 11 branches - 1 district
  14. Ethiopia - 2,075 members - 8 branches - 1 district
  15. Cook Islands - 1,862 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  16. Suriname - 1,797 members - 6 branches - 1 district
  17. Sri Lanka - 1,662 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  18. Lesotho - 1,474 members - 6 branches - 1 district 
  19. Macau - 1,456 members - 2 branches - 1 district 
  20. Solomon Islands - 1,375 members - 5 branches, 1 district
As noted in the list from 2022, prospects appear most favorable for the formation of stakes within the next few years in mainland China, Malaysia, Guyana, Belize, Pakistan, Swaziland, and Cameroon as all of these countries have at least one district that is close to reaching the minimum qualifications for a stake to operate. Tanzania also appears a likely candidate for a stake in the near future since most members live in Dar Es Salaam and there has been rapid growth in the country for the past 1-2 years. There are too few members and growth rates are too slow for stakes to be likely in the next couple years in Sri Lanka, the Solomon Islands, and Lesotho. Low member activity rates, an insufficient number of branches in individual member districts, slow or stagnant growth, and few full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders will likely continue to delay the organization of stakes in other countries for several more years to come.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

United States Congregational Growth by State: 2022 vs 2020-2021

See below for US states/District of Columbia by net change in congregations for the year 2022. Membership growth rates by state can be found here. Congregational growth rates often provide insights into changes in active membership, albeit this is far than a perfect metric for ascertaining active membership. For instance, new congregations may be organized to accommodate a specific language group or demographic such as young single adults without a noticeable increase in the number of active members in a particular area. Moreover, congregations may be consolidated after years for slow decline or due to members moving away from a particular area. Nevertheless, trends in congregational growth over time often provide the greatest insight into active membership changes given congregations must meet certain requirements for active membership to operate.

  1. Utah    +37
  2. Texas    +7
  3. Michigan    +3
  4. Arkansas    +2
  5. Indiana    +2
  6. Montana   +2
  7. North Carolina    +2
  8. South Carolina   +2
  9. Tennessee    +2
  10. Alaska    +1
  11. Hawaii    +1
  12. Minnesota    +1
  13. Missouri    +1
  14. New York    +1
  15. South Dakota    +1
  16. West Virginia    +1
  17. Wisconsin    +1
  18. Alabama    0
  19. Delaware    0
  20. District of Columbia    0
  21. Florida    0
  22. Idaho    0
  23. Kansas    0
  24. Kentucky    0
  25. Maine    0
  26. Massachusetts    0
  27. Mississippi    0
  28. Nebraska    0
  29. New Hampshire    0
  30. New Mexico    0
  31. North Dakota    0
  32. Oklahoma    0
  33. Rhode Island    0
  34. Vermont    0
  35. Wyoming    0
  36. Connecticut    -1
  37. Iowa    -1
  38. Louisiana    -1
  39. Maryland    -1
  40. New Jersey    -1
  41. Pennsylvania    -1
  42. Virginia    -1
  43. Illinois    -2
  44. Ohio    -2
  45. Georgia    -3
  46. Colorado    -4
  47. Oregon    -5
  48. Nevada    -9
  49. Arizona    -10
  50. Washington    -32
  51. California    -55

In contrast, see below for the net change in congregations by state for the two-year period of 2020-2021:

  1. Utah    +146
  2. Idaho    +32
  3. Florida    +15
  4. Arizona    +14
  5. Texas    +14
  6. Nevada    +12
  7. Virginia    +12
  8. Maryland    +6
  9. North Carolina    +6
  10. South Carolina    +6
  11. Missouri    +5
  12. Kentucky    +4
  13. Colorado    +3
  14. Georgia    +3
  15. Iowa    +3
  16. New York    +3
  17. Arkansas    +2
  18. New Jersey    +2
  19. Ohio    +2
  20. Tennessee    +2
  21. Connecticut    +1
  22. Hawaii    +1
  23. Montana    +1
  24. Wyoming    +1
  25. Alabama    0
  26. Alaska    0
  27. Delaware    0
  28. District of Columbia    0
  29. Maine    0
  30. Massachusetts    0
  31. Michigan    0
  32. Nebraska    0
  33. New Hampshire    0
  34. North Dakota    0
  35. Oklahoma    0
  36. Rhode Island    0
  37. South Dakota    0
  38. Vermont    0
  39. Wisconsin    0
  40. Illinois    -1
  41. Kansas    -1
  42. Minnesota    -1
  43. Mississippi    -1
  44. New Mexico    -1
  45. Pennsylvania    -1
  46. West Virginia    -1
  47. Indiana    -2
  48. Louisiana    -2
  49. Oregon    -5
  50. Washington    -23
  51. California    -40

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Mormon Land Podcast Episode

The Salt Lake Tribune invited me to do a podcast on the 2022 country-by-country membership statistical figures released earlier this month. The podcast can be accessed here.