Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple Dedication Date Set

The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has announced that the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple will be dedicated in 12 sessions from August 14-16, 2009. The open house for the new temple will begin on June 1st.

Friday, January 30, 2009

New District in Moldova; District Dissolved in Argentina

The first district of the Church was created two Sundays ago in the Eastern European country of Moldova. The Chisinau Moldova District consists of two branches in Moldova and one branch in Romania. The branch of the Church in Chisinau has been described by return missionaries as one of the strongest branches in the region despite there being less than 300 members in the entire country. The other branch in Moldova is located in Orhei. The city of Balti, Moldova once had missionaries serve in it several years ago, but has not since then. Hopefully missionaries will return to the city and a branch will be established considering it is the second largest city in the country.

The Gualeguaychú Argentina District was dissolved recently. The district was originally organized back in 2003 and as of recently only consisted of two branches. There are now 70 stakes and 37 districts in the country.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

City Opens For Missionary Work In the DR Congo

Several missionary companionships have been assigned to the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo city of Likasi last month. Likasi, as far as I know, has not had missionaries assigned to it before, yet has four branches operating together as a district (which was organized in 2002). Likasi is the eighth largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with around 360,000 inhabitants, and is located 100 or so miles northwest of Lubumbashi.

There are around 20,000 members of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, organized in five stakes, four districts, and a couple mission branches.

First City To Open For Missionary Work in Guyana Interior

According to Sister Robison from the West Indies Mission, missionaries will now be assigned to the interior city of Linden for two days a week. This is the first time the Church has taken an effort to establish itself in the interior of the country. Most of the people living in these areas are of Amerindian heritage. These native peoples have been receptive to the Gospel in towns where the Church is present. The population of Linden is between 30,000 and 60,000 depending on the source. Senior Missionaries have periodically visited the interior, but only for recreational and humanitarian purposes. No branch has been established Linden as of yet.

The city with the most inhabitants that does not have a Church presence in Guyana is now Corriverton with around 13,000.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Assessing Inactivity

I have discussed recently how inactivity can be expressed by a ratio of Church membership over congregations. The logic for this statistic is that you have to have a certain number of active members to have a congregation and once the congregation grows too large it is divided. This also assumes that the Church has kept congregations the same size over time. The above graph shows how this ratio has fluctuated over time. Notice how members per congregation today is about what it was in the 1940s. Much of the recent increase in members per congregation is due to inactivity in Central and South America, which unfortunately is worsening overall considering this ratio. Most countries in Latin America add around 10-20 members per congregation because new congregations are not being created at the same rate membership is increasing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Unreached Population of Brazil

Although Brazil has over 1,040,000 members and 27 missions, tens of millions do not have access to the Church. With around 190,000,000 inhabitants, Brazil is a country that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has invested much into. The only other country with more missions is the United States, with over 100.

The Church is most established in the southern portion of Brazil, but even in these areas there remain cities with tens of thousands that do not have missionaries close by or worship services to attend. The map below illustrates those areas in which the population does not have access to missionaries or a congregation of the Church in blue. This information was collected from the Church via and corrections are welcome. The vast majority of the northern portion of Brazil shown in blue is sparsely population, but there are cities with over 100,000 people in those areas.

Northern Brazil

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Southern Brazil

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