Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New District in Mexico

A new district was recently created in southern Mexico.  The Chojolhó México District was organized from the San Cristóbal México Stake (organized in 2007) and includes several branches in rural communities north of the city of San Cristóbal.  Branches included in the new district were organized within the past few years and are located in areas populated primary by Tzotzil Amerindians who speak dialects of the Tzotzil and Tzeltal languages.  Full-time missionaries reported a couple years ago that they began learning Tzotzil to teach locals about the Church.  The organization of the district appears to signify that local leadership has been developed to meet the demands of both branch and district responsibilities.  According to, there are three LDS materials available in Tzotzil: the Book of Mormon, Gospel Principles, and a family guidebook.

There are now 222 stakes and 36 districts in the LDS Church in Mexico.

New Stake in Peru; Stakes Discontinued in Arizona and Utah


A new stake was created in Lima, Peru two Sundays ago.  The Lima Perú Chaclacayo Stake was organized from the Lima Perú Chosica Stake and includes the following five wards and one branch: The Chaclacayo, Huaycan, Los Lomas, Moron, and Nana Wards and the Pariachi Branch.  There are now 97 stakes and 22 districts in the LDS Church in Peru.


Previously comprising six wards, the Mesa Arizona Pueblo Stake was recently discontinued and consolidated with the neighboring Mesa Arizona South Stake.  The Mesa Arizona Pueblo Stake becomes the first LDS stake in the Mesa area to be discontinued.  As is the case in many older areas of the largest cities in the Western United States, the decreasing number of active Latter-day Saints in these communities appears to be the primary influence on the closure of the Mesa Arizona Pueblo Stake.  Total LDS membership has likely declined for several years prompting the consolidation of the stake with the Mesa Arizona South Stake.


Previously comprising five wards and one branch, the West Valley Utah Stake was recently discontinued and consolidated with the neighboring Salt Lake Granger Stake.  The West Valley Utah Stake became the fourth stake in Utah to be discontinued this year and the third in the Salt Lake City area.  Causes for the discontinuance of the stake appear similar if not identical to the closure of the Mesa Arizona Pueblo Stake namely declining numbers of active members as members move out of the former stake's boundaries and an already small number of congregations within the small geographic area of the stake.  The West Valley Utah Stake appeared to have a geographic area of less than four square miles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LDS International Atlas Completed

In coordinating with David Stewart from, we have completed an up-to-date LDS International atlas that features the locations of congregations, stakes, districts, and missions worldwide using Google Maps.  The atlas was in development for a period of 18 months can be access at the website at the bottom of the left-hand column under "LDS International Atlas - Google Maps."  Use of the atlas is intended for educational purposes.  For information regarding meeting locations and times, visit the Church's official website at

Monday, September 19, 2011

District Discontinued in Armenia

Organized in 2008, the Yerevan Armenia South District was recently discontinued and consolidated with the Yerevan Armenia District.  Missionaries currently serving in Armenia report that the decision to consolidate the districts was in preparation for the organization of a future stake in Yerevan once a sufficient number of active Latter-day Saints is reached.  A district council consisting of 12 local members has also been organized in preparation for a stake high council to operate one day.

The decision to split the district in 2008 and to consolidate the two districts back into a single district in 2011 appear linked to changing area/mission policies and vision regarding current member needs, the development of additional leadership, and the encouragement and outlook of future growth.  A couple branches were also recently closed just prior to the consolidation of the districts, indicating ongoing challenges with member activity and convert retention issues.  Membership growth rates have also plummeted in recent years after nearly two decades of some of the strongest growth experienced by the LDS church in the former Soviet Union.

The LDS Church has experienced some of the greatest growth among nontraditional Christian denominations in Armenia during the last decade despite challenges retaining new converts due to low and inconsistent convert baptismal standards.  The emigration of active Latter-day Saints has also been a significant setback for establishing a stronger local leadership force.  Most Christian groups experience stagnant growth in Armenia today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LDS Statistical Map - Africa and Europe

I have been working on creating a statistical map to provide in-depth insight into LDS Church growth trends by nation/territory. Statistics provided for each nation include:

* Number of LDS members in 2010
* 2010 membership growth rate
* Percent membership growth since 2000
* Number of units (congregations)
* Number of temples
* Number of missions
* Number of stakes
* Number of districts
* Ratio of one Latter-day Saint per "x" inhabitants
* Change of ratio in LDS per inhabitants since 2000
* Percent of inhabitants reached by LDS congregations
* Number of unreached cities with over "x" number of inhabitants
* Estimated member activity rate
* Year of initial LDS Church establishment
* Year of country dedication for missionary work

Countries are color-coded to indicate whether there is an LDS temple and stake (red), a stake and no temple (yellow), a district and no stake or temple (green), or an LDS congregation and no district, stake, or temple (blue). Countries that have markers with dots indicate whether an LDS mission is headquartered in the country or not.

View Africa and Europe in a larger map