Monday, September 30, 2013

Top Five Temple Predictions for October 2013 Conference

After receiving requests from readers, I have decided to post my top five temple announcement predictions for this weekend's General Conference.  The Church has announced five new temples during four of the five past October General Conferences whereas the Church announced only two temples during last year's October General Conference.  It is unclear whether the Church will make any temple announcements this weekend, especially considering no temple dedications have occurred since last conference and two temples were announced last April.
  1. Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire -  The LDS Church News reported earlier this year that, "Three of the five [Cote d'Ivoire] stakes are among the top 25 in the Church in the percentage of adults who submitted family names for temple ordinances during 2012."  The Church in Abidjan continues to experience rapid growth, with four of the five stakes having been organized since 2000.
  2. Managua, Nicaragua - Nicaragua is currently the country with the most members without a temple.  In 2012, LDS Apostle Elder Russell M. Nelson predicted that a temple would be built in Managua one day.
  3. Puebla, Mexico - Puebla is currently one of the metropolitan areas in the world with the largest number of stakes without a temple.  The Mexico City Mexico Temple currently has one of the largest number of stakes assigned to a temple district worldwide.
  4. Layton, Utah - Perhaps as many as 35-40 stakes could be serviced by a temple constructed in Layton.  The Ogden Utah Temple currently has one of the most stakes in a temple district in the world with 75 stakes.
  5. Brasilia, Brazil - Missionaries and church leaders have talked for many years about the possibility of a temple being constructed in Brazil's capital city.  A future temple in Brasilia would likely serve as many as 13 stakes and four districts in areas that are distant from the Campinas Brazil Temple.
For a map displaying additional locations that appear likely for temple announcements within the foreseeable future, click here.

New District Created in Brazil

Members in Brazil report that last Sunday the Church created a new district in the Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission.  The Divinópolis Brazil District was created from a division of the Contagem Brazil Stake and appears to include the following four branches: The Divinópolis 1st, Divinópolis 2nd, Pará de Minas, and Itaúna Branches.  The new district becomes the Church's first new district to be created in Brazil since 2010.

There are now 249 stakes and 40 districts in Brazil.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 2013 Newsletter

We have posted the September issue of our newsletter for  Click here to access the newsletter.  To view previous editions of our newsletter, click here.

New Stake in California

Last Sunday a new stake was created in California.

The Lake Elsinore California Stake was created from a division of the Menifee California Stake.  The new stake includes the following seven wards: The Canyon Lake, El Cariso Ward (Spanish), Lake Elsinore, Newport YSA, Ortega, Temescal Canyon, and Wildomar Wards. 

There are now 157 stakes in California.

Friday, September 27, 2013

New Stake in Colorado

Last Sunday a new stake was created in Colorado.  The Aurora Colorado South Stake was created from a division of the Arapahoe Colorado and the Aurora Colorado Stakes and includes the following seven wards: The Aurora Highlands, Crestmoor, Denver 4th (Spanish), Hampden Hills, Heather Ridge, Meadowood, and Seven Hills Wards.  The realigned Arapahoe Colorado Stake now includes eight wards whereas the realigned Aurora Colorado Stake includes six wards and one branch.

There are now 32 stakes in Colorado.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LDS General Conference Priesthood Meeting to be Broadcast Live and Online

Yesterday the Church announced that for the first time members of the Church could view the priesthood session of General Conference via the internet and television within their own homes.  Prior to the announcement all priesthood sessions of General Conference were televised only to LDS meetinghouses.  The Church indicates that the decision to permit members to view priesthood session proceedings away from church buildings is part of an ongoing effort to make conference proceedings more accessible to membership around the world.  Click here to access the article on this news development.

This development will likely have little, if any, influence of LDS growth trends around the world.  The Church publishes talks for all General Conference sessions on its internet site in video, audio, and written forms in scores of languages within just a week after conference concludes.  The translation of General Conference into additional languages has potential to accelerate growth if missionaries and church leaders ensure that these conference resources are utilized among populations who speak these languages.  At last count, the Church translated General Conference into 93 languages.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Stake Created in the Philippines

Last Sunday, the Church created a new stake in the Philippines.  The San Jose Del Monte Philippines Stake was created from the San Jose Del Monte Philippines District.  Prior to becoming a stake, the district had six branches and most, if not all, of these branches have likely become wards in the new stake. 

There are now 87 stakes and 83 districts in the Philippines.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Most Populous Metropolitan Areas in Sub-Saharan Africa and Status of LDS Outreach Map

We have completed our map displaying all metropolitan areas in Sub-Saharan Africa with one million or more inhabitants and the status of LDS outreach in each location.  Each metropolitan area contains extensive LDS statistics regarding the growth and size of the Church.  Past successes and opportunities and challenges for future growth are examined for each location.  See below to view the map.

View Major Metropolitan Areas in Sub-Saharan Africa in a larger map

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Stake in France

Last Sunday, the Church created a new stake in France.  Contrary to some missionary reports I received, only one new stake was organized and I apologize for the misinformation.  The Paris France South Stake was organized from a realignment of the Angers France, Paris France, and Paris France East Stakes and includes the following five wards and five branches: Antony, Évry, Le Mans, Melun, and Orléans Wards and the Alençon, Blois, Bourges, Chartres and Tours Branches.  The Church consolidated the Lorient France District with the renamed Angers France Stake (Rennes France Stake) and none of the six branches in the former district became wards.  The Bordeaux France Stake also gained two units that previously pertained to the original Angers France Stake.  With the realignment of stakes and the creation of the new stake, there are now no member districts in France. 

Currently there are 10 stakes in France.  Missionaries report that groundbreaking on the Paris France Temple may occur in the coming weeks.

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Stake in Italy

Yesterday the Church created its second stake in Rome from a portion of the original Rome Italy Stake and the Napoli Italy and Sardegna Italy Districts.  The Rome Italy West Stake includes the following five wards and seven branches: The Cagliari, Caserta, Ladispoli, Roma 1st, and Roma 4th Wards and the Battipaglia, Castellammare, Flegreo, Napoli, Olbia, Oristano, and Sassari Branches.  The realigned Rome Italy Stake was renamed the Rome Italy East Stake and includes the following five wards and two branches: The Pescara, Roma 2nd, Roma 3rd, Roma 6th, and Terni Wards and the L'Aquila and Roma 5th Branches.  The creation of the new stake was primarily made possible due to strong active membership and congregational growth within the original Rome Italy Stake (organized in 2005).  The Roma 6th Ward, for example, was created from the Roma 3rd Ward; a ward that split just last year to form the Roma 5th Branch.  It is likely that additional branches in both stakes will mature into wards within the foreseeable future.  See below for a map of LDS units in the Italy Rome Mission.

View Wards and Branches in the southern Italian Peninsula, Sardegna, and Sicily (Italy) and Malta in a larger map
There are now nine stakes and three districts in Italy.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Updated Potential New Temples Map

In preparation for General Conference in early October, I updated my potential new temples map.  Likely stakes and districts serviced by these potential new temples are provided for each location.  Only a few minor changes were made, including the removal of Cedar City, Utah and Rio de Janiero, Brazil due to temple announcements in these locations and the addition of La Paz, Bolivia.

View Potential New Temples in a larger map

Friday, September 6, 2013

The 10 Countries and Dependencies with the Most Members without a Temple Announced, Under Construction, or Operating

In preparation for General Conference next month, I have provided an updated list of the countries and dependencies with the most members without a temple.  The Church has announced new temples at every October General Conference since 2008.  Membership data is as of year-end 2012 whereas stake, district, and congregational data is current.  Temples that service stakes, districts, and mission branches in each country are identified.  Old lists are also available for mid-2011, late 2008, and late 2007.

1. Nicaragua
  • 80,605 members
  • 9 stakes, 6 districts
  • 101 congregations
  • Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
2. Zimbabwe
  • 23,117 members
  • 5 stakes, 2 districts
  • 60 congregations
  • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
3. Russia
  • 21,709 members
  • 2 stakes, 3 districts
  • 98 congregations
  • Kyiv Ukraine Temple, Helsinki Finland Temple, Seoul Korea Temple
4. Papua New Guinea
  • 21,265 members
  • 2 stakes, 12 districts
  • 76 congregations
  • Sydney Australia Temple
5. Puerto Rico
  • 21,174 members
  • 5 stakes, 0 districts
  • 41 congregations
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
6. Cote d'Ivoire
  • 18,602 members
  • 5 stakes, 1 district
  • 62 congregations
  • Accra Ghana Temple
7. Haiti
  • 18,165 members
  • 4 stakes, 3 districts
  • 43 congregations
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
8. Thailand
  • 17,424 members
  • 1 stake, 5 districts
  • 38 congregations
  • Hong Kong China Temple
9. Kiribati
  • 16,279 members
  • 2 stakes, 0 districts
  • 26 congregations
  • Suva Fiji Temple
10. American Samoa
  • 15,629 members
  • 5 stakes
  • 38 congregations
  • Apia Samoa Temple

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Two New Stakes to be Created in France

Missionaries serving in France report that the Church will organize two new stakes in a couple weeks within the boundaries of the France Paris Mission.  Missionary reports indicate that the Church will realign stakes in the Paris area to create a third stake in Paris and that the Lorient France District will also become a stake.  The Angers France Stake appears like to be affected by the creation of these two stakes and several congregations in the Angers France Stake will likely to reassigned to one of the new stakes.

Currently there are nine stakes and one district in France.

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Post on LDS Congregational Growth in the United States

After several months of not updating my blog on congregational growth in the United States, I have just completed a new post detailing new unit creations, unit discontinuations, and unit upgrades and downgrades since late May.  Within the past few months the number of wards in the United States increased by over 30 and the number of branches increased by approximately five.  Click here for more details.