Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Stake in Brazil; New District in Nigeria

On September 21st, a new stake was created in Brazil. The Goiânia Brazil South Stake was organized from a division of the Goiânia Brazil Stake and the Goiânia Brazil North Stake, and includes the following five wards: the Aparecida, Garavelo, Hidrolândia, Independência, and Vila Brasília Wards. There are now three stakes in the Goiânia metropolitan area, and four stakes and one districts in Goiás State.

The Church in Brazil currently reports 252 stakes and 40 districts.

On September 14th, the Church organized a new district in Nigeria. The Abakaliki Nigeria District was organized from mission branches located in the Nigeria Enugu Mission and includes the following four branches: the Abakaliki, Afikpo 1st, Afikpo 2nd, and Okposi Branches. The new district becomes the Church's first district to ever operate in Ebonyi State, Nigeria - home to approximately 2.5 million people.

There are now 25 stakes and 21 districts in Nigeria.


Eduardo said...

One thing the growth of these two places made me think of is a particular doctrine to the LDS belief system which is the "gathering of Israel". This is a part of our beliefs that many do not realize or perhaps we do not take it as seriously as we should. Then again, much of living the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is individual in nature, while collective matters seem to take care of themselves. Perhaps that is more for the Lord Himself and His apostles (and under His and their purview) than us lowly followers and believers. But I always wonder about the end game, such as:

The gathering of Israel should have 12,000 high priests from each tribe, eventually. The tribes of Ephraim and Manassah seem easily fillable with current numbers, but what of the other 10? Judah also seems like that they may have the numbers, but are they acceptable as currently (2014 and beyond) constituted? Maybe consult Mark Paredes on that one.

Perhaps some of the 12,000 in the meeting at Adam-Ondi-Ahman will be of the resurrected variety? Admittedly, there is a lot we do not know.

Are most Nigerians and other sub-Saharan African Saints identified with the tribe of Ephraim, or is it possible that they belong to a lesser known Lost Tribe like Dan or Naphtali? No matter what Israelite tribe we belong to, it is always exciting to see the growth.

Thanks again for this cool blog. And letting me put out some of my thoughts about it. May the missionary work continue and hopefully the curse of Ebola will end up indirectly blessing others. Hopefully it does not spread to Nigeria too much. Or anywhere else.

Joseph said...

Interesting article on Mission Presidents' Wives over at the Tribune

Mike Johnson said...

The Adeyemi College Road Branch, Nigeria Benin City Mission, was created on 28 September. There are now 7 independent branches in the mission:

Agbor Nigeria District
Asaba Nigeria District
Ekpoma Nigeria District
Ogwashi-Nsukwa Nigeria District
Adeyemi College Road Branch
Adonte Branch
Akure Branch
Nigeria Benin City Mission Branch
Oghara-Sapele Branch
Ondo Branch
Yaba Branch

Mike Johnson said...

Thank you, Joseph.

The article does point out that there isn't a title for a mission president's wife. This is interesting, even in 1981-83 on my mission, the mission president's wife played a very important role in our mission. I remember President Monson mentioning that when he and his wife presided over the mission in eastern Canada, his wife presided over all of the relief societies in the mission.

Mission president's wives serve on the mission council.

In our Church, many leadership callings are callings to a couple and not to an individual and that is true of mission presidents and their wives. It is also true of members of temple presidencies. After all, we are developing eternal companionships.

I wish we could hear from apostles wives in general conference. They often accompany their husbands and speak in meetings. Why not in general conference?

I mean, today we have:
15 Senior Brethren
87 General authority seventies
3 Presiding Bishopric
3 Relief Society General Presidency
3 Primary General Presidency
3 Young Men General Presidency
3 Young Women General Presidency
3 Sunday School General Presidency


111 Brethren
9 Sisters

This is the public face of the Church and yet almost all serve as couples and not individuals. We could easily increase the number of sisters speaking by asking some of the wives of the senior brethren to speak.

Mike Johnson said...

We (my family) saw "Meet the Mormons" tonight. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I greatly appreciated the six stories.

Unknown said...

Mike, do you believe that this movie will have any kind of influence on Missionary work, at least in the short term? I still have a bit of a hard time believing that many non-members would go see it. Since you`re not from a predominantly LDS area, what were your impressions on the audience, concerning religious demography (if you could tell)?

El Mirador said...

I completely agree with you, Mike Johnson, we need to have more women in more visible positions in the church. I fear that we miss out on valuable insight and talents from women in the Church. I would also like to see districts or zones in missions lead by women as they are in the SLC Temple Square mission.

Unknown said...

Actually, Sister Training Leaders tend to have a decision overweight in MLCs, because their vote is regarded as equal compared to Zone Leaders, even though they normally represent less Missionaries. They technically also have the same authorities as Zone Leaders, even though the tasks vary slightly. So, you could definitely argue that they already lead zones.

Eduardo said...

Other thoughts on church growth in Africa: there has been a trend in worldwide Christianity that many westerners have "secularized", meaning people of the more affluent and also generally Christian West have become less church going, less faith believing and practicing. In many faiths, an influx of African priests and ministers and membership has been the new life blood of those congregations and movements.

Despite steady LDS growth in the United States and the West in general, I can also see our LDS Christianity being supplemented by people of faith from Africa, Asia, or even the non-western peoples of the Western Hemisphere. It would seem that we need all the people of the world in order to be the covenant people of the Lord, united as one House of Israel. Many tribes, one house.

I like to compare this a bit to the Book of Mormon when Nephi is told that his and his brothers' descendants will dwindle in unbelief, but the Gentiles will be grafted in to save them, and the olive tree will continue to produce good fruit. President Hinckley said that converts were the life blood of our church, and with some multi-generational members falling away, or some converts not holding on to their new covenants, it is sometimes the faithful of places like Nigeria or Brazil or...Mongolia, India, Vanuatu, etc, that will help us attain the collective prize and glory that the scriptures and prophets have always spoken to. That is not to slam the West across the board, but like the ancient Nephites and Lamanites, and other Lost Tribes of Israel, we often depend on new blood, grafted branches, to bolster the tree of life and prosperity. That is why missionary work and stake and other growth is so vital. If we do not advance than we will sink.

But I see a lot of floating, which is encouraging.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am of the tribe of Dan, and I am from the US and have had ancestors in the Church since the early 1830s.

John Pack Lambert said...

I like the idea of having wives of apostles speak at general conference. I noticed that Elder Oaks seems to have had his wife speak with him the last few times he has spoken at CES fireside. Sister Holland would also be one I could see us hearing from regularly. Sister Nelson too.

John Pack Lambert said...

I loved "Meet the Mormons". I expected to like it a lot, but still liked it more than I expected. I wish they had told us more of Sister Sullivan, with a name like Kembe, I strongly expect she was born in Ghana.

Unknown said...

Foi maravilhoso poder ser chamado como presidente da Estaca Goiânia Brasil Sul. Me sentir muito feliz! Como estamos crescendo aqui no coração do Brasil.

Eduardo said...

In case you don't know Portuguese, this brother wrote," It was marvelous/miraculous to be able to be called as Stake President of the Goiania Stake. I feel very happy! How we are growing here in the heart of Brazil."

I am not sure if he meant "Brazil South" "southern Brazil" or possibly Goiania South Stake.

Good stuff. I look forward to future missions in Guinea Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, Sao Tome e Principe and East Timor. Why not Goa and Diu and Macao, too?