Thursday, June 7, 2018

New Stakes Created in Brazil, Georgia, Guatemala, and the Philippines; New District in Armenia; Stake Discontinued in Germany; Districts Discontinued in Brazil, Germany, and Ukraine

A new stake was organized in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil on May 20th. The Santa Cruz do Sul Brazil Stake was organized from the Rio Grande do Sul Brazil District (originally organized in 1994) and Cachoeira do Sul Brazil District, and portions of the São Leopoldo Brazil Stake. Information on which congregations are assigned to the new stake is currently unavailable although it may be as many as 10 congregations. The Cachoeira do Sul Brazil District was organized in 1986 and included four branches before it was consolidated with the newly organized Santa Cruz do Sul Brazil Stake.

There are now 25 stakes and 6 districts in Rio Grande do Sul State, and 270 stakes and 38 districts in Brazil.

A new stake was organized in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Coal Mountain Georgia Stake was organized from the Sugar Hill Georgia Stake and the Roswell Georgia Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Coal Mountain, Dahlonega, Fowler Park, Laurel Springs, Pilgrim Mill, and Sharon Springs Wards, and the Blairsville and Murphy Branches. There are now 10 stakes in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

There are now 17 stakes in Georgia.

A new stake was organized in western Guatemala. The Sololá Guatemala Stake was organized from the Sololá Guatemala District. Most of the seven branches in the former district, which was organized in 1979, appear to have become wards although information on which branches became wards remains unavailable. The new stake is located within the homelands of the Kaqchikel people. There are now four stakes located within the Kaqchikel homelands.

There are now 49 stakes and 14 districts in Guatemala.

A new stake was organized in Mindanao, Philippines. The San Francisco Philippines Stake was organized from the Trento Philippines District (organized in 1999). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Prosperidad, San Francisco, Santa Josefa, Trento, and Veruela Wards, and the Rosario Branch. The new stake marks the first time in over two decades since a district has become a stake in Mindanao. There are now 12 stakes and 17 districts in Mindanao.

There are now 102 stakes and 73 districts in the Philippines.

A new district was organized in northern Armenia on April 15th. The Vanadzor Armenia District was organized from a division of the Yerevan Armenia District. The new district includes three branches: Alaverdi (member group recently organized as a branch), Gyumri, and Vanadzor. Additionally, a member group may also continue to operate in Margahovit. The decision to divide the Yerevan Armenia District, which used to be stake from 2013-2016, suggests that the mission may be exploring opportunities for leadership development and outreach expansion in northern Armenia, and/or there are no realistic prospects for the Yerevan Armenia District to become a stake again in the foreseeable future. There are now two districts in Armenia.

One stake and two districts were discontinued in northern Germany during May 2018. The Neumünster Germany Stake (organized in 1981) was discontinued and consolidated with the Hamburg Germany Stake, marking the first time in LDS history that the Church has ever discontinued a German-speaking stake. Additionally, the only two districts in Germany, the Oldenburg Germany District and the Neubrandenburg Germany District, were discontinued. Retained branches in the former Oldenburg Germany District were reassigned to the Hamburg Germany Stake and the Hannover Germany Stake, whereas retained branches in the Neubrandenburg Germany District were reassigned to the Berlin Germany Stake. Emphasis on reducing the amount of members needed to fill leadership positions in order to free resources and reduce member burnout appeared primarily responsible for the changes. For example, most of the branches involved in the changes reported less than 20 active members for two or three decades. More information on the changes can be found here (NOTE: article is in German).

There are now 14 stakes in Germany.

The Church discontinued the Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine District (originally organized in 1999, discontinued in 2011, reinstated in 2016) and reassigned its branches to the Kharkov Ukraine District. It appears that the change may have been made in preparation to create a second stake in Ukraine.

There are now four districts and one stake in Ukraine.


Eduardo said...


Eduardo said...

Nice! I thought that Google cyber robots had taken over LDS sites.
Good to see the growth in all these places, and our comments can now publish.
In case no one else tracked this yet, the Sterling Park Ward and Algonkian Wards in Sterling, VA, just re-aligned their boundaries so that the Sterling Park Ward will receive about 50 new home/family units, and both wards should have above 200 plus attendees each sacrament. The division should also align better the 3 high schools shared by the two wards.

John said...

The Asheville North Carolina Stake also contributed to the new stake in Georgia.

Cory said...

I was recently in the Provo MTC and I noticed that there was a new posting for a Farsi teacher on the bulletin board. It was separate from the other language teachers. I'm thinking it was recently added.

Eduardo said...

I wonder how many language instructors are needed for missionaries at call centers and virtual/web chat rooms? The 21st century of globalized technology has brought a lot of new needs to the forefront, and I suppose harder targeted languages, say, languagues/dialects of India, could open up through the Internet. Dari of Afghanistan is a dialect of Farsi, which could add to those who need this skill for further communication.

JSA said...
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JSA said...
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Michael Worley said...
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John Pack Lambert said...

Accroding to the Church News report on President Nelson's visit to Alberta 41% of LDS Church members in Canada live in Alberta. This is higher than the about 33% or so of LDS Church members in the US in Utah. However since the US have about 5 times the number of sub-divisions that Canada has, this is not really an easy figure to compare.

Also Alberta has 4 million people to Utah's 3 million. Utah membership is about 2 million, to Alberta's about 80,000. Lastly Alberta is more than 3 times as big by area than Utah is.

James Anderson said...

Last I heard from a general authority seventy at a stake conference, he said that there are about 1 million actives, 1 million less-actives, and about 1 million nonmembers in the State. That is just a rough approximation.

James said...

Another great update with significantly relevant information. Thank you, Matt, and thanks to you all for the ongoing illuminating discussions on these comment threads. I would also like to additionally thank Matt for his graciousness in allowing me to keep you all informed on the latest posts from my blog. Although I recently gave myself six days to deal with a few ongoing health problems, I again resumed publishing content covering a variety of topics on June 13. With all the Church news and temple developments I wound up covering, I have cranked out 9 posts between now and then covering a wide variety of topics, from a birthday tribute to Elder Bednar (who turned 66 yesterday, June 15) to several temple and Church news updates. I also provided further analysis on the question of which Brazilian city might be the next most likely one to have a temple announced. I continue to welcome feedback on these or any previous posts at any time. You can find my blog at the address below:

With that said, I also wanted to add that I am surprised that we are in June already and that there have only been 15 new stakes created this year. By this time last year (depending on which date you go by), the Church had created somewhere between 23-27 stakes. It is interesting to me that we particularly did not see more new stakes created last month. If I am recalling correctly, in years past, the largest number of new stakes were created in the months of May and August.

By extension, I am also more than a little surprised that we have reached mid-June and that there have been no temple groundbreakings held. By this time last year, 2 temples had had a groundbreaking. I am hopeful that we might hear news soon that at least the Bangkok Thailand Temple groundbreaking will occur later this year. It has been very interesting to see how the number of temple developments ebb and flow from one year to the next. If all else fails, I have heard that 2019 should be a very busy year for temple groundbreakings and dedications. It will be interesting to see what happens in that regard. Thanks again, everyone.

Luciano said...
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Luciano said...

The Fortaleza Dunas Brasil created.

DJarvis87 said...

Does this website no longer give updates on ward and stake changes. As a lot of that information seems to be removed. Especially with LDS Church temples website data.

Gnesileah said...

Some additional changes of which I am aware:

Contonou Benin Stake
- Calavi Branch upgraded to ward

Katoka Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake
- Malandji Ward renamed Malandji 1st Ward
- Malandji 2nd Ward created

Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Kimbanseke Stake
- Makanza Branch upgraded to ward

Likasi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake
- Kakontwe Ward renamed Kakontwe 1st Ward
- Kakontwe 2nd Ward created
- Kambove Branch created

Bibiani Ghana District created
- Bibiani Estates, Gyedi, and Sefwi Bekwai Branches transferred from Ghana Kumasi Mission

Kakata Liberia District created
- Kakata 1st and Kakata 2nd Branches transferred from Liberia Monrovia Mission
- Kakata 3rd Branch created

Abak Nigeria Stake
- Atai Otoro 1st Ward created
- Atai Otoro Ward renamed Atai Otoro 2nd Ward

Asaba Nigeria Stake created from Asaba Nigeria District
- information on which of the seven branches became wards is currently unknown

Gnesileah said...

Cebu City Philippines Stake
- Oprra Ward created

Brisbane Australia Beenleigh Stake
- Waterford West Branch (Samoan) upgraded to ward and renamed Beenleigh 2nd Ward (Samoan)
- Beenleigh Ward renamed Beenleigh 1st Ward

Rennes France Stake
- Brest Branch discontinued

Gnesileah said...

Campinas Brazil Flamboyant Stake
- Ponte Ward renamed Amazonas Ward

Fortaleza Brazil Stake
- Expedicionários Ward transferred from Fortaleza Brazil Benfica Stake

Fortaleza Brazil Dunas Stake created
- Guararapes, Jardim das Oliveiras, Mucuripe, Nova Aldeota, and Tancredo Neves Wards transferred from Fortaleza Brazil Stake

Recife Brazil Stake
- Campo Grande Ward discontinued

Salvador Brazil Stake
- Jaguaripe Ward created

São Paulo Brazil Guarulhos Stake
- Jardim Adriana Branch upgraded to ward and renamed Vila Rio de Janeiro Ward

Teresina Brazil Planalto Stake
- Cidade Nova Ward created

Lima Perú Tahuantinsuyo Stake
- Quiñones Branch upgraded to ward

San Cristóbal Venezuela Stake
- Stake discontinued
- Nueva Guayana Ward and Torbes Wards discontinued
- Nueva Concordia, Rubio, and San Josecito Wards transferred to San Cristóbal Venezuela Pirineos Stake
- El Piñal Branch transferred to the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission

San Cristóbal Venezuela Pirineos Stake
- Colón Branch transferred to the La Fría Venezuela District
- San Antonio del Tachira and Ureña Wards downgraded to branches and transferred to the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission

Gnesileah said...

Queen Creek Arizona West Stake
- Queen Creek SA Ward created

Redding California Stake
- Redding 2nd Ward discontinued
- Redding 1st Ward renamed Sundial Ward
- Redding 3rd Ward renamed Shasta View Ward
- Redding 4th Ward renamed Bonnyview Ward
- Redding 5th Ward renamed Mary Lake Ward

Olathe Kansas Stake
- Red Bridge Ward discontinued

Blackstone Valley Massachusetts Stake
- Marlborough 2nd Branch (Portuguese) created
- Marlborough Ward renamed Marlborough 1st Ward

Las Vegas Nevada Blue Diamond Stake
- Huntington Cove Ward created
- Sunset Ridge Ward created

Mapleton Utah Stake
- Mapleton 25th Ward created

Midvale Utah Union Fort Stake
- Union Fort SA Ward renamed Union Fort SA 11th Ward
- Union Fort SA 12th Ward created

Salt Lake Bonneville Stake
- Bonneville 2nd Ward discontinued
- Bonneville 1st War renamed Bonneville Ward

Salt Lake Granger East Stake
- Granger 5th Ward (Spanish) renamed Lehi Ward (Spanish)

Salt Lake Hunter Stake
- Hunter Hills Ward (Spanish) renamed Rancho Vista Ward (Spanish)

Salt Lake Hunter South Stake
- Royal Ann Ward (Spanish) discontinued

Bryce said...

"Latter-day Saint Hymnbook and Children’s Songbook to Be Revised" - New sacred music to reflect global membership:

Bryce said...

This LDS Church News article on the same subject adds more details about the vision and goals of the changes:

Bryce said...

p.s. additional shout out to Matt's blog post from 4/10/18 titled "Changes and Announcements during President Nelson's Presidency" that called out revision of the LDS hymnal and had some good discussion. Even more changes to come in the future no doubt...

John Pack Lambert said...

Does that creation of a new district in Liberia mark the first district/stake outside the Monrovia Metro Area in the country? I am still hoping for temples for both Freetown and Monrovia to be announced in October. Other top picks for either October or next April are Benin City, Lagon and maybe Sao Paulo temple number 2. Also I think Puerblo Mexico is a contender.

Pascal Friedmann said...

"Does this website no longer give updates on ward and stake changes. As a lot of that information seems to be removed. Especially with LDS Church temples website data."

I believe the Church has actually served a Cease and Desist to the owners of those websites, as CDOL data is to remain confidential and not be published. I might be wrong on that, but perhaps someone can give more insight.

Eduardo said...

Church Almanac in 2013 defunct, now the temple website. My macro understanding is crippled.
I guess I need to do more micro family history.

John Pack Lambert said...

We are getting the updates fairly well here thanks to Gnesileah's wonderful reports. The big loss was the full current listings that they had at However you can get those from, although you need to use the classic version, and you would basically have to create your own database, and don't publish it. being down does majorly restrict the information we have on developments for temples. Evidently it will go back up, but server attacks crippled the system of the person who put it together, and other business systems he had. Or something along those lines. So he is restoring first the ones that allow for his temporal survival, which I fully understand.

On the hymn issue, I fully understand why they are doing it, and despite some people wanting cultural distinctiveness think that it is the way to go.

Hymns are declarations of belief, and if God tells us to be one, having one hymnal is the only way to do it.

Beyond that, it makes lots of other things more practical. Multi-lingual wards are the example given in the article. My guess is these are growing, especially with a new emphasis on building a church community and a move away from super small congregations.

However multi-lingual wards might not be the biggest gains. Multi-language stake and higher level broadcasts are the biggest gainers. You can give out a hymn number and have all turn to it. Also, no more a hymn in general conference being not in the language of the broadcast you are watching.

I previously expressed my views that "If You Could Hie to Kolob" and its "There is not end to race" line needs to go. The same with "Our Mountain Home So Dear". It is bad enough my ward is full of people who complain about no mountains in Michigan, we do not need their views glorified as official doctrine in a hymn.

I am really excited about the prospects of getting more hymns from other languages.

The open to all members submission process and other facets of this process are very encouraging. The survey is a good place to start. I still have not figured out if one can submit texts, or if music is needed as well. I have two texts I might submit, but have no skill in creating music.

I am guessing they will roll out multiple languages all at once to start, almost certainly Spanish, English and Portuguese, and German, French and Mandarin Chinese seem like three top candidates as well, especially with an apostle fluent in Mandarin. Well, Elder Gong is at least proficient. I wonder if he learned any Chinese as a child, and I wonder if it was Mandarin or Cantonese or Fukinese or another dialect. Most Chinese immigrants who came in the late 19th-century as did his paternal ancestors were not speakers or Mandarin, but of southern Chinese languages such as Fukinese and Cantonese.

The Deseret News article saud "several years". I have to wonder how long this has been in process. It is not clear, but the broad committees seem to have already been formed, which makes me think this may even predate President Nelson's call to the presidency, although originally they may have formed these committees to consider the direction music in the Church should go, and may have not decided clearly that the direction to go was a new unified world-wide hymnbook.

Building a more internationally unified Church has been a thrust of some recent changes. This one and the one that involved leaving the Boy Scouts most clearly.

There was one person in the comments section of the Deseret News who complained of too much change in the Church. However with the hymnbooks it will be "several years" and this is more a decision to seek as open, transparent, commented on a process as possible. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

James said...

Hello again, everyone! Just to reiterate some things that may or may not have been discussed here previously, the LDS Church Temples site is down due to a server crash. It is in the process of reconstruction and restoration, but depending on the extent of the damage to the server, the fixes may take longer than any of us might like.

That said, for those not aware, there is a Facebook page that has been established for the website that is still very much operational, so you can find ongoing temple updates on that page. Also, it appears that e-mails are still able to be sent to and received from the site's e-mail address. So although the site has been down for over a month, there are still ways we can track ongoing temple developments. You can find the Facebook page at the following address:

As far as the subject of Church units is concerned, I get why the Church may not want some information disclosed on sites not directly endorsed by the Church, but that does make tracking those developments harder for the rest of us. That said, Gnesileah has been very good about posting the updates that can be found with a little research.

James said...

On the subject of the revisions of the hymnal and children's songbook that were announced today, it is awesome that, for the first time ever, we as members of the Church have been invited to submit our thoughts about our favorites from the current books and ideas for what could be added or removed. It is also interesting that the new editions of both books will be used around the Church, which emphasizes the Church's goal of having all members be unified in how they worship. Each member obviously will feel differently about different hymns, which is why I am grateful that we have over a year to offer such feedback. Clearly not every change, addition, or omission may make it in to the final products, but hopefully the changes that are made will be helpful to the unification of the global Church.

One question to which I do not have a good answer is how many of the developments that have occurred in the last year or so were under active consideration before President Monson's passing and were just implemented after the fact, and how many of these changes may have been done under inspiration from President Nelson. I know that apostles in the past have talked about how certain changes in policy and practice were under study for some time before any of them were implemented or announced to the general membership.

But it is also clear to me that whatever the Church does is not going to satisfy everyone inside and outside the Church. Some complain that too much is changing at once. Some complain that some of these changes should have been implemented a while ago. Some fail to understand that many of the "changes" that have been announced this year primarily came about because we as Church members were not doing as we should.

For example, some of you may remember a great talk given by Elder Holland in the Priesthood Session of the October 2016 General Conference, titled "Emissaries to the Church", in which he described what effective home teaching should look like: being done by inspiration based on the needs of the families and individuals, and not so much being concerned about just reading a message or delaying such contact until the end of the month.

In going back over Elder Holland's remarks from that conference, it is plain that the approach he recommended in October 2016 is more or less exactly what some are calling a "new program" of ministering. And Church leaders for years have counseled us to not let a program to be run become more important than a person that needs to be rescued or saved.

Clearly, since the "letter" of home & visiting teaching was becoming more of a focus than the "spirit" of what it should have been, a formal change was needed to ensure that we as Church members will now have more responsibility and accountability for how, when, and to what extent we have followed what is now official Church practice rather than just a suggestion from our leaders that is not being taken seriously. These are just my thoughts on the subject, and I understand if others disagree. But ministering is just one example of simplification the Church has had to implement because our focus was not where it should have been in that regard.

I prefer to take the view that all the changes we are seeing are meant to unify the Church and level the playing field for members in all areas of the Church, rather than just continuing programs and practices that may miss the mark. With that said, I look forward to and am anxious to embrace any and all other developments that may come in the weeks, months, and years ahead for the Church. Thanks for taking time to read this. I hope my observations have proven helpful and illuminating to at least some of you.

Eduardo said...

"There is no end to race." If that is interpreted as anything other than the human race than that is unfortunate. And we do count Adam and Eve as our first human progenitors, so we are all one, yes?
President Nelson learned Mandarin, not sure how well. Smart guy with an uncanny memory.

Grant Emery said...

I dislike Kolob for its long-windedness. But if it's kept, I've heard a suggestion to replace the troubling line with "There is no end to grace."

Anonymous said...

Good talk about hastening the work by embracing change in the kingdom.

James Anderson said...

That is good. The original context was the change in 2015 from scripture mastery to doctrinal mastery in particularly the Seminary program, although it conceivably has application everywhere, but this may have well been one of the various forerunners to what is happening now.

The July vacation period is almost here, so we may not see much during that month, things should pick up in August.

The mission presidents seminar, always a big event anyway, starts next week, who knows what could come out of that.

John Pack Lambert said...

My take away from reading about the new hymnal is with a desire for core doctrinal uniformity they are likely to remove hymns that exist more for historic reasons. Yet with a year for new submissions I think a lot will depend on what is submitted.