Sunday, April 17, 2022

New Stakes Created in Nigeria and Utah; New District in Nigeria


The Church recently organized a new stake in Nigeria. The Mbaise Nigeria Stake was organized from the Mbaise Nigeria District. Originally organized in 2010 with four branches from the Owerri Nigeria Stake, the Mbaise Nigeria District had 12 branches at the time it was reorganized into a stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and seven branches: the Amuzi, Eziala, Oboama 1st, River-Rine, and the Umuelem Wards and the Ahiara, Amumara, Egbelu, Ibeku, Mbutu, Oboama 2nd, and Owutu Branches. The Umuelem Branch (now the Umuelem Ward) was one of the first branches of the Church created in Nigeria in 1978.

The Church also recently organized a new district in Ugep where the Church organized its first branch in 2016. The new district includes four branches in central Cross Rivers State - the Ekori, Ikom, Ugep 1st, and Ugep 2nd Branches - all of which have never been assigned to a stake or district before. 

There are now 63 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria.


The Church organized a new stake in Cache County, Utah. The Hyde Park Utah North Stake was organized from a division of the Hyde Park Utah Stake and the North Logan Utah Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards and one branch: the Aspen Meadows, Green Canyon, Greenville, Hyde Park 3rd, Hyde Park 9th, Hyde Park 10th, and Meadow View Wards and the Pioneer Branch (Retirement). 

There are now 621 stakes and two districts in Utah.


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  2. The town of Elubo, in Jomoro District, in the Western Region of Ghana, (which is almost on the border of the Cote d'Ivoire), was recently reached as the newly organized Elubo Branch - 2179555, in the Axim Ghana District - 2136937.

    55 Apr 17, 2022 Elubo Branch,-2.721681&z=12&m=google.hybrid&layers=stakecenter&find=stake:2136937

  3. Earlier today I misread the listing of apostles on the church website and thought that it said Elder Christofferson was called on 5 April 2009 and Elder Andersen on 4 April 2009, which left me momentarily confused about why Elder Christofferson is listed as senior in the quorum to Elder Andersen. The answer of course is that in fact Elder Christofferson was called on 5 April *2008*. However, this did raise a question in my mind that I had never considered before: when determining seniority among the quorum of the 12, is it the order in which they are sustained or the order in which they are set apart that matters? I assume both of those actions are always done in the same order when two apostles are called at the same time, but if for some reason there were an instance the order between the two differed, which would be definitive for purposes of seniority?

  4. This is indeed the case for the current Senior Apostle and President of the Quorum of the 12.

    Both President Nelson and President Oaks were called to fill vacancies and sustained on April 7 1984, but President
    Oaks was not ordained an apostle until May 3, 1984, due to needing the time to wrap up matters at the Supreme Court of Utah.

    There are other instance were multiple apostles have been sustained the same day, but they are ordained one at a time and therefore there isnt a question about who is more senior, even if it might be only by a few moments.

    1. Replying to myself here to say that I dont know who was presented to be sustained as an Apostle first, but ultimately the ordination is what matters as far as I understand it. I would suspect they try to present them for sustaining in the correct order as directed by the Lord, but that isnt the part that matters.

    2. Then-Elder Nelson and then-Elder Oaks were sustained in that same order:

      After presenting those changes, President Hinckley commented on why Elder Oaks was absent.

      After 1984, the next time two apostles were sustained was October 2004, with Elders Uchtdorf and Bednar called, sustained and ordained in that same order. Following that, October 2015 marked the first time since 1906 that 3 new apostles were simultaneously sustained (Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund). The 2015 calls mirrored the 1906 calls in at least one way: those apostles were not sustained in order of age, with Elder Renlund being older than Elder Stevenson. The reason for that could have been hierarchical (with Rasband as Senior President of the Seventy first, followed by Stevenson as the Presiding Bishop next, followed by Elder Renlund as a GA Seventy), or because that's the order in which they were called as GA Seventies, but it's more likely that the Lord simply directed it that way.

      Then Elders Gong and Soares we're sustained in that order in April 2018, with age being the primary factor (since Elder Soares had 5 years more as a GA Seventy and was senior to Elder Gong in the Presidency of the Seventy).

      Hope that helps.

  5. Just curious, why are there two districts in Utah? I presume they are somehow entirely specialized (Prison? Foreign Language from Western Papau New Guinea and Kamchatka?)

    1. The two Districts in Utah include the Great Salt Lake Utah Correctional Facility District and the Wendover Utah District, the latter of which is in an area that is sparsely populated and does not meet the requirements for a Stake.

  6. Danny and James, thank you for the replies regarding the question of sustaining vs ordaining in determining seniority among apostles. From what you said, it sounds like the order of ordination is probably what matters, but that this supposition has never been tested in that there has never been a difference between the order of sustaining and order of ordination -- I imagine the brethren are careful to avoid such a discrepancy, perhaps precisely to avoid having to worry about determining an answer to that question.

  7. @Randolph Finder, as Noah mentioned, the Great Salt Lake Utah District is for a correctional facility, specifically the state prison at the south end of the Salt Lake valley (soon to be relocated near the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, which perhaps accounts for the district's name). Regarding the Wendover Utah District, while it is indeed sparsely populated there are other sparsely populated areas of the state that have stakes -- what makes the Wendover district somewhat unique in Utah is the distinct lack of a church connection for most of the towns in its boundaries. The largest population center in the district (the twin towns of Wendover and West Wendover) have little to no roots in church history. Rather than being settled by Mormon Pioneers (and to head off any complaints, I believe references to the pioneers is one of the places where the use of the term Mormon is still considered correct, if I remember right), it was first a railroad town established at the turn of the 20th century and then a military town. As such, it never started with much of a membership base. The two other branches in the district are in the towns of Ibapah, which does have a strong historical connection to the church (it was established by missionaries as part of outreach to the Goshute tribe) but is very tiny, and Montello, Nevada, which like Wendover started as a railroad town with little in the way of church members, and little since then to attract members to it.

    1. A few years ago Wendover had 2 English branches and a Spanish branch. Now it's down to one English branch. Perhaps Wendover (and West Wendover) can bounce back with new units.

    2. @Unknown:

      I'm pretty sure you're correct in your use of the term, "Mormon Pioneers." The Church Newsroom itself recently used the term when describing our early temples in this video on the Washington D.C. Renovation:

  8. Danny, James and Unknown,

    I believe there were a couple times in early church history where order of ordination was not considered determinative.

    The original apostles called in 1835 were not ordained in order of age but were later re-arranged by age to give seniority to Elder Thomas B. Marsh, who was believed to be the oldest of the 12 (I have read- but don't remember the source- that David W. Patten, who didn't know his birthdate, was actually older than Marsh). According to a book I used to have that gave their ordination dates, the first of them to be ordained was Lyman E. Johnson, who was actually the youngest of the original apostles, and Bro. Marsh was either 10th or 11th by ordination date because he was away, possibly on a mission.

    In 1864, Brigham Young ordained 3 of his sons, John W. Young, Joseph A. Young and Brigham Young, Jr. as apostles without extending a calling to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve or First Presidency. (John would later serve in the First Presidency but was never a member of the Quorum of the twelve- his brother Joseph never served as a general authority.) Brigham Young Jr. was called to fill a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve in 1868. Joseph F. Smith had previously been called in 1866 as an apostle and a counselor in the First Presidency (in 1867 he was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, but continued to serve in the First Presidency until Brigham Young's death). Lorenzo Snow made a decision in 1900 that the 1864 ordination date of Brigham Young, Jr. was not determinative of seniority- otherwise he would have become president of the church in 1901.

    There were other times when seniority was uncertain but did eventually come down to the ordination date. For example, John Taylor was sometimes listed after Wilford Woodruff while they were both serving in the Quorum of the Twelve, probably because Woodruff was older, and their callings had been announced in the same revelation (D&C 118:6) among the first replacement apostles. But Taylor was ordained an apostle 4 months before Woodruff, and he was the one to succeed to the presidency first. (An interesting note: D&C 118:6 lists the new apostles in a different order than their eventual ordination dates. D&C 124:127-129 lists the whole quorum in a different order than their seniority.)

    These two were also impacted by a decision that Brigham Young made in 1875 modifying the seniority of Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt, the last two serving (besides himself) of the original apostles, as both had apostatized briefly and lost their positions during the life of Joseph Smith- he said that seniority was determined by the length of continuous service, and placed them where they would have been in the Quorum if they had gone back to being the junior apostle when they repented and returned, which meant they were after Taylor and Woodruff. Neither would become prophet even though they both outlived Brigham Young, Hyde by 1 year and Pratt by 4.)

    When multiple apostles are called at the same time they are usually sustained and ordained in order of age, though 1906 (the calling of George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney and David O. McKay) and 2015 (Elders Rasband, Stevenson and Renlund) are exceptions to this. (Whitney was the oldest of the 3 called in 1906, and Stevenson is the youngest of the 3 called in 2015.) I like James' explanation of 2015 but I do not know one for 1906.

    1. What about apostles deaths between conferences? For example would an apostle pass away next month and another the following month. And maybe the prophet calls a new one shortly after each one. But he may not publicly announce or sustain them until October General Conference. This this may effect order at conference.

  9. We have also had counselors in the First Presidency who were never called as apostles. Most of Joseph Smith's counselors meet this description, plus a couple of Brigham Young's. John R. Winder, who served 1901-1910 under Joseph F. Smith, and Charles W. Nibley, who served 1925-1931 with Heber J. Grant are other examples. J. Reuben Clark was sustained as an apostle in October 1934, 18 months after he was called into the First Presidency (he replaced Nibley, meaning that there was a vacancy in the First Presidency for over a year!). The last time this happened was when David O. McKay called additional counselors, two of whom were: Alvin R. Dyer, who was sustained as an apostle but never considered a member of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Thorpe B. Isaacson, who was not sustained as an apostle. Both of them returned to their service as Assistants to the Twelve after Pres. McKay's death.

  10. twinnumerouno, David Patten did not know his exact birthdate at the time the original Twelve were ordained. Modern Church historians have since been able to determine that Patten was nearly a full year older than Marsh. If that had been known at the time, Patten would have been the first president of that Quorum, and Marsh's eventual apostasy would likely have not have had such a devastating effect on the Church. And I was, of course, well aware of the other examples you cited. With Brigham Young Jr. and Joseph F. Smith, it appears that the date on which an apostle was sustained to the Quorum trumped the ordination date.

    Chris, regarding multiple apostles joining the Quorum, then-Elder Nelson and then-Elder Oaks were called on the same day a few days before the April 1984 General Conferece. Available sources on the Church website confirms that. The same is true of Rasband, Stevenson and Renlund and of Gong and Soares. The prophet is not in the habit of waiting to announce a call and ordain an apostle until months after a call is issued.

    We know that because in mid-June of 1994, on a single day, President Hunter issued an apostolic call to Elder Holland, had him attend the meetings of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve that day, where he was given his apostolic charge, ordained to the apostleship, participated in the meetings, and later met with the press that same day. That's also true of the mid-July 1981 calls of President Hinckley to the First Presidency and Elder Maxwell to the apostleship.

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  12. The Umuelem branch, now ward, I believe had Anthony Obinna as its first president. He was on of the featured people in the pioneers in every land film the Church made in the 1990s.

  13. On the other hand Elder Hales died during October 2017 general conference, but the vacancy caused by his death was not filled until April 2018 general conference.

    When Elder Oaks and Elder Nelson were called, one of the vacancies being filled had existed for over a year. So there were 2 conferences in a row where no new apostle was called. George Q. Cannon replaced Parley P. Pratt, but was sustained about 3 or so years after his death.

    I was going to say that most not at conference replacements happened with changes to the first presidency. While Elder Holland's and Elder Maxwell's calls can be explained that way. the pattern does not quite hold up if we move further back. Marvin J. Ashton was sustained as an apostle on Dec. 2, 1971, just after Elder Richard L. Evans died.

    1. The difference is that Elder Hales died between the Sunday Morning and Sunday Afternoon Sessions of conference in October 2017, 5 months after the Church announced that President Monson was no longer actively involved with matters at Church headquarters, so he was in no condition to instantly fill a vacancy of which he likely wasn't aware. That's an important distinction in the matter of Elder Hales' death.

      And one of the two vacancies filled in 1984 remained unfilled for a year because President Kimball was not coherent enough most of the time to weigh in. In the week prior to the April 1984 General Conference, President Hinckley left explicit instructions with President Kimball's care team that, regardless of the hour, they were to call him immediately if and when the prophet was lucid. So we again have an example of why the 1983 vacancy remained unfilled for over a year, which was similar to what happened in 2017. The only difference was, with the latter, President Monson was never able to give the inspired directive regarding who should fill the vacancy following Elder Hales' death.

      If we look at apostolic vacancies in the first 65 years or so of the Church, there are those little oddities. But that's because issues such as succession in the Church presidency or the ordination of apostles, whether or not all of those men served in the Quorum of the Twelve at any time, was not as well understood then as it is now.

      I had forgotten Marvin J. Ashton's ordination was a similar anomaly. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. David B. Haight was also called as an apostle between conferences, in January 1976, about a month after Hugh B. Brown's death.

  15. There was also a vacancy in the quorum for almost a year in 1985-1986. President Benson replaced President Kimball as prophet in November of 1985, and Joseph B. Wirthlin was not called as an apostle until October 1986.

  16. Here is a resource document available online for those who have questions regarding the order of the list of the Apostles called to serve since the Restoration.

  17. Foreign language from Kamchatka? Like... Chukchi? Wow, that would be amazing to have anywhere.

    Great to see Nigeria coming along. Any growth models for the Church in Nigeria by 2050, when it is estimated that they will have more people than the United States?

    What are the fastest growing States with the Church of Jesus Christ? Is Tennessee one of them? Are there other negative growth ones, like California? Could the temples turn the Golden State back around?

  18. twinnumerouno, I was also, of course, aware of the fact that the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that resulted from the death of President Kimball and the subsequent reorganization of the First Presidency was not filled until President Benson's second General Conference as the prophet. But I had somehow forgotten that David B. Haight's call came outside General Conference as well. Thanks for that reminder.

    Christopher Duerig, the article you mentioned is indeed a good resource. Here's another one:

    That article not only lists the ordination and death dates of members of that Quorum throughout Church history, but additionally, it has notes indicating which apostles of the Church who were not in the Quorum (such as each First Presidency or those who were ordained to the priesthood office of apostle without ever formally joining the Quorum, so that resource might prove helpful too.

    And in the case where multiple apostles were sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, from any of those entries, you can click on the names of individual apostles for questions regarding the age factor. I should perhaps have thought to mention that sooner, but for whatever reason, I didn't.

  19. On Friday I found out that I wouldn't be hired as an FSY counselor even though I'm very qualified with my job experience and they were desperate for male counselors. Last night, I found out that several FSY sessions have been canceled due to low enrollment. So my first reaction was to feel better about getting rejected, but my second was alarm. Leaders like Brad Wilcox and Bonnie Cordon have been going around hyping this thing up. The church has substantially reduced the price of enrollment. The pandemic in most areas seems to be over for all intents and purposes. I don't want to jump to conclusions but I can't think of a non-contrived explanation except that a substantial number of youth are not interested in FSY and perhaps not in church stuff at all. Either scenario is alarming, as it shows that the church is not connecting with them or understanding their needs. Of course we all know that the church has a big problem retaining its youth, and many of them are disgusted with the church's stances on social issues (and that trend will never get any better on its own), but I wouldn't have expected things to be this bad.

    I think it's a shame. EFY, the North American precursor to FSY, was an amazing experience with a huge impact on my life. But then, I grew up with five church members in my high school and it was, up to that point, a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be surrounded by thousands. Of couse anyone from Utah would take that for granted.

  20. Wendover is interesting because it really doesn't look like an intuitive place to live for members of the Church. Frankly I'm surprised that there were once enough members for three branches.

    Personally, my guess is that the next time there is a realignment of units in the Elko area, the Wendover District may be absorbed. Perhaps Ibapah would go with Ely, but the Wendover branches along with Montello could definitely be in on of the Elko stakes. It likely already is the "big city" many of those members go to for more substantial shopping etc.

    I don't envision any way - barring a miracle and major shifts in population - that Wendover ever gets a stake.

  21. Christopher Nicholson...I am not surprised. One thing I learned from the shut down 2 years ago was that we are doing too much. Sports, music, school, church stuff. I spent 12 years in the young men's program and it was a ton of work. When things started getting back to normal I decided that I am not going to ask my children to go to FYS, Church History Tour, Girls and Boys Camp, Trek, Be a Better You and the other 3 dozen activities that are planned each year. This year my kids will go to Trek. The rest of the youth conferences and campouts will be optional. Instead of spending our entire summer dealing with church campouts we will do one activity and then go spend some time together as a family. In my opinion many youth never wanted to do all these things but parents made them go. Now many parents are focusing less and less on church youth activities and more on their own families.

  22. Nephi, I understand your sentiments. I spoke with a Stake President in San Bernardino years ago (probably 2004), and in his way of seeing things since the 1950s, the Church tries to give more slack to youth to have their own time with family or their own interests, and many of them fall away from activity. Then the pendulum swings the other way and the Church youth programs become more inclusive/more active, and many families complain that it is too much.

    Youth leave the Church of Jesus Christ either way, and it is hard to find a balance.

    Each family is different, too. Are you happy the Scouting program has gone away? That was a huge time commitment for many. Now it has brought young women and the international membership more in line with our boys in the States.

    There is no perfect way to implement the Church programs, and nothing is set or guaranteed to ensure all stay active in the faith. Not the way it was meant to be, we are free to stay active or leave, or take what we get in between.

    Service and worship should be the main focuses of the faith in general, but we also want our youth to socialize and marry each other, and have children in the faith.

    No easy fix, but always worth it.

    Thinking about Iceland. The third unit is a good sign there, but probably a few years from getting to a stake. Maybe a minimum two more units, that would have to become wards. If it had five wards, or one stake, maybe it could support a temple?

    There are many places that deserve temples before Iceland, but just thinking about isolated places and cultures like that.

  23. With the upcoming dedication next month of the long-awaited "Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple - 1994069", these are my best guess as to the Stakes/Districts reassigned to the Temple District from the current Campinas / Sao Paulo Brazil Temples.

    Stakes :
    1075276 Arsenal Brazil
    525979 Juiz de Fora Brazil
    616184 Macaé Brazil
    508624 Niterói Brazil
    526606 Nova Iguaçu Brazil
    515833 Petrópolis Brazil
    506494 Rio de Janeiro Brazil
    511838 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Andaraí
    526479 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Campo Grande
    1628577 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Engenho de Dentro
    467111 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Itaguaí
    527726 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Jacarepaguá
    515884 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Madureira
    527890 Teresópolis Brazil
    527130 Volta Redonda Brazil
    514357 Belo Horizonte Brazil
    1026666 Belo Horizonte Brazil East
    369977 Belo Horizonte Brazil Pampulha
    522627 Belo Horizonte Brazil West
    2000601 Betim Brazil
    522171 Contagem Brazil
    613118 Ipatinga Brazil
    617288 Lafaiete Brazil
    527947 Sete Lagoas Brazil
    2051338 Sete Lagoas Brazil East
    527785 Campos Brazil
    467006 Cariacica Brazil
    523984 Vila Velha Brazil
    518603 Vitória Brazil

    Total : 29 Stakes

    Districts :
    2098970 Cabo Frio Brazil
    2029685 Leopoldina Brazil
    2064286 Três Rios Brazil
    615293 Colatina Brazil
    616435 Nanuque Brazil

    Total : 5 Districts

    Of those 10 Stakes would then go to the Belo Horizonte Brazil Temple in the next phase. And 4 Stakes and 2 Districts to the Vitoria Brazil Temple in 3rd step. Leaving 15 Stakes to Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

    Any thoughts or modifications for predictions?

    1. I guess you're right. Which means that the district of Campinas still maintains about 40 stakes from the interior of SP and South and the triangle of MG

    2. Remembering that the temple of Brasília will also affect the district of Campinas, taking the central-west region and the State of Tocantins for itself (except maybe the State of Mato Grosso do Sul)

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  25. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why youth go inactive is because their parents are divorced. Currently 80% of active married men go inactive post-divorce (with women, roughly 50% go inactive post-divorce), which leaves many youth with inactive parents.

    Little to no support is offered in the church to those going through a divorce, especially the children. Since many youth and parents equate church life with family life, "If their family didn't work out, then why go to church?" is often sadly the mentality of many youth in the church today.

  26. The very highest sacraments of our temples, to unites couples in matrimony, to seal our children to them, to be sealed across the generations to each other and God, are certainly attacked and thwarted by family issues like divorce, cohabitation, premarital relations, those who do not seek marriage and family goals, avoiding having children, even not buying into the priesthood and Church leadership's general counsel and advice of following the Spirit and God's commandments. All of it to support and sustain the nuclear family and the Church of Jesus Christ. We fall short of these temple goals too much, for sure.

    In my case, my parents divorcing while in middle school was a tough time to deal with my knowledge or practice of the Gospel, but they both remarried nicely to others, and I weathered it and kept going. My oldest sister (of two), was already rebelling from Church practices and firmly stayed away from Church activity and membership after to the break up, and I think that she would have separated from the Church regardless of my parents' divorces. My other sister left years later while raising her children, but very related to her own divorce, the ex-husband first abandoning the priesthood and the family all going less active. This in Salt Lake City.

    Divorce is one factor in people falling away from the faith. But with my siblings, in the cases described, it is not the only factor that determines why we stay or fall away from the faith. But it comes into play, certainly.

  27. I've seen both ends of activity after Divorce in my wife's ward. One couple that got divorced and instead of the *kids* moving from one house to another, the divorced couple alternated who lived in the house that the family had lived in (vs. an apartment 10 minutes away). In another, a former Bishop of the ward, his wife left the Church (which I think was part of what caused the Divorce and *all* 6 kids did as well).

  28. I keep trying to write on languages in Nigeria and surrounding countries.

    Nigeria has 526 languages, counting English. 4 of those, English, Yoruba, Hausa and Efik have Book of Mormon translations. Efik is a partial translation with the full one in progress.

    Based on Church structure Edo seems the most needed, especially sine Benin City in the heart of Edo country is getting a temple.

    Tiv is the most spoken language not primarily in Sharia-law areas of Nigeria without a Book of Mormon translation. It is the dominant language in Benue state where the Church has exploded in the last 10 years. I am not sure there was more than one branch in Benue state 10 years ago, today there are 3 districts. The only stake out that way though is Abakiliki, and that is Igbo country.

    Fulani which has roughly 15 million speakers in Nigeria and 95 million total, does have over 30% of the population as speakers in Mali, Senegal and Guinea and about 25% in the Gambia where the Church is just opening up. Guinea might be helped by a Fulani Book of Mormon, and the others would not hurt.

    However the Book of Mormon translation to help Senegal and the Gambia the most right nowxwould be Wollof. Senegal is over 80% Wollof speaking and it is the most used language in Dakar where the district is based. Senegal has lots of multi-lingualism.

    In Mali it would be Bambara with over 80% of the population speaking that language.

    When the Church News published its map of where languages that the Book of Mormon has been published in are spoken I noticed no country west of Ghana had any such languages.

    This is in part because Freetown and Monrovia have deep cultures of speaking Enflish. Abijan is Ivory Coast is one of only 2 cities on the African continent where French is really a first language to much of thd population. Libreville in Gabon is the other. This explains why most countries from Ghana to Kenya and down to South Afruca have the Book of Mormon in a local language, AR least the countries in that range that have stakes, but no where west of Ghana does.

    Bo, Sierra Leone with 3 stakes was the capitol of the Sierra Leone protectorate, which before 1961 was basically all Sierra Leone except the Freetown Peninsula which was the Crown Colony of Sierra Leone.

    Bo is in the hear of Mende speaking areas. I strongly suspect Mende will be the first language of far west Africa to have a Book of Mormon translation.

  29. I hesitate to mention this, because to me there seems to be more than enough recent discussion on the topic of guessing temple locations as compared to other church growth topics.

    However, did anyone notice the improvements on the maps at

    The "Temples Map" and "Operating Status Map" offer good info and the "Church Units Map" legend allows distance from temple radius to be changed to 50 miles, 100 miles, or the original 200 miles.

  30. Looking though the list of translations at ,

    Language with the least current speakers with a translation Yapese (Southwest Pacific).
    Most odd languages there English and Spanish Braille. (Braille is a Translation????)
    Least used language *period* Deseret Alphabet.

  31. I just thought of something. Elder Edward Dube is going to be the new president of the Africa South Area. Elder Dube was the first stake president in Zimbabwe. He is basically the founder of seminaries and institutes there and in Zambia and Malawi, he was over the program for several years as his full-time job. Earlier he was a missionary. When he started his mission he was assigned to the South Africa Johanesburg mission, but later to the Harare Zimbabwe Mission when they split that mission off. I believe when he started his mission the Johanesburg South Africa Mission was the only mission operating within the current boundaries of the Africa South Area.

    I was prompted to think of this because the Wikipedia article The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens by say three missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in South Africa in 1853 and began teaching the white English speaking population. Wikipedia articles are supposed to start with a summary, not with the chronological first thing related to something. So it is in need of lots of revsion.

    If someone is really feeling ambitious they may want to try incorpoarting this article from Khumbulani Mdletshe. Mdletshe was institute director of an institute in South Africa, he was also an area seventy when he wrote this article, but by the time it was published he was president of the Kenya Nairobi Mission. He is actually still in that position, but his term ends this summer. President Mdletshe was raised in a township (poor area under Apratheid where black people were forced to live) outside Durban. He served his mission in London England with Ed and Patricia Pineger as the leaders of his mission, did his undergrad at BYU-Hawai'i, has a masters degree from BYU and a Ph.D. from Rand University. Here is a BYU-Hawai'i publication article on the occasion of his call to lead a mission

    Here is a link to some articles by Mdletshe The man he succeeded as president of the Kenya Nairobi Mission was also a black South African, and was called as area seventy around the time he finished his term as mission president.


    I looked at Random at two other "National" articles, Ireland and Japan. Both have similar shortened chronologies as the lede. I'm not sure what a proper lede for this type of article is.

  33. @JPL, it looks like you put quite a bit of time into learning about languages in parts of Africa. I noticed most of the statistics you mentioned were for speakers of languages. I wonder if those same languages are also the most commonly *written/read* languages, or if reading and writing in some other language than the spoken one predominates. (For instance, I have heard that there are some places where, because Kurdish has been suppressed by the government, people can speak Kurdish but not read and write it -- they read and write Arabic or Turkish). It would not surprise me if there are such situations in some of the places you mentioned -- if so, that might play a role in if or when scripture and church materials are translated into certain languages.

    1. Well, the choice of Efik as the language to translate the Book of Mormon into over Ibibio which has three times as many speakers is because Efik is the literary standard for a bunch of related languages that are at least mutually intelligible enough that speakers of some other understand Efik.

      Also note that in his talk in general conference Elder Andersen mentioned a school in Mbuji-Maye that is largely funded by humanitarian services funds. The thing I noticed is that the children there were learning to speak, read and write French. They most likely speak Tshilubu at home, which is a language that has a Book of Mormon translation in progress.

      Another example. Guinea Bissau has 69% of its population speaks Guinea Bissau Creole. I am not sure their IA a written form of that language at all.

      With Haus some estimated of the number of speakers go as high as 150 million, but roughly a third or more are non-native speakers.

      Hausa was from the 17th to the early 20th century written in a script based on Arabic. In the 1930s the British authorities developed a script based on the Latin alphabet to write Hausa in.

      When I looked up Nigerian literature the article mentioned Urhobo as one of the languages used in the opening. There may be 6 million Urhobo, although it is less clear how many can read that language. Delta State which is one of the main areas of Urhobo presence, has 3 stakes, 2 in Warri. However Warri also has Itsikri and Ijaw populations, with a large influx of Igbo as it has grown.

      This reminds me of the missionary we had in our branch some years ago who was a native of Ghana although he joined the Church in New Jersey. He was a student at BYU and complained about students there who had served in Ghana just coming up to him and trying to speak Twi to him when he did not know Twi.

      The way he told it it almost seemed they saw him and could tell he was Ghanaian. Maybe it was he mentioned in conversation Ghana and so they tried that tactic.

      Language is a tricky thing, and when you do not have deep literary cultures figuring out what exact form to write can be fought with potential to alienate some.

      I once went to a lecture at BYU with Emanual Abu Kissi. I asked him about translation of materials into languages of Ghana. His answer was not very clear, but I think what he was saying is that he thought early tenslations of the scriptures and hymns into Fante were unwise because the Akan form of Twi is a more standard literary form in Ghana.

      Twi was the language of the Akan Empire based in Kumasi, which is where Dr. Kissi was born, although he is a resident of Accra.

      Fate is the language of the general costal region around Cape Coast. It was a small kingdom with close relations with the Dutch at Cape Coast proper until the British bought the Dutch out in 1865.

      To people fluent in Akan I velieve they see a long literary culture. Fate is a largely oral language with little written history.

      The politics of language are complex and deep.

      One of the new area seventies is supervisor for translation services for the Church in DR Congo. His linked-in page mentions being able to translate from English and French to kiKongo and Lingala. Lindale itself was a language developed by 19th century missionaries in part from KiKongo to teach to Congo River people so that they did not have to do a new translation of the Bible every time they reached a new village.

      Kinshasa is right on the border between the Kikongo and the Lingala zone. The Book of Mormon is in Lingala but not yet in kiKongo.

      The thing is that with the Book of Mormon in Lingala, French and Swahili, and in progress is Tshilubu, only KiKongo is needed to have every area of DR Congo have the Book of Mormon in its dominant lingua franca.

      Nigeria I am not sure we would be at that point if we had the Book of Mormon in 10 languages.

  34. 40% of temples worldwide are now fully operating as 33 more temples move to Phase 4.

  35. twinnumerouno, that news item from Tuesday was outdated by Wednesday. For the first time ever since the pandemic forced the closure of all operating temples for a time, this week actually marked the first time two temple reopening announcements were released over two consecutive days. Here is the update from Tuesday:

    And here's the additional update from yesterday:

    In view of those two announcements, a stunning majority of the 170 temples worldwide (83) are now in phase 4. With 83 temples now transitioning to phase 4, (and bearing in mind that 8 temples are in various renovation phases), that means that of the 162 temples actively operating, 51.2% are now in phase 4.

    Since I wasn't expecting two such updates this week, I'm hoping that several other temples might begin the phase 4 transition in the coming weeks, whether there is a single announcement or two or more any given week. Just thought you'd appreciate that updated information.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Kurdish is written three different ways for the three different alphabets in the region. Some Kurds may know one way but not the other two.

  38. An article on the Chinese language said a larger group left and went to the then Soviet Union. When they got there they were in a region that used written Arabic. When the Soviets banned that too they adopted Cyrillic, so the Chinese in that region is written that way on records that might be of a genealogical type as well as all other communication from that point and I do not know when that all started.

  39. My wife is from Mongolia. It had its own alphabet, but during soviet times (it was independent but sort of a Soviet satellite) it adopted the Cyrillic alphabet. There has been a movement to bring back the original alphabet. So some old records are in both alphabets.

  40. This is continued good news for the Mormon church, whose future very clearly is sub-Saharan Black Africa. By the end of this century, the president/ceo plus half the 12 will be Black. With maybe half the rest from Latin America.

    So it’s easy to imagine a considerable improvement in congregational Mormon music.

    One caveat though — in impoverished Africa and Latin America where the Mormon church does relatively well, but where the Internet may still lag a bit — eventually, and sooner rather than later, the Internet will catch up. Which means the Mormon church will need to start using their “Essays” as their missionary curriculum. The CES Letter and Mormon Stories Podcast, and Mormon Discussion Podcast, for instance, will just be common background knowledge.

    Plus also those “Essays,” themselves, will be general knowledge, too, and they were never intended as a missionary tool. Even as investigators will already know about the magic rock-in-a-hat, for instance. And multiple versions of a “first vision” while Joseph Smith in his Book of Mormon and early D&C and early Mormon church was teaching a highly orthodox and trinitarian Christianity, instead. Plus all the real problems with the Book of Mormon. Plus also the Book of Abraham. Plus real problems with the story of the Mormon priesthoods and their supposed “restoration.” Plus Fanny Alger, Helen Mar Kimball, Sarah Ann Whitney, and the Lawrence and Partridge Sisters, etc, et al.

    Still, Black Africa is the very future of the Mormon church, and that’s a good thing, and will also help in the growth of the Mormon church among African Americans. Black churches and congregations in America are some of the most active and spiritual and committed and devout as any. And with great music, and great socials and dinners and meals, and great community outreach and service. And the importance of family and tradition.

    It’s going to be an interesting century in Mormonism, including much that’s good.

    1. I would like to understand what kind of irony you are trying to use when you say that my people from Latin America and also from Africa (after all, Brazil is the largest black country outside Africa and the focal point of the 1978 revelation) will be the majority of the Church because we don't have enough internet.
      I think you ignore that we are one of the most important countries on Earth, and despite the fascist in power (with support from the local Church leadership), we have increasing levels of civilizational advancement, quality of life and literacy, including quality internet access.
      You try to disguise it but you just want to expel prejudice and ignorance against people you don't understand. Truth is available to all, whether that comes from historical knowledge or that which is felt by those who gain a witness for Christ.
      It is up to each person, with the intelligence he has acquired, to measure this information and make his judgment to discern what is revealed spiritual truth and what is organizational policy or just an overcome historical process.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  41. Grow up, Shelama. Nobody is impressed by your condescending passive-aggressiveness, or by your copy-pasted list of anti talking points that we've heard eight billion times, or by your putting quotation marks around random words.

  42. I tried writing a phone comment the other day but it is not working. Hmmph.

    I know a couple of the original Mongolian translators of the Book of Mormon, or at least one. They are now living in the U.S. and could use some prayers of faith, in my opinion.

    "Black Africa" appears to be a great and dynamic part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, I think all the peoples already strong in the faith are not going away. North and South America, Europe, the South Pacific. Even a lot of Asia.

    Shelama brings up points that are a litany of concerns, handled by God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost, and us believers. But we have to reach for the grace of the Restoration with love and truth by means of what we have been given.

    It is enough.

    The Kingdom of God is certainly more than a mere human corporation.

    But I could be wrong. Best of luck, God bless.

  43. "Lindon Utah Temple groundbreaking signals how the Lord is hastening His work"

  44. I was able to personally watch the groundbreaking live as it happened through the Church's webcast system. I shared the following comment on my blog to report on that:

    That is a slightly more ambitious and far more specific goal than I've ever heard mentioned. With 100 temples announced thus far by the prophet in the course of 9 General Conferences, that's roughly 11 temples per conference. To reach the total 500 in any phase by the 200th anniversary of the Church (which will coincide with the 200th Annual General Conference of the Church), 13-14 temples would need to be announced every six months. Just thought that was a significant note to share here.

  45. 218 more temples announced by April 2030? If President Nelson is still here by then (heading into his 106th year), he would have announced 63.6% of all temples and 136 more temples than all previous Church Presidents combined. That seems quite feasible given the fact that he already has announced 17 temples this year, with 18 more anticipated later this year. With roughly 27-28 temples needed to be announced per year, 500 might be reached earlier than 2030 if the average 34-35 (this year and last year) remains constant.

  46. In the northern island of Hokkaido in Japan, a major realignment was announced.

    Former Stakes and District:
    Sapporo Japan Stake
    Sapporo Japan West Stake
    Asahikawa Japan Stake
    Kushiro Japan District

    New Stakes:
    Hokkaido Japan North Stake
    Hokkaido Japan South Stake

    So a consolidation from 3 stakes and a district down to 2 stakes.

  47. @Matt, Thank you for the Japan realignment update.

  48. @Matt, do we know which of the 3 previous stakes mentioned will be renamed Hokkaido Japan North, and Hokkaido Japan South? or if they will be completely Discontinued? And the 2 new stakes be assigned completely new unit numbers?


    My best guess would be that 511137 Sapporo Japan Stake and 513350 Sapporo Japan West Stake, will become the new Hokkaido Japan South Stake. I'm not sure which unit number will be retained if any.

    And the 528730 Asahikawa Japan Stake and the 605921 Kushiro Japan District (organized Aug 18th, 1974) would become the new Hokkaido Japan North Stake. I'm not sure which unit number will be retained if any.

    1. I have a map of the changes. It appears Sapporo Stake, Sapporo West, and the southern part of Kushiro District combined to form the Hokkaido South Stake.

      Asahikawa Stake, and the northern part of Kushiro District, along with a few units in Sapporo form the Hokkaido North Stake.

  49. So sad about the reduction in Japanese stakes. IMHO, is probably due to several interconnected reasons.

    --Overall decline in the Japanese population (fewer and later marriages and fewer children if married). Japanese members of the Church are included in this trend.
    --Demographic migration from relatively rural areas such as northern Japan and Hokkaido to the mega-urban areas of Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. There are hundreds of small towns and settlements in rural areas that have been abandoned due to a lack of people.

    If Japan does not turn around the population replacement rate, Japan, as we have known it, will disappear.

  50. A comment and a question. It appears that the first of the temples announced by President Nelson will be dedicated Next month (Yigo, Guam and the following month Praia, Cape Verde)

    How many temples would have to be announced by President Nelson before he will have announced half of all of the temples (built, building and planned)?

  51. In a lot of western countries outside the US the church tries to have larger wards, branches and stakes than in the past. In the past small unites made the church grow faster. But thats is not the case anymore in many places. I think now a lot more youth become less acitve if most of there fiends are none-members. The church noticed that latley larger wards and stakes retained a lot more youth and is now triying to realign units so that youth has more socaiclizing opportunites on ward and stake level. But distance becomes a problem. If you have friend at church but they live a 30 min drive away (in most places no car for peopele under 18), you will still mostly hang out with non-member friends close by.
    I assume in Japan there is a large number of older members, but only few young ones.
    I see a lot of simulairites in Europe in a lot of wards. I was recently in the netherlands and in 2 wards half the membership looked older than 60. Hi hear simliar things from England. I my stake in Switzerland a 1/3 of active membership is under 18.

  52. It is clear different unit sizes have pluses and minuses. We need to keep in mind that the goal is inviting all to come unto Christ through the ordinances of the temple, not having the most wards and branches possible. Or the most stakes.

    Having enough youth in a ward is a real plus. Having enough youth to have a functional stake youth program an even bigger plus. So I see lots of benefits from larger scale stakes in areas where youth can still travel to do stake activities regularly.

    I believe President Nelson needs to announce 82 more temples to get to having announced half of all temples.

  53. I know that Japan and a few countries have attrition rates of population based on current downward replacement births and their societal trends. Italy has this, so does Russia. Ukraine is a huge outlier of growth right now, others like Syria and Yemen, maybe Somalia, are negative growth places for poverty and war. However, Japan (Nippon) is a such a large, strong, rich culture, that I cannot see them disappearing. They will change over time into the future as more immigrants go and mix there, like the former Brazilian diaspora, or people like Yu Darvish (half Persian), Rui Hachimura (half Beninese), or Naomi Osaka (half something, maybe Jamaican? American?). It is a country now with three temples, and people still integrate and learn the language, which is a still a world player.

    Existentially there are a couple places that are more under threat in my opinion, like Honduras or El Salvador, based on political upheaval, or a few places like Somalia, or Marshall Islands based on rising tides, (Kiribati?). Then again, places with temples announced, like Kiribati, look to be around for a while and will adapt.

    Japan may be gone in 150 years, perhaps, but many other places may be gone by then, too.

    Perhaps we will be celestialized by then.

  54. More information on Hokkaido. The population is only about 4 1/2% of Japan's total population, and it has been declining for over 20 years. It's very likely that younger people seeking jobs have had to move to Tokyo and other large urban areas to find work to support their families. This has had an impact on the growth of the Church in this remote northern prefecture of Japan.

    1. That makes the idea that two stakes will allow for more youth per stake even more reasonable.

  55. It'll be interesting to see when and if Japan changes its strict immigration policies to allow for more diversity and youth.

    Speaking of which...