Sunday, January 28, 2024

New Stakes Created in Mexico (2), the Philippines (2), Angola, Argentina, California, Chile, Colombia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Utah; Stakes Discontinued in California and Utah; New Districts Created in the Dominican Republic and Mozambique; District Discontinued in Argentina, Serbia, and Slovenia

This is a massive blog post on many new stakes organized. Please let me know if you notice any errors or if I missed any stake/district creations/closures in 2023.


Two new stakes were organized in Mexico.

The Los Tuxtla Mexico Stake was organized from the Los Tuxtla Mexico District on November 12th. The district was originally created in 1982. The new stake includes the following five wards and three branches: the Isla, Lerdo de Tejada, San Andrés Jardín, San Andrés Mirador, and the Sihuapans, and the Baxcaxbaltepec, Catemaco, and Juan Rodriguez Clara Branches. The new stake was the Church's second new stake organized in Mexico in 2023. 

The Monterrey Mexico Lincoln Stake was organized on December 3rd from the Monterrey México Valle Verde Stake and the Monterrey México Mitras Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Fraile, Los Parques, Modelo, San Bernabé 1st, San Bernabé 2nd, and Villas del Poniente Wards. The Church discontinued the Monterrey México Morelos Stake in 2018 which is nearby the newly organized Monterrey Mexico Lincoln Stake.

There are now 230 stakes and 44 districts in Mexico.

The Philippines

Two new stakes were created in the Philippines - both of which were organized from districts on December 3rd.

The Aguilar Philippines Stake was organized from the Aguilar Philippines District (organized in 2001). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Aguilar 1st, Aguilar 2nd, Bugallon, Mangatarem, and Urbiztondo Wards and the Bantocaling Branch. There are now eight stakes in the surrounding areas of the soon-to-be-dedicated Urdaneta Philippines Temple.

After decades of preparation and work, the Toledo Philippines District was finally organized as a district. Organized in 1990 as a district, the Toledo Philippines Stake is the Church's first stake on the western side of Cebu Island. The new stake includes the following five wards and three branches: the Aloguinsan, Balamban 1st, Balamban 2nd, Toledo 1st, and Toledo 2nd Wards, and the Lamac, Lutopan, and Tutay-Pinamungahan Branches. There are now seven stakes and one district on Cebu Island.

There are now 128 stakes and 53 districts in the Philippines.


The Church organized a new stake in Argentina. The Corrientes Argentina Stake was organized from the Corrientes Argentina District (organized in 1991) and the Goya Argentina District (organized in 1993). The Goya Argentina District was discontinued when the new stake in Corrientes was organized. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Armenia, Costanera, Goya, Laguna Seca, and Mendoza Al Sur Wards and the Bella Vista Branch. Of the five wards in the new stake, four are located in the city of Corrientes. Also, the two branches in the city of Goya were consolidated into one congregation which was reorganized as the Goya Ward.

There are now 79 stakes and 25 districts in Argentina.


The Viana Angola Stake was organized from the Luanda Angola Stake (organized in 2018). The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Cacuaco, Kilamba, Terra Nova, Viana, Vila Pacifica, and Zango Wards and the Cazenga and Luanda Sul Branches. The Viana Angola Stake previously operated as a district from 2016 until 2018 when it merged with the Luanda Angola District to create the first stake in Angola. The Church announced the Luanda Angola Temple in October 2023.

There are now two stakes and one district in Angola. Within the past 2 years, many additional cities have had the first branches organized, including Benguela, Caála, Kuito, Malanje, and Menongue. Also, two new wards and two new branches were organized in the Luanda metropolitan area when the Viana Angola Stake as organized.


A new stake was organized in California. The Temecula California North Stake was organized on December 3rd from a division of the Temecula California Stake (organized in 2003). The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Chaparral, French Valley, La Paz Ward (Spanish), Lake Skinner, Meadowview, Rancho California, and Temecula YSA Wards. The new stake was the Church's second new stake created in California in 2023. 

The Church discontinued one stake in California in 2023. The El Centro California Imperial Valley Stake (organized in 1980) was discontinued. The stake had only three wards and one branch when it was discontinued, although for many years the stake had four wards and one branch. Thus, the closure of the stake has been long overdue due to few congregations in the stake. There were only two wards and two branches from the El Centro area that remained when the stake was closed, and these units were reassigned to the El Cajon California Stake. 

There are now 147 stakes in California.


A new stake was created in Chile. The Colina Chile Stake was organized on from the Colina Chile District (organized in 1994). The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Batuco, Colina, Lampa, San Martin, and Valle Grande Wards and the Isla Juan Fernández and Til-Til Branches. It does not appear that the Colina Chile District ever previously operated as a stake, as none of the previously discontinued stakes in Chile appeared to include cities and towns within the boundaries of the current Colina Chile Stake. 

There are now 78 stakes and 11 districts in Chile. The new Colina Chile Stake was the fourth new stake organized in Chile in 2023 - the most new stakes created in Chile since 1998.


A new stake was organized in Colombia on December 10th. The Medellin Colombia Centro Stake was organized from a division of the Medellin Colombia Stake (organized in 1988) and the Medellin Colombia Belen Stake (organized in 1996). The new stake includes the following five wards: the Belén, Buenos Aires, El Prado, Floresta, and Villa Hermosa Wards. The new stake is the first new stake organized in Colombia since 2019.

There are now 31 stakes and 10 districts in Colombia.


A new stake was organized in Mozambique on November 19th. The Zimpeto Mozambique Stake was organized from a division of the Maputo Mozambique Stake (organized in 2015) and the Matola Mozambique Stake (organized in 2019). The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the CMC, Circular, Magoanine, Matendene, T-3, and Zimpeto Wards and the Boquisso and Marracuene Branches. There are now three stakes in the Maputo metropolitan area. Five new wards and four new branches were organized in the Maputo area when the new stake was organized, including two wards that were organized from member groups (Boane and Catembe). Also, two branches were reorganized into wards (Beluluane and Circular). 

The Church also organized a new district in Mozambique on November 12th. The Maxixe Mozambique District was organized from three mission branches, and one new branch was also organized when the district was created for a total of four branches in the new district. These branches include the Expansão, Homoine, Inhambane, and Maxixe Branches. The Church organized a branch in Maxixe in 2013, and the first branches were organized in Homoine and Inhambane in 2022. It appears likely that additional districts will be organized in Mozambique in the foreseeable future in Tete and Xai-Xai.

There are now seven stakes and two districts in Mozambique.


The Church organized a new stake in Nigeria. The Ondo Nigeria Stake was organized from the Ondo Nigeria District (organized in 2015). The new stake includes the following six wards: the Adeyemi College Road 1st, Adeyemi College Road 2nd, Ondo 1st, Ondo 2nd, Yaba 1st, and Yaba 2nd Wards. The creation of the new stake stands as a major accomplishment given the few congregations in the area, the relatively recent growth of the Church in Ondo, and the Church having previously operated a district in Akure (discontinued in 2009 and reinstated in 2018) that once included two branches in Ondo.

There are now 71 stakes and 14 districts in Nigeria.

Sierra Leone

A new stake was organized in Sierra Leone on December 10th. The Freetown Sierra Leone Hill Station Stake was organized from a division of the Sierra Leone Freetown Stake (organized in 2012) and the Freetown Sierra Leone East Stake (organized in 2017). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Hill Station 1st, Hill Station 2nd, Mount Aureol, Tengbeh Town, and Wilberforce Wards and the Regent Branch. There are now six stakes in the Freetown metropolitan area - all of which have been organized since 2012. 

There are now 10 stakes and two districts in Sierra Leone.


A new stake was organized in Utah on December 10th. The South Weber Utah Pioneer Stake was organized from a division of the South Weber Utah Stake (organized in 1988). The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Pioneer, South Weber 1st, South Weber 7th, South Weber 8th, South Weber 9th, and South Weber 10th Wards and the Canyon Meadows Branch. 

A stake was discontinued in Utah. The Midvale Utah East Stake (organized in 1968) was discontinued and had five wards in the stake before its closure. It appears that three of the five wards were discontinued. Retained wards were reassigned to the Midvale Utah Union Fort Stake (which now has six wards).

There were 633 stakes and two districts in Utah as of year-end 2023. 2023 was the year with the most stakes ever discontinued in Utah (seven). Nevertheless, there was a net increase of four stakes for Utah in 2023, as there were 11 new stakes organized during the year. Moreover, two new stakes have been organized in Utah in January 2024 which I will report on in another post.

Dominican Republic

The Church reinstated a previously discontinued district in the Dominican Republic on November 5th. The Monte Plata Dominican Republic District was reinstated (originally discontinued in 2010) and includes the following four branches: the Bayaguana, Gonzalo, Monte Plata, and Sabana Grande de Boyá Branches. These branches have been reassigned to one of the stakes in Santo Domingo or directly to the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission.

There are now 22 stakes and nine districts in the Dominican Republic.

Serbia and Slovenia

The Church discontinued the Beograd Serbia District (organized in 1992) and the Ljubljana Slovenia District (organized in 1992) in late 2023. None of the branches in either Serbia or Slovenia were discontinued when these districts were discontinued. All branches were reassigned to the Adriatic North District (which used to be the Zagreb Croatia District). There are now 13 branches in the realigned district which covers the entire Adriatic North Mission, including Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Extremely slow membership growth has occurred in the former Yugoslavia for many years. The decision to have all branches in a single district was likely made to help consolidate extremely limited leadership manpower in the area. Altogether, the combined membership of these countries as of year-end 2022 was 1,548, with most members living in Croatia and Slovenia. Thus, the region is unlikely to become a stake for many years or decades given current growth trends.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Mormonland Podcast Apperance

Today, the Salt Lake Tribune published an interview I had yesterday for their Mormonland podcast series. The podcast can be accessed here. The interview reviews the recent announcement regarding changes for organizing new wards and stakes as well as discussion regarding the recent Cragun, Bull, and Phillips study on self-affiliation of Latter-day Saints in Utah.