Thursday, February 8, 2024

First Branch Organized in Timor-Leste (East Timor)

The first branch in the nation of Timor-Leste (East Timor), the Dili Branch, was organized in January after many years of the congregation operating as a group under the supervision of the Indonesia Jakarta Mission. The branch appears led by a local priesthood leader. It is unclear whether government recognition for the Church was obtained and played a role in the organization of an official branch in Dili. In 2015, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland dedicated Timor-Leste for missionary work, and the first senior missionary couple was assigned to perform humanitarian work. The senior missionary couple held a private sacrament meeting in their home, and the first baptism of a child of record was in 2016. In 2017, the first meetinghouse was dedicated and used primarily for English classes. However, the first convert baptism in the country did not occur until 2019. By mid-2019, there were approximately one dozen Latter-day Saints in the country, and all of them appeared to be active in attending church regularly. Updated in mid-2019, the following Future Prospects section of the country profile for Timor-Leste on sums up the situation with the Church in the country pretty well, which is as follows:

The reason why the Church continues to lack official government recognition remains unclear as there do not appear to be any legal obstacles that prevent registration. It is unlikely that the Church will experience significant growth until such registration is obtained and young, full-time proselytizing missionaries are assigned. In the meantime, growth will most likely consist of high-quality converts who self-refer for information about the Church or who have personal connections with senior missionary couples or local members. Distance from mission headquarters in Jakarta, a comparatively tiny population, no translations of Church materials in Tetun, and an extremely small Church membership pose long-term challenges for future proselytism efforts through traditional means.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Two New Stakes Created in Utah

Two new stakes were recently organized in Utah which appear to be the first new stakes organized in 2024.

The Herriman Utah Mirabella Stake was organized on January 14th from a division of the Herriman Utah Pioneer Stake (organized in 2015) and the Herriman Utah Butterfield Canyon Stake (organized in 2003). The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Mirabella 1st, Mirabella 2nd, Mirabella 3rd, Mirabella 4th, Mirabella 5th, Mirabella 6th, and Mirabella 7th Wards. There are now 10 stakes in Herriman.

The Hyrum Utah Central Stake was organized on January 21st from a division of the Hyrum Utah Stake (renamed the Paradise Utah Stake and organized in 1901), the Hyrum Utah North Stake (organized in 1979), and the Hyrum Utah West Stake (organized in 2021). The new stake includes the following seven wards and one branch: the Hyrum 6th, Hyrum 7th, Hyrum 8th, Hyrum 9th, Hyrum 11th, Hyrum 15th, and Valle Hermoso (Spanish) Wards and the Blacksmith Fork Branch (Care Center). There are now seven stakes in the southern Cache valley.

There are now 635 stakes and two districts in Utah.