Sunday, March 17, 2024

New Stakes Created in Ghana and Utah, Districts Reinstated in Bulgaria and Iceland, Two Stakes Discontinued in Utah


A new stake was created in Ghana on March 3rd. The Sofokrom Ghana Stake was organized on March 3rd from the Mpintsin Ghana Stake (organized in 2016) and includes the following six wards and one branch: the Daboase, Essipon, Inchaban, Shama, Sofokrom 1st, and Sofokrom 2nd Wards and the Beposo Branch. There are now three stakes in the Takoradi/Sekondi metropolitan area where the Church will organize a new mission this summer from a division of the Ghana Cape Coast Mission. 

There are now 30 stakes and 11 districts in Ghana.


A new stake was created in Mapleton, Utah on February 25th. The Mapleton Utah East Stake was organized from a division of the Mapleton Utah North Stake (organized in 1997) which had 14 wards prior to the splitting of the stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Mapleton 2nd, Mapleton 6th, Mapleton 7th, Mapleton 15th, Mapleton 23rd, Mapleton 29th, and the Mapleton 31st Wards. There are now four stakes in Mapleton. The two other stakes in Mapleton were organized in 1975 and 2016, and both of these stakes (Mapleton and Mapleton West) appear likely to divide within the near future as they have 12 wards and 11 wards and one branch, respectively.

Two stakes were also discontinued in Utah. The Midvale Utah East Stake (organized in 1968) and the Midvale Utah North Stake (organized in 1985) were discontinued after many wards have been discontinued in the Midvale area during the past couple of years. Retained wards in the Midvale Utah North Stake were reassigned to the Midvale Utah Stake, whereas retained wards in the Midvale Utah East Stake were reassigned to the Midvale Utah Union Fort Stake and the Midvale Utah Union Park Stake.

There are now 635 stakes and 2 districts in Utah.


The Sofia Bulgaria District was reinstated on February 18th. The district used to operate from the early 1990s until 2011 when all branches in Bulgaria were reassigned to the Bulgaria Sofia Mission. All seven branches in Bulgaria were assigned to the district, including the Blagoevgrad, the Bourgas, the Plovdiv, the Ruse, the Sofia, the Stara Zagora, and the Varna Branches. The Church in Bulgaria has reported essentially stagnant membership growth for the past decade, and the number of branches in the country has remained unchanged since 2018. Prior to the reinstatement of the Sofia Bulgaria District, Bulgaria was the country with the most members (2,398) without a stake or a district.


The Reykjavik Iceland District was reinstated on February 25th. The district includes all four branches in Iceland, including the Akureyri, the Reykjavik 1st, the Reykjavik 2nd (Spanish), and Selfoss Branches. The district was first organized in the 1980s and discontinued in 2006 when the number of branches in Iceland decreased to one after the closure of the military branch. The Church in Iceland has made a significant turnaround in the past 15 years, with three new branches being organized. However, the district presidency is minimally staffed given few members in the country. There were 382 Latter-day Saints in Iceland as of year-end 2022. Membership has increased by approximately 100 within the past five years. Iceland pertains to the Denmark Copenhagen Mission.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

New Temple Predictions - March 2024 Edition

I have updated my temple prediction map in preparation for General Conference in April. The size of the Church in a specific geographical area (i.e. number of stakes and districts, the number of wards and branches), the age of the oldest stake in a specific geographical area, church growth trends, the distance to the nearest temple, traffic/transportation, the square-footage of the nearest temple, the historical number of weekly endowment sessions scheduled at the nearest temple, and member and missionary reports regarding member activity, temple attendance, and convert retention are variables used to identify prospective sites for future temple announcements. Altogether, there are 208 potential temples on the map (which is 8 potential temple site less than the total number of potential sites identified in September 2023). The following 12 locations have been added to the temples prediction map with this current update - all of which are less likely temples:

  • Butuan, Philippines 
  • Daejeon, Korea
  • Gaborone, Botswana 
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of the Congo 
  • Nagoya, Japan
  • Portoviejo, Ecuador
  • Pretoria, South Africa
  • Pucallpa, Peru
  • Sagay, Philippines
  • Warri, Nigeria

Also, there were five locations that were moved from the less likely to be announced list to the more likely to be announced list. These locations included:

  • Glasgow, Scotland OR Edinburgh, Scotland (the largest number of stakes without a nearby temple in Europe)
  • Maputo, Mozambique (third stake recently organized, long distance to the nearest temples in Beira, Mozambique and Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Osorno, Chile (increases in the number of wards in the area, long distance from Concepcion, Chile)
  • San Pablo City, Philippines (closest temple is the Alabang Philippines Temple, few other locations in the Philippines with as many stakes to be serviced by a temple)
  • Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire (steady, rapid growth in the number of stakes in central and northern Cote d'Ivoire).

In my opinion, the following 10 locations appear most likely to have temples announced this coming General Conference. As always, your prediction lists are welcome and encouraged.

  1. Spanish Fork, Utah
  2. Angeles or Olongapo, Philippines 
  3. Kampala, Uganda
  4. São José, Brazil
  5. Santiago, Dominican Republic
  6. Maracaibo, Venezuela 
  7. Osorno, Chile OR Puerto Montt, Chile
  8. El Paso, Texas
  9. Price, Utah
  10. Bo, Sierra Leone

See below for the map of likely and less likely new temple sites: