United States information: Illinois


Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 304,060,000; Members, 5,974,041; Stakes, 1,438; Wards, 11,289; Branches, 2,074; Districts, 12; Missions, 106;Temples in use, 62; under construction or announced, 7; Percent LDS, 2, or one in 51.

A few stakes and missions have headquarters in states other than that for which they are named. To simplify this listing, these stakes and missions are listed in the states for which they are named. Numbers preceding stakes and missions are their chronological numbers assigned at the time of creation. Letters are added if number has been used previously.

(* Stake name changed 14 Jan 1974 or as indicated otherwise.)


Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 12,902,000; Members, 55,111; Stakes, 12; Wards, 91; Branches, 37; Missions, 4; Temples, 2; Percent LDS, 0.43, or one in 234.

In December 1830, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Peter Whitmer Jr., Ziba Peterson and Frederick G. Williams, passed through Illinois on a mission to the Native Americans. A snowstorm compelled them to stop 20 miles outside St. Louis, where they stayed to preach for several days. In succeeding years, more missionaries passed through Illinois and a few branches were established prior to 1839. In 1834 and 1838 respectively, Zion's Camp and the Kirtland Camp also passed through southern Illinois, en route from Kirtland, Ohio, to Missouri.

When the saints were expelled from Missouri in 1838, many found refuge in Illinois. Quincy, Springfield and other locations generally received them on friendly terms. Temporary stakes were established in Mount Hope, Freedom, Geneva and other locations in Adams County during 1839-1841, as the scattered saints continued to gather. Israel Barlow found his way to Commerce, where he laid the groundwork for the Church to purchase 660 acres of property that later became Nauvoo. As members poured in, the swampy land was drained and buildings were erected. Converts from Canada and Europe arrived by the thousands. The city of Nauvoo received a charter from the state of Illinois in 1840. Settlers built music and cultural halls, schools, stores, mills, and meeting halls. At its peak, Nauvoo's approximate population was 15,000. Although the city was the central gathering place, Joseph Smith planned a network of outlying settlements, foreshadowing the colonization of the West by Brigham Young. These included Ramus, Lima, Quincy, LaHarpe, Green Plains, Plymoth, and Yelrome.

During the peaceful Nauvoo years, Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith, translated the Book of Abraham, and introduced the temple ceremonies. The Female Relief Society, the first Church auxiliary, was organized for the purpose of assisting the poor on 17 March 1842, with Emma Smith as president. In 1840, on a high bluff overlooking the city, a site was selected for the Nauvoo Temple. Portions of the temple were dedicated and used as soon as completed, beginning with the baptismal font in 1841. The building was not completely finished until after the saints left Nauvoo, but approximately 6,000 received temple ordinances between 10 December 1845 and 7 February 1846. A public dedication of the building was held on 1 May 1846. The temple was later destroyed by arson and a tornado.

The relative peace of Nauvoo did not last long. In 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were arrested and taken to jail in nearby Carthage, where they were killed by a mob on 27 June. Following the Prophet's death, the question of succession resulted in many schismatic groups. Two of the most prominent were lead by Sidney Rigdon and James J. Strang, who led their followers to new communities out of state. The majority of the members remained in Illinois for a time and chose to follow the leadership of Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve. However, soon the saints in Nauvoo and surrounding communities were driven by mobs from their homes. In early 1846, starting in the blistery cold of 4 February, they crossed the Mississippi River and traveled across Iowa to establish a temporary residence at Winter Quarters, Neb., some 300 miles away.

Although some members stayed behind, Church membership in Illinois was limited for a time following the saints' migration west. Missionaries traveling in the Eastern States Mission labored in Illinois in the 1850s, visiting old branches, assisting emigrants, and preaching to new congregations. Missionary visits to Illinois increased in the 1870s. Most converts, however, migrated west. Illinois was later included in the Northwestern States Mission when that mission was created in spring 1878. In 1889, the name was changed to the Northern States Mission and headquarters were established in Chicago. By 1890, the mission extended into 22 states and Canada.

Following the conversion of Scandinavian settlers in Minnesota and other nearby states, Christian D. Fjeldsted found success among the Scandinavians in Chicago in 1895-1896. The Church continued to grow and by 1930, three conferences had been organized in Illinois. The Chicago Stake was organized in 1936, the first in Illinois following the Nauvoo era.

In June 1933, when the Century of Progress World's Fair was held in Chicago, the Church sponsored an exhibit in the Hall of Religions, featuring sculptures by Avard T. Fairbanks and two stained glass windows depicting the history of the Church. Missionaries were on hand to answer questions and distribute tracts, and the Chicago Mormon Choir performed every Sunday. The exhibit remained open through October 1934 and drew an estimated 10,000 people per day.

In July 1973, Illinois was separated from the Northern States Mission, and the following year it was renamed the Illinois Chicago Mission. The Nauvoo Stake, organized by Elder Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1979, was the 1,000th stake organized in the Church. The Illinois Peoria Mission was created from the Illinois Chicago Mission and the Missouri St. Louis Mission in 1983. In 1985, the Chicago Illinois Temple was dedicated. An addition was completed in 1989.

Illinois has been an area of historical interest for many Church members. As early as the 1930s individual Church members began acquiring property in Nauvoo and the vicinity. In 1936, Mission President Bryant S. Hinckley made arrangements to restore the Carthage Jail and establish a Bureau of Information. In 1954, Dr. J. LeRoy Kimball purchased the Nauvoo home of his great-grandfather, Heber C. Kimball, leading to the establishment of the Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., on 27 July 1962. By 1990, the Church had purchased some 1,000 acres and restored 17 homes and buildings. The pioneer cemetery in Nauvoo, where many of its 1840 inhabitants are buried, was acquired and the visitors center was remodeled.

In June 1994, the Church commemorated the 150th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Presidents Howard W. Hunter and Gordon B. Hinckley, and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke at three meetings in connection with the observance.

Since 1994, BYU has offered a semester in Nauvoo to study American and Church History. In September 1999, the Joseph Smith Academy was opened across the street from the temple block to accommodate student housing and classrooms.

At general conference on 4 April 1999, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that the Nauvoo Temple would be rebuilt on the original temple site. The new temple closely duplicates the original building, with painstaking attention to craftsmanship and quality. Over 330,000 toured the temple from 1 May to 22 June 2002 during the open house. President Hinckley dedicated the new temple on 27 June 2002 in 13 sessions broadcast in 72 countries around the world. The day after the temple was dedicated, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir presented a benefit concert in Quincy, Illinois, in remembrance of the kind reception the refugee Saints found in 1839 as they were driven from their homes in Missouri. The concert in the Morrison Theater raised $75,000 for the Quincy Area Community Foundation, a public charity.

On 24 March 2004, the Illinois House of Representatives endorsed a resolution expressing regret for the 1846 forced expulsion from Nauvoo. Presidents Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust were present at a press conference on 7 April to accept the resolution and thank the people of Illinois for their kindness.

In 2002, membership reached 49,972.

Sources: "BYU Announces Nauvoo Study Center," Ensign, July 1999; "Chicago Temple Dedicated," Ensign, October 1985; "Close Successful Work at Fair," Church News, 27 October 1934; "Commemoration of the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith," Ensign, September 1994; Elizabeth Lilenquist, "State of Illinois Expresses Regret for Expulsion of Saints," Church News, April 2004; "Fair Exhibit Viewed Daily by Thousands," Church News, 12 August 1933; "Nauvoo Illinois Temple Dedicated," Church News, September 2002; "New Nauvoo Stake – Number 1,000 – Marks Growth of the Church," Church News, April 1979; Andrew Jenson. Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Andrew Jenson. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1939; Don L. Searle. "Nauvoo: A Temple Reborn," Ensign, July 2002; Glen M. Leonard. Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A People of Promise, 2002; Gordon A. Buchmiller, " 'Dr. Nauvoo' Honored in S. L.," Church News, April 4, 1981; James L. Kimball. "J. LeRoy Kimball, Nauvoo Restoration Pioneer: A Tribute," BYU Studies, Winter/Spring 1992; Journal History, Church History Library; Northern States Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports 1878-1990, Peoria Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Parley P. Pratt. Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, edited by Scott Proctor, 2000; R. Scott Lloyd. "Era of Restoration Ends in Nauvoo," Church News, October 6, 1990; Victor H. Ludlow (ed.). Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1990.

Stakes — 12

(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)

No. Name Organized First President

North America Central Area

1672 / *Buffalo Grove Illinois / 21 May 1991 / Long Grove Illinois / 24 Jan 1988 / William David Johnston

370 / *Champaign Illinois

Illinois / 17 Feb 1963 / Ross A. Kelly

2433 / Chicago Illinois / 25 Jan 1998 / A. Clair Jensen / 2112 Joliet Illinois / 22 Oct 1995 / Douglas J. Fredin

368 / *Naperville Illinois

Chicago South (Ill., Ind.) / 3 Feb 1963 / Lysle R. Cahoon

1000 Nauvoo Illinois / 18 Feb 1979 / Gene Lee Roy Mann

749 / *O'Fallon Illinois / 1 Jun 1993 / Fairview Heights Illinois / 14 Mar 1976 / John Odeen Anderson

1163 / Peoria Illinois / 3 Aug 1980 / Clive Edwin Ashton

1334 / Rockford Illinois / 11 Apr 1982 / Brent L. Horsley

1094 / Schaumburg Illinois / 20 Jan 1980 / Owen D. West Jr.

2280 / Springfield Illinois / 24 Nov 1996 / Alonzo J. Mackelprang

118 / *Wilmette Illinois

Chicago (Ill., Ind., Wis.) / 29 Nov 1936 / William A. Matheson

Stakes discontinued

4 Crooked Creek [Ramus] / 4 Jul 1840 / Joel Hills Johnson

Discontinued / 4 Dec 1841

8 Freedom / 27 Oct 1840 / Henry W. Miller

Discontinued / 24 May 1841

9 Geneva / 1 Nov 1840 / William Bosley

Discontinued / 24 May 1841

5 Lima / 22 Oct 1840 / Isaac Morley

Discontinued 1845

7 / Mount Hope / 27 Oct 1840 / Abel Lamb

Discontinued / 24 May 1841

2a / Nauvoo / 5 Oct 1839 / William Marks

Discontinued / 1846

6 Quincy / 25 Oct 1840 / Daniel Stanton

Discontinued 24 May 1841

10 / Springfield / 5 Nov 1840 / Edwin P. Merriam

Discontinued / 24 May 1841

Missions —4

(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)


1319 Butterfield Road, Suite 522

Downers Grove, IL 60515


3295 N. Arlington Heights Road, Ste. 108

Arlington Heights, IL 60004


5105 N. Glen Park Place, Ste. G

Peoria, IL 61614-4680


Main and Young Sts., P.O. Box 215

Nauvoo, IL 62354

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