United States information: New Mexico


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.)

New Mexico

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 1,984,000; Members, 64,872; Stakes, 14; Wards, 90; Branches, 42; Missions, 1; Temples, 1; Percent LDS, 3.3, or one in 31.

In 1831, just one year after the organization of the Church, Oliver Cowdery preached to Indians in Missouri and reported to Joseph Smith the existence of a civilized "Navashoes" (Navajo) tribe living 300 miles west of Santa Fe. Church leaders discussed sending a delegation to Santa Fe in 1844 to begin exploration for a possible colonization site.

In 1846, the Mormon Battalion crossed into what is now New Mexico during its march to the Pacific Coast from Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The first of the battalion arrived at Wagon Mound on 3 October 1846 and Santa Fe on 9 October 1846.

Missionary work among New Mexico's Native Americans began as early as the 1860s when Jacob Hamblin and James S. Brown labored in the Southwest, including areas now in New Mexico. In 1875, missionaries Ammon M. Tenney and Robert H. Smith began working among Native Americans in the state. After much fruitless effort with the Isleta, Laguna, and Acoma tribes, they began teaching the Zuni people on the Little Colorado River. There they baptized more than 100.

In 1876, Lorenzo H. Hatch, William McAllister and John Maughan received mission assignments to continue the work among the Zuni. They established a colony in the nearby Savoia Valley, allowing them to teach the gospel and farming skills to the Zuni. A number of converts from Arkansas soon joined them. In 1878, a second settlement, Savoietta, was established several miles from the first. Irrigation problems, food shortages, and a smallpox epidemic ravaged both the Mormon settlements and nearby Zuni pueblos. Savoia and Savoietta were abandoned because of the difficulties, but by 1882, a new settlement called Navajo was established near Savoietta. On 8 April 1883, the Navajo Ward was created with 91 members including 10 Navajos. The community was later renamed Ramah and the ward name was changed to Ramah Ward in 1886.

In 1878, Jeremiah Hatch, Lorenzo H. Hatch, Benjamin Boyce and their families arrived in New Mexico, purchasing ranches on the San Juan River. Other Mormon settlers followed and the new community was named Burnham in honor of the presiding elder, Luther L. Burnham. The Burnham Ward was formed in 1883. Because the community became known for its high quality fruits it was later renamed Fruitland. Some of the families who settled at Fruitland had earlier been part of the Hole-In-The-Rock expedition sent to settle extreme southeastern Utah.

Wilford Woodruff established the Indian Mission in October 1879 with Ammon Tenney as president. Missionaries labored among the Pueblo and Navajo peoples of New Mexico and Arizona. The mission met with success until the late 1880s when government agents forbade the Church from further missionary activities among Native Americans.

In 1881, Church authorities encouraged Latter-day Saints to settle the Gila Valley. Within three years a small but thriving community was established there. Other settlements were soon established in Bluewater, Hammond, Beulah, Carson and Pleasanton.

In 1883, brothers William, John and Melvin Swapp, along with other Latter-day Saints, purchased a large land claim in Luna Valley, Socorro County. They established a settlement there, building a fort for protection against hostile Indians and cattle barons. A branch was established there in 1883. It later became the Luna Ward.

Most of the Mormon settlements in New Mexico absorbed refugees from the Latter-day Saint colonies in northern Mexico who fled from the violence of the Mexican Revolution of 1912.

In May 1912, the Young Stake, New Mexico's first, was created from a division of the San Juan Stake. It was headquartered in Fruitland and included the Burnham, Hammond, Kline, Mancos, and Red Mesa wards. Other New Mexican wards and branches were under jurisdiction of border stakes in Arizona and Utah.

By 1930, membership in New Mexico was 1,643.

The Albuquerque Stake was created on 27 October 1957. Steady growth necessitated creation of another stake in Albuquerque in 1966, and creation of stakes in Las Cruces, Gallup, Farmington and Roswell followed in the 1970s. The New Mexico Albuquerque Mission was organized in 1975. Significant growth in the 1980s required creation of additional stakes for Santa Fe, Grants, Albuquerque, Kirtland, Bloomfield, and Silver City.

In the 1980s, Santa Fe New Mexico Stake President H. Vern Payne also served as chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. In September 1996, more than 700 Church members in New Mexico joined with government officials in rededicating a monument built to honor members of the Mormon Battalion, who had passed through the state 150 years earlier.

A temple in Albuquerque, the first in New Mexico, was dedicated 5 March 2000.

In 2002, membership reached 58,751. In 2005, membership reached 62,572.

Sources: Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Lyle K. and Wilma H. Porter, A History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Mexico, 1876-1989, 1997; Gary Tietjen, Mormon Pioneers in New Mexico, 1980; Robert Thomas Devitt, "New Mexico and the Mormons," Southwest Heritage, Spring 1976; Luna Ward, Do You Remember Luna? 100 Years of Pioneer History, 1983; "Cultural Diversity is Melting into LDS Unity," Church News, 24 July 1983; Holly Traver, "Ground Broken for Temple in New Mexico," Church News, 27 June 1998; Sarah Jane Weaver, "Temple Melding Members of Three Cultures," Church News, 11 March 2000.

Stakes — 13

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

No. / Name / Organized / First President

North America Southwest Area

250 / *Albuquerque New Mexico

Albuquerque / 27 Oct 1957 / William J. Wilson

422 / *Albuquerque New Mexico East

Albuquerque East / 25 Sep 1966 / George Van Lemmon

2556b / Albuquerque New Mexico West / 21 May 2000 / Lane S. Sego

742 / *Bloomfield New Mexico / 19 Sep 1982 / Farmington New Mexico East 1 Feb 1976 Marlo L. Webb

63 / *Farmington New Mexico

Young (N.M., Colo.) / 21 May 1912 / David Halls

687 / Gallup New Mexico / 16 Mar 1975 / Donald C. Tanner

1363 / Kirtland New Mexico / 19 Sep 1982 / John Scot Fishburn

654 / Las Cruces New Mexico / 25 Aug 1974 / Harold A. Daw

1353 / *Los Lunas New Mexico

Albuquerque New Mexico South / 20 Jun 1982 / Ivan Gary Waddoups

2767 / Rio Rancho New Mexico / 16 Jun 2007 / Jared P. Rounsville

816 / Roswell New Mexico / 13 Mar 1977 / J. Allen Levie

1219 / Santa Fe New Mexico / 4 Jan 1981 / H. Vern Payne

1409 / Silver City New Mexico / 17 Apr 1983 / Hal Butler Keeler

Discontinued Stakes

1298 / Grants New Mexico / 18 Oct 1981 / Elbert Leon Roundy

Discontinued 1 Mar 2009

Mission — 1

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


4400 Presidential Dr. NE, Suite E

Albuquerque, NM 87109

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