Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 72,848,000; Members, 183,672; Stakes, 45; Wards, 278; Branches, 58; Missions, 6; Temples, 2; percent LDS, .24, or one in 404; Europe Area.
The United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and is located off the northwest coast of Europe. The population speaks English, Welsh, and Gaelic. Most belong to the Church of England or are Roman Catholics.
Sources: Truth Will Prevail, editors V. Ben Bloxham, James R. Moss and Larry C. Porter; A History of the Church in Cambridgeshire, unpublished history by Leonard Reed; Church News, July 6, 1974, Dec. 1, 1985; “Church celebrates its British history,” “Markers tell where history was made,” both by Dell Van Orden and Gerry Avant, Church News, Aug. 1, 1987, Aug. 8, 1987; Church News, Nov. 24, 1990; “Temples rededicated, lives renewed,” by Gerry Avant, Church News, Oct. 31, 1992; “Ground broken for Preston temple,” by Bryan J. Grant, Church News, June 18, 1994; “Prophet returns to beloved England” by Mike Cannon, Church News, Sept. 2, 1995; Church News, June 13, 1998, June 20, 1998, June 27, 1998, May 15, 1999, Sept. 11, 1999, April 22, 2000, May 6, 2000, June 16, 2001; “Zion’s call answered by ‘torrent’ of saints crossing sea,” by David M.W. Pickup, Church News, Aug. 4, 2001 “Welcomed by city, sailing ships dock in Scottish port,” by David M.W. Pickup, Church News, Aug. 25, 2001; “Mayor of Liverpool rolls out red carpet,” by David M.W. Pickup, Church News, Aug. 25, 2001; “Portsmouth: Final port before the crossing,” by David M.W. Pickup, Church News, Sept. 1, 2001; “20,000 line riverbanks leading to Hull,” by John and Shauna Hart, Church News, Sept. 1, 2001; Church News, March 9, 2002.
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 59,093,000; Members, 142,412; Stakes, 36; Wards, 226; Branches, 34; Missions, 5; Temples, 2; percent LDS, .23, or one in 427.
Just two years after the founding of the Church, missionaries were sent to preach the gospel in Canada. They met with great success and baptized a number of British subjects who then desired that the gospel be preached to their relatives in Great Britain. Consequently, Elder Heber C. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve was set apart on 4 June 1837 to open a mission in England. Willard Richards, Joseph Fielding, and Elder Orson Hyde were also called to serve with him. As the group traveled to New York, they were joined by Canadians John Goodson, Isaac Russell, and John Snider.
On 1 July 1837, the seven men set sail for England. They arrived on 19 July 1837 in Liverpool. Two days later they traveled to Preston where Fielding’s brother James was pastor of the Vauxhall Chapel. They preached the gospel there the following two Sundays, 23 and 30 July. Just 11 days after their arrival, a baptismal service was held in the nearby River Ribble that was viewed by about 8,000 curious onlookers. Nine converts, all former members of Fielding’s church, were baptized by Elder Kimball, the first of whom was George D. Watt. A week later, the number of converts reached 50.
The first branch in England was created in Preston on 6 August 1837. It continues today as the oldest continuously functioning unit in the Church. The first conference in England was held four months later on Christmas Day. Missionaries extended their labors to Alston and Bedford, where branches were soon established, but the greatest work was done in the Preston area. Opposition began to mount through ministers and the press, but within nine months, more than 1,000 had been baptized. During 1837, branches were established at Walkerfold, Ribchester, Thornley, Penwortham, Wrightington, Alston, Barshe Lees and Bedford. During 1838-1839 an additional 21 branches were created.
In 1838, Elders Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde returned to Nauvoo, leaving Joseph Fielding in place as president of the mission. Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball (on his second mission to England), Orson Pratt, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith arrived in England in 1840.
Wilford Woodruff traveled to the potteries district and established the Church in Hanley. While there he became acquainted with converts William and Ann Benbow. In March 1840, he traveled south in company with William Benbow to the Herefordshire area where he met William’s brother John Benbow. The Benbow family was converted after their first visit with Woodruff and told him of their congregation of over 600 people who had formed their own church, the United Brethren. Woodruff preached to members of the United Brethren and in five days baptized 32 people from the congregation. Within 18 days of his arrival at Herefordshire, Woodruff had baptized the two most influential members of the United Brethren, John Benbow and Thomas Kington, and 15 of their preachers. Eventually, all but one of the congregation was converted and baptized, and in 1840 they deeded their Gadfield Elm Chapel to the Church. It was the first building to be owned by the Church in England. Ministers were so concerned about the progress of the Church that they petitioned without success the Archbishop of Canterbury to ask Parliament to ban the Mormons from England.
In 1840, additional members of the Quorum of the Twelve arrived in England. On 14-16 April 1840, they held a meeting of the Quorum, the first such meeting held outside of the United States, and conducted a general conference of the Church. The Apostles grouped the many local congregations into conferences, beginning with the Gadfield Elm Conference organized on 14 June 1840. In 1840, the mission began publication of a periodical, the Millennial Star. During the same year, through the generosity of former United Brethren leaders Benbow and Kington, an edition of the Book of Mormon and a hymnal were prepared for publication. Brigham Young obtained the British copyright for the first European edition of The Book of Mormon. It was published in Liverpool in January 1841. The British Mission was headquartered in Manchester until 1842 when it was moved to Liverpool. It remained there until it was moved in 1929 to Birmingham.
Soon many converts began immigrating to the United States. John Moon brought the first company of 41 converts with him on the ship Britannia in June 1840. Around 800 members left for America during 1840-1841.
Because of the hardships suffered by the first groups of emigrating Latter-day Saints, the Church in Britain established a system of emigration, chartering its own ships for the huge numbers desiring to emigrate. Leaders procured ample provisions for the voyage and set up companies of emigrants presided over by priesthood brethren. The system was enhanced in 1849 when President Brigham Young established the Perpetual Emigrating Fund (PEF), a revolving fund wherein those without means could have their way to Zion paid for by the Church, but were expected to repay the loan once they were settled. The money would then be loaned again to other immigrants needing financial help in order to join the Saints in America.
In 1851, the British Mission published the Pearl of Great Price. It was the first time the texts had been compiled and published together. The volume was canonized as scripture 27 years later.
Out-migration took thousands of members and many of the district and branch leaders from England in the 19th Century creating a shortage of leaders. From the period 1840 to 1868, at least 150 sailing vessels brought tens of thousands of saints from England to the United States.
In the 1880s, former member William Jarman traveled through England with his anti-Mormon lectures and helped to create deep prejudices against the Church. He eventually lost favor after losing several debates to B.H. Roberts. The 1890 manifesto officially renouncing polygamy helped to create a period of relative calm for the Church in England. In June 1894, the First Presidency began to encourage the European Saints to remain and build up the Church in their own countries. Nevertheless, many continued to immigrate to the United States.
In August and September 1906, England received its first visit from a prophet, Joseph F. Smith, who spent several weeks in England and Scotland giving sermons which were later published in the Millenial Star.
From 1910 to 1914, in the wake of the Reed Smoot hearings in the United States Senate during the first decade of the 20th century, a well-organized anti Mormon campaign was mounted by various ministers and former-Mormons. They lectured and published pamphlets accusing the missionary program as being a front to enslave British girls as polygamous wives. Missionaries during this era were often attacked, and one was tarred and feathered. Eventually, British Home Secretary Winston Churchill investigated and then dismissed these accusations as having no basis in fact.
In 1914, England became fully involved in World War I. Missionaries from America continued to staff the mission until the United States involvement in the war began in 1917, effectively eliminating available men to serve. In 1913, the British Mission had enjoyed a force of 258 missionaries. By 1919, the number had dropped to 31 with just five being Americans. Local missionaries filled the void. In 1919, the Church applied again for missionary visas. The request was denied because politicians prejudiced by the anti-Mormon campaign preceding the war felt that Mormon missionary work was disruptive to English society. Appeals launched through Utah’s congressional delegation eventually prevailed and missionaries from America were allowed to return in 1920.
During the early 1930s the British Mission instituted a “chapel-acquisition programme” intended to encourage the construction or acquisition and remodeling of buildings as meetinghouses. Even though the program was launched during an economic depression, branch leaders enthusiastically embraced the challenge and instituted building fund-drives in their branches. By 1935 twelve meetinghouses had been built or acquired and others were underway.
In 1937, Church leaders in Great Britain celebrated the centennial of the Church in the British Isles. During the first one hundred years, 126,593 persons had been baptized, and 52,000 of those had immigrated to the United States. To be part of the observances, President Heber J. Grant, his counselor J. Reuben Clark Jr., and 50 other Church leaders arrived in England during July 1937. During two weeks of festivities, President Grant dedicated chapels in Burnley, Bradford, Rochdale, Merthyr Tydfil, Liverpool, South-west London, and North London, and attended a pageant and Centennial Ball. He also conducted three overflow sessions of conference.
The upheaval of World War II, 1939-1945 disrupted every aspect of life in England including the Church’s operations. In September 1939, after England’s declaration of war, the American missionaries were evacuated. Mission President Hugh B. Brown followed in January 1940 and British members were appointed to the leadership positions vacated by the missionaries. With great zeal, “home missionary work” was performed by the members and many converts were made during the war. When American leadership resumed in May 1944, with President Brown’s return, the number of branches had increased from 68 to 75, although they were later consolidated into 29 units. During January 1946, the first post-war missionaries returned to England.
More than 12,000 members attended the dedication services of the London Temple conducted by President David O. McKay on 7-9 September 1958.
On 17 June 1960, the first stake in England was created in Manchester. The British Mission was divided the same day, creating the North British Mission. An aggressive building program, aided by building missionaries, was responsible for the construction of several meetinghouses in the early 1960s. The Institute of Religion was inaugurated in Britain in 1970.
The first-ever area conference of the Church was held in 1971 in Manchester. Fourteen General Authorities, including President Joseph Fielding Smith, participated in the 27-29 August meetings. After the Church discontinued holding large area conferences and replaced them with more localized regional conferences, the first regional conference of the Church was held in London on 13 October 1983.
Latter-day Saints throughout the British Isles participated in three days of celebration on 24-26 July 1987, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the first missionary work in Great Britain. Thirteen General Authorities, including President Ezra Taft Benson and his first counselor, President Gordon B. Hinckley, four apostles, and seven members of the First Quorum of the Seventy participated in the events. Former Prime Minister Edward Heath attended the anniversary dinner in London. The dinner featured a videotaped message from United States President Ronald Reagan.
Conferences were held in six cities in the British Isles and nine public markers were dedicated at various sites of importance to the Church. Five of the markers were dedicated in England: in Avenham Park along the banks of the River Ribble where the first converts were baptized on 30 July 1837; at Benbow Farm in Herefordshire, where Wilford Woodruff baptized 65 in March 1840; at Hungerford, where Apostle James E. Talmage was born; at Hyde Park Chapel in London; and at Albert Dock in Liverpool, where the first missionaries landed and where the first emigrants sailed from on 6 July 1840.
In November 1990, Terry Rooney of the Bradford 2nd Ward, Huddersfield England Stake, became the first Latter-day Saint elected to Parliament.
Natives of England who have been called as General Authorities through the years include John Taylor, president of the Church 1880-87; Elders George Q. Cannon, John R. Winder, George Teasdale, James E. Talmage, John Longden, B. H. Roberts, George Reynolds, Joseph W. McMurrin, and Derek A. Cuthbert. Elder Kenneth Johnson is currently serving in the Seventy.
The London Temple was rededicated on 18 October 1992 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. A second temple, in Preston, England, was dedicated on 7 June 1998 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
On a trip to England and the Republic of Ireland 24 August-2 September 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley created the Canterbury England Stake, rededicated the Hyde Park Chapel, and met with members, missionaries, and news media in Liverpool and elsewhere. The Tabernacle Choir performed in Royal Albert Hall in London on 14 June 1998, a performance taped by BBC for rebroadcast in September 1998.
Following a six-year effort, the rebuilt Gadfield Elm Chapel, the oldest LDS meetinghouse in the Church, was rededicated on 23 April 2000, by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve. In 1842, the chapel was sold to assist new British converts immigrating to America, and during the next 152 years the building fell into disrepair. In 1994, a group of members from the Cheltenham England Stake formed a charitable trust to purchase the historic site and restore it. On 26 May 2004, President Gordon B. Hinckley received the title to the meetinghouse on behalf of the Church.
The England Bristol Mission was consolidated with the England Birmingham, England London, and England London South missions on 1 July 2002.
In 2002, membership reached 135,819.
Sources: Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, Richard O. Cowan, ed., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, 2000; V. Ben Bloxham, James R. Moss, Larry C. Porter, Truth Will Prevail: The Rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Isles, 1837-1987; 1987; James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, David J. Whittaker, Men With a Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837-1841, 1992; Europe West Area Public Affairs Council, Exploring Your Heritage: Church Historical Sites in the British Isles, nd.; Derek A. Cuthbert, The Second Century: Latter-day Saints in Great Britain, 1937-1987, 1987; “Gadfield Elm: The Oldest LDS Chapel in Europe,” Ensign, October 1986; “English, Irish Members Greet President Hinckley,” Ensign, November 1995; Don L. Searle, “The Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland,” Ensign, June 1998; “Cradle of the British Mission,” Church News, 17 January 1959; Bryan J. Grant, “Church History Exhibit Opens in Britain,” Church News, 11 July 1987; Parry D. Sorensen, “Pres. Grant Visited Great Britain for LDS Centennial,” Church News, 18 July 1987; Dell Van Orden and Gerry Avant, “Church Celebrates its British History” and “Markers Tell Where History was Made, Church News, 1 August 1987; Dell Van Orden, “Liberty Sparked First in Britain,” Church News, 1 August 1987; Gerry Avant, “British Strength Lauded in Birmingham,” Church News, 1 August 1987; President Reagan Praises Church’s Accomplishments” and “Saga of Church in British Isles Lauded at Anniversary Dinner ” and “Scriptures Given to Queen, Prime Minister,” Church News, 1 August 1987; Gerry Avant, “Site Acquired for Second Temple in England” and “Thousands Tour London and Swiss Temples,” Church News, 24 October 1992; Gerry Avant, “Thousands Gather and Savor Experience of Temple Dedication” and “Temples Rededicated, Lives Renewed,” Church News, 31 October 1992; “Oldest LDS Chapel in England Refurbished and Rededicated,” Church News, 6 May 2000; Historic Chapel Given to LDS, Church News, 27 May 2004.
Stakes — 37
(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)
No. / Name / Organized / First President
1345 / Ashton England / 6 Jun 1982 / Brian Ashworth
760 / *Billingham England / 10 Jun 1986
Hartlepool England / 13 Jun 1976 / Craig Lithgow Marshall
494 / *Birmingham England
Birmingham / 14 Sep 1969 / Derek A. Cuthbert
609 / *Bristol England
Bristol / 29 Apr 1973 / Donald V. Norris
2093 / Canterbury England / 27 Aug 1995 / Christopher Brian Munday
1331 / Cheltenham England / 21 Mar 1982 / Warrick N. Kear
1346 / Chester England / 6 Jun 1982 / Peter Furniss Lee
2693 / Chorley England / 13 Nov 2005 / Malcolm Gordon Beverly
1936 / Coventry England / 9 May 1993 / Thomas William Phillips
856 / Crawley England / 19 Aug 1977 / J.A. Casbon
327 *Huddersfield England
Leeds / 19 Mar 1961 / Dennis Livesey
608 / *Hull England
Hull / 26 Apr 1973 / Ian David Swanney
1423 / Ipswich England / 29 May 1983 / Brian Arthur Frank Watling
780 / Leeds England / 12 Nov 1976 / Douglas Rawson
325 / *Leicester England
Leicester / 5 Mar 1961 / Derek A. Cuthbert
814 / Lichfield England / 20 Feb 1977 / Robert James Mawle
748 / Liverpool England / 14 Mar 1976 / Michael R. Otterson
928a / *London England Hyde Park / 28 May 1978 / Vance R. Leavitt
London North / 20 Sep 1970 / Thomas Hill
929a / London England Wandsworth / 28 May 1978 / John Dodd
930 / Maidstone England / 28 May 1978 / William J. Jolliffe III
294 / *Manchester England
Manchester / 27 Mar 1960 / Robert G. Larson
677 / Newcastle-Under-Lyme England / 17 Jan 1975 / James Kenneth Cork
810 / Northampton England / 13 Feb 1977 / Michael J. Wade
549 / *Norwich England / 28 May 1978
East Anglia / 20 Jun 1971 / Dennis R. Reeves
597 / *Nottingham England
Nottingham / 4 Feb 1973 / Ernest Hewitt
885 / Plymouth England / 27 Nov 1977 / Leonard Eden
1343 / Poole England / 23 May 1982 / Peter J. Crockford
600 / *Portsmouth England / 6 Feb 1990
Southampton / 11 Feb 1973 / Reginald V. Littlecott
762 / Preston England / 17 Jun 1976 / Eric Cryer
615 / *Reading England
Thames Valley / 24 May 1973 / Peter B.C. Brighty
666 / Romford England / 24 Nov 1974 / Arthur James Turvey
932 / Saint Albans England / 28 May 1978 / Roland Edward Elvidge
1376 / Sheffield England / 14 Nov 1982 / Kenneth Jones
931 / Staines England / 28 May 1978 / Peter Benjamin C. Brighty
374 / *Sunderland England
Sunderland / 17 Mar 1963 / Fred W. Oates
2190 / Watford England / 28 Apr 1996 / Michael John Plant
2274 / York England / 24 Nov 1996 / David Clark Thiriot
323 / *London England
London / 26 Feb 1961 / Donald W. Hemingway
Discontinued 28 May 1978 / London England Hyde Park (928a), London
England Wandsworth (929a), Staines England (931)
527 *London England North
Discontinued 28 May 1978 Saint Albans England (932), Romford
England (666), Staines England ( 931), London
England Hyde Park (928a)
Missions — 5
(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)
(183) ENGLAND BIRMINGHAM MISSION
187 Penns Lane
West Midlands B76 1JU England
(52) ENGLAND LEEDS MISSION
Lister House, Lister Hill
Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5AZ
(1) ENGLAND LONDON MISSION
64-68 Princes Gate
Exhibition Road, South Kensington
London SW7 2PA
(79) ENGLAND LONDON SOUTH MISSION
The London Temple
West Park Road
Newchapel, Surrey RH7 6NB
(138) ENGLAND MANCHESTER MISSION
110 Manchester Road
Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 1NU, England
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 2,967; Members, 5; Branches, 1; Percent LDS, .1or one in 742.
Administered by the United Kingdom, the Falkland Islands gained notoriety in April-June 1982 in a war for the islands between the U.K. and Argentina. The islands are administered by the United Kingdom and are subject to British law.
In 1983 Ann Reid and her children David and Shialee Green traveled from the British Isles to the Falkland Islands. They had gone there to visit the grave of Sister Reid’s son, Paul, who was killed during the Falkland Islands war, and decided to remain. They met as a small group with the few members of the Church who were there temporarily with the British military. A branch was created on 22 July 1996 in Port Stanley with Ian Henderson as president. The branch answers directly to the Europe West Area. There have been no known baptisms performed on the island, and missionaries have never visited. Branch members are generally able to attend the London Temple every three years.
Sources: Telephone conversation with Ann Reid, 26 May 2004; Telephone conversation with David Green, 27 May 2004.
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 1,710,000; Members, 5,311; Stakes, 1; Wards, 8; Branches, 3; percent LDS, .30, or one in 326; Europe Area; Ireland Dublin Mission.
Located in the northeast corner of the island, Northern Ireland, consisting of six counties, remained part of the United Kingdom when Ireland was partitioned following the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922. The remaining 26 counties of Ireland became the Irish Free State. In 1948, the Free State was formally declared a republic. By 2001, 46 percent were Protestant and 40 percent Catholic.
Throughout the history of the Church on “Emerald Isle,” the greatest success has been in this part of Ireland. The majority of Church members are to be found around the capital city of Belfast.
The first known Latter-day Saint to visit Ireland was Reuben Hedlock who arrived on 23 May 1840. He spent three days there.
On 28 July of that year, future Church President John Taylor and two Irish natives, James McGuffie and William Black who had joined the Church earlier in England, arrived by steamer at Warrenpoint, County Down and traveled to Newry, a town 37 miles south of Belfast.
That evening, between 600-700 gathered to hear Elder Taylor preach the restored gospel for the first time in Ireland. The following night another meeting was held but only a few attended.
The next morning, James McGuffie stayed in Newry and Elder Taylor, together with William Black and Thomas Tate, set off northwards in the direction of Lisburn, William Black’s home town. They stayed overnight at a townland called Ballymacrattybeg before setting off again, on the morning of 31 July.
As they walked along on that fine summer’s morning discussing the gospel, they crossed the brow of a small hill. They saw below them the little freshwater lake close to the village of Loughbrickland.
Thomas Tate, quoting the eunuch’s words to Philip (Acts 8:36), said: “See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized” Thus Thomas Tate became the first person to be baptised in Ireland.
Two months later, Elder Theodore Curtis arrived in Ireland and established a branch of 35 in Hillsborough. Reuben Hedlock returned in October and was the first missionary to preach in Belfast. By may of 1842, David Wilkie reported that there were 71 members in Ireland with branches in Hillsborough and Crawfordsburn.
Famine raged throughout Ireland between 1845 and 1850 and more than a million people starved to death. A million and a half emigrated to America, Britain and Australia. As a consequence, little missionary work was carried out. However, in 1848, the Belfast Conference was established with a number of branches.
With the beginning of the Utah War in 1857, missionaries were called home, not returning until 1861. Missionary success declined in the 1860s and on 25th October 1867, Elder Charles W. Penrose, president of the British Mission, traveled to Belfast to encourage the members to emigrate to Utah.
The next attempt to preach began in May 1884 when Robert Marshall and George Wilson arrived in Belfast. On 20 October, they created a branch in Belfast with 29 members. Between then and the turn of the century, 214 people were baptised in what now constitutes Northern Ireland.
Throughout Europe, the establishment of permanent branches had been hindered by emigration to Utah. In 1907, the Church officially announced that members ought to build up the Church in their own countries rather than come to the Salt Lake Valley. Though growth continued to be slow, this marked the beginning of true permanence for the Church in Ireland.
After the 1922 separation of the southern 26 counties from the United Kingdom, the Ulster Conference was organized in Northern Ireland with a second conference in the Irish Free State. The two conferences were merged again on 31 March 1935.
The first meeting hall owned by the Church was dedicated in Belfast on 8 March 1948. On 8 August 1953, President David O McKay became the first prophet to visit Northern Ireland.
After the creation of the Irish Mission on 8 July 1962 with Stephen R. Covey as president, conversions increased dramatically growing from 600 members to 2,500 members 18 months later. By December 1967, there were 3,500 members in Northern Ireland, and on 9 June 1974, the first stake in Northern Ireland was created with Andrew Renfrew as president.
The 14 July 1976 division of the mission placed Northern Ireland in the Scotland Glasgow Mission. It returned to the jurisdiction of the Ireland Dublin Mission on 28th January 1985.
On 23 October 1985, Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve visited Ireland, meeting members close to Loughbrickland, the lake in which John Taylor had baptised Thomas Tate in 1840.
In the summer of 1990, special conferences were held in Belfast and Dublin under the direction of Elder Boyd K Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first baptism in Ireland.
On 1 September 1995, many Latter-day Saints from Northern Ireland traveled to Dublin where they heard President Gordon B. Hinckley speak.
On 7 June 1998, members living in Northern Ireland became part of the Preston England Temple district following the dedication of that temple.
In 2003, there were 5,349 members.
Sources: Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Ireland Dublin Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Orson Scott Card, “The Saints in Ireland,” Ensign, February 1978; “First Stakes Organized in Ireland and Denmark,” Church News, 6 July 1974, 12; Mike Cannon, “Visit to Ireland Caps ‘Whirlwind Trip'” Church News, 9 September 1995, 3; Brent A. Barlow, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ireland Since 1840, thesis, 1968; “Preston England Temple,” Church News, 13 June 1998, 4; British Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives.
Stake — 1
(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)
No. / Name / Organized / First President
1647 / *Belfast Northern Ireland / 13 Jan 1987
Belfast Ireland / 9 Jun 1974 / Andrew Renfrew
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 5,078,000; Members, 26,536; Stakes, 5; Wards, 27; Branches, 14; Missions, 1; percent LDS, .5, or one in 196; Europe Area.
Native Scots Alexander Wright and Samuel Mulliner were converted and baptized while living in Ontario, Canada in the mid-1830s. They were eager to share the gospel with their countrymen and were called as the first missionaries to Scotland, arriving in Glasgow on 20 December 1839. The following day, they traveled to Edinburgh where Mulliner’s parents lived. Mulliner taught and baptized Alexander Hay and his wife Jessie in the River Clyde at Bishopton near Paisley on 14 January 1840, likely the first to join the Church in Scotland. Wright traveled to Marnoch where he shared the gospel with his parents and friends. In February, Mulliner and Wright reunited and on 2 February 1840 baptized two young men from Leith.
A hall was rented in Paisley and regular meetings were held. By May 1840, membership had increased to 80. Orson Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles arrived and organized a branch at Paisley on 8 May. Pratt and Mulliner then labored in Edinburgh where they baptized a number of converts.
While in Edinburgh, Pratt wrote and published the pamphlet “An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions.” It included the first published account of Joseph Smith’s first vision, and with the scriptures, became a standard Church publication in Scotland.
In May 1840, missionary Reuben Hedlock began working in Glasgow where he organized a branch on 8 August 1840. By March 1841, when Orson Pratt departed from Scotland, he left George D. Watt in charge. More than 200 had joined the Church in Edinburgh. All the Scottish branches, located in urban centers, were experiencing growth. Efforts were made by missionary Peter McIntyre to preach the gospel among Gaelic tribes in the highlands in 1845, and in 1850, some Gaelic tracts were printed by a press in Inverness, but very few highlanders were willing to be baptized.
In the first 15 months of missionary efforts, 600 Scots were added to the rolls of the Church. By 1850, membership had risen to 3,257 in more than 50 branches, and by 1855, four conferences had been organized.
Membership began a decline after 1851, largely due to the effects of immigration to the United States. The third official Church immigrant company from Great Britain was, in fact, the first immigration of Scottish Latter-day Saints. The company of 50, led by Mulliner and Wright, left Liverpool on board the ship Isaac Newton on 15 October 1840.
From 1850-1899, there were 5,329 of the 7,528 Scottish members, a full 71 percent, who immigrated to America. Even by 1870, membership losses had become so pronounced that the Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Kilmarnock conferences had been consolidated to the Glasgow Conference that had jurisdiction for all of Scotland.
During the 1850s, just 1,308 converts were baptized. A decline in convert numbers continued in the 1860s and 1870s. In 1873, for example, just 35 people were baptized. In 1897, there were 55 baptisms, but the number included children of members.
From the 1870s-1890s, the Church continued to send a few missionaries to staff the Scottish Conference. One such missionary serving in Scotland in 1897-1899 was David O. McKay. He had little success. While serving in Stirling, he noticed a phrase engraved in stone above the entrance to a house that read: “What e’er thou art, act well thy part.” The inspiration he took from this epigram had a great impact on his life, and upon the future of the Church he later directed as president from 1951-1970.
Besides President McKay’s family, a number of other prominent Latter-day Saints hailed from Scotland. Among them were Charles W. Nibley, from Huntersfield, who served as Presiding Bishop from 1907-1925 and as second counselor in the First Presidency from 1925-1931; Richard Ballantyne, from Roxburgshire, who established the Sunday School program in Salt Lake City in 1849; John McFarland from Stirling, wrote the words to the hymn “Far, Far, Away on Judea’s Plains” and the music for “Dearest Children, God Is Near You;” and Glasgow native Ebenezer Bryce, for whom Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah is named.
In 1914, the United Kingdom countries including Scotland became fully involved in World War I. Missionaries from America continued to work in Scotland until the United States became involved in the war beginning in 1917, effectively eliminating available men to serve. In 1913, the British Mission had enjoyed a force of 258 missionaries. By 1919, the number had dropped to 31 with just five being Americans. In 1919, the Church applied again for missionary visas. The request was denied because politicians prejudiced by the anti-Mormon campaign preceding the war felt that Mormon missionary work was disruptive to society. Appeals launched through Utah’s congressional delegation eventually prevailed and missionaries from America were allowed to return in 1920.
The upheaval of World War II from 1939-1945 disrupted every aspect of life in Scotland, including the Church’s missionary program. In September 1939, after England and its United Kingdom allies, including Scotland, declared war against Germany, American missionaries were evacuated. Mission President Hugh B. Brown followed in January 1940 and local members were appointed to the leadership positions vacated by the missionaries. With great zeal, “home missionary work” was performed by local members and a number of converts were made during the war. During January 1946, the first missionaries returned to Scotland since the war.
Post-war interest in the Church led to greater numbers of converts in the 1940s and 1950s. During June 1952, David O. McKay dedicated the first meetinghouse for the Church in Scotland at Glasgow. Two days later he dedicated another meetinghouse in Edinburgh. As part of a major Church building program in the early 1960s, there were several additional buildings constructed through donated labor by members and building missionaries. In 1961, the British Mission was divided to create the Scottish-Irish Mission. It was re-named the Scottish Mission the following year.
Scotland’s first stake was created in Glasgow on 26 August 1962 by President David O. McKay. It was followed by creation of the Dundee Stake in 1975, and the Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Paisley stakes on 12 October 1980.
Members in Scotland participated in the 150th anniversary of the Church in the British Isles in July 1987. Two markers were dedicated on 25 July 1987 by Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve commemorating events in Scotland’s Church history. One marker, on the banks of the River Clyde near Glasgow, is where the first converts in Scotland were baptized in January 1840. The second marker in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh denotes where Orson Hyde dedicated Scotland for the preaching of the gospel in 1840.
The Church in Scotland also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Glasgow Branch on 21 October 1990.
A historical occasion for Scottish members of the Church occurred on 2 May 2001 when Stephen Kerr, president of the Edinburgh Scotland Stake, was invited to represent the Church before Parliament.
Sea Trek 2001, an epic voyage of eight tall sailing ships commemorating the 19th century gathering of European converts to Zion, made a stopover 18 August 2001, in Greenock, Scotland, on its 59-day voyage from Denmark to America. Some 20,000 people gathered at the Ocean Terminal Port to see two of the ships docked side by side.
In 2002, membership reached 25,622.
Sources: Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, Richard O. Cowan, ed., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, 2000; V. Ben Bloxham, James R. Moss, Larry C. Porter, Truth Will Prevail: The Rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Isles, 1837-1987; 1987; James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, David J. Whittaker, Men With A Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837-1841, 1992; Muriel Cuthbert, “Strong Saints in Scotland,” Ensign, October 1978; Don L. Searle, “The Church In the United Kingdom and Ireland,” Ensign, June 1998; “Steady Growth in Scotland Comes from ‘Hard Work,” Church News, 4 May 1986; Dell Van Orden and Gerry Avant, “Church Celebrates its British History” and “Markers Tell Where History was Made, Church News, 1 August 1987; “Irish, Scots, Welsh Celebrate 150th Year,” and “Scottish LDS Urged to Unite, Build Up Church,” Church News, 8 August 1987; “150th Year Brings Prestige in Glasgow,” Church News, 24 November 1990; “LDS Team Wins Praise, Tournament in Scotland,” Church News, 24 April 1993; “Members Boost Retention,” Church News, 4 December 1993; “Spotlight on Historic Sites: Scotland Baptisms,” Church News, 22 April 2000.
Stakes — 5
(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)
No. / Name / Organized / First President
1186 / Aberdeen Scotland / 12 Oct 1980 / William Albert Wilson
734 / Dundee Scotland / 23 Nov 1975 / John Keogh
1187 / Edinburgh Scotland / 12 Oct 1980 / Alexander Mutter Clark
356 / *Glasgow Scotland
Glasgow / 26 Aug 1962 / Archibald R. Richardson
1188 / Paisley Scotland / 12 Oct 1980 / Alexander Cumming
Mission — 1
(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)
(61) SCOTLAND EDINBURGH MISSION
51 Spylaw Road
Edinburgh, EH10 5BP
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 2,952,000; Members, 9,413; Stakes, 3; Wards, 17; Branches, 7; percent LDS, .27, or one in 377; Europe Area; England Leeds Mission.
Henry Royle was the first known missionary to work in Wales. Frederick Cook, a new convert, was assigned to travel with him. They arrived in Wales on 6 October 1840 and met with immediate success in the village of Cloy, now part of Overton, in North Wales. Just three weeks after their arrival, on 30 October 1840, Royle organized the Overton Branch, the first in Wales, at Flintshire with 32 members. Within four more months membership there had risen to 150 even though the missionaries experienced active and angry opposition from ministers and others. Within a few years, most of the early converts from North Wales had immigrated to Nauvoo.
In South Wales, missionary work also began in 1840 as missionaries, including James Palmer and John Needham, introduced the gospel but struggled to find converts. Missionary work in the first 3 years occurred in those Welsh counties bordering England and largely among those who spoke English. Language barriers limited the success of the work in Wales. The work did progress, however, and it was from southern Wales that approximately 80 percent of the converts hailed during the first 15 years of missionary work.
Much of that success was due to work in new fields of labor including the industrial areas of Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire, and a willingness to begin missionary work among Welsh speakers as William Henshaw did in 1843. Soon Welsh-speaking units were formed, beginning with the Pen-y-Darran Branch in Glamorganshire on 25 March 1843. It was followed by the Beaufort, Rumney, Tredagar, Merthyr Tydfil, and Aberdare branches that were organized as the Merthyr Tydfil Conference on 6 April 1844.
On 26 June 1844, Dan Jones, one of the first Welsh converts, who joined the Church while working in the United States, was imprisoned with Joseph Smith in the Carthage Jail. Smith had asked Jones if he was afraid to die. Jones declared that he was not afraid to die for the gospel. Joseph Smith then declared in prophecy: “You will yet see Wales and fulfill the mission appointed you before you die.” The next morning Jones left jail to deliver a letter for the prophet. The martyrdom occurred hours later and within a few months, Jones and his wife, Jane, were assigned to labor in Wales. When they arrived in January 1845, there were just under 500 members in the country in small congregations.
Under Jones’s direction, the mission began publication in July 1846 of a periodical titled Prophwyd y Jubili (“Prophet of the Jubilee.”) In January 1849, it was renamed Udgorn Seion (“Zion’s Trumpet.”) Jones’s brother John, although a minister for another faith, published 45 different Welsh pamphlets authored by Jones. Also in 1846, the first Welsh hymnal was published. It was the first non-English printing of Latter-day Saint hymns.
Under Dan Jones’s leadership, the saints in Llanelli built the first Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in Wales in 1849. That same year Jones completed his mission and returned to America as leader of an immigrating company of 330 Welsh converts. At the time of his departure, membership rolls listed 3,603 converts in Wales in 11 conferences. One convert, William Howells, was called to serve from Wales as one of the first missionaries to France in 1849. Another convert, John Parry, immigrated to Utah and established a chorus which eventually became the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
In 1851, John Davis’s Welsh translation of the Doctrine and Covenants was published. It was followed early in 1852 by the Book of Mormon which was distributed bi-weekly in 16 page signatures with issues of the Udgorn Seion. A Welsh translation of the Pearl of Great Price was published at the same time as well as an enlarged songbook containing 575 hymns.
Dan Jones returned again as a missionary to Wales in August 1852. By the end of the year, there were well over 5,000 members in 13 conferences. In April 1856, Jones completed his second mission and again immigrated to Utah with a company of Welsh saints, this time numbering about 560 members including 11 of the 13 conference presidents.
The sudden loss of most of the major leaders in Wales in 1856, coupled with the continuing impact of out-migration to Utah, dramatically reduced Church membership in Wales. Udgorn Seion ceased publication in May 1861, and within a few years, the 13 conferences were condensed to three: Glamorgan, Pembrokeshire, and North Wales. In 1873, the three remaining conferences were consolidated to become the Welsh Conference that covered the entire country. Although missionaries continued to work in Wales through the remainder of the 19th century, they struggled against strong and organized opposition and without the support of a large membership base.
During the first World War, 1914-1918, wartime anxieties increased interest in religion and the Church in the United Kingdom countries, including Wales, experienced growth. Missionaries from America continued to staff the mission until United States involvement in the war in 1917 effectively stopped the flow. By 1919, there were only five American missionaries remaining in the British Mission. Local missionaries filled the void. In 1937, a small chapel was built by the saints in Merthyr Tydfil. It was dedicated by President Heber J. Grant who toured the British Isles on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the Church in Britain.
By 1930, the Welsh District of the British Mission listed just three branches in Wales with a total membership in the country of 200. The beginning events of World War II caused the evacuation of all missionaries from the United Kingdom including Wales. In September 1939, all but a handful of missionaries returned to the United States. In January 1940, British Mission president Hugh B. Brown and the last three missionaries left Great Britain. It was the first time in 104 years that the Church had not run a mission there.
Increased postwar placement of missionaries in Wales, coupled with missionary efforts by members began to build the Church again, and by 1950, there were 1,500 members in two districts.
In 1962, missionaries began to enjoy greater success in North Wales. Three months after beginning missionary work in the cities of Wrexham and Rhyl, enough converts had been baptized to justify creation of branches in those cities. The branches were not far from where the Church’s first branch in Wales had been formed in 1840.
A large meetinghouse was built in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales in 1963 by local members and building missionaries, the second meetinghouse constructed in Wales in the 20th century. Twelve years later it became home to the Merthyr Tydfil Stake, the first stake in Wales, created on 12 January 1975.
The Cardiff Wales Stake was created on 9 May 1982.
Members in Wales participated in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Church in the British Isles in July 1987. A conference was held on 26 July in Cardiff, with Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participating. In 1990, local members joined with descendants of Welsh immigrants from Utah to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Church in Wales. Events included a Church historic sites tour and a banquet. Wales House of Commons member Dafydd Ellis Thomas attended.
On 6 March 1993, the Sons of Utah Pioneers sponsored a Welsh Festival in Provo, Utah. As part of the festivities, a portrait of Dan Jones was presented to Gordon B. Hinckley for placement in the Provo Missionary Training Center. In a meeting that followed at the Marriott Center, the Tabernacle Choir sang Welsh hymns and Lord Ellis Thomas, a Welshman who sits in the British House of Lords, addressed the crowd.
Members in Wales are in the Preston England Temple District and many attended the dedication of the Preston temple on 7-10 June 1998.
In 2002, membership reached 7,615.
Sources:Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, Richard O. Cowan, ed., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, 2000; V. Ben Bloxham, James R. Moss, Larry C. Porter, Truth Will Prevail: The Rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Isles, 1837-1987; 1987; James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, David J. Whittaker, Men With A Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837-1841, 1992; Europe West Area Public Affairs Council, Exploring Your Heritage: Church Historical Sites in the British Isles, Number 8, Wales, n.d.; James R. Moss, “The Kingdom Builders,” Ensign, December 1979; Ronald D. Dennis, “Dan Jones, Welshman, Ensign, April 1987; Don L. Searle, “The Church In the United Kingdom and Ireland,” Ensign, June 1998; “2 Branches Organized in North Wales Area, Church News, 3 February 1962; “U.S. Singers Tour Wales,” Church News, 19 September 1964; Gerry Avant, “Gospel Enhances Welsh Love of Family, Music and Country,” Church News, 25 October 1980; Dell Van Orden, “Cardiff Wales Stake Deals With Challenges,” Church News, 15 September 1985; Bert J. Rawlins, “Gospel Spread Quickly in Wales, Church News, 18 July 1987; “Church’s Past Prelude to Its ‘Glorious’ Future,” Church News, 8 August 1987; “LDS Sesquicentennial Is Observed In Wales,” Church News, 8 September 1990; Mike Cannon, “Festival Celebrates Welsh Heritage,” Church News, 13 March 1993.
Stakes — 2
(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)
No. Name Organized First President
1341 / Cardiff Wales / 9 May 1982 / Barry Derek Roy Whittaker
676 / Merthyr Tydfil Wales / 12 Jan 1975 / Ralph Pulman
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 68,000; Members, 126; Branches, 1; Percent LDS, .19; or one in 524; North America Northeast Area; New York New York South Mission.
Bermuda, a United Kingdom dependency, consists of 360 small coral islands, 20 of which are inhabited, located 580 miles east of North Carolina. Most residents are Protestant.
Church members serving in the military and their families were the first Latter-day Saints in Bermuda in the early 1950s. On 16 July 1953, a group of servicemens’ wives organized a Relief Society under the jurisdiction of the Eastern States Mission on 11 October 1956. In 1959 Elder Harold B. Lee of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Bermuda and spoke to the Latter-day Saints on the island. Sacrament meetings and Sunday School were held among the military personnel beginning on 8 October 1961.
Missionaries Arthur L. McMullin and his wife, Melba, arrived 19 April 1966, and received government permission to conduct missionary work on 3 May 1966. On the following 31 May, missionaries Kenneth R. French and Curt S. Call arrived. Eastern States Mission president W. Jay Eldredge organized the Bermuda Branch, with about 50 in attendance, on 25 June 1966 and called Rodney S. Gillihan as president. This branch became part of the New York New York Mission in 1974.
Native Bermudians began to join the branch in the 1980s. Vernon Every, converted in 1982, became the first Bermudian to serve in the branch presidency in 1985. In 1993, Bermuda was placed in the New York New York South Mission. Seminary began there in 1994.
As the U.S. military base was phased out in the early 1990s, many families moved away. When the base finally closed in 1995, its closure had minimal impact on the branch, taking only one family. The first Bermudian branch president, Robin Mello-Cann, joined the Church in 1993 and became branch president two years later. That same year Bermudian Amy Trott became the first native missionary to serve from the branch. She served an eighteen month family history mission in Ohio.
Three tall sailing ships of Sea Trek 2001, the commemorative voyage honoring the thousands of Latter-day Saints who immigrated to America from Scandinavia, Continental Europe and the British Isles, arrived in Bermuda on 27 September 2001, after crossing the Atlantic.
Sources: “Branch on Island Supervised from N.Y.,” Church News, 14 December 1957; Bermuda Branch, History, 1998, Church Archives; Heidi Waldrop, “Bermuda Branch Sprouts in Gentle Island Climate,” Church News, 25 August 1985; “Nine New Missions Created,” Church News, 13 March 1993; Sarah Jane Weaver, “Worldwide Seminary,” Church News, 31 May 1997; “Bermuda: Small Branch on Small Island,” Church News, 29 September 2001.
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 49,000; Members, 145; Branches, 1;Percent LDS, .17 or 1 LDS in 579; Caribbean Area; Jamaica Kingston Mission;
Lying south of Cuba, the Cayman Islands are a British dependency, located in the Caribbean Sea some 400 miles south of Florida, with most of the population on the Grand Cayman Island.
In 1970, Joan M. Evans, who was born in the Cayman Islands, joined the Church in Miami, Fla. In 1979, her family returned to her homeland where she operated a motel. She and her family were the only known members of the Church. For years she requested missionaries and was visited by mission presidents once or twice a year.
Church members Harold and Marjorie Booth from then Rhodesia moved to the Cayman Islands in November 1982 where the Booths found employment. They started holding sacrament meetings with the Evans family. He was set apart as branch president on 1 May 1983.
Harold Booth developed a friendship with a Mr. Wilcox who was the islands’ chief immigration officer, and who had a brother that was a member of the Church in Rhodesia. In September 1985, Wilcox made arrangements so that missionaries complied with immigration law. Shortly thereafter, Richard Brough, president of the Jamaica Kingston Mission, sent the first missionaries. On 5 June 1989, the Booths retired and moved to South Africa.
Due to Cayman’s economic strengths, Church membership in the country changes rapidly and has included people from the United States, Jamaica, Guyana, Canada and the United Kingdom. A philanthropist Church member donated land and money for a chapel to be built, which members moved into on 20 July 2003.
In 2003, there were 113 members.
Sources: Kathleen Jones Brown, Telephone conversation, 12 April 2004; Margene Stringham, Florida!!–But not Forever, 1991; “Cayman Islands Opened,” Church News, 24 November 1985; Marjorie Booth and Noel da Silva, telephone conversation, 4 May 2004. Noel da Silva, electronic mail, 23 May 2004; Lowell R. Gerner, telephone conversation, 28 May 2004.
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 28,000; Members, 32; Branches, 1; Cadiz Spain Stake;Spain Malaga Mission; percent LDS, .11 or 1 LDS in 875.
A British dependency on Spain’s southern coast, Gibraltar is a narrow peninsula ending with a cliff nearly a quarter of a mile high.
On 7 March 1853 Edward Stevenson and Nathan Porter arrived at Gibraltar. They began preaching there, but encountered opposition from local government officials. Because Porter could not get permission to stay, he left Gibraltar on 1 April 1853, but Stevenson, a native of Gibraltar remained. On 4 April Stevenson was arrested, but he was soon released because he had almost successfully converted one of his jailors. On 28 July 1853 Stevenson baptized John McCall and Thomas Miller, the first known baptisms performed on Gibraltar. A branch was organized on 23 January 1854, but with the onset of the Crimean War that year, most of the members of the branch left for military duty in Asia. Feeling that his work was done, and being summoned to Portugal to bless a sick Latter-day Saint living there, Stevenson left Gibraltar on 2 December 1854.
No further Church activity is recorded until the 1970s when membership, mostly composed of British military personnel and their families, was sufficient to organize a Sunday School on 7 November 1971. A branch was organized on 27 May 1972 but membership dwindled and the branch was disorganized on 25 April 1976. During that time, the branch was under jurisdiction of missions in England. Another branch was created in 1982 and dissolved in 1984.
A branch was again created on 5 June 1991. On 19 February 1995, Gibraltar became a part of the Cadiz Spain Stake.
Sources: Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1941; Gibraltar Mission, Manuscript history, Church Archives; Ralph L. Cottrell, Jr., A History of the Discontinued Mediterranean Missions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, thesis, 1963; Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan, Unto Every Nation: Gospel Light Reaches Every Land, 2003; Gibraltar Branch, Manuscript history, Church Archives; Local unit history file, Church Archives.