Featured Stories

First Presidency Announces Uniform, Worldwide Standards for Ward and Stake Boundaries

When considering boundary proposals, leaders should use the new minimum requirements

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attend stake conference, a grouping of congregations (called wards) in a geographical area.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced new, unified standards for the creation and adjustment of ward and stake boundaries.

The new policy, effective January 1, 2024, is outlined in official letter sent to ward, stake and other priesthood leaders on Thursday, November 30, 2023. The new standards eliminate differences previously existing between wards and stakes in the United States and Canada and the rest of the countries where the Church is currently organized.

“Leaders should use the new minimum requirements outlined in the attached document when considering boundary proposals,” the letter states.

One new requirement is the measurement of “participating adults” and “participating youth.” These are individuals who pay full or partial tithes, hold a current temple recommend, have a calling in the Church, are new members who are attending sacrament meeting during their first year of membership, or are youth enrolled in seminary.

This new participation measure is meant to “assist leaders in identifying members who participate in a meaningful way and to help evaluate the strength of a boundary proposal,” the letter states.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a November 30 social media post that one of the reasons the Savior organized His Church was to “give us experience in loving others, to learn what being motivated by charity means in practice.

“There is genius in the organization of local Church units based on geography. We don’t choose a congregation based on who we like or want to be with,” he wrote. “Wards are chosen for us based on a reasonable geographic alignment, and we learn to live with, serve, and love people who might well be different in background, preferences, and opinions.”

The First Presidency letter regarding new ward and stake requirements does not say leaders should start make changes to existing boundaries, but any proposals that already have been submitted will be held to the new standards as of January 1, 2024.

Creating a stake now requires 2,000 total members in the stake. Stakes in the U.S. and Canada previously needed to have 3,000 members; stakes outside these two countries needed 1,900.

In 2024, stakes will need 150 active, full-tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders capable of serving in leadership positions. They will also need a total of 500 participating adults.

The new requirements also state that wards need 250 members and 20 active, full-tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders who are capable of serving in leadership positions. Each ward also will need 100 participating adults.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.