Country Profile


Latter-day Saint railway crews from northern Utah helped lay track for the Canadian Pacific Railway as early as 1883 and also became familiar with southern Alberta. In 1886, a church leader from Utah explored southern Alberta, looking for a suitable place to colonize in Canada. In March 1887, he left with a small advance party, arrived at Lee's Creek on 3 June, and started a settlement that later became Cardston. The Cardston Ward (a congregation) was organized in 1888. Other Church members welcomed the opportunity for land away from the growing population of northern Utah. Mountain View, Aetna, Beazer, Leavitt, Kimball, Caldwell, Taylorville, Magrath, and Stirling were soon settled; and after the turn of the century, Latter-day saints colonized Woolford, Orton, Raymond, Barnwell, Welling, Taber, Frankburg, Glenwood, and Hill Spring.

The Alberta Stake (similar to a diocese) was created in 1895, the Taylor Stake in 1903, and the Lethbridge Stake in 1921. By 1914, more than 10,000 Latter-day Saints lived in the vicinity. In 1913, ground was broken in Cardston for the Alberta Temple, which was dedicated in 1923.

In 1935, two members of the Church from Southern Alberta were elected as members of the Legislative Assembly. Nathan Eldon Tanner and Solon Low were both appointed to provincial cabinet positions, and moved their families to Edmonton. Tanner served as Speaker of the House, Minister of Lands and Forests, and Minister of Mines and Minerals.

In 1941, Edmonton was made the headquarters for the Western Canadian Mission of the Church. It encompassed parts of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. In the early 1960s, the mission headquarters moved to Calgary. In July of 1998, the Canada Edmonton Mission was created.

The Edmonton Alberta Temple was dedicated in December of 1999.


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