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    In 1843, Joseph Toronto (born Giuseppe Taranto) became the first known Italian convert to the Church when he was baptized in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1849, Toronto was among the first missionaries to his homeland when he accompanied Apostle Lorenzo Snow and others in opening the mission. This first mission was short-lived; it was closed in 1867.

    In 1910, Vincenzo di Francesca gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon while living in New York City; he continued to live by its precepts after he returned to Italy in 1914, though he did not learn for years where the book came from. The Church was not reestablished in Italy until the 1950s, when a number of Italians learned of the gospel in other countries and returned home to share the message with friends and family. The first Italian-speaking branches were formed in Brescia and Palermo.

    In 1966, the Italian Mission was reestablished with headquarters in Rome. Over the last 50 years, the Church has made steady progress. The Italian Saints, like their counterparts in former days, are a people who “live by faith” (Romans 1:17) and are “full of goodness” (Romans 15:14). In 2008, when the Church announced a temple would be built in Rome, there were more than 20,000 members in Italy.

    In October 2016, Massimo De Feo became the first Italian native called as a General Authority Seventy. On March 9, 2019, President Russell M. Nelson became the first leader of the Church to have a formal audience at the Vatican with the pope. President Nelson was accompanied by Elder De Feo and President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

    From March 10 to March 12, 2019, the Rome Italy Temple was dedicated in seven dedicatory sessions. President Nelson conducted the symbolic cornerstone ceremony and read the dedicatory prayer. All Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ participated in the dedicatory services. This was the first time the entire First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gathered in one location outside the United States.

    Remo Sicardi
    Phone: +39 351 7103192

    In 1832, a few citizens of Connecticut joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Connecticut. In 1833, Wilford Woodruff, who later became a well-known missionary and Church President, joined the Church. In 1838, Woodruff returned to his hometown of Farmington and shared his faith with his family members. Afterward, Woodruff’s father, stepmother and sister and three others were baptized and formed part of a small congregation in Farmington. In the years following the death of Church Founder and President Joseph Smith in 1844, many Latter-day Saints on the East Coast migrated westward to join with the body of Church members traveling to the Great Basin. But near the end of the 19th century, Latter-day Saint missionaries once again traveled to the eastern United States to establish congregations.

    Church membership in Connecticut in 1930 was 198. Connecticut’s first meetinghouse was completed in Hartford in 1952. Other congregations began to form, such as a branch in Ashford, which was established in 1977 and which dedicated a meetinghouse in 1982. In 2016, the Hartford Connecticut Temple, located in Farmington, was dedicated. Several Latter-day Saints on the faculty of Yale University have helped to build the Beinecke Library’s collection of Latter-day Saint historical documents, which is one of the largest outside of Utah.

    Church members have regularly engaged in service within their communities in a variety of ways. For instance, in 1982, the Ashford Branch planted 100 blueberry bushes to serve as a resource for the hungry. More recently, Latter-day Saints can be seen participating in activities to improve schools, parks and other community resources.

    Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited Albania in 1991 and sent the first Latter-day Saint missionaries there in June 1992. These missionaries included four who preached and one married couple who assisted with agricultural projects. In 1994 Albania was among the Eastern European nations receiving shipments of food and other humanitarian relief supplies from the Church. Church leaders established the Albania Tirana Mission in July 1996. The first Latter-day Saint Albanian couple was married in the Church's Frankfurt Germany Temple in April 2000.

    The first Church meetinghouse in Albania was built in Durrës and was finished in 2006. In 2009, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Albania and attended the opening of a school for Roma children. He also met with Krenar Loloci, one of the original drafters of the Albanian constitution. The Tirana Albania Stake (large congregation) was created on March 9, 2014. In September of 2014, Albania’s First Lady, Odeta Nishani, met with Church leaders and members in the Durrës meetinghouse. The children sang “I Am a Child of God” and presented her with a bouquet of flowers. She also received a book about Church humanitarian work and a sculpture of a family.


    Juliana Hoxha Kostandini
    Phone: +355 67 544 6547

    The nightly preachings of George J. Adams brought an audience of some 1,200 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1843. At that time, there were some 14 branches (small congregations) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Boston area. Eleven years prior, the first missionaries for the Church arrived in Boston to organize congregations. Church President Joseph Smith passed through Boston on his way to Washington, D.C., in 1839. After President Smith was martyred in 1844, several members in Massachusetts joined the mass exodus west, and missionary work in the state slowed.

    In 1894, one year after the area was reopened to missionaries, Church membership was 96. A decade later, missionaries encountered hostilities toward the Church during the highly-publicized United States Senate hearings on Church leader and Senator-elect Reed Smoot, and police disallowed missionaries to hold open-air meetings. By 1930, membership was nearly 360, some of whom were recently-returned missionaries studying at Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts, became the headquarters for the New England States Mission. A Church building was dedicated in the area in 1956.

    The Church completed and dedicated the Boston Massachusetts Temple in 2000, marking the 100th operating temple in the Church.

    In the early 1900s, a few Croatian converts who had joined the Church abroad returned to share the gospel in their country. John Stosich (also known as Janko Stošić), who was baptized in the United States, preached as a missionary in Zagreb in 1911. Eviza Arbić Vujičić, who was baptized in Hungary, returned to Yugoslavia when it became a country in 1918, and she kept the faith in relative isolation until her death in 1937.

    In 1971 another Croatian joined the Church abroad: basketball player Krešimir Ćosić embraced the restored gospel while a student at Brigham Young University. Later, over the course of his professional basketball career in Croatia, he followed Christ’s call to “let your light … shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Ćosić helped translate the Book of Mormon into Serbo-Croatian, and he also helped secure permission for missionaries to enter the country.

    The first branch in Croatia was organized in 1974 in Ćosić’s hometown of Zadar. The Church continued to spread to other cities, and a district was formed in 1980, with headquarters in Zagreb. In 2012 nearly 400 people from Croatia and its neighboring countries gathered near Zadar to commemorate the local history of the Church and to train leaders for its future.

    For Journalist use only:

    Adriatic North Mission

    Address: Trg Petra Svacica 3/1 10000 Zagreb  CROATIA

    Telephone : +385 145 77 783


    • In the early 2000s, the nly Church activity in Senegal consisted of intermittent meetings of Latter-day Saints from around the world who had come to the country for a short time to work. These faithful Saints organized temporary Church groups and held meetings in their homes. As they left the country for other work assignments, however, the groups would dissolve.
    • In 2014, after the departure of several American families, only two members remained: Ben Faour, a French businessman, and Chung Hung “James” Chen, a Taiwanese fisherman. Together, Faour and Chen taught the gospel to their neighbors and worked to establish a Church group in Dakar, the county’s capital. The group was soon joined by the Niambé and Samadé families, both from Côte d’Ivoire, and thus the Church found its first permanent anchors in Senegal.
    • In 2016 the first branch in Dakar was organized, and missionaries arrived in the country. Less than two years later, a second branch was organized, and members continue to enthusiastically share the gospel. When Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Ulisses Soares visited Senegal in May 2018, more than 120 members and friends attended the service. Through their faith and diligence, the Saints in Senegal have helped in the Savior’s work of preparing “a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift” (Ether 12:8).

    Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in the Delaware Valley in 1837. Joseph Smith, the Church’s founder, traveled through the Wilmington area in 1839. Local converts established small congregations in Wilmington, Centerville and Christiana. In the 1840s, many church members left Delaware to gather with the main body of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. After the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, many remaining Latter-day Saints joined the mass exodus to the west. Church activity in Delaware ceased for around 100 years.

    In 1941, a branch was organized, and in 1945 missionary work recommenced. In 1974, the Wilmington Stake was formed. Latter-day Saints in Delaware formed a tight-knit community with activities such as basketball tournaments and dances for young women and young men, scouting, and outdoor camps. Today, church members in Delaware regularly engage in projects to serve the community, such as the 2013 “Saturday in the Park” park cleanup events held in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Ohio. Currently there are over 5,500 Latter-day Saints in Delaware in 12 congregations.

    A convert from Turkey, Mischa Markow, is likely the first member to arrive in Belgium in 1888. He preached to the Esselman family and baptized the mother and son. The other four family members were baptized later. Missionaries laboring in Switzerland and Germany were also sent to Belgium. Within two months they baptized 80 people and organized congregations in Liège, Brussels, and Antwerp. In 1896, a mob of nearly 500 people threatened to kill a missionary, Elder John Ripplinger, in Liège. The mob stormed the home where he was staying, but was dispersed by police. Elder Ripplinger remained in the city and baptized 10 people.

    In the early years, the Church held its meetings in rented halls. The first regular chapels built for French-speaking members in Europe were at Liège, Seraing, and Herstal. They were all completed in the 1930s. The Herstal chapel was dedicated in 1937 by Heber J. Grant, President of the Church. The next visit to Belgium by a President of the Church came in June of 1996 when current Church President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke to members and missionaries.

    During the German occupation of Belgium in World War II, members in six branches (small congregations) remained active. Work progressed slowly after the war. Today members total approximately 6,000, many of them second, third, and fourth generation members of the Church. Local meetinghouses serve as the location for Church activities of all kinds. In addition to sacrament meetings, Primary classes for children, and meetings for women and youth groups, there are sport activities, such as table tennis, basketball, and volleyball. Additionally, there are cultural events, such as dancing, musical, and theatrical performances.

    High ideals are taught with strong emphasis on family life, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and commitment to high moral principles that characterize Latter-day Saint beliefs. Converts come from a wide age range and from all socioeconomic groups.

    Humanitarian services totaling millions of dollars have been given worldwide. Relief without regard to race, nationality, or religion is given. Food, clothing, medical supplies, and economic aid continue to alleviate the suffering of deprived people. European nations, and more recently, Eastern Europeans receive special assistance. In June 1998 the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed in Brussels, and they were filmed by the State Radio and Television network for rebroadcast.

    In March 2014, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles traveled to Brussels to oversee the inauguration of the Church’s new European Union office. At the bomb blast at the Brussels Airport in March 2016, four missionaries were injured. In May of the same year, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency visited the Saints in Belgium together with his wife Harriet to express thanks to the members for the outreach to refugees who have been coming to Europe. In July, the Tabernacle Choir performed in Brussels. In 2018, the first native Belgian mission president Johan Buysse was called to preside over the Belgium Netherlands Mission. He and his wife, Linda, began their assignment on July 1, 2018.

    For Journalist Use Only:

    National Communication Director

    David Geens

    +32 4756 08011


    Possibly the first missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florida was Phineas Young, who served a two-month mission in 1845. The first missionaries were not well-received. From 1869 to 1929 law officers met each train arriving in Tallahassee and prevented Latter-day Saint elders from getting off. As late as 1895, history notes that two elders were arrested and given the choice to leave or pay a $200 fine. In 1898, one Church congregational leader was murdered. In spite of such persecution, missionaries continued to preach in Florida. The state's first official Church congregation was created in Jefferson County in 1897. By 1904 there were 1,230 Church members in Florida.

    Church growth in Florida was slow until Latter-day Saints from the West moved to Florida, drawn by a strong commerce and the aerospace industry.

    In 1854, four missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in California were sent to labor in the Washington and Oregon territories. Enough converts joined to form a congregation along the Lewis River. During those early years, animosity against the Church members was so strong in Washington that when one convert died in 1911, her grave was dedicated secretly at night.

    Many Church members helped with Washington's railroad construction for the Northern Pacific Oregon Short Line in the 1880s. In 1930, Church membership in Washington was 1,900 in eight congregations, with chapels in Everett, Spokane, Seattle, and Olympia. Many members flocked to the state with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in the early 1940s. A temple was completed in Seattle in 1980.

    The Spokane and Columbia River Washington Temples were completed and dedicated in 1999 and 2001, respectively.

    Latter-day Saint immigrants first arrived in San Francisco in 1846. They built communities in the area as they progressed toward the Great Basin. In January 1847, the Mormon Battalion, a group of Latter-day Saints preparing to fight in the Mexican-American War, arrived in San Diego. Six Battalion members were at Sutter's Mill in January 1848, when gold was discovered.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints colony of New Hope was founded in 1850. The first Church building was completed that same year. In 1851, Church leaders encouraged colonization in San Bernardino to augment a travel route from the coast for Utah-bound Saints. The land boom of the 1920s also attracted many members to California. Today, along with several temples, California has more missions than any other state. Additionally, members have cooperated to provide relief for communities after earthquakes, fires, and floods.

    In 1874, Melitón González Trejo, an officer in the Spanish army, came to Utah to learn more about the “group of Saints” he had heard about from a fellow officer. He was soon baptized and became indispensable to the work of translating the Book of Mormon into Spanish, which opened doors to the preaching of the gospel in Latin America.

    The first members of the Church in Spain were baptized during the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, non-Catholic religious ceremonies were illegal, so most converts traveled to France to be baptized. The Church in Spain grew as new members shared the gospel with their family and friends. After the law granting religious freedom was passed in 1967, an independent Spanish branch was organized in Madrid. The Church was legally recognized in October 1968.

    Today, more than 59,000 Saints across Spain are “remembering without ceasing [their] work of faith, and labour of love” (1 Thessalonians 1:3). They have been honored by their communities for their examples of service and faith, and they actively advance the work of the Lord by sharing the gospel and serving in the temple.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Sergio Flores
    Phone:  00 34 976 275 149

    The first meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Arkansas occurred in 1835 under the direction of missionaries Wilford Woodruff and Henry Brown. Missionaries continued to preach in Arkansas after the main body of Church members moved to Utah Territory in the late 1840s. In 1857, Parley P. Pratt, a member of the Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was murdered near Van Buren, Arkansas. 

    During the American Civil War and in its immediate aftermath, the Church’s presence in Arkansas was severely limited. Then, in 1875, missionaries baptized nearly 90 people in the Des Arc area — “many of the best citizens of the region,” it was reported. In 1877, the Des Arc congregations moved approximately 27 families and 125 people to Utah by wagon. In 1969 the Church formed its first stake in Arkansas, centered in Little Rock. Elder David A. Bednar of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was a prominent member of the Church in Arkansas during the 1980s and 1990s. Bednar was on the faculty of the University of Arkansas and served as a stake president.

    There are currently more than 30,000 Church members living in Arkansas organized into seven stakes. In October 2019, the Church announced its plans to construct a temple in Bentonville.

    Arriving by canoe, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints crossed the Piscataqua River to Maine in 1832. They traveled from town to town, preaching. In Saco, Timothy Smith was convinced by the missionaries’ message and accepted baptism on October 31, 1832.1  A branch of the Church was established in Saco. Later that year, the pastor and thirty members of the Freewill Baptist Church in the vicinity of Lake Umbagog also became Latter-day Saints. In the mid-1830s, more individuals and families joined the Church in Bethel and Newry. In August 1837, Latter-day Saint missionaries Wilford Woodruff and Jonathan Hale arrived in the Fox Islands, currently known as Vinalhaven and North Haven. By that winter, the Church established branches on both islands, with about 100 members total.2 After 1844, when most Church members joined a mass exodus to the west to escape persecution, Church activity slowed in Maine.

    In 1904, missionary efforts and Church activities in Maine resumed. Local Latter-day Saints hosted worship services and activities in their homes. On May 15, 1921, around 60 Church members attended a conference held at Bangor. In 1957, meetinghouses were dedicated in Portland and Bangor. On June 23, 1968, the Maine Stake was organized. It was notable compared to other Latter-day Saint regional units in New England at the time because it was led by a stake president and two counselors who were all locals, as opposed to transplants from the intermountain West.

    Currently, there are over 10,000 Church members living in Maine. They are engaged citizens who regularly partner with local civic organizations to serve in their communities.

    [1] “Saco, Maine,” The Joseph Smith Papers, The Church Historian’s Press, accessed July 19, 2022, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/place/saco-maine.

    [2] “Fox Islands, Maine,” The Joseph Smith Papers, The Church Historian’s Press, accessed July 19, 2022, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/place/fox-islands-maine.

    In 1847, early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took their westward trek through Wyoming from Fort Laramie, following the Oregon Trail along the Platte River, to Fort Bridger. As pioneers repaired wagons at Fort Laramie, Church President Brigham Young celebrated his 46th birthday. The pioneers used rafts and a boat to ferry themselves and their belongings across the Platte River near present-day Casper. Nine men stayed behind to continue the profitable ferry, which found business from Oregon-bound travelers.

    In Wyoming, the pioneers met Jim Bridger, who gave an optimistic opinion of the Great Basin area. Most pioneer companies traveled through Wyoming without incident; however, the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies of 1857 started later in the year and became trapped in the winter snows. Approximately 200 of the 1,075 in the companies died. Others were saved by Utah rescue parties. In 1877, Church members settled the Star Valley area, and the following year, Church President Brigham Young dedicated the spot as a gathering place for members.

    In 1992, Wyoming Latter-day Saints erected three monuments in memory of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. Later, the Church purchased land at the mouth of Sweetwater Canyon where 21 pioneers died in one night. These sites were dedicated by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

    The first Latter-day Saint converts in Belarus were baptized in the early spring of 1993. As their numbers began to grow, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited with them in Minsk. He recognized Belarusians’ unique cultural traditions and history and prayed for the country and “its heroic people.”

    Belarusian Latter-day Saints have found many opportunities to “show forth good examples” of Christian service (Alma 17:11). In addition to sharing their faith with friends and family, Church members in Belarus have sought to improve the lives of their fellow citizens of different faiths. In 1993 they formed a charitable society called Safia, which offers assistance to the needy. Since 1999 that same work has been carried on by a new organization called the International Charitable Public Association “Safia.” ICPA “Safia” volunteers and staff carry out projects sponsored by Latter-day Saint Charities. Safia has become a well-known and respected humanitarian organization in Belarus.

    Today, Belarusian Latter-day Saints can be found in a number of cities. As of 2017, the Church has registered four religious communities in Minsk, Viciebsk and Mahilioŭ.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Boris Leostrin

    Director of the Church Communication Department


    A crossroads for culture and commerce, the vibrant city of Hong Kong became the headquarters of Latter-day Saint missionaries of the Southern Far East Mission in 1955. Most early converts were refugees fleeing conditions of conflict and instability. Converts worked energetically to establish the Church while also pursuing a new life for themselves and their families. Church members and mission leaders worked together on several innovative employment, education, and healthcare projects aimed at helping people find security in daily life. Though many members had very little in the way of material possessions, they contributed time and talents to Church and mission callings.
    The temple in Hong Kong has drawn Latter-day Saints from all over North and Southeast Asia since its completion in 1996. In the temple dedication, President Gordon B. Hinckley prayed, “May [the temple] be a sanctuary of peace amid the rush and roar of this great city. May those who enter to serve here leave the world behind and reflect on the things of eternity.” To fulfill the promise of this prayer, Church leaders in Hong Kong have flexibly accommodated Saints’ diverse life circumstances. To serve the large population of foreign domestic workers who have only one set day off per week, Church services are held every day of the week, and in 2014 the temple opened for special Sunday sessions. The Saints have deeply felt God’s love and trust as they have renewed sacred covenants in their own languages and circumstances.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Annie Wong
    Wan Chai,
    Hong Kong
    Phone: 852-2910-2940

    Elder Orson Hyde visited Jewish communities in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and The Hague in 1841, but it was not until 1861 that Elders Anne W. van der Woude and Paul A. Schettler baptized the first converts in the Netherlands. A few branches were established, but many early converts immigrated to the western United States to build up Latter-day Saint communities there and to escape persecution. Some Dutch Saints returned to the Netherlands to preach the restored gospel. In 1890 the Book of Mormon was published in Dutch, leading to unprecedented growth for the Church in the country.

    In a 1907 Christmas greeting to the Saints in the Netherlands, the First Presidency encouraged members and converts to stay and build up the Church in the Netherlands. During both world wars, members continued to preach the gospel to their friends and neighbors, despite limited contact with the Church headquarters. Dutch Saints worked to turn wartime tribulation to “the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12), and several future Church leaders were converted in a German prisoner-of-war camp.

    After the war, Saints in the Netherlands modeled Christlike love and forgiveness when they sent their welfare crops to starving members in Germany. In 1961 the Holland Stake, the first in continental Europe, was organized in Rotterdam. Over the years, Dutch Saints have served their communities and neighboring countries. In 2002 The Hague Netherlands Temple was dedicated.

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    Christiaan Kleijweg
    Sweelinckhof 9
    2253 HE Voorschoten
    Phone: 00 31 651540879

    In 1841, Joseph Smith, the first President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received a letter from Church members in New Orleans who needed leadership. "Send us Peter, or an Apostle to preach unto us Jesus," they wrote, and they enclosed $10 to help defray expenses. Smith sent Harrison Sagers. Although Sagers faced opposition from the community, those who called for him offered defense, including a group of courageous women who once encircled him as protection from mobs.

    In November 1841, New Orleans became the main port of arrival for nearly 17,500 Latter-day Saints emigrating from Europe. They traveled up the Mississippi River to Nauvoo, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; or other river ports. After 1846, these port cities were the starting points for their long trek westward.1

    Twenty-four Church missionaries labored in Louisiana in 1898, and 110 individuals joined the Church that year. Local Church members continued to labor alongside missionaries in New Orleans for decades before organizing the state’s first official congregation in 1924. The first stake in Louisiana was established in New Orleans in 1955, and the Church continued to grow throughout the state. In 2000, the Church dedicated its first temple in the state, located in Baton Rouge. There are now seven stakes and approximately 30,000 church members in the state. As Louisiana has experienced devastation from hurricanes and flooding in recent years, the state's Latter-day Saints have routinely partnered with community leaders in clean-up efforts, and thousands of Church members from neighboring states have traveled to Louisiana to assist.2

    [1] David Buice, “When the Saints Came Marching in: The Mormon Experience in Antebellum New Orleans, 1840-1855,” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 23, no. 3 (Summer 1982): 221–237, https://www.jstor.org/stable/4232185.

    [2] See for example “How Latter-day Saint Helping Hands are serving Hurricane Ida victims in Louisiana,” Living Faith, Church Newsroom, updated September 6, 2021, https://www.thechurchnews.com/living-faith/2021-09-06/helping-hands-serving-hurricane-ida-victims-louisiana-224463.

    In 1996 Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Sarajevo to offer an apostolic blessing of peace for the area. By that time, Church members had been involved in the country for several years. During the early 1990s, members across Europe helped gather and deliver aid to those affected by conflict. In the late 1990s, many members from other countries worshipped in temporary groups while living in Bosnia, and many Bosnians living abroad joined the Church. It was not until 2010, however, that Elder Russell M. Nelson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, organized a permanent branch in Sarajevo and dedicated the country for the preaching of the gospel. The Church received official government recognition in 2012, and a year later, a second branch was organized in Banja Luka.

    Pioneering members of the Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina have built bonds of fellowship with Saints in neighboring countries and worked to prepare themselves for the future. Together, they are striving to make the Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina “a refuge from the storm” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:6) and a safe and welcoming place for those who come to join them in worship.

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    Adriatic North Mission

    Address: Trg Petra Svacica 3/1 10000 Zagreb  CROATIA

    Telephone : +385 145 77 783


    Members of the Shawnee and Delaware tribes in the Kansas area welcomed missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1831. Church members who volunteered in 1846 for U.S. military service in the Mormon Battalion were trained and equipped in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. For Church members emigrating from Europe, the Atchison, Kansas, area became a layover site on the journey to the Salt Lake Valley. In 1855, at a camp called Mormon Grove, more than 100 acres of crops were cultivated for future immigrants later that year.

    In 1882, missionaries arrived in Kansas and organized the Meridian Branch on the border between Dickinson and Salina counties. Missionaries left Kansas temporarily after mob threats but returned in 1887.

    The first stake in Kansas was organized in June 1962, and today there are seven stakes with over 38,000 members. Church members regularly contribute to humanitarian and disaster relief efforts across the state.

    The 1843 experience of missionary John Brown in Alabama is typical of early missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Community members assumed the 17-year-old in ragged clothing was “a simple cotton picker.” They gathered to hear him speak one day, eager to mock the young preacher. However, after he began the crowd members grew quiet and “as motionless as statues of marble.” In the days following Brown’s sermon, people treated him with respect and the Church started to grow in the stateIn early 1844, there were approximately 120 members of the Church in Alabama organized in three congregations. Three months later, in areas including Mississippi, there were approximately 190 members in seven congregations.

    Many of these early converts eventually left Alabama to join the main body of Latter-day Saints in the Utah Territory, but missionary work in the state continued. In 1930, there were approximately 2,500 members of the Church in Alabama. The Church in Alabama also benefited from an influx of members who came to the state as a result of their employment by the military and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In 1968 the first stake in Alabama was formed in Huntsville.

    Today, there are more than 35,000 Church members living in Alabama organized into eight stakes. In 2000 the Church dedicated a temple in Birmingham. When Alabama was affected by natural disasters in recent years, such as the series of tornadoes that destroyed property throughout the state in March 2021, Church members partnered with community leaders to assist in cleanup efforts.

    Alexander Wright and Samuel Mulliner brought the restored gospel to Scotland in 1839. Early missionaries, preaching and sharing tracts in Scots Gaelic as well as English, established more than 50 branches by 1850. During the late 1800s, however, most Latter-day Saints either emigrated from Scotland or left the faith, leaving only about 200 Church members in Scotland by 1890. Those pioneering Saints helped maintain the faith in the restored gospel in their country through the early–20th-century challenges of a global economic depression and two world wars.

    Church growth accelerated once again after World War II. The first Church-owned meetinghouse in Scotland was dedicated in 1952, and the first stake was organized in 1962. By 1980 all Church members in Scotland belonged to a stake. By 2015 there were over 20,000 Saints in Scotland who could say with Andrew in the Bible that they had found the Messiah (see John 1:41) and were prepared to follow Him in faith. Building on that foundation of faith, the Scottish Saints continually worked in their own lives and through Church-organized service to improve their communities and reach out to those in need.

    Beginning in the 1850s, Latter-day Saints occasionally traveled from the Utah Territory to preach the restored gospel and to explore the possibility of permanent settlements in Arizona. Beginning in 1854, Jacob Hamblin, called to preside over missionary efforts to the Indigenous peoples in the area, made frequent trips to Arizona. In 1876, Latter-day Saint settlers began building forts and establishing a series of communities along the Little Colorado River Valley in northeastern Arizona. Additional Latter-day Saint communities were soon established near St. Johns and in the Gila River, Salt River, and San Pedro valleys. In 1877, Daniel Webster Jones and Henry Clay Rogers established Fort Utah in the Salt River Valley. Over the next two years, with the help of wagon companies arriving from Utah and Idaho, Fort Utah grew into a well-established farming community. Eventually renamed Mesa, this settlement became the center of the first stake in Arizona, the Maricopa Stake. The Mesa Arizona Temple, the first in Arizona, was dedicated on October 23, 1927. There are now five temples in Arizona.

    The Saints of Arizona have made significant contributions both to the Church and to their local communities throughout their history. In 1973, Spencer W. Kimball, a native of Thatcher, Arizona, became the Church’s 12th President. In recent years, Latter-day Saints have joined a coalition of more than 40 churches to help migrant refugees and asylum seekers and assisted in providing clean water to the Navajo Nation. With support from Saints in Arizona, Latter-day Saint Charities has made significant donations to charitable organizations throughout the state and nation.

    One afternoon in July 1837, Elder Heber C. Kimball leaped from the small boat shuttling him to the port in Liverpool and waded to shore. Anxious to begin preaching in England, Kimball, fellow Apostle Orson Hyde, and their companions—many of them sons of Britain—began declaring the restored gospel in Preston and soon founded the British Mission.

    Between 1840 and 1920, more than 50,000 British converts answered the call to gather in North America and “bring forth Zion, that it may rejoice … and flourish” (Doctrine and Covenants 39:13). They brought with them knowledge, talent, and leadership that sustained the early Church as the Saints fled disaffection and persecution to settle the American West.

    While migration bolstered the Church in the United States, it decimated branches in England. By 1937 only a few thousand Saints remained to celebrate the mission’s centennial. Since that time, members have been encouraged to stay in their homeland and preach the gospel to their neighbors. A rapid increase in baptisms followed that counsel. When the London England Temple was dedicated in September 1958, Church President David O. McKay declared that a “New Era in the British Mission” was beginning. Since then, membership has grown nearly sixfold, most members attend wards, and, in 1998, a second temple was dedicated in England, this time in Preston.

    Norway’s people have played a significant role in Church history since the 1840s. Norwegians who joined the Church in the United States were in the first pioneer companies to reach the Salt Lake Valley. Three years later, in 1850, the Scandinavian Mission became one of the first missions in which missionaries taught the gospel in a language other than English. Hans F. Petersen, a Dane, extended the mission’s work into Norway in 1851. Though the government refused to recognize the Church and the early Saints in Norway faced significant opposition, thousands joined the Church in Norway in the 1800s.

    Nearly half of those early members immigrated and helped build up the Church in Utah and the surrounding areas. One immigrant, John A. Widtsoe, later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and served for three decades. Other members remained in Norway and helped keep a continual Church presence there, though the development of Church organizations was limited.

    In August 1946, the government granted the Church permission to preach in Norway; official registration as a religious denomination was granted in 1988. Now, with two stakes and 22 congregations, the Church is firmly established in Norway.

    From average members living their religion daily to leaders in the highest councils, Norwegian Latter-day Saints have deeply influenced the Church. Theirs is a story of perseverance, conviction, and continuing in the faith (see Colossians 1:23).

    Journalist contact:

    Janett Moen
    +47 988 05 984


    In the 1830s and 1840s, a few Latter-day Saint families lived in the town of Leitersburg in western Maryland. In 1841, Latter-day Saint missionary John Murdock arrived in Baltimore, and in 1842, the Mormon Expositor, a Church paper in Baltimore, launched. In the first half of 1844, Latter-day Saint leaders representing Joseph Smith’s U.S. presidential campaign held their own nominating convention and attended the conventions of the Whig and Democratic parties in Baltimore. Following the martyrdom of Smith in June 1844, the majority of Latter-day Saints moved far to the west, and the Church’s presence in Maryland dwindled.

    Around the turn of the 20th century, Latter-day Saint missionary work and congregations revived in the area. Utah became a state in 1896, and in Washington, D.C. Church members often met for worship in the homes of Utah members of Congress. In 1914, women of the Baltimore Branch Relief Society organized to collect and mend clothes and make quilts for the needy. Growing congregations built meetinghouses such as the Washington Chapel, dedicated in 1933, and the Baltimore Chapel, dedicated in 1935.1 In 1940, the first stake in Maryland centered on Washington, D.C.2 In 1963, the Church created a congregation in Annapolis. Between 1958 and 1984, Maryland’s Latter-day Saints contributed volunteer labor to run a dairy farm at Trappe, producing dairy products for the poor and needy.3

    The Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington was completed in 1974 and is a prominent landmark on the Capital Beltway. Maryland Church members have contributed many volunteer hours to soup kitchens, blood drives, schools, parks, hospice and other community resources.4


    [1] “Washington chapel [history],” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, accessed July 20, 2022, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/6b96efd5-2cc1-4c5a-b9a3-0d6b2f8d88eb/0/8; A History of the Baltimore Maryland Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1974-1999 (United States: Gateway Press, 2003), 8.

    [2] History of the Baltimore Maryland Stake, 1–9. Church Directory of Organization and Leaders verifies that all the other Maryland Stakes were created from 1970 on.

    [3] Edwin G. Sapp, A brief history of the Suitland Maryland Stake, 1979–2004 (United States: Gateway Press, 2004), 32.

    [4] See for example “Mormon Helping Hands Assist in Maryland Park Cleanup (Photo Essay),” The Newsroom Blog, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, published May 23, 202, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/mormon-helping-hands-parkville-maryland.

    In 1840 Thomas Tate became the first Latter-day Saint convert in Ireland when he was baptized near Belfast by John Taylor of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. By 1856 there were over 200 Church members in Ireland, concentrated in the north, but many later immigrated to Utah. Missionary work was irregular during the mid-1800s, picking up again in the 1880s. By 1922 there were branches in Belfast and Londonderry.

    The Church began to establish a more permanent presence after World War II. The first Church-owned meetinghouse in Northern Ireland was dedicated in 1948. The organization of the Irish mission in 1962 led to a period of rapid growth, paving the way for the organization of the Belfast Stake in 1974. Latter-day Saints worked to minister to members and adapt as necessary during the political violence in Northern Ireland in the late 20th century. By 2015 there were over 5,000 Latter-day Saints in Northern Ireland striving to serve in their communities and to be a light to those around them (see 3 Nephi 12:14–16).

    As many Russians sought renewed spirituality in their lives in the late 1980s, some found answers in the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1990 these Russians formed the first Russian Latter-day Saint congregations in St. Petersburg and Vyborg. Over the course of the 1990s, other congregations were established across the country, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. In 2011 the Church’s first stake in Russia was organized in Moscow.

    Yet the Church’s ties with Russia go back further. Joseph Smith called missionaries to Russia in 1843, and Church leaders visited the country in 1866. In 1895 the Lindlöf family joined the Church in St. Petersburg. Starting in the 1920s, Russian emigrants translated Church literature to share with Russian-speaking people. In 1903 and 1990, Elders Francis M. Lyman and Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve, respectively, offered special prayers for Russia and its people.

    Russian Latter-day Saints inherited this modern legacy of faith in addition to their country’s own rich religious heritage. Moving forward in faith, they build upon this past as they strengthen each other and their communities. In their lives as Christians and citizens of their country, Russian Latter-day Saints have proven to be “example[s] of the believers” in our day (1 Timothy 4:12).

    For Journalist Use Only

    Boris Leostrin

    Director of the Church Communication Department


    In 1850, when the first Latter-day Saint missionaries reached Hawai‘i, the islands were still an independent kingdom with a mostly native Hawaiian population. George Q. Cannon, one of the early missionaries to the islands, was particularly eager to learn the Hawaiian language. In the early 1850s he and an early Hawaiian convert, Jonathan Nāpela, worked together to translate the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian, which was the first time the book was translated into a non-European language.

    Many Hawaiians embraced the gospel. By the 1870s, more than 4,000 Hawaiians were Latter-day Saints. Because the death of many Hawaiians due to disease had led to laws restricting emigration, instead of gathering to Utah the Hawaiian Saints established gathering places on the islands—first in Lāna‘i, then in Lā‘ie, where the first temple outside North America was dedicated in 1919. The first stake outside North America was organized on O‘ahu in 1935.

    As Hawai‘i’s population became more diverse, so did general Church membership. In the early 20th century, for example, a Japanese mission was established in Hawai‘i, and work among Japanese Hawaiians flourished. In the 1950s the Church established a college—now Brigham Young University–Hawaii—in Lā‘ie with a mission to bring together students from around the world. A second temple, in Kona, was dedicated in 2000. By 2018 there were nearly 75,000 Latter-day Saints in Hawai‘i, organized into 16 stakes.

    In 1839, Joseph Smith, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited the nation’s capital with Elias Higbee to seek redress of grievances suffered by Church members in Missouri. In response, United States President Martin Van Buren reportedly said, “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.”

    Early Church members paid occasional visits to Washington, D.C., as they sought statehood for their newly established communities in the Great Basin. Church leader Reed Smoot was elected to the United States Senate in 1903 and seated in 1907 after a series of hearings that brought publicity to the Church.

    Around the turn of the 20th century, the area’s Latter-day Saint missionary work and congregations were revived. Utah had become a state in 1896, and in Washington, D.C., Church members often met for worship in the homes of Utah members of Congress. Growing congregations built meetinghouses such as the Washington Chapel, dedicated in 1933.  In 1940, the first stake in Maryland was established around Washington, D.C.

    In 1933, a large granite chapel was completed in the area. Future Church president Ezra Taft Benson worked in Washington, D.C., as secretary of agriculture in the Eisenhower administration from 1953 to 1961. In 1974, a temple was completed in Kensington, Maryland. Ambassadors and diplomats visit the temple's annual lighting ceremonies during the Christmas holiday. 

    President Gordon B. Hinckley, along with 26 other religious leaders from across the nation, visited the Capitol after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and met with U.S. President George W. Bush.

    In 1831, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preached in Madison, Unionville and Vienna, Indiana. They also organized congregations. Church President Joseph Smith visited Greenville for one month in 1832.

    Congregations in Ohio and Missouri were much larger than those in Indiana, but in time, congregations sprouted up along the travel routes to those two states. By 1843, there were branches of the Church in 30 Indiana counties. After the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, many Indiana members joined a mass exodus to the Great Basin.

    Around the turn of the 20th century, a small number of Indiana Latter-day Saints still met in homes. In 1913, Church members in Indianapolis rented a hall. In 1927, members built a meetinghouse in Indianapolis, which was dedicated by Church President Heber J. Grant.

    Following World War II, many Latter-day Saint service members, funded by the GI Bill, moved to Indiana to attend the state's many colleges and universities. The Indianapolis stake was created in 1959. The Indianapolis Indiana Temple was dedicated in 2015.

    Latter-day Saints are engaged citizens and regularly gather to serve their communities. After catastrophic floods in southern Indiana in 2008, Latter-day Saint volunteers mobilized to distribute essential supplies and clear debris. After tornadoes in 2012, Church members helped with cleanup efforts in Bloomington, New Albany, Perkin, Borden and Henryville. Currently, there are over 45,000 Church members in over 100 congregations across the state.

    In February 1852, Apostle Lorenzo Snow and Jabez Woodard arrived on Malta and began to preach the gospel. That May, Ferndinanda Seiapati and Jean Alais Frouche were the first people baptized on the island. The following June, a branch (a small congregation) was organized. Most of the converts were British military personnel. Opposition surfaced, however, and many converts were threatened by military officials with loss of rank or punishment for their involvement in the Church. Many remained faithful, but others fell away.

    In 1854, many branch members left Malta to serve in the Crimean War. Four mobile branches were organized to serve the members at war from the original branch in Malta. By 1856, however, the main branch was dissolved.

    Thereafter, there is no known Church presence on Malta until the 1960s when Latter-day Saints, primarily with the British military, came to Malta. Most lived there temporarily, but by December 1968 an informal group was meeting, with meetings continuing until at least 1972.

    Mission president Lino P. Gambarotto with Church legal counsel David Farnsworth went to Malta in September 1979. They met with government officials and learned that missionaries were welcome but that getting them permission to stay over extended periods of time would be difficult. The government of Malta granted permission for the Church to have missionaries there in January 1980.

    Missionary work progressed and in December 1988 a branch (a small congregation) was organized. In early 1991, missionary work was interrupted due to anti-American demonstrations and the branch was discontinued, reopening in October 1991 with Emanuele D’Emanuele as the first native president. Missionaries returned in June 1993.


    Communication Director

    Remo Sicardi
    Phone: +39 351 710 3192

    Missionaries preaching in the Andes Mission arrived in Bolivia in November 1964 and baptized the first convert that December. The first Bolivian to serve a mission for the Church was Desiderio Arce Cano in 1967. He left a singing career in Argentina to serve in his native land. He later presided over a stake (diocese) and a mission for the Church.

    In recent years, the Church has sponsored humanitarian projects in Bolivia, including village development projects and medical supply donations to hospitals in the country.

    For Journalist Use Only
    Guillermo Estrugo N.
    Office: +511-3177045
    Mobile: 51-998477530

    In the 1980s Latter-day Saints who had been baptized abroad began returning to the Republic of the Congo. In 1991 those in Brazzaville gathered together and, under the direction of the mission president across the Congo River in Kinshasa, began organizing the Church in the Republic of the Congo. The first baptisms took place in June 1991, and the government recognized the Church in October. By the time Elders Russell M. Nelson and Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited in 1992 to dedicate the country for the preaching of the gospel, the first district had already been organized.

    Although civil unrest later in the 1990s often disrupted the work of full-time missionaries, Latter-day Saints in the Republic of the Congo heeded the scriptures’ call to do the Lord’s work and share the gospel with their neighbors (see Doctrine and Covenants 38:40–41). Even in times of violence, members helped and strengthened each other, often sharing what little they had. In 2003 the first stake in the country was organized in Brazzaville.

    Saints in the Congo have worked to serve each other and their communities, offering self-reliance workshops for the economic advancement of members as well as offering training in other health and welfare causes. As members have gained experience, the Church has become more firmly established: by 2019 there were nearly 8,000 members living in two stakes.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Mpho Mokgare
    Phone:  00267 391 2667
    Mobile:  00267 7279 6550

    In October 1840, missionaries Henry Royle and Frederick Cook first preached in Wales. They found people receptive to their message. Over the next decade, the preaching of Latter-day Saint missionaries—from the pulpit and in the press—brought thousands of Welsh into the Church. Many converts heeded the call to gather to Zion in the Rocky Mountains (see D&C 101:63–64).

    Early missionaries published several tracts, periodicals, and volumes of scripture in Welsh. Welsh translations of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price were published serially. The compiled and bound volume was the first non-English-language edition of the triple combination of latter-day scripture.

    For nearly a century, many Welsh converts braved the journey to the western United States, and Welsh settlement profoundly impacted the Church in the Intermountain West. The Church in Wales, however, suffered after converts left. In 1904, with fewer than 200 members in all of Wales, the British Mission closed the Welsh Conference.

    In the early 20th century, stalwart Latter-day Saints sustained the few small branches that remained concentrated around Merthyr Tydfil. Their diligence allowed the Church to remain in Wales. After 1958, when a temple was dedicated near London, the Church once again established itself in Wales. The Merthyr Tydfil Wales Stake became the first stake in Wales when it was organized in 1975.

    When the first company of Latter-day Saint pioneers began to journey westward, they did not know their end destination. But on 24 July 1847, when the wagons rolled out of the canyon into the Salt Lake Valley, their destination became apparent. "It is enough," Church President Brigham Young said as he viewed the valley below. "This is the right place. Drive on." Young named the area "Deseret," meaning honeybee, signifying the hive of activity that would soon inhabit the area. The President stayed only 33 days before returning to Winter Quarters in Nebraska to assist other families on their trek. At least 236 pioneer companies of approximately 60,000 pioneers crossed the plains for Utah. With time, they transformed the desert valley into the bustling and prosperous Salt Lake City.

    Several historic sites exist in the state today, including Temple Square, visited by nearly 5 million people annually. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs a weekly broadcast from one of the largest timber-roofed buildings in the world. The broadcast is the longest continuous broadcast program in the United States. In addition to the Salt Lake Temple, which took early members more than 40 years to complete, 16 other temples dot the state. Seven more temples are announced or under construction.



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