Year-end 1997: Est. population, 58,970,000;
Members, 170,500; Stakes, 45; Wards, 264; Branches, 105; Missions, 8; Temples, 2; Percent
LDS, 0.22, or one LDS in 451.
|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.
|Year-end 1997: Est. population, 46,870,000;
Members, 133,000; Stakes, 36; Wards, 219; Branches, 71; Missions, 6; Temples, 2; Percent
LDS, 0.28, or one LDS in 344.
|On July 1, 1837, seven
Canadian and American missionaries set sail for England on the packet ship Garrick.
The seven, Elders Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Willard
Richards, Joseph Fielding, John Goodson, Isaac Russell and John Snider, arrived July 19,
1837. They preached at Preston on Sunday, July 23, and on July 30, a baptismal service was
held at nearby River Ribble that was viewed by some 8,000 curious onlookers. Nine converts
were baptised by Elder Kimball, the first of whom was George D. Watt. A week later, the
number of converts reached 50 . The first conference was held on Christmas. Missionaries
began working in Alston and Bedford, where branches were 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 a thousand had been baptised.
From 1840-41, seven members of the Quorum of the Twelve
laboured in England, finding significant success. Some 800 converts emigrated during the
apostles' stay. The flow of British converts was life-sustaining for the struggling Church
By 1850, 42,316 people had been baptised, and 6,832
had emigrated; from 1851-60, 37,215 converts were baptised, and 12,972 had emigrated; from
1861-70, 14,977 had joined and 10,094 emigrated.
The Church faced considerable opposition during the
next several decades and the work was slowed. Missionary work increased after the turn of
the century. With the onset of World War I, local sisters took over missionary work. The
Relief Society was particularly active during the war. After the war, missionary work
increased and anti-Mormon activity waned. Membership increased and in the mid-1930s, a
large buliding program began and local leadership and missionaries became stronger.
Members were urged to stay in England rather than emigrate.
World War II again interrupted missionary work, and
British Saints took charge of their affairs. Despite difficulties finding leaders, they
persisted in "home missionary work". When American leadership resumed in 1944,
the number of branches had increased from 68 to 75, although they were later consolidated
into 29. After the war, the missionary force was bolstered and conversions increased. Many
members immigrated to America.
The announcement of a temple for London Aug. 1,
1953, along with visits of authorities and Tabernacle Choir during the next few years,
lifted members' spirits. Many aspects of the Church were strengthened during this period.
More than 12,000 member attended the dedication of the London Temple Sept. 7-9, 1958. On
March 27, 1960, the Manchester Stake, under the leadership of Pres. Robert G. Larson, was
created and the British Mission was divided. Growth continued, more missions were created,
and a large building program started. By 1971, membership was nearly 70,000, increasing in
1980 to 91,000.
The celebration of the Church's 150th
anniversary in Great Britain in 1987 underscored the maturity of this Church in this land.
President Ezra Taft Benson and President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency joined
former Prime Minister Edward Heath at a celebration which viewed a videotaped message from
U.S. President Ronald Regan. Eight public markers were dedicated honoring important Church
sites in the British Isles. Membership in 1990 was 151,000.
In November 1990, Terry Rooney of the Bradford 2nd
Ward, Huddersfield England Stake, became the first LDS member elected to Parliment.
In October 1991 area president Elder Jeffrey R.
Holland of the Seventy presented to the Federation of Family History Societies microfiche
containing the 1881 census of the British Isles, which had been placed on microfiche by
Natives of England who have been called as General
Authorities through the years include John Taylor, president of the Church 1880-87; George
Q. Cannon, John R. Winder, George Teasdale, James E. Talmage, John Longden, B.H. Roberts,
George Reynolds, Jospeh W. McMurrin, Derek A. Cuthbert. Elder Kenneth Johnson is currently
serving in the Seventy.
The London Temple was rededicated Oct. 18, 1992.
And another temple for England, to be built in the Preston area, was announced Oct. 19,
1992, by President Hinckley. Ground was broken for the Preston England Temple on June 12,
1994, by President Hinckley, with 10,500 in attendance.
On a trip Aug. 24 - Sept. 2, 1995, to England and
the Republic of Ireland, 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. He returned to England to dedicate the Preston England Temple
June 7, 1998. His visit was followed shortly by the Tabernacle Choir which performed in
the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 14, a performance taped by BBC for rebroadcast in
|Year-end 1997: Est. population, 1,631,000;
Members, 5,400; Stakes, 1; Wards, 8; Branches, 6; Percent LDS, 0.33, or one LDS in 302;
Ireland Dublin Mission.
|Located in the
northeast corner of Ireland, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. About 66
percent of the people are Protestant and 33 percent are Roman Catholic.
Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom when Ireland
became an independant republic in 1949. Most of the Church membership is centered in and
When the London Temple was dedicated in 1958, it
marked a "new era" for the Saints in Northern Ireland, who then numbered 540 in
10 branches. The Irish Mission was organized July 7, 1962. Twelve years later, June 9,
1974, the Belfast Ireland Stake was organized with Andrew Renfrew, former president of the
Ulster District, as president.
On Sept. 7, 1986 some 1,350 attended a regional
conference in Belfast, the largest-ever gathering of Saints in this area. Many members
from Northern Ireland, now in the Preston England Temple District, attended the temple
dedication June 7-10, 1998.
|Year-end 1997: Est. population, 5,205,000;
Members, 25,000; Stakes, 5; Wards, 24; Branches, 25; Missions, 1; Percent LDS, 0.4, or one
LDS in 208.
|Native Scots converted
in Canada, Alexander Wright and Samuel Mulliner, were the first missionaries to Scotland,
arriving in Glasgow Dec. 20, 1839. Alexander and Jessie Hay were baptized by Elder
Mulliner in the River Clyde on Jan. 9, 1940. By May 3, membership had increased to 80.
Elder Orson Pratt arrived and organized a branch at Paisley on May 8, and labored in
Edinburgh, where he found a number of converts. During this period, he wrote and
influential pamphlet, An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions. By
March 1841, more than 200 had joined the Church in Edinburgh. Another branch had been
organized in Glasgow. By 1850, membership had risen to 3,257 in more than 50 branches. By
1855, four conferences had been organized. However, membership began a decline in the
1850s that lasted for many years.
missionary about the turn of the century was Elder David O. McKay, who experienced little
success; membership in the country was 338. Discouraged, he saw engraved in stone the
words: "What e'er thou art, act well thy part." The inspiration from this had a
great impact on his life, and the future of the Church as well.
Low conversions and frequent emigration reduced
Church membership in Scotland. The Scottish-Irish Mission was created in 1961, and
re-named Scottish Mission the following year. Scotland's first stake was created in
Glasgow Aug. 26, 1962, with Archibald R. Richardson as president.
Members in Scotland celebrated the 150th
anniversary of the Glasgow Branch as members of five Scotland stakes formed a chorus and
took part in Glasgow's prestigious European Year of Culture 1990, receiving a standing
ovation for their Oct. 21, 1990, performance.
Membership in Scotland was 12,000 in 1980, and
22,000 in 1990, 10,000 more than ever joined in the 19th Century.
In the 1990's, missionary work continued to
progress as membership reached 25,000 by the end of 1993. Many members from Scotland
attended the dedication of the Preston England Temple, June 7-10, 1998.
|Year-end 1997: Est. population, 2,812,000;
Members, 7,100; Stakes, 2; Wards, 13; Branches, 8; Percent LDS, 0.2, or one LDS in 396;
England Bristol Mission.
|It is supposed that
the first Welshman was converted at the lectures of Wilford Woodruff in Hertfordshire in
1840, but records cannot confirm this. Possibly the first member to preach in Wales was
James Morgan. The first known missionary was Elder Henry Royle and his companion,
Frederick Cook. They met with immediate success in Flintshire in North Wales. Just three
weeks after their arrival, a branch of 32 members was organized on Oct. 30, 1840. In four
months, there were two congregations totaling 150 members, but the missionaries
experienced active opposition from ministers. Evidently, most of these early converts
In South Wales, work
proceeded more slowly at first. Elder James Palmer labored there with little success late
in 1840. Two years later, 44 Welshmen had been baptized. In 1843, Elder William Henshaw
began proselyting in the Merthyr Tydfil area, and a branch of 50 was eventually organised.
In 1844, the first Welsh-language materials were printed and work began to progress. A
converted Welshman and associate of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Dan Jones, arrived in 1845.
After a disappointing year in North Wales, he found success in the south and by 1849, left
for America as captain of 300 Saints. He was later called to a second mission in Wales,
which he completed in 1856, again leaving with a company, this one of 560 members.
The worked slowed considerably afterwards, but
began to build up in the 1900s. By 1950, there were 1,500 members in two districts. The
first stake was created Jan. 12, 1975, in Merthyr Tydfil. Membership in 1990 was 6,500.
Members in Wales are in the Preston England Temple District. Many members from Wales
attended the dedication of the Preston England Temple, June 7-10, 1998.
|Year-end 1997: Est. population, 3,619,000;
Members, 2,300; Stakes, 1; Wards, 4; Branches, 8; Missions, 1; Districts, 1; Europe North
|The island of Ireland
lies in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain. It is a parlimentary republic where
English is the dominant language, but Irish (Gaelic) is also spoken. The population is
Roman Catholic, 95 percent, and Anglican, 3 percent. Northern Ireland, part of the United
Kingdom, has a population of 1.6 million, of whom about half are Protestant.
The first missionary to Ireland was Reuben Hedlock, who
arrived in Belfast in May 1840, but stayed only three days before sailing to Paisley. He
was followed on July 28 by Apostle John Taylor, who was accompanied by James McGuffie and
William Black, a native Irishman. A non-member Irishman, Thomas Tait (or Tate), was also
accompanied them. More than 600 people heard Elder Taylor preach that evening in Newry. On
July 31, as the party walked between towns and arrived at a lake called Loughbrickland,
Tait was baptized, becoming Ireland's first convert.
Two months later, Elder Theodore Curtis arrived in
Ireland and established a branch of 35 in Hillsborough. A second branch, organized in
Crawfordsburn, had 22 members by July 21,1841.
In 1842, many of the 71 members in Ireland
emigrated. Membership declined over the next few years, despite renewed efforts in 1843.
The 1845-47 famine prompted the emigration of most of the remaining 51 members.
Early missionaries remarked that proselyting was
slowed by opposition, particularly that of landholders wo threatened sharecroppers with
expulsion if they welcomed LDS missionaries. However, historians believe that a good
number of the British converts during the 1840s and '50s were expatriated Irish.
In the early 1850s, missionaries established a few
branches, but in 1853 most missionaries left for America. Another group arrived in 1854,
found new converts and saw membership increase from some 20 to 210 in 1855, and to nearly
300 in 1856. However, the 1857 "Utah War" led to the recall of missionaries and
the branches were unsupervised for four years. Missionary work was discontinued in 1867.
In 1884, a few native Irish members were called as
missionaries in their homeland. They found some success despite opposition and established
a branch in Belfast that by the end of 1884 had 50 members. Political unrest prompted most
of the converts to emigrate. By 1900, about 90 had left Ireland for Utah.
However, a branch grew up in Dublin after 1900,
made up of Germans. By 1920, there was about 225 members in the Belfast Conference
(District) and 60 in and around Dublin.
The Emerald Isle was divided in 1949, amid
continued unrest, into an independant Ireland and Northern Ireland, which remained under
the British government.
As part of the 150th anniversary of the
Church in the British Isles in 1987, markers were dedicated at the site of the first
baptism and the birthplace in Dublin of Elder Charles A. Callis of the Council of the
Twelve, once president of the Irish Conference while a missionary about 1894. Membership
in 1990 was 1,800.
Indicative of the strength of the Church, Pres. Van
F. Dunn noted in 1994 that seven missionaries from Ireland were serving at the same time
in the England London South Mission.
President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Ireland Sept.
1-2, 1995, the first Church president to do so since Presindet David O. McKay in August
1953. He spoke to members from the newly created Dublin Ireland Stake, Cork Ireland
District and Belfast Northern Ireland Stake.
Information from Desert News 1999-2000 Church
© 1998 LDS Church News and Deseret
News Publishing Co.