Mormon Church Membership More International than National

2009
LDS children singing in Africa
Image via LDS.org

This past weekend, thousands of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filled the Conference Center to hear leaders of the Church provide counsel, advice, and doctrinal teachings. General Conference is broadcasted from Salt Lake City, where Church headquarters is located, but members from all over the world can listen to the six different sessions. Although Church headquarters is in Utah, fewer members live inside the United States than outside. In fact, 58 percent of Latter-day Saints live internationally.

LDS Church membership
Image via DeseretNews.com

Deseret News reports that for the past 17 years the number of Church members living outside of the United States has been greater than the number of those living in the States. Today, 8.68 million members live abroad while only 6.4 million members live in America. In addition, 29 members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were born outside of the United States, and a full two-thirds of the Area Seventy are from countries abroad. 

The 184th Semiannual General Conference of the Church marks the first year that speakers could give talks in their native tongue. This past weekend, four different speakers addressed the thousands of Saints in the conference center (and millions around the world) in their native language. The languages viewers heard over the pulpit this conference included Cantonese, Spanish and Portuguese.

All conference talks are translated into 94 languages so that members across the world have the opportunity to hear the Lord’s counsel through his prophets and apostles. Published Church magazines translate the conference addresses into 34 languages.

For more information on the Church’s international growth, or on foreign speakers, visit DeseretNews.com.

Kylie is a writer at LDS.net and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.