Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right | 30 August

Mormonism News Getting Right


Today’s “Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right” features a Wall Street Journal article about Church growth and a report out of Alabama about the rising number of Mormon missionaries in that area.

Wall Street Journal: The Church Is Growing in New Jersey and Around the World

Wall Street Journal reporter Heather Haddon writes about Church growth in Newark, New Jersey, where a new Church building opened in June. Haddon notes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “growing diversity,” reflected in the fact that the Church has more than six million members in the U.S. Included in this number, she says, are “more than 127,000 church members in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York” in which “congregations [speak] more than 50 different languages.”

While Haddon’s article focuses on Church growth in the United States, it’s worth noting that more Mormons live outside the U.S. than inside. In fact, the Church’s 29,000-plus congregations are spread throughout more than 180 countries, nations and territories. (See more on our Facts and Stats page.)

Haddon also touches on Mormon teachings, correctly noting that the Church was “founded by Joseph Smith in upstate New York in 1830” and “teaches that salvation is achieved through Jesus Christ. Adherents read the Old and New Testaments, along with the Book of Mormon.”

Read the full article at (may require a subscription).

Related Resources on Missionary Numbers Increasing in Alabama

Greg Garrison reports on the increasing number of Mormon missionaries in Alabama, a result of the October 2012 announcement from Church President Thomas S. Monson that men can serve at 18 and women at 19. Garrison notes that Alabama, along with other areas, is especially seeing a surge of female missionaries, providing a different impression for those used to seeing young men in white shirts and ties.

Birmingham Alabama Mission President Richard Hanks tells Garrison that the purpose of all Mormon missionaries is the same. Hanks says he encourages his missionaries to “focus more on the works of Christ. I tell them, 'Find someone to help today.’ At night, look in the mirror and say, 'Who did I help today?'”

Garrison also correctly notes that Church assignments — including those of mission president and missionary — are “all filled by volunteers. The missionaries and their families pay for their housing and other costs of a mission trip.”

Read the full article at

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