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    Iowa

    28,408

    Total Church Membership

    0.9% 1-in-111

    Population vs. Church Members

    8

    Stakes

    66

    Congregations

    42 Wards
    24 Branches

    30

    Family History Centers

    30

    1

    Missions

    History

    After early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints left Nauvoo, Illinois, to escape persecution in 1846, they embarked on likely the most difficult part of the journey westward: it took 131 days for the first pioneer company to cross the 300 miles of Iowa. Difficult terrain, lack of food, disorganized camps, severe winter weather, and sickness all lengthened the journey. However, these early Church members found merriment in occasional music and dancing. The Nauvoo brass band provided entertainment and also earned money by playing concerts for the settlers in Iowa. Church President Brigham Young said the early settlers "were patient, and endured all their privations without murmuring."

    Nearly 200 Latter-day Saint pioneers established a small community named Garden Grove where they planted crops and built cabins for the pioneer companies who would follow them. Other communities were built at Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs. When the United States declared war with Mexico in the spring of 1846, President Polk authorized the recruiting of five hundred Latter-day Saint volunteers. These volunteers constituted the Mormon Battalion, coming from the pioneer companies in Mount Pisgah, Garden Grove, and Council Bluffs. The Mormon Battalion accomplished the longest infantry march in the history of the United States. In Council Bluffs (Kanesville), Brigham Young became the official President of the Church in December 1847. He sent an epistle for members to gather in the Great Basin of the Rocky Mountains. From 1856-57, pioneers used handcarts to cross Iowa. Two to three hundred of these 2,500 handcart pioneers died on the trail. During the summer of 1996, communities in Iowa celebrated the sesquicentennial of the Mormon Pioneer trek west by reenacting the event with their own wagon trains.


    United States

    6,681,829

    Total Church Membership

    2.05% 1-in-49

    Population vs. Church Members

    1629

    Stakes

    1000
    100100100100100100
    1010

    14,274

    Congregations

    12,501 Wards
    1,773 Branches

    1,876

    Family History Centers

    1,876

    81

    Temples

    1010101010101010

    117

    Missions | 6 Districts

    History

    Organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occurred 6 April 1830, in Fayette, New York, with 50 people and six official members present. Ten years prior to the organization, the new Church President, Joseph Smith, received a vision and further instructions from God to restore God's Church on earth. In one year (1830-31) membership increased to more than 100.

    Kirtland, Ohio served as the organizational headquarters of the infant Church from 1831 until 1838. Membership grew from a handful of members to well over 2,000 before persecution and the financial upheaval of the times forced the Mormons to move on to western settlements in Missouri and Illinois. With the assassination of Joseph Smith in 1844 and increasing pressure on the Mormons to abandon Nauvoo, Illinois on the banks of the Mississippi, it became obvious to Church leaders that they would need to move.

    In 1846 the Saints established a refuge in what was called Winter Quarters, near present-day Omaha, Nebraska. In July of that year, the United States was involved in the Mexican-American War. While the pioneers were in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a request came from President James K. Polk for volunteers to march to Fort Leavenworth (present-day Kansas) and then to California on a one-year U.S. Army enlistment.

    About 500 men enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, and about 80 women and children traveled with them. They began their journey in the sweltering heat of Council Bluffs, Iowa, on 20 July 1846, leaving their loved ones behind. The battalion completed one of the longest infantry marches in American history — about 2,000 miles (3,220 km) through what are now seven states and into Mexico. The Mormon Battalion carved out a vital road for wagons through the American Southwest.

    In January 1847, Brigham Young received a revelation about “the Word and Will of the Lord concerning the Camp of Israel in their journeyings to the West” (now known as Doctrine and Covenants 136). 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." 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.

    Salt Lake City is home to the Church's worldwide headquarters. The Church has expanded throughout each of the United States. More than six million Latter-day Saints are spread throughout nearly 14,000 congregations.

    Africa

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    621,448

    Members

    2,150

    Congregations

    Missions

    34Missions

    Family History Centers

    329

    Temples

    3Temples

    Asia

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    1,206,148

    Members

    2,139

    Congregations

    Missions

    45Missions

    Family History Centers

    349

    Temples

    8Temples

    Europe

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    493,970

    Members

    1,382

    Congregations

    Missions

    34Missions

    Family History Centers

    645

    Temples

    12Temples

    North America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    9,336,465

    Members

    18,071

    Congregations

    Missions

    182Missions

    Family History Centers

    2,542

    Temples

    109Temples

    Oceania (Pacific)

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    562,341

    Members

    1,253

    Congregations

    Missions

    17Missions

    Family History Centers

    302

    Temples

    10Temples

    South America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    4,093,363

    Members

    5,541

    Congregations

    Missions

    95Missions

    Family History Centers

    971

    Temples

    17Temples