The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Marshall Islands

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has had a presence in the Marshall Islands since 1977, and currently claims a membership of 4,486, or approximately 7.5% of the country's population.

First missionaries, convert, and congregation[edit]

The first Mormon missionaries in the Marshall Islands were William Wardel and Steven Cooper, who arrived on 3 February 1977. Misao Lokeijak was the first person in the Marshall Islands to become a member of the LDS Church. Lokeijak was baptized in 1977, shortly after Mormon missionaries first arrived in Majuro. Lokeijak had previously been introduced to Mormonism in Hawaii.

On 11 May 1978, the Laura Branch of the church was created and Lokeijak was made the first branch president in the Marshall Islands.

Church growth[edit]

At the end of 1977, there were 27 members of the LDS Church in the Marshall Islands. By the end of 1979, there were 177. In 1984, there were enough members to justify the construction of two meetinghouses, one in Laura and one in Rita. The meetinghouse in Laura was dedicated on 13 January 1986 and the one in Rita on 14 January. In 1987, the Majuro District (of the Micronesia Guam Mission) was organized with five constituent branches. By 1990, there were over 1000 members of the church in the Marshall Islands. The Marshall Islands Majuro Mission was created in 2006 and the first stake was established in Majuro in June 2009.[1]

Membership History[edit]

Year Membership
1979 177
1983 1,142
1985 890
1987 1,100
1989 1,300
1991 1,700
1993 2,200
1995 2,900
1997 3,400
1999 3,369
2001 3,625
2003 4,079
2005 4,296
2007 4,623
2009 4,725
2011 5,850
2012 6,030

Current status[edit]

As of April 2013, the LDS Church reported 6,030 members, 1 stake, 1 district, 6 wards, 6 branches, 12 congregations, and 1 mission.[1]

The Majuro Marshall Islands stake, Marshall Islands first, was organized on June 14, 2009 with Arlington Jabat as president.[2]

The United States Department of State has estimated that members of the church make up 8.3% of the population, making the church the fourth largest in the nation.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Marshall Islands", Ensign, April 2011, p. 70.
  2. ^ "New stake presidents", Church News, July 18, 2009.
  3. ^ Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. State Department, "International Religious Freedom Report 2008: Marshall Islands", state.gov, accessed 2008-09-26.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]