The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Scotland

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Stornoway branch.

As of January 1, 2011, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 26,826 members in five stakes, 40 congregations (27 wards[1] and 13 branches[1]), one mission, and no temples in Scotland.[2][3] Since Scottish population tends to be thinly scattered over most of the country, and concentrated in a few small areas, this has caused problems with missionary work and infrastructure, particularly in island areas.


Arthur's Seat from Edinburgh Castle

The first Mormon missionaries to proselytize in the British Isles arrived in 1837. Beginning in the 1950s emigration to the United States began to be discouraged and local congregations began to proliferate. The church claims just over 186,000 members across the United Kingdom, spread out across over 330 local congregations.

Alexander Wright and Samuel Mulliner, two native born Scots living in Canada, were converted and baptized while living in Ontario during the mid-1830s. They were called as the first missionaries to Scotland, arriving in Glasgow on 20 December 1839. Elder Mulliner stopped in Edinburgh to see his parents and he also began systematic proselyting.

Elder Mulliner taught and baptized Alexander Hay and his wife Jessie in the River Clyde at Bishopton near Paisley on 14 January 1840. They were likely the first to join the Church in Scotland.[4]

In February, Mulliner and Wright reunited and on 2 February 1840 baptized two young men from Leith.

By the time Orson Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles arrived in May 1840, Scotland had 80 Latter-day Saints. When six months had past he attended the mission conference in Manchester, England and report that there were over 250 Church members in the Edinburgh to Glasgow area.[citation needed]

While in Edinburgh, Pratt wrote and published the pamphlet “An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions.” It included the first published account of Joseph Smith’s first vision, and with the scriptures, became a standard Church publication in Scotland.[citation needed]

In May 1840, missionary Reuben Hedlock began working in Glasgow where he organized a branch on 8 August 1840. By March, 1841, when Orson Pratt departed from Scotland, he left George D. Watt in charge.[citation needed]

Arthur's Seat also has a particular significance to the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because this is where the nation of Scotland was dedicated in 1840 "for the preaching of the gospel".[5] The apostle, Orson Pratt, arrived in Scotland in early 1840 and climbed the hill to pray to God for more converts.[6][7]


LDS Membership statistics as of January 1, 2011 for Scotland.[2][not in citation given]

Country Membership Stakes Wards Branches Total Congregations Missions Temples
Scotland 26,826 5 27 13 40 1

Scotland has the second highest membership of all the countries in the British Isles after England.


There are currently a single mission serving Scotland, which is shared with Ireland:

  • Scotland/Ireland Mission

Five out of the six British Isles missions are based in England.


There are no LDS temples in Scotland itself.

Both of the UK/British Isles temples are in England. The Preston temple serves Scotland, and the London one did until 1997.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Preston England Temple.jpg

52. Preston England edit


Chorley, Lancashire, United Kingdom
19 October 1992
7 June 1998 by Gordon B. Hinckley
53°40′20.91360″N 2°37′52.59″W / 53.6724760000°N 2.6312750°W / 53.6724760000; -2.6312750 (Preston England Temple)
69,630 sq ft (6,469 m2) and 159 ft (48 m) high on a 15 acre (6.1 ha) site
Modern, single-spire design - designed by Church A&E Services

Notable Scottish Latter-day Saints[edit]

Eilley Bowers

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b LDS Meetinghouse Locator. Nearby Congregations (Wards and Branches).
  2. ^ a b "Facts and Statistics: Statistics by Country: United Kingdom", Newsroom (LDS Church), 31 December 2011, retrieved 2012-10-18 
  3. ^ "Country information: United Kingdom", Church News Online Almanac (Deseret News), February 1, 2010, retrieved 2012-10-18 
  4. ^ Cuthbert, Muriel (October 1978). Ensign  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Evans, Richard L. (1984) [1937], Century of Mormonism in Great Britain, Salt Lake City, Utah: Publishers Press, ISBN 978-0-916095-07-9, OCLC 11642406 
  6. ^ Cuthbert, Muriel (October 1978), "The Saints around the World: Strong Saints in Scotland", Ensign 
  7. ^ Whittaker, David J.; Esplin, Ronald K.; Allen, James B., eds. (1992), "Orson Pratt in Scotland", Men with a mission, 1837-1841: the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, ISBN 978-0-87579-546-1, OCLC 24375869 

External links[edit]