The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines

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As of April 2016, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) reported 728,295 members in 85 stakes and 84 districts, 1,201 congregations (537 wards[1] and 597 branches),[1] 21 missions, and two temples in the Philippines.[2]

Since August 2016, the church's Philippines Area has included Shayne M. Bowen as president, with Allen D. Haynie and Evan A. Schmutz as counselors.


The first contact the church had with the Philippines was in 1898 during the Spanish–American War. Two LDS men, Willard Call and George Seaman, who were part of the United States artillery battery, were set apart as missionaries and began to proselytize after being deployed to the Philippines. However, they met with little success.[3] Active proselytizing stopped on the onset of World War II.[4]

The first Filipino to join the LDS Church was Aneleta Pabilona Fajardo in 1945, who was introduced to the church by Maxine Grimm, who was in the Philippines with the Red Cross in the aftermath of World War II.[3]

The Luzon Serviceman's District was organized during the Korean War under the Japanese Mission for American servicemen stationed in the Philippines. In August 1955, the district was then transferred to the newly organized Southern Far East Mission, under the direction of Joseph Fielding Smith, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.[3] During this time, Smith visited the Philippines. Due to legal issues, the LDS Church could not send missionaries to the country. Missionary work, however, was done by LDS servicemen and American residents, including Kendall B. Schaefermeyer, a returned missionary serving in the U.S. Navy.[3] He had baptized four Filipinos by October 1957 and was teaching more than 20 others.[3]

During 1960, Gordon B. Hinckley, then an Assistant to the Twelve, and apostle Ezra Taft Benson, visited the Philippines.[3] The purpose of the visit was mainly to see the work of the LDS servicemen groups, but they brought back encouraging reports of the missionary work being done among the native Filipinos.[3]

The church obtained official recognition in the Philippines in 1961 when Robert S. Taylor, president of the Southern Far East Mission, filed the paperwork with the Philippine government.[3] Subsequently, on 28 April 1961 in a meeting with servicemen, American residents, and Filipino members, Hinckley rededicated the country.[3] The first American missionaries (Ray Goodson, Harry Murray, Kent Lowe and Nestor Ledesma) arrived in Manila two months later.[3] One of the first converts after official recognition was the family of José Gutierez, Sr. After the end of the years, six more were baptized.[3]

Due to growth that followed, the Philippines was organized into its own mission by 1967, with Paul S. Rose as the first president.[3] In 1969, the church spread across the islands, having the highest amount of baptisms compared to every other area of the world.[4] This led to the division of the Philippines Mission in 1974 into two separate missions, the Philippines Manila and Philippines Cebu City missions.[3]

The first stake in the Philippines was formed in Manila on 20 May 1973.[2][5] As of January 2016, there were 96 stakes in the Philippines.[6]

Church president Spencer W. Kimball presided over two area conferences, one in 1975 and another in 1980.[3] During the area conference in 1980, Kimball met with then-President Ferdinand Marcos at Malacañang Palace.[3] In 1987, Manila became the headquarters of the church's Philippines/Micronesia Area.[3]

Augusto A. Lim, the first Filipino general authority, was called to the Second Quorum of Seventy in June 1992.[3]

In 1987, the Book of Mormon was translated into Tagalog by Ricardo Cruz, with the assistance of Posidio Ocampo and Ananias Bala in the final stages of production.[7] Since then, the Book of Mormon has been translated to several other languages of the Philippines.

Notable people[edit]



Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Manila, 2009).jpg

29. Manila Philippines Temple edit


Quezon City, Philippines
1 April 1981
25 September 1984 by Gordon B. Hinckley
26,683 sq ft (2,479 m2) and 115 ft (35 m) high on a 3.5 acre (1.4 ha) site
Modern adaptation of six-spire design - designed by Church A&E Services with Felipe M. Mendoza & Partners

133. Cebu City Philippines Temple edit


Cebu City, Philippines
April 18, 2006
June 13, 2010 by Thomas S. Monson
29,556 sq ft (2,746 m2) and 140 ft (43 m) high on a 11.6 acre (4.7 ha) site
Announced by letter to local priesthood leaders in April 2006.[9]

171. Urdaneta Philippines Temple (Announced) edit


Urdaneta City, Philippines
2 October 2010
Announced by Thomas S. Monson in General Conference, 2 October 2010.[10]

179. Manila-Area Philippines (Announced) edit


Manila, Philippines
2 April 2017
Announced by Thomas S. Monson on 2 April 2017[11]

Philippines Missionary Training Center[edit]

The Philippines has its own Missionary Training Center (MTC) where native Filipinos receive missionary training in their own language. The first MTC was dedicated on October 8, 1983, and was housed in a private rented residence. The second MTC was opened July 13, 1992, and stands across the road from the Manila temple.[12] In 2011, the MTC underwent extensive remodeling and was rededicated in May 2012 by Russell M. Nelson.[12] Other nations, including those listed below, send missionaries to the Philippines MTC to receive training in their native language.[13]

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Mongolia
  • Cambodia
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam
  • Malaysia
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka

As of January 2017, the MTC president is Rodolfo A. Carlos.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b LDS Meetinghouse Locator. Nearby Congregations (Wards and Branches).
  2. ^ a b "Facts and Statistics: Statistics by Country: Philippines", Newsroom, LDS Church, 31 December 2011, retrieved 2012-10-18 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Philippines: Church Country Information". Mormon newsroom. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "Country Information: Philippines", Church News Online Almanac, Deseret News, February 1, 2010, retrieved 2012-10-18 
  6. ^ Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, retrieved 2016-02-06 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Leach, Robin (December 11, 2009). "Photo Gallery: Mayor declares Dec. 4 as Lani Misalucha Day". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "New Temple Announced in Cebu, Philippines" (Press release). Newsroom – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 29 April 2006. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  10. ^ Taylor, Scott (2 October 2010). "President Thomas S. Monson opens conference by announcing 5 new temples". Deseret News. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  11. ^ "President Monson Announces Five New Temples: Mormon temples to be built in South America, Africa, Philippines and US". Newsroom. LDS Church. 2017-04-02. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^
  14. ^ "First Presidency calls 7 new MTC presidents", Church News, November 10, 2016 


External links[edit]